Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary. She has been suffering from a bad cold but has recovered enough to walk up to Kenwood House to have a coffee and a mince pie in the cafe. She found a very fine day for her excursion.
We had another calm and sunny day here today but we paid the price for a clear night by having a frosty morning.
The chill encouraged a few birds to come to the feeder and it persuaded me to go for a walk rather than a cycle ride after coffee as the the thermometer was still showing a meagre 1°C at 11 o’clock. This may have been too cold for pedalling but it was ideal for walking as the ground was nicely firm under foot when I got on to the hill.
I walked up the track to Whita from the town.
I was surprised to find a dandelion out as well as a garden escape on my way up the Kirk Wynd but the blooming gorse on the hill was no surprise as it is out all over the place.
There was no lichen looking cheerful on the wall at the top of the track but the moss was remarkable. I don’t think that I have ever noticed it looking quite like this before.
The view up the Ewes Valley did not disappoint and the weather seemed set fair for a stroll.
When I got to the open hill, I didn’t continue straight up to the monument but turned right along the face of the hill following the old quarry track along the contours.
Looking across the town, I could see the Craig Wind Farm turbines rotating very lazily in the light breeze. It was a pleasure to be out on such a day.
I had a look at the trig points on the top of Warbla and Timpen. In these days of digital mapping, they serve no useful purpose but I am glad that they haven’t been taken away as they provide a punctuation mark at the summits. Both of them were dwarfed, the one on Warbla by the communications mast beside it, and the one on Timpen by a blade of a turbine nearly a mile away behind it.
Three sheep pondered on my activities.
When I reached the wall at the end of the track, I paused to look over the town.
Below me, a field lined with tall trees vividly showed the difference between sunshine and shade. I was glad to be in the sun.
There are many photo opportunities round Langholm and this stile over the wall at the quarry is one of the most popular and I hardly ever cross it without stopping to take a picture.
Today, this turned out to be slightly embarrassing for a gentlemen who was having a pee behind the gorse bush and hadn’t seen me coming. He soon drifted out of shot though, muttering as he went.
I went diagonally down the hill towards the oak wood and followed the track through the wood down to the road…
…passing an elegantly decaying tree trunk….
…and some fine hair ice on my way…
…to Skippers Bridge. It was far too good a day to miss the photo opportunity there.
I walked back along the river without seeing anything exciting enough to make me stop again and got home after four miles just in time for lunch.
I was reflecting as I got back to town that I had just crossed moor and mountain and passed field and fountain and as it is Epiphany, I thought that perhaps I ought to bring Mrs Tootlepedal some rich gifts. I stopped at our corner shop and purchased milk and honey. These would have been a pleasant surprise for her if I hadn’t met her cycling home from an errand just outside the shop. She came in with me. Still, she appreciated the thought.
Over lunch, I looked out of the window and saw some sparrows.
The males have rich colours on their backs which show up well in sunshine.
Once again, there were not many birds about so I let my lens stray towards the sedums round the feeder.
After lunch, I had an appointment with the speech therapist in Dumfries, 35 miles away but once again, thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to see and speak to her online which saved me a lengthy drive and a lot of time. It is a very efficient system which has worked perfectly both times we have used it. As a result of this week’s consultation, I will be humming down a straw into a glass of water for the next seven weeks. She assures me that it will work wonders.
Later in the afternoon, I settled down to putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group’s database and finished putting the choir songs onto the computer.
This took longer than I expected and when I finally finished, it was time to cook some corned beef hash for my tea.
I have decided this year to keep a record of my walks as well as my cycle rides, partly to stop feeling that I should be cycling even when the conditions are not suitable and partly out of interest to see how far I walk. I am only counting actual expeditions like today’s, not the ordinary pottering about house and garden.
As a result, I find that I have walked or cycled every day in 2019 so far, cycling 77 miles and walking 20. That seems like quite a good balance.
I did find a flying bird of the day today as a chaffinch, some sunshine and a camera in hand all appeared at the same time for once.