Up and down

Today’s guest picture is another of Paul’s Lake District delights.  Knowing that I like bridges, he sent me this one of a the bridge at Rosthwaite in Borrowdale.

Rosthwaite in Borrowdale used

We had a chilly day here, but as it was above freezing and dry, we weren’t complaining.  I thought that it was too cold for cycling though and I spent an idle morning indoors.  I didn’t shift myself until Mrs Tootlepedal went off to her annual embroiderers’ lunch.

I had a couple of slices of bread and marmalade for my own lunch and set out for a walk.  There was a brisk wind blowing when I got out of the shelter of the town that made my decision to avoid cycling feel sensible.

I am trying to get a bit fitter as far as walking goes so I set off down the track beside the river at a good speed and didn’t stop for a mile.

I wasn’t going to stop when I got to Skippers Bridge but a glance over the parapet revealed an old friend standing beside the river, possibly looking at the same turbulent little cascade that I like.

heron at skipeprs

I crossed the bridge and walked along the road on the other side of the river, still heading downstream, until I left the river and walked up the hill towards the bird hide.

As always, walls and fence posts were rich with things to look at.

moss and lichen

This wall in particular is a favourite of mine as it is covered in moss and lichen…

mossy wall

…and ferns.  The ferns were covered in sporangia.

ferns on wall

I didn’t go as far up the road as the bird hide, but turned off at Broomholmshiels to head back home.

A bare tree caught my eye, and on this occasion, I didn’t mind the power lines behind it as they would be a help to me later on.

tree and power lines

Two sheep checked on my progress.

two blackfaced sheep

Normally, if I walk back to the town from Broomholmshiels, I  take a track that runs though oak and birch woods to the Round House, but there has been a lot of recent maintenance work on the pylons in our area and a new road has been built to give access to one of them.

You can see the woods for my usual route on the left in this picture.  I followed the new road up the hill to the right.new pylon track

On the open hill, the wind was very nippy and I looked around for a hint of sunshine.  it was brighter over there behind the trees….

bare trees broomholm track

…and there was a definite spot of sunshine straight ahead…

patch of sun

…but it remained grey where I was walking.  The new road soon ran out, and I followed the line of pylons on a well trodden walking path through the bracken.

path to pylon

It was refreshing to mind and soul to be out on the hill with good views and good conditions underfoot.  I was particularly pleased not to be over there….

stormy weather

…where they might have had sun but it looked as though there was a heavy rain shower too.

I lost track of the path for a while and found myself ploughing through heather and bracken for a few hundred yards.  This was hard going so I was happy when the town came into sight and gave me an excuse to stop and take a picture.

Langholm from pylon track

I caught up with the path again when I got to the stile over the wall at the quarries.  This stile is always welcome as not only it is a good photo opportunity, but it also signals that it is all downhill to get home from here.

stile on whita wall

Although it was a grey day, my walk wasn’t entirely devoid of colour as there was a mass of haws on the hawthorns near the quarry…


hawthorns on Whita

…and a good set of flowers on the gorse near the golf course.

gorse near golf course

I walked down the golf course passing the fifth green where the wind was bending the flagpole and extending the flag.

fifth green flag

I had taken enough pictures by now so I concentrated on not slipping over as I walked down the steep hill back into town and kept my camera in my pocket until I got to the Kirk Bridge where the Wauhope Water joins the Esk.

A year ago, this scene would have looked very different with all the water going under the left hand arch but a recent flood altered the deposition of the gravel and now both arches enjoy a share of the flow but with a good gravel bank dividing the water once it is through the bridge.

kirk brig

I had a walk round the garden when I got back and found that the St John’s Wort in the vegetable garden still has a good crop of berries on it.  I read that the berries are fleshy and not attractive to birds until they split and reveal the seeds.

st johns wort berries

When I went into the house, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had come back from her lunch and was watching horse racing on the telly so I sat down and watched a few races with her.

I was very pleased to find when I checked that I had walked five miles, some of it over rough ground and with quite a lot of uphill work in it too.  I had taken more or less exactly two hours.  This may not sound very far or fast, but considering that I was having quite a lot of difficulty in walking at all in the early months of the year because of sore feet, this was a great improvement.  Better shoes, good insoles and a regular routine of exercises have all helped the turn around.

All the same, I was quite tired and happily spent the rest of the afternoon and evening doing nothing more adventurous than cooking corn beef hash for tea and watching the final of Strictly Come Dancing with Mrs Tootlepedal.

What with one thing and another, I was never at the right place at the right time to catch a flying bird today and there were very few birds about anyway, so this fluffy greenfinch is standing in for the flying bird of the day today.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Up and down

  1. The bridge in the Lake District is very beautiful, as have been all the guest photos of that area. I also like the shot of Mr. Grumpy, as we don’t often see him posed like that. Glad your feet held up.

  2. The ferns on the wall are amazing. They look a lot like our polypody ferns.
    The shot of the sun on the fields is excellent. If you imagine the wind turbines are crosses it’s close to a Biblical scene I once saw in a film.
    Getting off the trail is tough in any conditions so I applaud your efforts. I rarely do it these days.

  3. Five miles OR two hours is impressive despite the terrain. I look forward to being able to do that again. Your narrative takes us along with you in a way that your excellent photographs alone cannot. Back in the 1950s our art master encouraged us to leave in power lines because they were part of the scene.

  4. First of all, thanks very much for sharing that great walk with us all who read your posts. I like the way you approach getting your walking fitness back. Obviously, walking is much more time consuming than pedalling, which, sadly I, all too easily,make the excuse for not doing it, but it definitely helps to give a better all round fitness. I do not like pedalling up hill, but walking it gets me far more breathless and tired. So I should do more walking, I have no excuse because the countryside hereabouts is beautiful, with plenty to see and, dare I say, point my phone camera at. I’ve told you before your posts kickstart my mental processes, slow as they may be, and today while driving to and from Neath on the old road, I believe I was looking with the gaze of tootlepedal at the trees, covered in mosses and lichen, amazing. I even spotted trees that I fully intend to get shots of to share with yourself, “trees for tootlepedal” eh? Cheers.

    1. I really hope that you do get some walking in if the weather is kind as it gives a different experience to cycling. I agree about the problems of walking up hills but slow and steady is my motto and that works well.

      Your kind words about my posts make me very happy and a bit proud too. I hope you don’t cycle or drive into a wall while you are checking out interesting trees!

    2. “Her indoors” here makes sure my eyes are kept on the road while driving. Yesterday, not only was I admiring the trees but an old friend as well, a bit like Mr Grumpy. I’ve been cycling up and down this beautiful valley for quite some time now and have seen, but failed to photograph a large completely black buzzard. Even “her indoors” was excited to see it swoop low over the car as we passed. So much to see out there, even on my trusty old Pioneer I miss so much, walking hopefully will get me to see and record more of the wildlife delights of this area. So next chance I get I will go hiking for a bit, avoiding the ups, obviously.
      By the way you should feel immensely proud of your blog.

      1. I hope that you get a chance to photograph your black buzzard. Thank you again for your kind words about the blog. I do enjoy doing it.

  5. The ‘miniature’ lands that you discover on the walls are fascinating. I’m sure they are populated by hundreds of little creatures that go into hiding when they hear your foot steps approaching..you’ll have to tip toe next time. Love the stile over the wall and of course all those trees and clouds photos. I like your ‘walking ‘ photos as there’s always a path to follow and time to enjoy the views with you!

  6. That is a beautiful stone wall covered with ferns, mosses and lichens. Sadly, I don’t see so many stonewalls out here, in spite of there being plenty of rocks about. I saw plenty of them in New England.

  7. So very good to hear you are able walk more comfortably now. It does the body and soul much good. Always a pleasure to see Mr Grumpy. We have our own Mr G I glimpse flying up or down our creek, which thanks to rain is now worthy of the name (rather than a dejected little trickle.)

  8. It seems as though flooding around here is part of the normal cycle. It keeps the road crews busy and out of mischief when the mud slides block traffic. 😉

      1. We seem to be experiencing a somewhat impressive storm at the moment. I half expect to lose power at any moment, but it’s typical of our weather living on the Pacific Coast.

        That same mudslide could easily continue as the highway crosses an unstable bit of ground that really wants to slip into the ocean. Of course they could find a more stable route, but that might cost big bucks and who would want to give up their view -sunsets over the ocean? 🙂

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