Today’s guest picture from son Tony in East Wemyss goes to prove that you can find grumpy herons all over the place.
It was a beautiful morning with a delicate sunrise but it was chilly enough at 4°C after breakfast to keep me from getting my bike out. Instead, I walked up to the town where I did a bit of archive group business. I asked Nancy, who was mining data in our new premises, for a suggestion for an interesting walk but she was unable to come up with one that hadn’t already figured in the blog.
Scratching my head, I went out into to the street and bumped into Mike Tinker. He is a stalwart of the Langholm Walks group and suggested that I try Walk 5. As this involves walking up steep rough ground and I hadn’t got either walking boots or my walking poles with me, Nancy and I hadn’t considered this.
However, nothing ventured, nothing gained so I resolved to take up Mike’s suggestion, trust to the ground being firm and the boggy bits few and far between and hope that I didn’t fall over on a slippery bit.
And, plucking up my courage, I headed out to try Walk 5
It starts with a stroll along the river out of the town and this led me past one of favourite bits of lichen which can be found on a fence just on the very edge of Langholm. It is a grey and black lichen and so a black and white shot seemed like a good idea.
I crossed Skippers Bridge without taking a photograph and was soon walking up the track towards the hill. I could see the mast on the top of Warbla (275m) in the distance and it seemed to be a good day to be up beside it so I pressed on.
My hopes about the dry ground and lack of boggy bits were fully realised and though the hill is quite steep in places, I was able to stop and admire the view from time to time and get my breath back.
There was even some more lichen on a rock to detain me.
It wasn’t too long before I was able to look back down on the town, snugly tucked into its nest at the bottom of the hills.
And then I was high enough to be able to look around at the neighbouring summits…
…and to look ahead to my immediate target.
When I got there, I was amply rewarded for the slog uphill across rough ground with superb views of hills streaked with sunshine and shadows…
…which I shared with a man and a dog who had reached the trig point from the opposite side of the hill. We agreed that a better place to be on such a fine day would be hard to find.
From the summit, I could look across the valley and stretching the zoom on the Lumix to its full extent, I could just make out the stile over the wall on Whita that I had crossed on a walk almost a week ago on another fine day. It was about a mile away.
The hills looked just as good on the way down from the top as they had on the way up…
…and the track to the town was at its best.
However, without my walking poles, I had to keep my head well down as I went along since there were plenty of opportunities to slip and slide on wet grass or slippery stones and I took no more views and only got the camera out to note this tree growing out of the top of a wall in a rather unlikely fashion….
…and got home safely with dry feet and no unexpected encounters between my backside and mother earth.
By coincidence, I met Nancy just as I got back. She had been dropping off some of the results of her data mining for me to enter into the Archive Group’s newspaper database. I’ll have to hope for some wet and windy weather which makes entering data a sensible thing to be doing.
I made some vegetable soup for lunch and found some bright eyed birds at the garden feeder.
After lunch, the temperature had risen enough to make cycling a possibility so I got into my cycling gear, got my bike and set off. In an exciting fashion I rode round the block and was home again in about three minutes. It had started to rain heavily much to my surprise and annoyance. There had been no sign of this sort of thing while I was out walking.
However, I kept my cycling gear on and after only a few minutes, the rain had disappeared as suddenly as it had come, and I set off again.
It was a lovely day for a pedal!
The days are still short though and I only had time for 23 miles before it began to get gloomy. Because I was pushed for time, I took just that one picture on my ride which was of the scenically dull ‘up and down the road’ variety. It was enjoyable pedalling though and my legs only reminded me of my morning walk once or twice.
I got home in time for a cup of tea and some Garibaldi biscuits which we had bought in Carlisle yesterday. While eating the biscuits, I was able to reflect that too much of my life has been wasted not eating Garibaldi biscuits, an omission which I will try to correct in the years to come.
Mrs Tootlepedal had been out doing some useful gardening while I had been pedalling so we were both quite satisfied with our afternoon’s work.
After the tea and biscuits it was time for my flute pupil Luke to come and we played a sonata by Godfrey Finger and worked on a bit of one by J J Quantz.
After Luke went, there was time to enjoy a second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s tasty puy lentil, leek and feta bake for tea before I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel. Here we played Mozart, Boismortier and Schickhardt so that rounded off a very good all round sort of day.
I even found a satisfactory flying bird of the day.