Turning back the clock

oykel bridge

Today’s guest picture is another form Irving’s Highland fishing trip.  As well as an old bridge, he caught a new one too.

oykel bridge

After some days which have had hints of spring about them, we had a return to cold weather today.  As the sky was blue and the sun was out, this was a bit of a disappointment and I had to waste quite a lot of the glorious sunshine while I waited for the temperature to get up to a measly 4°C before I could go out for a quick pedal.

I managed 14 miles and this happily just took me just over the target distance of 350 miles for a calendar month.  I am still well behind my annual target but at least March didn’t make things worse.  I have cycled 200 miles on the slow bike since the demise of the fairly speedy bike and this is a tribute to the surprisingly good ride provided by the solid back tyre even on our bumpy roads.

All the same, I am looking forward to the new bike.

In spite of the chill, it was a lovely day for a pedal…

Arrisgill Burn

…but I couldn’t stop often as I was pushed for time.  I was looking out for alder catkins but it looks like a bad year for them and they were rather sparse.   These ones look healthy enough but they were quite lonely.

alder catkin

I made the most of the catkin stop by looking across the road at the ruined cottage.

blochburnfoot cottage

I have been told that it is home to a barn owl family and is being left undisturbed for that reason.

And I always like to look at a wall while I am in pause mode.

lichen on wall

I got home in time for lunch and a quick look at the birds….

goldfinches and siskins
Siskins and goldfinches in harmony today
chaffinches at feeder
Chaffinches coming and going

….but soon it was time to go out again, this time by car to Lockerbie Station to catch the train to Edinburgh for our weekly visit to Matilda and her parents.

The visit went well and included a trip to the park (well wrapped up) where we played football, hide and seek and some of us enjoyed a vigorous go on the swings.

“Push harder, Granny”

Once again we had a delicious meal before catching the train home and the only fly in the ointment was overtaking the gritting lorry just before we got back to Langholm.  There is a hint of snow in the forecast for tomorrow morning.

I hope that it is only a hint as I have got to take Mrs Tootlepedal to Carlisle tomorrow to catch another train.  We have had quite enough winter this year without getting any more at this late date.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Turning back the clock

  1. I saw some male alder catkins almost fully opened today but didn’t see any female flowers.
    That’s an interesting lichen. I don’t remember ever seeing one like it.
    I hope the snow is finished on both sides of the Atlantic. Winter has worn out its welcome.

  2. I hope that the weather there improves quicker than it is forecast to here. There’s snow/rain mix in our forecast for the next two weeks here.

    I loved the photo of the creek and trees, that’s one of my all time favorites from you.

  3. Bah humbug to more snow, says this Mainer. It is the end of March, for heaven’s sake. Winter be gone! Wonderful shots of the countryside, and seeing Matilda on the swing made me smile.

      1. That would be chilly even for Maine this time of year. At least during the day.

  4. I think Matilda on the swing could have made the FBD spot. Love the views and hopefully the barn owls do well in their chosen spot.

  5. The need for spring seems more desperate this year than ever. But your corner of the earth looks beautiful to me through your photographs no matter what time of year. And it’s delightful to see Matilda grow. Love those tights.

    1. It has been far from beautiful living here as far as the weather has gone as it has been the most gloomy summer, autumn, winter and spring that I can remember.

      1. Oh I am sad to hear that. The grass always looks greener of course (sometimes quite literally). I fear climate change may be creating sub-seasons too elusive to pin down.

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