Another worthwhile whim.

net mending

The guest picture of the day comes from my neighbour Liz.  She has been on holiday in Spain but must have strayed into Portugal because she tells me that these are Portuguese fishermen mending their nets.

net mending

It was rather chilly and the cloud was clamped on the hills when I got up.  It was nearly windless so I thought very hard about going for a cycle ride and had to weigh up the damp, cold conditions against the lack of wind.  My cough has not disappeared.  At one stage, I got into quite a heated argument with myself but in the end, sense prevailed and I invited Sandy round for a cup of coffee instead.

After coffee, I checked on the garden birds….


…and then I went out for a short walk with the hope of finding some misty shots involving bare trees for dramatic effect.  I found a dipper, a dripping conifer and some birch leaves….


…but no dramatic misty treescapes.

However, there was some curiously striped mist about…

misty view

…and a hint of a hilltop above the mist…

misty view

…and this was enough to suggest that a drive up to the White Yett might provide a shot worth taking or two and so, on a whim and a prayer, off I went.

Things looked promising as I went up the hill…

windmills in mist

…and more promising the higher I went…

mist from Whita

…higher and higher…


And the promise was fulfilled when I got to the car park.

mist from Whita

I don’t think I have seen mist in such well defined streams before.

mist from Whita

I decided that a walk up to the monument was called for and as I went up, I kept snapping.

Timpen hill was like an island in an icy sea.


mist from Whita

The mist was filling the col between Timpen and the windmills on Craig and Ewe Hill


On the other side of the town, the mist had smothered the Wauchope valley and I was very glad that I had decided not to cycle there earlier in the day.  It would have been dark and damp.

mist from Whita

The stripes of mist were most unusual and thanks to the cool and very still day, they stayed where they were for long enough for me to enjoy them thoroughly.mist from Whita

Once at the top of the hill, I expected to see the Solway plain full of mist too but it was pretty clear so that I could see the Gretna wind farm on this side of the firth  and the Lake District Hills on the far side. ..

Solway Firth

…but as you can see, they had some low level mist on the English shore too.

I could have sat up there for some time but I had an afternoon appointment so I reluctantly came back down to the car, taking a shot or two on the way of course…

windmills and mist

…including a panorama to try to give an impression of how neatly the mist was wrapped round the hills.  You can click on the panorama for a closer look.

mist panorama

As I came down, I saw two things of interest.  The first was a bird perched on a snow pole.  When I looked at the picture for the first time, I thought that it was only a stray chaffinch but a closer look tells me that it is something else.

bird on pole

(Helpful readers have told me that it is a stonechat,  I am grateful to them.)

The other interesting sight was Sandy.  I had sent him a  text to say that there was interesting mist and he had come up for a look for himself.

I didn’t have time to stay and chat as that afternoon appointment was looming up and I needed to have lunch before I went.

I combined lunch with staring out of the window.

There was the usual charm offensive…

blue tit and robin

….and an offensive charm too (goldfinch flocks are called charms)…

goldfinch and siskin

…but the siskins can more than hold their own when it comes to being offensive.

siskin and goldfinch

I couldn’t stay for long as I had to drive over to Powfoot on the Scottish side of the Solway shore to visit my physiotherapist.

The local health authorities have made it almost impossible to see an NHS physio so it was lucky that I know and have used the services of an excellent private physio, even though it costs me money.

A few weeks ago, I injured my left bicep by reaching gently behind me to pick something off a shelf and in the process, damaged my long head tendon.  Two visits to the doctor hadn’t provided me with either much information or a referral to an NHS physio so I was in search of good advice and, if possible, a miracle cure.

I purposely arrived in enough time to go down to the Solway shore.

The tide was out, there was no wind and the scene was eerily quiet.

solway and lake district

I don’t think that I have ever been able to see the reflections of the Anthorn radio masts in the sea before and may well never see them again.


It was hard to choose whether the views from the hill or the shore were better but it was a great privilege to have been able to see them both in one day.

I went to my appointment and discovered that the tendon was irreparably burst and wasn’t going to miraculously join up again so that my bicep would never recover its natural good looks.  This dashed my hopes of appearing in the Mr Universe competition.

On the up side, it turns out that as there are other tendons about, the  loss of one is not a disaster and I should, with care and attention, not do any further damage and be able to gradually improve the situation with judicious light exercise.

As the physio then eased my arthritic shoulder and freed up my neck so that I can actually turn my head now, I considered it money well spent and drove back very cheerfully.

I might have stopped on the way and waved at the starlings at Gretna but I hadn’t brought the right lens with me so I went straight home.

In the evening, I went out to the Langholm Sings choir practice and got shouted at by the pianist.  Deservedly.   But I was tired and my cough hasn’t gone away so I felt a bit hard done by.

I did get a flying goldfinch of the day before I went to Powfoot.

flying goldfinch







Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Another worthwhile whim.

  1. Lots of lovely shots, but my favourite is the reflection of the mastheads. Re. your injury: if you burst a tendon (yikes) by “gently” reaching behind you, I hate to think what you could accomplish if you were putting any effort into it. What will become of the compost sifting if you put yourself out of commission?

    1. I fear that old age might have something to do with the tendon break but it doesn’t seem to affect the compost sieving so all is well.
      I am with you on the mast reflection.

  2. Thanks for sharing all those wonderful misty views, what a splendid sight they were. Sorry about your lost bicep, hope you can soon train other bits of you to take over its duties.

  3. I saw mist this morning too, but as usual I was unable to get above it, I’m sure it couldn’t compare to the beautiful rivers of mist you have there. You’re lucky to be able to get above them.
    I can’t imagine what a burst tendon must feel like but it sounds painful. I’m glad your physio was able to loosen you up. It sounds like what a chiropractor would do here.

  4. Wow! I think that most, if not all, of the images of the rivers of mist would be able to win an award in a photo competition, they’re that good. I’m glad that you decided to go for a walk rather than a ride.

    I hope that the physiotherapist is wrong, and that the tendon does heal, but I doubt it. It sounds painful, I hope that it doesn’t bother you much in any endeavor, especially photography.

    1. Strangely, it doesn’t really bother me at all. I just have to be a bit careful when I reach behind me and I can’t lift things above my head whihc is not great loss.

  5. I love the photo of the windturbines popping their heads above the blanket of mist. Sorry about the bicep..the Mr Universe competition will be the lesser for excluding you 🙂

  6. Very good news about the helpful physio session.
    Sorry you were picked on at choir. You did well to turn up at all with your nasticoff.
    Wonderful misty shots of the hills.

  7. Wonderful photos of mist in those strange streams and I love the reflections of the masts. Hope you can still hang out the washing.

  8. Fabulous photography, great scenery. I believe your mystery bird is a juvenile or female stonechat. You deserve a medal for keeping us all supplied with these beautiful shots especially with your sore neck. Hope the physio gives you long relief. I had a similar problem with a trapped nerve under my shoulder blade it took a few visits to the physiotherapist, but it disappeared and hasn’t returned because of light exercises I was shown how to do, and practice often. Bad news about being a no-show for Mr Universe, but the good news is you can pedal and take photos, good on ya!

      1. Old habits die hard, so I’m up early to a sharp frost, don’t need to go to work until later today. What the powers that be call an assessment day i.e., another name for knowledge testing of the rules and regs for signallers ugh!!! Otherwise, I would be on a night shift, as they say, every other cloud. As far as bird identification is concerned I’m afraid I don’t have your wildlife photography skills, I can never understand how your subjects hang around after you’ve stopped tootling and yet you still have time to take a shot? With me, they’ve long disappeared by the time I get my phone camera out! But I digress. Not being able to get a shot like your good self I have to fall back on the old memory, and the RSPB site is marvellous, it even has a question and answers section to narrow down the id. I’m fortunate, in that my dad bought me a Great British Birds Book when I was about eleven years old, and still have today. I used to spend hours looking through the beautiful colour photographs, and so I can still recognise many birds. It’s very sad though because there is so much less variety out there to be recognised these days. I have said many times in my now rarely posted blog and also in my replies to your posts, how I miss those days as a youngster and much younger man when I had the opportunity to id so many different birds in my grandfathers’ allotments and in the fields.Our pollution, pesticides etc., have a lot to answer for, our grandchildren will not be able to wonder at the sight of such variety. That’s it, I can see you yawning from here, sorry for banging on. Keep pedalling, cheers.

  9. Beautiful examples of stratified mists!

    I am sorry you injured your tendon. It hurts to even think about it. I am glad you at least had access to a private physio.

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