Getting my goat

I would like to thank kind readers for sending me a positive flood of potential guest pictures and I have chosen one from Venetia’s African odyssey to start off.  It shows a gemsbok which appealed to me as it appeared in a recent crossword as an answer to a cryptic clue.  It is good to see what one actually looks like.

Oryx aka gemsbok,

We were slightly worried about the weather at the start of the day as Mrs Tootlepedal was due to go to London on family business and the the forecasts regarding Storm Gareth were quite alarming.  As it turned out, we avoided the worst of the overnight weather and things looked like this in Langholm this morning.

quiet after storm

In the event, both bus and train ran to time and Mrs Tootlepedal is safely ensconced in the south as I write this.  Doubtless she is relaxing under a palm tree and enjoying a beaker of the  blushful Hippocrene  with beaded bubbles winking at the brim.  I believe this is the standard practice down there.

After Mrs Tootlepedal left to catch the bus, I went to the dentist on my bike and discovered that I am going to have to have two small fillings.  As I am grateful to still have some teeth to fill, I shall not complain.

On my way home I passed a goosander checking to see what was under the surface.

ducking goosander

It stayed pretty sunny all morning and I was a bit sad that a sore foot kept me housebound, although the strong and chilly wind would have kept me off my bike anyway.

I looked out of the window at the daffodils which have come to join the hellebore under the feeder.

hellebore and daffs

Up above, the was plenty of action.

busy feeder

I made some multicoloured lentil soup for my lunch and I felt strong enough to have a wander round the garden.

The first scillas are in flower…

scilla

…and a couple of frogs had arrived in the pond.

march frog

I was just settling down for a rather boring afternoon when providentially Sandy arrived bringing our shared mount cutter which I will need to prepare pictures for our forthcoming camera club exhibition.  We had a cup of tea and a dainty biscuit and then when I expressed a wish for a short outing in the car to at least get out out of the house, Sandy suggested a trip up the hill to see if we could see a wild goat or two.

The sun had gone in and there was a hint of drizzle but the call of the wild was strong.

We actually saw three goats but when we stopped and got out of the car, they scurried over a bridge (no doubt going ‘trip trap’) and made off up the hill.

goat near bridge

This was the bridge that they crossed.

tarras bridge

It has Sandy on top of it and no trolls underneath.

Slightly disappointed with this small sighting, we continued up the road towards the county boundary, seeing no goats as we went along.

Deprived of goats we looked at the Black Grain Burn instead.  It winds its way down the hill beside the road…

copshaw road burn

…making sudden sallies and sparkling among the ferns as it bickers down the valley…

It has a multitude of little cascades of….

small copshaw road waterfall

…various…

middle copshaw road waterfall 2

…sizes.  I took two shots of the middle sized one because I liked the spangled curtain of peaty water.

middle copshaw road waterfall

This was the biggest.

copshaw road burn down

It is a little gem of a place and we intend to come back later in the year when things are greener, the sun is out and a picnic might be in order.

copshaw road burn with tree

It is a magical spot and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it has a bank where the wild thyme grows.

We drove on to the county boundary and saw nothing of interest in the wild life category…well to be truthful, we saw no wildlife at all.

We didn’t stop long as the chilly wind was fairly whistling past us.

We were peacefully driving back down the hill when we were brought to a sudden stop by spotting a good number of goats just by the road.  We must have passed them without seeing them on our way up.

The Langholm Moor feral goats are a fine sight with immensely shaggy coats and notable horns.

solo goat

They got a bit fidgety when we got out of the car and made their down the road ahead of us…

crowd of goats

…but not without a bit of headbutting and prancing on the way.

leaping goat

They stopped soon after and let us take some more pictures.

goat profile head

We took the opportunity gratefully.

goat profile left

The light was fading so we drove on with one last stop to let me take a quick snap from the car of the first lambs that I have seen this year.

first lambs

It was an excellent outing and I was grateful for Sandy for giving me an excuse to get out of the house.

I made an enormous bowl of cauliflower cheese for my tea and surprised myself by eating it all.  I had to let out a notch in my belt afterwards.

In the middle of more parliamentary mayhem in the evening, I listened to a conservative MP talking soberly and sensibly while outlining a perfectly sensible cross party plan of action which as he said would satisfy most of the 52% leave voters without insulting the 48% remain voters.  He was so sane and reasonable that I fear that he has no future in politics.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch giving the world a sideways look in the morning sun.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, novice photogrpaher

38 thoughts on “Getting my goat

  1. Methinks it was Tootlepedal who had imbibed a beaker of the blushful Hippocrene! Your excellent way with words had me smiling tonight. Thank you.

  2. Fabulous post tonight, Tom. Loved the references to billy goats of the gruff variety, to Shakespeare and to songs. I’m glad Mrs T got to where she was going safely.

  3. Great photos of the Goats. Some people thought they had all been culled but they had to cull a few of them as they can do a lot of damage. They will be one of the features of Wild Eskdale this spring.

  4. I’m glad Mrs. T made it safely but too bad about your foot. It must be frustrating.
    I’m not sure what I’d do if I met that herd of goats coming down the road. I doubt running away would be wise.
    My favorite shot this time was of the flowers under the bird feeder. Very beautiful.

  5. The words flowed freely today for the enjoyment of your readers. I loved all the pictures of that burn and would like to go and see it next time I come to stay.

  6. Damn everything that keeps us housebound, but glad with the aid of a car you got out in the end. At one point I imagined you were going to begin series on flying goats

  7. Where to start?? Your wild goats are gorgeous; feisty, and magnificent! The cascades are utterly beautiful…and then you throw in Keats and Shakespeare?! Does it get any better?! I do feel slightly ripped off as my experience of London seems a little different to that of Mrs T. 😊

  8. Those are some impressively shaggy goats with large horns. Some years ago, a friend’s husband was knocked unconscious by their large male goat with big horns. He had been slammed into a fence post by buck. When he woke up, the goat was standing over him, staring him in the face. Than man was allowed to get up, and the goat wandered off. It could have ended badly.

  9. Brilliant portrait of that handsome goat and the prancing show off goat photo is wonderful too. Your lyrical words should be added across your mountain stream photos …that’s what some artists do with their paintings and those photos are works of art!

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