Up hill and down dale

annie's veg

Today’s guest picture is a second helping of vegetables from our daughter’s allotment.  She is obviously doing a good job there.  Mrs Tootlepedal is very envious of the beetroot.

annie's veg

I didn’t have very much time to look at our veg today as it seemed to start to rain as soon as I went out into the garden in the morning.  It didn’t rain very hard and soon stopped after I went in but when it had done it two or three times,  I took the hint and gave up any thoughts of flower pictures or lawn mowing and devoted myself to crosswords, music and occasional ill tempered muttering instead.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to see Matilda in Edinburgh and I avoided the garden and any more rain by making for the hills (or at least one of the hills).

Now that I was clear of the garden, the weather got much better and I was able to enjoy the flowers beside the track as I walked up to the Meikleholm Hill.

Meikleholm flowers

There were no cattle on the hill so I was free to walk where I liked and the sheep took my presence very calmly.

sheep on Meikleholm

I was vaguely hoping that I might see a lot of orchids as I walked round the side of the hill but the hillside was covered in tormentil for the most part….

tormentil

…and it was obvious that I was a few days too early for the orchids.  One or two were to be seen in an early stage….

vetch and orchid

…and there was more vetch than orchids to be seen.

I climbed gently round the back of the hill until I came to the gate on the col….

Meikleholm gate

…which marks the divide between Wauchopedale and Eskdale.

Eskdale was looking beautiful.

Eskdale

I did think about going through the gate and further on along the ridge but there were enough grey clouds about to persuade me that  a route nearer home might be advisable.  Indeed as I walked over the top of Meikleholm Hill back towards the town, the wind became very gusty and the temperature dropped a little so I feared the worst.

Whatever the weather, it is a treat to walk along the top of this hill….

Meikleholm Hill view

…and I soon got some splendid views across the town (click the pic for a bigger view).

Meikleholm Hill view

This side of the hill was covered in low growing cow parsley….

Meikleholm Hill

And although I saw one or two early orchids, the vetch was still easier to spot.

Looking across the Esk to Castle Hill, I could see a big scar made by clear felling the woods there.

Tree felling in the Longfauld

After a last look up the valley…

Milnholm
I love the gentle curves in this view and the many shades of green

…I left the open hill and took to tracks through woods and along meadows for the rest of my walk….and of course, the sun came out.

tracks and paths

On my way I saw a red admiral butterfly basking in the sun….

tracks and paths

…a wall engulfed by spleenwort…

spleenwort

…decorative wild flowers….

umbellifer

…and I crossed bridges both small…..

walk 2 bridge

…and large.

walk 2 bridge

I got home after a four and a bit mile walk in a very cheerful state of mind as I hadn’t expected to get such good walking weather.

When I went out into the garden to pick some spinach leaves for my tea not long after I had got back though, I found it was pouring with rain!

After tea, Susan came and we went off in her car to play recorders with our group in Carlisle.  We are meeting monthly now and it is an extra treat to meet and play when it is not quite so routine as it has been for many years.

The standard of biscuits with the après-tootling cup of tea has not dropped so it was a satisfactory visit all round.

No flying bird or bee today.  Instead a yellow dung fly takes the starring role.   I met it on the hill and I think it was finding a place to lay its eggs

dung beetle

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Up hill and down dale

  1. Love the gate against the sky. Your spleenwort looks like our deer fern. We have a thoroughly rainy day that is also too windy for gardening, so at last I can catch up again on your blog and can enjoy all the comments, too. I will try not to leave too many. 😉

  2. I like the old gate in the wall and all of the other landscapes. The bare hillsides are so very different than what we have here.
    It’s nice to know that there are more orchids in the future.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a yellow fly and I’m not sure that I really want to.

  3. Oh, that countryside! Unlike others you previously posted, it doesn’t look at all like central Maine,

      1. Yes, beautiful! Many years ago, I visited North Yorkshire and feel utterly in love.

  4. Those vegetables look really succulent.
    Lovely views on your walk – especially the enlargeable one looking over the town.

  5. That is a splendid walking route, with many fine views and things to see. I like the stonewall covered with spleenwort.

    We see many patches like that among our own hills where clear cutting has been done. a friend from back east who came to visit a number of years ago remarked that it looked as if people harvest trees out here like they harvest hay back in her area. From a distance, it does look somewhat the same.

  6. Wonderful that you could capture all those beautiful clouds and get home before the rain. I’m finding everything including the root vegetables tantalizing.

  7. I wish that I had your luck in avoiding the rain, but I think that since you’re closer to the ocean, the weather systems move quicker than they do here. Great views from along the top of the hill, I wish that there were places around here like that where I could walk.

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