Today’s guest picture is another sunny shot from my sister Mary. She was walking along the Thames path when she met this wonderful view.
It was only just above freezing when we woke up this morning but the upside of a cold morning at this time of year, is the clear skies that go with it.
It took me a bit of time to get going after breakfast but a strong cup of Kenya coffee roused me and since Mrs Tootlepedal was taking advantage of the good weather to do some gardening, I rang Sandy and we agreed to drive down to Rowanburn and walk along the old railway to take pictures of the Liddle viaduct.
This was an excellent plan insofar as it went but sadly it didn’t go very far. We were still in the town when we remembered that the road south out of Langholm was closed for repairs. Foiled, we turned and drove out of the town to the north before turning to drive up to the White Yett and down the other side of the hill into the Tarras valley.
We decided to drive up river and parked at a handy bridge, where we could take a forestry track up into the hills.
There are plenty of hills to go up in to.
If you want to plant commercial conifer forest plantations these days, you have to agree to plant some deciduous trees as well and this leads to sights like this…
…which are probably not going to create quite the sort of native woodland that some people hoped for.
Our track climbed at a very steady and comfortable gradient for one and three quarter miles and we strolled along on high good humour, enjoying the sunshine and not missing the viaduct at all.
The views are very fine on a sunny day and constantly changing as you gain height. We were able to get quite a different view when we looked back across the valley after we had climbed a bit…
…and other hills came in to view as well.
This is Arkelton Hill, at 521m, among the highest hills in our immediate neighbourhood.
We passed a rather tattered tree….
…and this very peaceful pond…
….on our 1.75 mile, 100m climb from the Tarras water to the col between the Tarras and Ewes valleys. The views down into the Ewes valley made the walk well worth while.
And we could look south west and see the wind farms on the hills beyond Langholm.
Although we kept our eye on the bigger picture during our walk, we didn’t entirely neglect the world of small things.
There were a lot of lichen covered boulders to be seen and we came across a curious white thing near the car. I think it might be white jelly fungus.
The forestry track that we followed was in excellent condition and was a pleasure to stroll along so we felt that we had got brilliant value from a relatively short and undemanding walk.
As we came back down to the car, the sun got swept up in some light clouds and looking down the valley and over the Solway towards the Lake District…
…it looked as though we had had the best of the day for our walk.
We are quite happy to visit the viaduct another day. In fact we so enjoyed our walk that are thinking of asking Mrs Tootlepedal to drop us off at the bridge one day so that we can walk up the hill again and this time, continue over the hill into the Ewes valley and catch the bus home back down the main road. A little snow on the hills might make it even more picturesque.
I had intended to go for a short cycle ride in the afternoon and I had that in mind when turning on the Scotland rugby match on the telly to record it while I was out……but then I made the fatal mistake of sitting down to watch the first few minutes of the game before getting changed into cycling gear and I was still in the armchair when it was time to think about cooking our tea three hours later.
Still it was a good walk.
In fact it was probably just as well that I didn’t add any cycling to the walk as I felt a bit poorly in the evening which accounts for my failure to do full justice to our walk either in photographs or words. It’s an early bed for me tonight.
The flying bird of the day is three greenfinches.
“What about the wild goat chase of the title?” you ask. Well, we were hoping to see wild goats on out walk but the nearest we got to any was this little group, too far off to photograph properly. This was the only disappointment of the day.