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.
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.
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.
This wall in particular is a favourite of mine as it is covered in moss and lichen…
…and ferns. The ferns were covered in sporangia.
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.
Two sheep checked on my progress.
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.
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….
…and there was a definite spot of sunshine straight ahead…
…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.
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….
…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.
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.
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…
…and a good set of flowers on the gorse near the golf course.
I walked down the golf course passing the fifth green where the wind was bending the flagpole and extending the 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.
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.
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.