Today’s guest picture is another from Mike Tinker’s visit to Caerlaverock Castle yesterday.
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…
…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.
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…
…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.
I saw one of these…
…and when I looked around, I saw that there were a lot of them about.
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).
The was plenty of meadow vetchling and one small patch of 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.
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…
…and down again but with a broader view…
…and then we looked up.
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.
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.
Long view with monument?
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.
Other views were also available on our way up and down.
As we came back down, we looked down on the horse racing track on the Castleholm…
…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.
We passed drifts of yellow as we went.
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.
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.
I apologise for the excessive number of pictures but it was a very nice day for a walk with good company.