My day was like Gaul, divided into three parts

Hang glider in action

The guest picture of the day is a  hang glider caught in action by my brother as he climbed Blencathra last weekend.

Hang glider in action
Hang glider in action

I had more sun here today than my brother had on Blencathra but a little less exciting action this morning.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to chat to Matilda and I went out for a gentle cycle ride to test my general bike readiness.

It was a glorious morning…


…as this sunny chaffinch can testify.

I found a 20 mile circular route with a friendly wind and thoroughly enjoyed an hour and a half in the sunshine at a modest pace.

I stopped to take one picture just to show what a pleasant day it was.

Irvine House dell

I like the way that the wall seems to have been built to enclose these thee trees, making them look rather like a sacred grove.

When I got back to Langholm, I took the opportunity to pop into the Information Hub and book the gallery there for a two week  exhibition of Camera Club photographs in late July.

I had a moment to look out of the window while I made myself a cup of coffee.

three goldfinches
The goldfinches were in command of the feeder.

I didn’t take many pictures while cycling as it was my plan to go for an equally gentle walk after lunch and I duly put this plan into action.

I started by looking for nuthatches but only saw a blue tit instead.

blue tit

I walked on and had another look at the red fungus in the hollow tree trunk beside the Lodge walks.  There were more of them about.

red fungus

I am going to keep an eye on them to see how they develop.

There were some pretty colours beside the road further along.

moss and tree trunk

I crossed the Sawmill Brig and walked up the road to the rugby club and then took this inviting track…

Whitsiels track

…up onto the hill.

There will doubtless be readers who are feeling the lack of gates in recent posts very keenly so here is one of my favourites…


…which I passed through today on my way to getting a good view up the Ewes valley…

Ewes valley
Dappled sun and shade was the order of the day.

..before heading across the fields in the general direction of the monument.


My sights were set rather lower than the top of the hill though and when I hit the road, I turned back along it down towards the town.

The wall beside the road, as ever, was rich with multicoloured lichen…


…but I stopped looking at the wall and climbed over a little banking and descended into an old quarry.  It is usually full of puddles and I was hoping to spot some frogs and frog spawn.  I was disappointed today as I didn’t see any frogs in spite of spotting a large puddle of promise.


On closer inspection, there was little or no frogs’ spawn and absolutely no frogs but to my delight, there were a large number of toads instead…


…and lots of toad spawn…

toad spawn

…and on every side, toads making more spawn as I watched.

toads spawning

This was a sight that I have never seen before.

I left the toads to it and walked on down the hill towards the town.

There was more tree art to be seen…

tree stumps

… a beautiful dandelion saluting the sun…


…and any number of other interesting things which I omitted to record.

When I came down to the river, I watched a gull…


…and a goosander but the goosander stayed on the far side of the river and refused to be photographed.

While the sun was out, it was almost a hot day but when it clouded over, the cool breeze from the north made me glad to have a jacket on.

I had received a letter in the morning asking for some Archive Group publications and including a very reasonable donation so I had to walk up to the town to post the publications off and I dropped in on Nancy, our treasurer, on my way back to give her the news.  We agreed that it is very gratifying when our work is appreciated, especially with a small donation included.

Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Edinburgh but complained about having to negotiate ferocious potholes in the road on the way.

After tea, Susan came to pick me up and take me to Carlisle to play with our recorder group.  We had an unusually enjoyable evening of music from Giles Farnaby, through Purcell and Haydn and even a little Scott Joplin and it came as a surprise when it turned out to be time to stop.  To round off an excellent day,  the biscuits with our cup of tea after playing were particularly tasty.

Amidst all this pleasurable but peaceful  activity, I didn’t have much time to try to catch a flying bird so an angry duck shooting up the river will have to do for today.





Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “My day was like Gaul, divided into three parts

  1. Now that I see the round fungi from a different angle they look more like wolf’s milk slime mold (Lycogala epidendrum.) You’ll know if you squash one and see pinkish liquid or paste.
    That was quite a catch of the toads producing their eggs. I was just reading about that the other day.
    The landscape shots are beautiful, as always. I especially like the old track up the hill. It looks just like here.

  2. I dearly loved the Ewes valley vista and enjoyed the toads and the unruffled gull. I could almost feel the warm sun on my shoulders. It was nice. Satisfactory day all the way around.

    1. It was. Of course it was a bitter pill to know that some of those on the other side of the Atlantic weren’t enjoying such benign weather but I swallowed it.

  3. Your photos do much to cheer our snowy day – lovely tree art, grassy paths – even the dandelion is hopeful. Good to hear that all the work done at the Archive Centre is appreciated!

  4. Good to read of a duck shooting rather than being shot.
    Love the third fungus picture which looks like an aerial shot in late afternoon sun, two fields separated by a hedge ot trees, with the reflection of some of them in standing water in the nearer field. To my eyes anyway.

  5. What a magnificent day! My favorite photo is the one of the Ewes Valley, but you saw so many interesting things, like the toads spawning, that it was difficult to choose a favorite. As bad as the weather has been here, it’s nice to know that some one, some where, had a chance to enjoy spring as it should be.

  6. Any day which includes Farnaby, Purcell and Joplin is definitely on the credit side of the ledger!

  7. I am pleased you were able to take advantage of the lovely weather and provide us with some great photos to admire. I was pleased to see a gate and the spawning toads.

  8. I really enjoyed all the toad related shots. How interesting to see the spawning. I’ve seen clumps of eggs before but never the actual laying process. Thank you for also including more tree art. It’s very pretty. 🙂

  9. Loved the Ewes Valley vista, gorgeous. What a gorgeous capture of a dandelion! And for real, I don’t know….how do you tell the difference between a toad and a frog?

  10. Toads! Also among my favorite amphibians. Much more common in my youth. I grew up on the east coast on the edge of a swamp, and would find many coupled toads and toad spawn in April. Out west here, I have not encountered Bufo americanus in the little more than 12 years we have been here. Many chorus frogs, but no toads. A most welcome photo of old friends.

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