The return of winter

We had such a grey day here that I badly needed something bright for the post so today’s guest offering is another of Tommy cycling in the South African sunshine.  Lucky chap.

tommy in SA

The only colour in the garden today was provided by a few stubborn daffodils who defied the cold and the wind.


It was very depressing after having had a few nearly decent days to go back to mean, cold and nasty weather again.

The birds had to hang on to the feeders…


…and take great care getting on  to the perches.


The encompassing gloom was cheered by the arrival of Dropscone with treacle scones and Sandy to help eat them with our morning coffee.

We were also pleased to see the return of the dam bridge repairers with the new railings, ready to be installed.

Sandy and I arranged to go for a walk after lunch and he duly arrived and drove us down to Canonbie where we parked at the Hollows and walked along the road to the Byreburn bridge.

In spite of very poor conditions for taking pictures, the wall along the old road provided us with plenty of temptations to get the camera out.

fernsmoss on lichengorsemoss and fern

When we got to the Byreburn bridge, we left the river Esk and followed the track beside the burn…

Byreburn track

…with plenty to see as we walked up to the next bridge.

A hint of the coal seams which were mined in days past
fairy loup
The Fairy Loup
fairy loup
The Byreburn

byreburn bridge

Here we left the shelter of the woods and took to the road to make a circular route back to the car.

Once again, there were things to look at as we went along…

gate at Claygate
Gate of the day being threatened by encroaching hedges
gilnockie schoolhouse
Snowdrops at the old school house
Near Gilnockie station
Neatly trimmed hedges, often a feature of our back roads.

…and things looking at us…

mean sheep

…with a very hard stare.

As we got down the hill back towards the Hollows, Sandy noticed a tree beside the road which looked as though it had been the victim of a very bad sewing job by some dendrological Dr Frankenstein…

tree with ivy

…and I enjoyed the sight of a clump of hardy trees hanging by their toenails to the bank high above the river Esk.

Hollows Bridge

We had thought that we might get blasted by the cruel wind as we walked back along the road but by happy accident, the wind was directly behind us and the whole walk was remarkably comfortable considering the conditions.

The Hollows Bridge is hard to see from the road so the best that I could do was to peer through the trees…

Hollows Bridge

…but the consolation was the sight of the little stone carvings which keep appearing on the wooded knoll beside the river.   This set were new since I had last been here.

Hollows Bridge statues

When we got home, the bridge railings had been installed but not quite finished so I took a temporary shot of each side…

dam bridge repair railings

…and then forgot to come out later to take the finished article.

I will try again tomorrow.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out to a concert in the Church which was raising funds for the restoration of the church organ and the refurbishment of the social club in the town.

The concert featured brass and pipe bands, guest singers from Hawick and a fine selection of local talent.  I am not an out and out fan of pipe bands playing indoors but the concert was thoroughly enjoyable all the same and only the attendance was a bit disappointing.  I hope that those who couldn’t come had something better to do for they had missed a treat.

On a grumpy note, it went on too long.  Two and a half hours sitting in a church pew is enough to let the iron enter anyone’s soul.  I may have remarked before that I have never heard anyone come out of an amateur concert saying, “That was too short.”

Still, it proved that we are not short of musical talent in the town.

The flying bird of the day matches the weather.  Rather a poor effort.


The weather is due to get worse.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

26 thoughts on “The return of winter

  1. Nice to see so many different ferns and such neatly trimmed hedges.
    The stone carvings just appearing is kind of amazing. I wonder if they disappear as well. I’d be surprised if people didn’t walk off with them.
    I hope your weather doesn’t slide too far downhill. Ours certainly has.

  2. A delightful walk! I have a piper in my family who practises in my lounge several times a week, so I am used to the indoor sound 🙂 … pipes are MUCH easier to appreciate outdoors!

  3. The stone carvings were a surprise, but not to you, haiving seen others before.
    Sorry about the return of the cold weather – we have light snow falling here.

  4. Interesting stone faces. That is amazing that the hedges are kept so neatly trimmed. I wonder about the tree with the zigzag marking. Is that lichen causing that? Sorry to hear your weather has turned again.

  5. I am sorry to hear your weather is predicted to deteriorate; I hope those predictions are wrong. I remember many times here when the weather turned out much better than predicted.
    I liked the flying bird picture. I get inspiration and consolation from the way the birds, animals and flowers handle nasty weather–they are right out in the wind and snow, but they just “keep on keeping on”. Me–my disposition can get a bit testy. I enjoyed the photos of the trees above the river and the Hollows bridge in particular.

  6. Two and a half hours on a pew! It’s a wonder you could walk out of the church unaided! We often bring our own cushions for church concerts.
    That is definitely a very hard stare the sheep is giving you! I like the photo of the gorse flowers.

  7. Those carvings are quite amazing and even more so if done in stealth. Wishing you some more cheerful weather to come along soonest! We’re about due for yet another week of storms though we enjoyed the last couple of days of some sun.

      1. It seems our storms are pretty benign at this time of year. Lots of rain, interspersed with some sun. In many ways they resemble your weather except for the snow…a very rare event here. We need this coming week to get caught up on things to do around the house, then we plan to head out on another adventure when the skies are a bit less soggy.

  8. The photo of the moss crawling over the lichen makes an interesting artistic shot. I enjoyed all the photos from your walk, including the stone carvings. It sounds like you had a good start to the day with treacle scones and coffee. 🙂

    Coal seams are always fascinating. I used to see these driving through parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky.

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