Catching up

Caerlaverock Castle

Today’s guest picture is another from Mike Tinker’s visit to Caerlaverock Castle yesterday.

Caerlaverock Castle

Today was a splendid day for catching up on the great number of pictures that I took yesterday because it wasn’t a day that was good for anything active at all. It was a perfect example of a ‘Scotch Mist’, that gentle but pervasive drizzle that you think doesn’t amount to much but ends with you absolutely soaking if you are foolish enough to linger about in it.

I went out in the morning to walk round the garden with Mrs Tootlepedal, snapped some soggy flowers…

dahlias and lily

…and admired the alstroemeria under the plum tree…


…and then went back in and stayed there.

I had many plans for doing useful and interesting things while I was cooped up indoors but they went the way of most of my plans and I spent a very restful day doing nothing very much instead.

I did look at my pictures from yesterday though.

The astrantia is still attracting bees by the bucket load, although you might think that all the pollen would have been taken by now.

astrantia with bees

The main photographic business of the day was the walk up Meikleholm Hill with Sandy in the afternoon.  This hill lies immediately behind our respective houses so it didn’t take us long to get out in the open.

We met a lot of other people with the same idea.  Some were walking their grandchildren and some were walking dogs…

Sandy has a chat

…and some as you saw yesterday were riding horses.  We saw four riders in total.

There was enough space for us all though and Sandy was soon getting down to work.

Sandy on Meikleholm

I saw one of these…

plant on Meikleholm

…and when I looked around, I saw that there were a lot of them about.

plant on Meikleholm

I don’t know what they are.  This was the only patch of them that we saw on our walk and I wish that I had the knowledge to know why they grow in this spot and not on any other part of the hill in the same quantity.

We had chosen the route for its combination of views and wild flowers and there were so many wild flowers about that we would never have had time to look at the views of we had tried to photograph them all.

For some reason, it always surprises me to find insects half way up a hill.  This one was visiting some yarrow (I think).

yarrow with bee

The was plenty of meadow vetchling and one small patch of bog cotton.

meadow vetchling and bog cotton

We expected to see some orchids and we weren’t disappointed.  There were plenty on all sides.


And as a treat, there was quite a lot of lichen on any rocks or walls that we passed.


We walked round the shoulder of the hill until we came to the col between Meikleholm and Timpen Hill where I was suddenly overcome by an impulse to get artistic.

Meikleholm Hill gate

As it was such a bright and pleasant day and the going underfoot was perfect, we went through the gate and continued up to the top of Timpen Hill and reached the dizzy heights of 1000 feet above sea level.

Now we looked at the views as well as the flowers.  We looked down closely…

Esk and Milnholm
The River Esk ran through the fields below

…and down again but with a broader view…

Esk valley

…and then we looked up.

View from Timpen

There are excellent views to the south, over the Solway Firth and towards the Lake District hills in England but at that time of the day, the sun is not at all helpful.

Solway Firth

I go down to those flat plains when I want a gentle cycle ride.  The brownish tinge to the Solway probably means that the tide was well out and the mudflats were showing.

When you walk up this hill, you get any number of  views of the town tucked in below and it should be possible to take the perfect picture postcard portrait of Langholm.  I keep trying.

Close up?

Langholm from Timpen

Further away?

Langholm from Timpen

Long view with monument?

Langholm form Meikleholm

It never quite captures the view that your eye sees and the scaffolding on the Erskine Church is an unwelcome eyesore.

I think that this was my favourite of the day.

Langholm from Timpen

Other views were also available on our way up and down.

Castleholm from Meikleholm Hill
The sun caught the Castle Hill ridge on the other side of the Esk valley
Meikleholm Hill and warbla
Looking back at Warbla and England beyond as we walked up Meikleholm Hill

As we came back down, we looked down on the horse racing track on the Castleholm…

Castleholm from Meikleholm Hill

…where I hope to take some action shots on Common Riding day in a fortnight, weather permitting.

We saw more flowers, fierce and delicate, as we descended.

thistle and harebell

We passed drifts of yellow as we went.

Yellow flowers on Meikleholm

And altogether, it was a very satisfactory short walk, no more than two miles at the most,  giving us a great variety of subjects for the camera as well as a little exercise.

There are no flying birds in the garden at the moment as our feeder is not up but we did see a sitting meadow pipit on the hill.

meadow pipit
Sadly, I didn’t have my meadow pipit camera with me.

The flower of the day is one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s peony like poppies.  She thought that this one wasn’t too bad, even in the rain.

peony poppy

I apologise for the excessive number of pictures but it was a very nice day for a walk with good company.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Catching up

      1. As it approaches, it comes with a horrible disease the symptoms of which are a rabid desire to get rid of clothes you haven’t worn for 15 years, VHS tapes, and useless cookbooks!!!!

  1. The unknown flower is one of the smartweeds in the Polygonum family, possibly lady’s thumb (Polygonum persicaria.) This is the same family that Japanese knotweed and curly dock are in. Smartweeds like wet places so that part of the hill probably has a seep or spring on it somewhere.
    That’s a great lichen. I’ve never seen one like it.
    The views are beautiful but I can’t decide which one of the town is best. I like them all.

    1. Lady’s thumb certainly seems to be right. Thank you. Your idea about the seep might well be right though there are other soggy parts on the hill without the same plant.

  2. The views looking down at the Esk are very lovely, although the cut block in the distance where the trees have been harvested is quite stark. Langholm looks very snug in all the views.

    Bog cotton looks very interesting! Is it used for anything?

  3. What a glorious day for walking! The landscape shots are so pretty. I am pleased you had such fine weather. Like the previous commenter one of my favourite shots is of the bees on the astrantia – such lovely soft colours and fine details.

  4. What a lovely walk with so many beautiful views wherever you looked- I particularly like the sun catching the ridge on the Castle Hill. A great variety of pretty wild flowers but topped by the stunning peony like poppy!

  5. I’m not going to try to pick a favorite from among those, they’re all excellent! I can see why it took two days to sort through them all, it must have been one of those special days when photos practically jump into your camera by the bucket full.

    1. I don’t think he will be very pleased to hear that. He taught me all I know about taking photographs when I started a few years ago.

      I agree about being lucky.

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