On a wild goat chase

From the Thames Path at Canary Wharf

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.

From the Thames Path at Canary Wharf
From the Thames Path at Canary Wharf

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.

Tarras hills
These ones were on the opposite side of the valley to our track.

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…

deciduous tree planting

…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…

tarras track view

…and other hills came in to view as well.

tarras track view

This is Arkelton Hill, at 521m, among the highest hills in our immediate neighbourhood.

tarras track view

We passed a rather tattered tree….

tarras track tree

…and this very peaceful pond…tarras track 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.

ewes valley from above Arkletonewes valley from above Arkleton

And we could look south west and see the wind farms on the hills beyond Langholm.

Craig windfarm

Although we kept our eye on the bigger picture during our walk, we didn’t entirely neglect the world of small things.

fungus on Tarras track

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.

lichen and 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…

Lake district

…it looked as though we had had the best of the day for our walk.

Sandy on Tarras Bridge

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.

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.

wild goats

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

36 thoughts on “On a wild goat chase

  1. The views are beautiful and I’d love to walk over those hills.
    I’ve never seen one but I think the white jelly fungus might be the snow fungus (Tremella fuciformis.) It’s supposed to be relatively rare. The lichens look like concentric boulder lichens (Porpidia crustulata.)
    The deciduous forest might not look entirely natural but it might be beautiful in the fall.

  2. Nice day for a walk. Seriously cold here, between -1 and – 2C. Brr. Hoping for the warm up promised next week to finish “playing” in the garden. Planting, pitching etc. Thanks for taking me on your walk, feeling warmer already..beautiful photos as usual.

  3. There are some lovely long views on this walk, but I believe that the beauties of the immediate Langholm area are hard to beat. The white jelly fungus looks like a patch of icy snow.

  4. You do so much more when sick than I do; I tend to just stay in and read and mope. Good for you although….. I am glad you took an early night to get some rest.

  5. Sorry you did not feel well in the evening, but you managed a splendid blog and must have been pleased at the scenic route you eventually chose for your walk.

  6. What beautiful countryside, and only a train ride away from Edinburgh. The best of both worlds? Nice picture of the goats, even if they were too far away for you to take closer shots. Still, lovely to see them graze.

      1. i sang for many years but with my sensitivity to scents , the vocal cord spasm comes at anytime I am out in public. not life threatening but a real nuisance.

  7. I am pleased to read you felt better next day. I enjoyed your walk vicariously; it was interesting to see some different views of your beautiful countryside.

  8. What beautiful views of the rolling hills and fungi. I concur that you manage to do far more when you are under the weather than I ever think possible at 100%. I will be thinking of your vistas when I roam the Andes pass at 15000 feet tomorrow!

      1. Chuckling at 2,850 meters. I am in Quito today awaiting my flight home and this is lower than the highest point on the trip but I think we were not quite at 15,000 feet, just a bit under. I have no problems with elevation but I need to look into getting my knee fixed next year. Having said that I made it through all the hiking and it was glorious.

  9. It is good to see a buffer of deciduous trees planted. I think they used to do that here, but I have seen many clear cuts down to the road. Perhaps it depends on parcel size.

    Beautiful photos, even if the goats are far away in the last shot.

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