Today’s guest picture comes from Langholm exile Tom in South Africa, who sent me this view taken on his morning walk.
There was a threat of rain in the morning and the promise of sunshine in the afternoon, so Mrs Tootlepedal and I went shopping in Carlisle in the morning. The rain came and went but we stayed dry as we shopped. It rained heavily again after we got home and then, as promised, the day improved and there were some pleasantly sunny moments.
I had time for a quick look round the garden in a dry spell before we went shopping.
The privet is filling the garden with its scent and pulling in the bees in a wholesale way.
I liked this knapweed. It has a cheery air about it.
I took two shots of poppies and friends.
We got back to Langholm from Carlisle just in time for me to collect a camera and walk up through the town where people were gathering to watch the cornet lead a procession of horsemen galloping up this steep hill at the start of the Castle Craigs ride out, the last of several rides out which take place in the week before our Common Riding week. (By tradition, this ride out is a men only affair although other rides out and the Common Riding procession itself are open to all.)
I didn’t stop to watch the riders there but headed on up the Kirk Wynd, past massed ranks of rosebay willowherb…
…and onto the open hillside.
I had time to admire the flowers on the hill…
…before the cornet and his followers appeared below.
They too left the wynd and headed up onto the hill.
Henry, our cornet, is also the church organist and choirmaster so I was pleased that he had a moment to wave at me as he passed.
The cornet is always accompanied by the cornets of the past two years who make up the ‘front row’ and they stopped to let the mounted followers catch up, and had a small refreshment as they waited.
I admired the view until…
…the company was united.
After a short rest, they set off again…
…following a track that would lead them..
…up the hill and past a cairn.
I was impressed by the colour co-ordination among the horses…
The cavalcade made a fine sight as it snaked up the path towards the shoulder of the hill.
The riders were pursued by some foot followers…
…and an unfortunate horseman whose saddle had slipped further down the hill and who was now going up at his own speed.
As the procession disappeared from sight on their way to visit the Castle Craigs on the far side of Whita…
…I headed back down the hill, alarming some sheep…
…and keeping my eye out for interest on the way.
I arrived by a roundabout route at the Kilngreen where black headed gulls were jostling each other in an attempt to be recognised as flying bird of the day.
The riders had got a grand day for their outing.
Not having done much walking on the hills lately, I was ready for a sit down when i got home and once again, a stage of the Tour de France offered the perfect excuse.
When the stage had finished, I picked myself up, shook myself down and went for a 16 miles circular cycle ride. It was a grand day for cycling as well as horse riding.
When I passed Hollows tower near the end of my ride, I noticed that they have constructed an extensive new balustrade round the top of the tower, presumably to allow visitors to walk safely there.
In 1972, Neil Armstrong, the astronaut stood there when he visited Langholm.
I got home safely and while I was in energetic mode, I mowed the middle and front lawns, picked some sweet peas and a few raspberries and strawberries and kept an eye out for small tortoiseshell butterflies.
As I was now ready for another sit down, it was very fortunate that Mrs Tootlepedal had prepared a tasty evening meal for me to eat while I sat.
I apologise for the excessive number of pictures but I have tried to keep the text down to a minimum.
This was the black headed gull that won the prize for flying bird of the day.