A slow business

The river Avon at Pulteney Bridge

Today’s guest picture is another blast of sunshine from my sister Mary’s visit to Bath.

The river Avon at Pulteney Bridge

We had some sunshine of our own today and very welcome it was.  It was still chilly in the morning in spite of the sun and my cold has not given up yet so I was happy to stay in for a cup of coffee with Sandy.  Later in the morning we got a visit from our old friend Dr Cat Barlow who used to mastermind the Moorland Project and was responsible for the comfortable hide at the Moorland Feeders which I often visit. She is working with golden eagles now.

In this way, the morning passed very sociably and I rounded it off by making some potato and carrot soup for lunch.

I did look out of the window from time to time.

The sparrow with white markings was back.

white headed sparrow

And I had put out some fat balls which attracted a beady eyed jackdaw.


We have had blue tits and great tits in recent days and today we added a coal tit (or possibly two).

coal tit

I liked this sparrow trying to blend into the background on a bush while waiting for the feeder to be free.


On the whole though, there weren’t many birds about again.  There must be plenty of food in the countryside still.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents.  I thought it best not to pass on my cold to others and stayed at home and went for a gentle walk in the sun.  It would have been a perfect day for a long cycle ride as it was warm, sunny, dry and almost windless but a rare outbreak of good sense kept me off the bike while my chest was not in good condition.  That and Mrs Tootlepedal  saying, “How many people have said, ‘Oh, I am perfectly fit’ and gone out running or cycling with a cold and dropped dead.”

My walk was a treat so I didn’t mind too much.

I walked through the town and up the Kirk Wynd….

Kirk Wynd gate

When I got to the hill, I turned along the Quarry track which contours along the face of the hill.  It offers lovely views back over the golf course and the town.

Viw of langholm from Whita

You will notice that the windmills on the hill are absolutely stationary, a very rare thing this year and as a result, I had to unbutton my jacket as I walked along as I was too hot.

I like the rolling nature of our hills and the low autumn sun picks the contours out well..

rolling hills

As always, I was observed.


The track is provided with benches where a man may take his ease for a while and admire the countryside….

whita benches

…but the clocks have gone back and evening comes very early now so I kept going.  I crossed the wall at the quarry by the excellent stile…

quarry stile
This is looking back after I had climbed over the stile.

And followed the path down the open hillside to the woods at the Round House.

oak woods

There is another bench at the Round House….

round house

…and although I didn’t sit on it, I did stop beside it for long enough to enjoy the view over the town that I would have got if I had sat down.

view from Round House

I walked down to the river at Skippers Bridge and in spite of the recent wet weather, the water was low enough to let me get a good look at the bridge from the upstream side….

skippers bridge in shadow

…although the sun had sunk far enough to leave the river in the shade by this time.

There was still a fair bit of water about.

River Esk

I walked home along the Murtholm and saw a dipper on the far bank of the river.  Sadly, the light was too far gone for me to be able to photograph it but it was good to see it all the same.

I did photograph some ivy and the first catkins that I have noticed this autumn.

ivy and catkins

On the bank above the river there was just enough light left to let me have a look back at the Round House, tucked in among the trees.

Round House from Murtholm

On my way home, I dropped in to tell Nancy some archive news and she and Bob kindly invited me in for a cup of tea and a slice of cake so between the views, the gentle exercise and the hospitality, I felt that the afternoon had gone very well.

I was welcomed home by an Icelandic poppy.

icelandic poppy

The hillsides are getting pretty bare now but I had seen two flowers on my walk…

whita flowers

…but these were the only two.  I shall have to look out for others on my next walk.

The espalier apples are the gift that keeps giving and I had stewed apples for my tea. I am determined to eat as many of our apples as I possibly can this year.

As I write this, Mrs Tootlepedal has just arrived back from Edinburgh and that has rounded off a very good day.  I even think that my cold might be a bit better.

A flying chaffinch with a gleam in its eye modestly takes its place as the flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “A slow business

  1. You were wise to take a good walk instead of biking, especially a walk with benches along the way. The photos are beautiful, especially that welcoming Icelandic poppy.

    It is starting to feel more like an early winter is coming in our area.

    1. It was built as a gazebo or summer house for a local landowner but it fell into disuse and was turned into a complete cylinder to discourage vandalism.

  2. You’re wise to listen to Mrs. T. and leave the bike in the shed. Mine is, sadly, in for the duration, as we now have snow on the ground. I’m far too old to risk the plethora of broken bones that would result from a spill on ice.

    A selection of most enjoyable photos: lovely gates and landscapes, the curious sheep, and the very handsome jackdaw.

      1. It’s an option, as are the “fat bike” tires. However, we had one winter with very little snow until after Christmas and I tried biking then. I found that it took so much energy to stay warm that I had little left to actually propel the bike! Between the cold and the layers of clothes it took the joy out of the process, so I just moan about not being able to bike!

  3. The landscapes are beautiful as always, and so is that poppy.
    I like the shots of the bridge and the rushing river, and it’s great to still see some wildflowers. I’m still seeing them here but they are few and far between.

  4. What a lovely day! We won’t have our clocks set back until this coming Saturday into Sunday. Adding overcast skies and a bit of drizzle, I’m thinking our temperatures are getting closer to yours over there. It’s a wonderful change from the 103 degrees of just over a week ago.

  5. How thoughtful of some one to provide benches in places, we could use a few of them along many of the trails here.

    Not only do you live in a very photogenic area in the first place, there are often things around to add interest to the foreground of your images, such as the fences, styles, and gates. There’s a saying about photography, light illuminates and shadows define, and that sums up many of the photos from this day. You’re right, the shadows on the hillsides define them very well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: