Today’s guest post is the third and last of Tash’s portraits of Tony’s dogs beside the Forth.
It was a cold but brighter day here today so there were no complaints but I had a slight chesty cough threatening so I abandoned a plan to wrap up well and go for a pedal and settled for a morning of light loafing about.
I kept an eye on the birds.
We had two greenfinches…
…and robins on every perch.
There were at least three robins and I could often see all three at the same time. They seem to be mildly territorial but not very fierce about it so maybe there is room in the garden for all of them.
We went out for our midday meal as it was the day of the annual Archivists’ Lunch. It was at the Eskdale Hotel this year and a party of thirteen sat down for an excellent meal.
After the meal, I thought that I probably needed to shake the calories down so I went for a walk. I also hoped that a bit of exercise might frighten away my incipient chesty cough.
It was crisp and breezy and a beautiful day for an outing on a hill so I left the Eskdale Hotel behind….
…and went up the Kirk Wynd on the opposite side of the market Place and headed straight up the hill to the monument on top of Whita.
It was warm enough for the puddles in the fields to be unfrozen….
….but the brisk north wind which was rippling the water made it feel decidedly wintery.
I had hoped for splendid views as it had seemed quite bright when I was in the town but as I got further up the hill, it became clear that there was still a lot of moisture in the air…
…and both the town and the Ewes Valley…
…were rather fuzzy.
Still, there was always moss to look at, both on a wall…..
…and in big tussocks making some of the walk hard work.
It didn’t take me too long to get to the summit though as the nippy wind didn’t encourage much standing about and enjoying the view….
…but I did take a moment to look over the wall behind the monument and enjoy the view across the Tarras to Tinnis Hill.
And you can’t stand next to a wall without admiring the lichen.
It is exactly a mile from the Eskdale Hotel to the monument at an average gradient of 16% so I was pleased to have taken exactly half an hour to get there. There is a nice neatness about it.
The sun was already getting a little lower in the sky so I didn’t dilly dally and was soon on my way down the track to the White Yett and the McDiarmid memorial.
Beside the memorial there is a cairn with a cap of moss which invited a closer look.
As I walked down the road to Whitshiels, the sun sank further and a gently golden light kissed the hills at the top of the valley.
As our friend Sue said the other day, the colours in winter can be just as rewarding as any other time of year. If you choose the right day.
I kept an eye out for moss and enjoyed this collection of moss and lichen on a badly decomposing fence post beside the road.
A group of horses caught the last rays of the sun as I got near to the main road.
I had hoped to be in time to take a picture or two of a rugby match at Miltown but the players were just trooping off the pitch as I came down the last stretch of hill. A spectator leaving the game told me that Langholm had won by over 100 points. Their opponents must have got quite discouraged.
The sun was on its last legs as I got back to the town but it gave me the chance for one last picture on my walk.
The walk turned out to be exactly four miles and took me exactly an hour and a half so the whole excursion was mathematically very satisfying.
When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had been very busy in my absence and the Christmas tree was back in its own home again.
As it is Twelfth Night, that is as it should be.
The walk may have shaken down my lunch but sadly, although I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and didn’t cough at all, it didn’t do my chest much good so I am going for an early bed and hoping to get a good night’s sleep.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch. We had left for lunch before the sun got to the feeders so it is another impressionistic effort.