Today’s guest picture is another one from Joe and Annie’s recent Highland holiday and shows what you get if you arrive at the top of a mountain, namely a view of more mountains.
Our welcome spell of relatively mild weather continued today but once again, the morning was very grey and there was even a little drizzle early on. I was very happy therefore to entertain Sandy to a cup of coffee when he came round to collect the Archive Group projector and a copy of a 1967 parish magazine for scanning.
Sandy and I haven’t been going for any walks lately because he has been having trouble with his feet and as I enjoy these walks, I was glad to hear that he is going to seek medical advice. I hope that he gets good treatment and that we will be able to resume some walks again early next year. He taught me almost everything I know about photography and it is always an education to see what he sees when we are out and about.
Scott, our ex-minister, has obviously lost control of his coffee radar since he has left Langholm as he arrived for a surprise visit only after Sandy and all the coffee in the pot had gone. I wasn’t even able to offer him a cup of tea as I was changed and ready to go out on my bike when he came. At this time of year, there is no time to spare as it gets dark so early so I left him chatting to Mrs Tootlepedal and went off pedalling into the distance.
It was still very grey and as I went over Callister, I was swathed in low cloud. it wasn’t long though before the clouds began to lift….
…and there was a good patch of blue sky in the direction that I was heading.
There had hardly been any birds in the garden in the morning so I was pleased to come across a great flock of starlings near Waterbeck. They rose like a vast animated carpet from a field as I passed. By the time that I had got my camera out, many of them had settled in some trees.
I was soon pedalling along in what passes for bright sunshine in the winter and although some of the remaining clouds looked a bit sinister, I had sun with me for the rest of my ride.
As well as the big flock of starlings, I passed a large array of hundreds of geese in a field near Chapelknowe. I think that these are pink footed geese which visit Scotland for the winter from Greenland and Iceland.
My legs were in a helpful mood today and after a hard working first ten miles with some climbing and the wind against, the last 20 miles of my ride were much flatter and with a friendly wind now assisting me and my legs in full working order, I fairly whizzed along (by my standards).
I stopped for a breather at Half Morton with ten miles to go. There is a convenient wall there for propping up bikes and riders, not to mention a fine tree to admire.
My final pause was to take a view, a favourite not just because of the neat framing of the hills round Langholm but also because when you see it, it means that there are only five miles to go to a nice cup of tea and a biscuit.
I found Mrs Tootlepedal at work in the garden when I got home and there were a few chaffinches on the plum tree too. Mrs Tootlepedal soon went in and the dratted chaffinches remained firmly stuck in the tree and only came down to the feeder when the light had gone too far for decent photography.
In the evening, we were visited by Mike and Alison, as is customary on a Friday, and since Alison’s injured shoulder is still preventing full piano playing, we settled for some wine and beer drinking and general conversation instead of music. The early renewal of Friday evening music making is another of my New Year’s wishes.
The lack of flying birds is getting to be embarrassing and I didn’t get one at all today. If there was any flying, it always seemed to be right behind the feeder.