Testing, testing

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew, who found some nice light in a quarry on a walk at Little Eaton.

Andrew's quarry

The main excitement of the day was caused by the arrival of workmen who are going to replace the bridge over the dam in the street outside our house. Our road will be shut for a month.

Dam bridge repair

The road is closed to traffic and pedestrians and it gives us a great talking point.

They soon got to work outside and in the meantime, Mrs Tootlepedal got to work inside the house on giving the kitchen a thorough clean.

Under these circumstances, I thought it better not to get in anyone’s way and went off for a walk.  It was dry, reasonably bright and just above freezing so it was a good day for me to check to see if my recent bike folly had given me any aches and pains that hadn’t come to light yet.

I chose a three mile route with a little uphill road work and some gentle contouring round a hillside and this let me know that all my moving parts were in very good order.

This was a relief.

It also gave me the opportunity to have a look around as I went along.

There were gulls….


….and interesting walls, fence posts and some hair ice as I walked along the main road.

moss and hair ice

Once I turned up hill on the Newcastleton road,  I began to get views…

View of ewes in winter

….with the occasional glimpse of snow and windmills….

View of esk valley

….which were made better by seeing that down below to the south, The Solway was swathed in mist.

mist over Solway

I kept an eye on fence posts for interesting mosses and lichens but in the end, the most interesting thing that I saw was a fence post….

knothole with moss

….though it was amazing that moss had  found space to grow in the tiny cracks in the knothole.

I walked along the hill.

It is a mystery that while some hawthorns have been stripped of berries, others remain with a good crop still attached.


I had a look down at the town….

Langholm from Whita

….and then walked towards it.

As I came off the hill to go past the golf course, my eye was drawn to a mossy wall.

mossy wall

Closer examination revealed that there was a lot of lichen on the wall as well as moss…

lichen and moss

…and by far the most striking thing to be seen was a bright red display of cladonia lichen.

cladonia lichen

I think this is British Soldier lichen, Cladonia Cristatella.


The views were still good as I came down the Kirk Wynd and the sun came out to make it very pleasant day.

Looking towards Peden's view

I thought that I had seen some unusual moss on a stone but when I looked again, it seemed more likely to be some sort of sedum.


By the time that I got home, the bridge mending team had got well stuck into the task.

dam bridge repair

The disturbance from the work had kept the birds away in the early morning but as I made some soup for lunch, they returned to the feeder….

busy feeder

….in enough numbers to  make some shouting inevitable.


After lunch, I had to visit the health centre to get some modest scrapes checked to see that they were healing nicely.  They were but another visit later in the week is still needed.

When I got home again, I found that the eager bridge repair men had dug so vigorously that they had cut through our water pipe.  Mrs Tootlepedal had warned them about where it was but they had preferred to rely on the water board’s view that it was somewhere else.

A water board man appeared and mended the pipe.  Mrs Tootlepedal felt slightly smug.

I visited a neighbour with a bird feeder for her to try out, as she has found that jackdaws eat all her bird food almost as soon as she puts it out.  I got rewarded with a cup of coffee and two chocolate biscuits.  I may have to go back soon and check how it is doing.

In the evening, my flute pupil Luke came and we had a play.  I was pleased to see that I was able to play the flute even though I had bruised my mouth a bit and so after tea,  I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel.

None of the three of us are in peak condition at the moment so we didn’t play at our best by any means but the session was still very enjoyable.

The flying bird of the day really is a flying bird today.  It is a goldfinch.

flying goldfinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Testing, testing

  1. I think I would have felt smug too, if I had been Mrs T. I am pleased the repair was made quickly. The photos of the lichen are very good indeed and I liked the caterpillar-like hair-ice. Glad you are mending well.

  2. I like the mossy fencepost – very pretty. Will you have to park your car elsewhere during the roadworks?

  3. What you call “hair ice” I thought we called “rime ice” in the US. But I am mistaken, it seems, as rime ice forms mainly on tops of mountains and not specifically on deadwood. Hair ice is a beautiful sight! The things I learn…

  4. I’m glad there weren’t any hidden ailments. I was afraid of cracked ribs but I didn’t want to say so.
    I’ve read that the tiny cracks in trees and fence posts act like streams when it rains and the mosses and lichens that grow along them are like the undergrowth along streams and rivers.
    I hope you have another way in and out while the bridge is out of commission.

    1. I am sure that you are right about the moss. I have read the same in my moss book. As far as the cracked robs go, I am not quite clear about how I fell and managed to avoid serious damage. I am quite happy about it though.

  5. Glad to hear you are mending nicely and able to get some wonderful shots. I especially like the stone wall. I would like to see moss here instead of endless ice. Your countryside is beautiful.

  6. Glad you were able to play your flute despite your injuries and good to know that the staff at the health centre are keeping an eye on your poor face.

  7. Will the bridge being out of action be a huge inconvenience? Hopefully they’ll listen to Mrs T in future. Glad to know that you are healing up well.

  8. Good to hear you’re recovering nicely. I can’t get over your goldfinches. They are so much more colorful than the ones we call such here. That red stripe around their head is so colorful.

  9. Good to read that you enjoyed your lovely walk and I enjoyed your lovely photos. The stone wall with all it’s hidden life is remarkable and beautiful too. When will workers learn the fact that women always know best…well done Mrs T!

  10. Wonderful that you can still play despite your injuries. Mrs. Tootlepedal has every reason to feel smug. Hope the rest of the work goes without incidents.

  11. Let us hope that if the workers have to dig around the gas line that they know for sure where it is! Having your water shut off for a few hours isn’t too bad, but a gas line explosion would be.

    Great images from during your walk and excursion on the bike, and it is good news that there doesn’t seem to be any hidden injuries to you.

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