Today’s guest picture shows the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford upon Avon. It was kindly sent to me by Mike Griffiths, author of the Wilden Marsh blog which is always an interesting read. He is a first class photographer.
It was a dry morning again. Recently the weather gods have taken to raining in the night and leaving the days dry. This is very welcome. It was extra welcome today as I had to take the car to the garage first thing in the morning to get its winter tyres put on and then walk home.
After a light breakfast, I had to walk up to the town again to sit for a couple of hours in the Welcome to Langholm office where I was filling in for an absentee welcomer.
There was not a lot of welcoming to do so I was able to put two weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database which I regarded as time well spent.
I picked up the car from the garage, complete with its winter tyres, and drove home in sunshine. It was such a nice day that I rang Sandy up to see if he would like a walk after lunch. He was keen so we arranged a time and almost immediately, it began to rain. It was only teasing though and it soon stopped and the sun came out again.
We decided to visit Rowanburn and walk to the viaduct that links Scotland and England, the route we had planned to follow last Saturday when we were foiled by the road works.
There was no let or hindrance today and we parked in the middle of the village…
…just beside a tribute to its past existence as a home for coal miners and a coal mine.
We set off down the path to the old railway line from Langholm to England, passing through a coal and timber yard which looks as though it has more demand for timber than coal these days.
Although the timber may look a bit dull, it turned out to be a treasure trove of fungi.
Every tree trunk seemed to have its own crop.
And I mean, every tree trunk.
This was my favourite.
The sun wasn’t out when we started the walk and everything is still wet after a soggy autumn so these cows with their feet in the mud summed up the situation rather well.
It is enough to make a cow thoughtful.
We walked on, along the disused railway bed…
…and entered the woods. We thought that we would be in the woods until we reached the viaduct….
…but great tree felling has gone on and most of the track is now in the open. This was made more welcome by the reappearance of the sun…
…and we enjoyed good views up the Liddle Water valley over the felled area…
…until we came to the viaduct.
It has a big new fence across it to stop me and Sandy walking on to it. I could just poke the Lumix lens through a gap in the wires.
That is England on the far side of the bridge.
I was quite pleased not to be allowed to walk on the viaduct because it is a lofty structure as we could see from below when we had scrambled down a bank onto the road…
…and splodged through some very muddy fields to the waterside until we found a place where we could look back up at the viaduct.
It is a rather frustrating structure to try to do justice to with a camera. It is impossible to get a position where all the arches can be seen at once and its curved construction is very tricky to capture.
The skill of the men who designed and built it is manifest when you look up at the arches.
The trackbed crosses the supporting pillars at an angle and on a curve and all this was done with a bit of string and a piece of chalk (and a lot of sound mathematics) and not a computer in sight. My respect for engineers is unbounded.
I walked down the river a bit to try to get a better shot of just some of its many arches.
I enjoyed the peaceful water above the bridge too.
Sandy didn’t fancy the splodge back through the muddy field so he clambered up a very steep path to the end of the viaduct but I took the longer way round and met him on the track.
We walked back to the car with one eye on a rainy looking cloud and got there just as a light rain started to fall.
We had stopped to looked at a few things on the way back…
..so we were very pleased with our timing.
We went back to Langholm and Sandy entertained me to tea and a chocolate biscuit or two before I headed home.
It was too dark to do anything other than go in and look at the pictures that I had taken on the walk and practise a song which I have to re-learn by heart for our Christmas concert with the Carlisle choir.
Generally speaking, my cough was much improved today and I really am quite optimistic that I may have seen the last of it soon.
In the evening, Susan arrived and she drove us to Carlisle for the monthly meeting of our recorder group.
Because I had got the winter tyres on the car, I was expecting a long spell of warm and dry weather but it was near freezing as we drove back so maybe the winter tyres will come in handy.
The recorder playing was most enjoyable as was the cup of tea and chocolate biscuits that followed it. Two cups of tea with chocolate biscuits in the same day is a very good thing.
I didn’t have much time to look out of the kitchen window today so the flying bird of the day is a non standard one….but quite striking all the same.
Sandy has produced a record of our walk with some very nice pictures on it. You can see it here if you would like.
32 thoughts on “On the trail”
The cattle don’t look like they are enjoying themselves.
I agree. They looked thoroughly fed up.
Now the marsh cattle take no heed of rain whatsoever. I expect it’s because they feel loved and cared for.
I don’t doubt it.
I have to agree that it is an economically designed viaduct. I suspect it’s a Scottish design.
I think you got some great shots of the viaduct. I’m a mechanical engineer but I wouldn’t want a job like designing that one landing on my desk. Best to leave it to the civil engineers, or the amazingly intelligent and capable people of years past.
I think your mushrooms with red caps and dark stems might be velvet shank mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes.) They’re considered a winter mushroom and are very cold hardy.
I’m glad the cough has eased and glad you saw some sunshine.
The problems of the viaduct construction are mind bending to me but there must have been enough knowledge about to make it possible.
An impressive viaduct!
As usual there are too many trees about to show it in its full glory.
The viaduct is an impressive structure indeed! Getting the angles and curvature correct would be difficult in the first place, but calculating the loads of both the trains and the water pushing against the viaduct would be a monumental task. You didn’t mention when it was built, but I would assume that an analog computer, better known as a slide rule, was used to do the math calculations.
I also like the fungi and the cows that you saw while on your walk.
It was built around 1862 and was one of three impressive viaducts on the short branch from the Waverley line to Langholm
I agree with you about Mike’s blog. What a lot of fabulous fungi and mucky cows too.
Fantastic structure, and great pics, I really enjoyed your walk, It’s OK I’m not stalking you, your post just came in while I am sat here eating breakfast, still a while before I have to set off for assessment…….ugh!!
That is early.
Fungi photos would make great embroideries for Mrs T.
I will point that out to her.
I, too, loved the pictures of the viaduct especially the one where the bricks go in all directions.
You have done well in capturing the detail and overall splendour of the viaduct.
All this Mainer can say is “Wowsah!” Both Clif and I agree that if we could talk a walk and see a viaduct, then our systems might not right recover from the joy of it. 😉
It is hard not to enjoy a viaduct.
Winter tires are rather comforting, no? A bit like railing around scaffolding. Never want to really need it, but glad it’s there!
It’s always interesting to see both your and Sandy’s photos when the two of you shoot the same walk. Amazing fungi.
I am happy to have the winter tyres because the Kangoo has rotten handling in the best conditions so a little extra help is not to be sniffed at.
The size, grandeur and beauty of the viaduct can be seen in your lovely photos and capturing its reflection just adds another wonderful dimension. I think the ‘pretty’ cow thought you were being particularly clever with your camera today with all those super shots of fungi, hips and flying bird.
The fungi were amazing. Every tree trunk seemed to have its own little batch.
I do love to see a viaduct! I also enjoyed my vicarious walk with you and Sandy. What quantities of fungi!
If a day has a viaduct in it, it is a good day.
That viaduct is a feat of engineering, and I have a lot of respect for the designers and builders.
Great fungus photos. It’s remarkable what the Victorians, or even the Romans, could do with so little in the way of computers and focus groups.
True. With IT they might have been able to rule the world.
As if. 🙂