Today’s guest post is another from one of fellow cyclist Paul’s visits to the Lake District. It shows Derwent Water looking at its best.
We had a day of sunshine day here, a welcome break in a succession of grey, wet and windy days which is due to resume tomorrow in spades.
We made the best of it.
I did some shopping and paid a modest but welcome income tax refund into the bank before coming home for coffee.
I stopped on the suspension bridge as I cycled over it, looked up river and thought that Langholm is not a bad place to live.
After coffee, I had time to look at a blackbird….
…and enjoy the plumage on a dunnock, looking a bit brighter than usual in the sunshine…
…before driving up to the White Yett with Mrs Tootlepedal to have a walk in the sun.
I stopped on the way up and upset some sheep on a knoll who did not know which way to look when they saw me taking their picture.
Looking back down the hill, I could see that when the spruces were felled in the plantation beside the road, a group of pines were left standing tall. They glowed.
I was tempted by the beautiful day into taking another panorama. A click on the picture will give you the wider view.
We parked at the MacDiarmid memorial and walked up the track towards the monument. We didn’t visit the monument today though, as after a few hundred yards, we turned off to our left and followed the track round the contour of the hill to the Castle Craigs.
The track is used by the cornet and his mounted followers on Common Riding Day and is marked by a couple of cairns along the way. This is the first of them….
…and this is the second.
The picture above shows one of the downsides of taking photos in low winter sun, the tendency of the photographer to intrude into the picture!
Looking back to the hill on the other side of the road, I liked the sinuous curve of the wall and the clear contrast between the land that is grazed on the left and the land that was used for grouse shooting for many years on the right. It shows that whatever we are looking at and however beautiful it may be, it is not a natural scene but one that is heavily influenced by the hand of man.
(That intrusive photographer just crept into the scene again.)
As well as the views, there was plenty of interest along the track with moss, lichen and quartz intrusions into the sandstone rock just three of the things that caught my eye.
We puddled along a rather soggy track until we came to the cairn at the Castle Craigs itself.
it is a solidly built piece of stonework designed to hold the town’s standard during the ceremonies on Common Riding Day. There is a handy bench near it where Mrs Tootlepedal sat for a moment…
…taking in the view across the Tarras Valley.
We were well wrapped up, as in spite of the sunshine, it was not warm in the wind.
We stayed for a while, and then walked back to the car, enjoying the vista of rolling hills at the top of the Ewes Valley….
…and the intentionally rusted Corten steel on the MacDiarmid memorial. It made a very harmonious picture today.
Looking at the memorial from the other side brought out the intention of the artist, Jake Harvey, that it should be read like a book of the poet’s life and works.
We rolled back down the hill to the town, using gravity to charge the battery of the Zoe as we went. After the recent dull weather, both Mrs Tootlepedal and I felt spiritually and physically refreshed by our outing.
After lunch, I got well wrapped up and went out again, this time on my bicycle.
I stopped half way up Callister to record a favourite gate….
…and was annoyed to find that that persistent photographer had crept into the frame yet again. I was also vexed when I had put my camera back in my pocket to find a buzzard flying lazily over my head. It had gone of course before I could get my camera out again. When I looked at the photograph on my computer later on, I could see the buzzard perched in plain sight on the top of the second tree from the extreme right of the picture!
When I got to my turning point at the far end of Callister, it was evident that it wasn’t an entirely cloudless day…
…but I wasn’t complaining.
I took a little diversion to Cleuchfoot on my way home and this gave me the opportunity to add to my winter tree collection.
I managed to fit in twenty miles by going through the town and out of the other side for a mile or two and got home before the light had begun to fade. The thermometer was showing 3.8°C when I arrived back so I was happy to sit down in the warm kitchen and have a cup of tea and a slice of toast with Mrs Tootlepedal.
We were joined by Mike Tinker for a while and when he left, I had time for a shower before my flute pupil Luke arrived.
We are making good progress at the moment and we played a sonata by Godfrey Finger (accompanied by the computer on keyboard). The computer sets an unyielding tempo which we have to stick to in a military fashion but it is a great deal better than having no accompanist at all.
So it was a day with a tootle and a pedal, which is always good, and since it had a bonus walk with Mrs Tootlepedal in it too, it was definitely a day on the credit side of the great ledger of life.
Another peril of a sunny day in December is the deep shadows cast by the low sun so I have an unilluminated chaffinch as flying bird of the day today.