Two walks and a warble


Today’s picture comes from my friend Bruce who saw a horse in a field across a canal.  We will get closer to it tomorrow.


We had another near freezing but sunny day today and it was most frustrating.  I have hardly done any cycling this month, what with bad weather and a long and irritating cold so I have been hoping to put a mile or two in before December comes.

Thus I spent a lot of today anxiously looking at the thermometer and frozen puddles in the drive, hoping that the thermometer would rise and the puddles melt.

Neither happened and the thermometer stayed stuck at 4°C and the puddle stayed frozen.  I am very aware of being a great deal more fragile than I was ten years ago when 4° would have been an invitation to go out for a pedal and a gentle fall wouldn’t have been too serious.  I have fallen off more than once in ice and snow but time passes and joints and bones are not what they were so I have become risk averse.  99% of a trip might be ice free but that 1%, a shady corner on a damp stretch under the trees, might be just enough to spoil things.

So I had coffee with Sandy, looked at a bird or two…

A greenfinch enjoying the sun
And a robin feeling the cold in the shade

…and then went for a short walk before lunch to give things a chance to warm up.

Pool Corner was very peaceful…

Pool corner

…but the larches on the bank behind it are almost at their very last gasp.

Pool corner

In the absence of leaves, I looked at branches….

bare tree

…and walked up the track onto the lower slopes of Warbla from where I could see a few views for a small amount of climbing.

monument from Warbla

Meikleholm Hill

Castle Hill

Where the sun hadn’t reached, the frost remained and reminded me of why I wasn’t out on my bike.

frozen leaf

If I had a serious mountain bike, winter riding would be more possible but I don’t have one and skinny tyres make ice a threat.

After lunch, I looked hopefully at the thermometer again and then went for another short walk in a rather grumpy state of mind.

The blue flash of a kingfisher, a very rare sighting for me, as I went along the banks of the Esk cheered me up and after crossing the Langholm Bridge, now back to complete calm after the recent rains…

Langholm Bridge

….I walked along the Kilngreen beside the Ewes Water….


…and communed with the ducks.


Mr Grumpy saw me and decamped to the opposite bank of the river.


I too crossed the river.  The low sun shining through the moss on a wall caught my eye…


…and I caught the eye of a sheep.


I was on the same bank as Mr Grumpy now.  He looked ready to flit back to the other side at a moment’s notice so I left him alone and walked on….


…under the trees and into the sun.

tree in low sun

I passed the castle ruins…

Langholm Castle

…and found myself in the shadow of our hills as I walked up the river Esk to the Jubilee Bridge so that the only sunlight was now in the branches of the trees above my head.

sunny branches

The temperature was already dropping when I got home but where the sun had struck the soil in our garden, it had made it soft enough for Mrs Tootlepedal to plant a few more tulips and I spiked some of the middle lawn.

As the light faded, Eric, a fellow member of the Langholm choir tenor section, turned up and we had a useful practice together.  Christmas concerts are looming up and all the practice that we can get in is useful.

The day rather fizzled out after that and in spite of the two walks and the singing practice, I was left with the strong feeling that it had been wasted.  As the next two days are forecast to be sunny but even colder, I fear that any dream of cycling miles in November will have to be abandoned.

There is always the gym…..aaaargh!.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, caught at a busy moment on the feeder.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “Two walks and a warble

  1. Though one can’t cover the same amount of territory on foot, walks are invigorating and provide many photo opportunities. Pool Corner was especially photogenic.

    The birds do look cold, and I bet you are going through a lot of seed as they try to eat enough to stay warm.

  2. It is a pity you can’t get out on your bike – I understand completely your worries about falling – but the walks are good and energetic and we benefit by seeing your wonderful photos. I like the tree on the lower slopes of Warbla and also the sheep photo.

  3. Sorry you can’t get out on the bike, but chasing Mr. Grumpy back and forth across the river was likely the best decision. Going to the gym isn’t all that bad, you know, when it’s the only option for several months of the year! The poor wee robin is so fluffed up it looks like it’s about to explode – lovely photo.

  4. No day when you’re able to get outside whether walking or riding is wasted, especially not one when you’re able to shoot so many lovely photos of the surrounding country. I know that you’d have rather gone for a ride, but it is better to be safe than sorry, and in pain.

  5. Lovely picture of the round robin.
    Beautiful pictures – sorry the temperatures were too low for a ride, but you made the most of the day by being out in the sunshine.

  6. I know exactly where you’re coming from about falls while riding a bike, I’ve had a few myself and the frost and ice are starting to appear here also in the Neath Valley. As usual, you’ve hit the nail on the head I too feel somewhat more fragile than when I did that short 14 years ago when I started to cycle again. I wish I could get myself walking like yourself, but my old knee has me limping around nowadays, and the knee surgeon still tells me to hang fire for an op, just in case the movement doesn’t return as good as it is now? Frustrating to say the least! Cheers.

    1. Very frustrating. My new knee has transformed my walking life. I got it just in time before the cuts in the number of operations really began to bite.

  7. Very smart to talk a walk rather than ride your bike. As the views in your neighborhood are so splendid, that must be some consolation. I am always amazed by how different your robins look from ours. If I had a better camera, I’d post a picture of one. Anyway, fun to note the differences.

      1. I so enjoy seeing the different birds in your neighborhood, but the your robins always catch me by surprise as they look so different from the ones we have.

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