Derwent Valley

Today’s guest picture is another from the delightfully sunny walk near Little Eaton that my brother took recently.  Here he was looking across the Derwent valley.

Derwent Valley

By contrast, we were more than a little surprised to find our garden covered in snow when we woke up this morning.


There had been some loose talk of possible light snow during the day but this was a good solid inch or so.

It was delightful snow, firm and crunchy and a pleasure to walk on but I expect that the team working on our dam bridge repair didn’t find it such a treat…

dam bridge repairs

…but they were soon hard at it and didn’t stop all day.

The noise of the machines when they started up kept the birds away for a while but they soon got used to it and the plum tree became very busy.

snowy plum tree chaffinches

Maybe it was the snow but the birds didn’t seem entirely sure of the best way to go at  times.

goldfinch and siskin

Dropscone walked over to join us for a cup of coffee (and a scone) and managed to find his way to the house without crossing the bridge.  His scones were excellent today.

After he left, Mrs Tootlepedal got ready to go to the Buccleuch Centre to help with the coffee shop lunches and I went to look at the snow.

The snow had stopped and it was very still so walking was a pleasure.

I thought that I would go and see how the tree felling at the Becks wood was coming along.  I passed a gate….

snowy gate

….and found that a lot of trees had gone when I got to the wood.  I walked down to the Wauchope road and then back up the Hallcrofts road to look at the wood from the other side.  I was passed on the narrow road by a fully loaded timber wagon.  Luckily because of the snow, it was going very cautiously and I had plenty of time to squeeze into the hedge and let it past.

They have put a new road into the middle of the wood and I could see a vehicle carrying felled trees across the Becks Burn and up to the the stacking point.

Becks wood

These drivers are skilled operatives!   Higher up the wood the tree eating machine was busy organising more piles of logs to be fetched.

Becks wood

The forwarder arrived at the log pile shortly after me.

Becks wood

As you can see, there was snow everywhere but it wasn’t as thick on the hills as I had thought it would be judging from the amount we had in the garden.

There was a lot to look at….


….and I took a great number of pictures as I walked back down the road and up the hill on the other side of the Wauchope Water.


The sun threatened to come out but it didn’t quite manage it so the views, when I got up the hill, were a bit dull for the camera (but very enjoyable for me).

snowy view

I looked at the turbines just over the top of the nearest hill and I was surprised to see them positively  whizzing round…

windmills in snow

…because there was hardly a breath of wind where I was standing.  I still can’t work out why I was so perfectly sheltered but it made my walk very comfortable and I even got a little too warm as I puffed up the hill.

I came back down through the park and was pleased to find a bit of moss that hadn’t been covered up by the snow.


Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from the Buccleuch Centre just before I got home and we had a light lunch.

I had put the car into the garage for its MOT yesterday but it had needed some new parts and they had told us that it might be some time before we got it back so we were pleased when they rang up to say that it was ready.

Mrs Tootlepedal combined collecting the car with a little shopping and I watched a goldfinch paying close attention to hitting the perch exactly right…

flying goldfinch

….and enjoyed a greenfinch looking as serious as only a greenfinch can.


I should have gone for my walk in the afternoon as the sun came out then…

whita with snow

…but as it was,  I just looked at the view from an upstairs window and sighed a little.

The workmen on the bridge were very busy and when they left, I went out to see what they had been up to.

There is not much of our bridge left, just a steel joist on one side….

dam bridge repairs

…of a big hole in the road and two pipes on the other side, one of which has our gas supply running through it.

dam bridge repairs

During the day a large pump had been delivered….

dam bridge repairs

….and we think that they are going to use it to pipe the dam over the works as they rebuild the bridge. The water is needed by a sheepskin treatment factory  further downstream.

We shall watch with interest.

Apart from my “beauty face”, I have got off very lightly from my fall but there is no doubt that it shook me up a little so I was happy to have a quiet end to the day.

We did pop out into the street in the early evening to watch the International Space Station flying over the town across a clear sky.  Although we have often seen the ISS, we still retain our sense of wonder at being able to watch an easily visible man made object flying across the sky more than two hundred miles above our heads and going at a speed of 17,000 mph.

I found a moment to watch a flying chaffinch during the day.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Unexpected

  1. Beautiful shots of your feeder action and snow covered countryside. I thought you might still be feeling the effects of your fall. It takes longer than it does when you are young, even if you are young at heart.

  2. We were inundated with snow too but my only enjoyment of it was shoveling my walks before leaving for work. Love the lacy-looking ice and the birds against the stark white background (I know it’s hard to keep them colorful in that light).

  3. Nothing like a fall to make a person feel humble. Your snowy pictures remind me a tiny bit of Maine.

  4. I like your photo of the greenfinch and i always enjoy seeing the collection of birds in your plum tree. I also liked the icy snow on the seedheads. Take care in the ice and snow!

  5. Your snow looks inviting unlike ours, which is tired and has over stayed its welcome.
    I don’t recognize that moss at all. I’m sure you must have many that we don’t have.
    I’m guessing that it would be hard to get a nap in with all the dam work going on.

  6. What a beautiful snowy day. There is much to wonder at in the world; apart from the obvious beauty of nature, there is the fact that we can conquer space, but not find a water main 😉

  7. Interesting information re the bridge today. I did not realize it provided access to your house. Glad there is an alternate route and also that you don’t have to pay for the work. Nor did I know the water was in business use downstream.

    Lovely snow is a pleasure to walk in at the crunchy not slippery stage!

    1. The Bridge crosses the road that runs past the end of house so we can’t walk down the road in that direction while the works are on. It is only a minor inconvenience.

  8. It seems like a lot of equipment and a lot of work for such a small bridge, even if it’s important to you and your neighbors. And, I hope that you’re rested in advance, because once they fire that pump up, it could be very hard to sleep for as long as it runs.

    Snow always looks better in photos when it falls somewhere else other than where I am. It’s quite beautiful on your hills surrounding Langholm, but driving a truck through it at night, I’m tired of the stuff.

    1. I could get bored of driving through snow very quickly so I sympathise. The pump only runs while they are working at the moment, thank goodness.

  9. Good to see some pretty snowy photos. The birds in the plum tree and the greenfinch photos are lovely in their different ways. Interesting to see what is happening on your road hope they don’t get any holes in their buckets whilst emptying the dam!

  10. Your snowy countryside is quite beautiful! Still no snow here in my area yet, although the temperature dropped back into the 20 degree range last night. We made it to about 55 today at the high point.

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