A night out

Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony in East Wemyss, the land of eternal sunshine. It is not the sharpest picture that he has ever taken, but I thought that it was unusual enough to fill the guest spot.

forth sunset

We had a cool but sunny day here. The temperature was near enough to freezing when we went to church in the morning to persuade me to walk rather than cycle. Mrs Tootlepedal was braver and pedalled.

The choir had rather an adventurous time with some unfamiliar and unrehearsed hymns but fortunately the new minister sang the hymns quite loudly with his microphone turned well up, so there must have been some doubt as to whether anyone heard us anyway.

It was still fine when we got home, and this gave me the opportunity to watch some birds while cooking lentil soup for lunch.

An old friend was present…


…and at least two of our dunnocks have avoided the cat peril…

dunnock on hedge

…and were happy to pose for me.

dunnock on twig

Three hungry goldfinches turned up but they were the only ones to arrive while I was watching.

three goldfinches

A jackdaw dropped in but didn’t stay.

jackdaw on pole

After we had eaten some soup for our lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a walk.

At three miles and mostly along the flat, it was less testing than yesterday’s outing but I was still very pleased to find that my feet were in full working order and carried me along without complaint.

Mrs Tootlepedal had some embroidery stuff to deliver to a friend and our route to her house took us along the river. Mrs Tootlepedal walked boldly under some alarmingly sloping trees, looking for all the world like Little Red Riding Hood going to visit her granny (only in blue of course).

Leaning trees

We crossed the Duchess Bridge and walked along the low road to Holmhead…

low road in winter sun

…and then to the North Lodge where the parcel was delivered.

I took the chance to go a few yards further on so that I could enjoy the view up the Esk valley…

looking up from North Lodge

…and note possibly the barest bare tree that I have ever taken a picture of.

totally bare tree

We walked back along the path above the Lodge Walks, enjoying the pines that are left when the spruces are felled…

pines after felling

There are a good variety of conifers left and we liked the different cones. I think that the one on the left might be Western Hemlock but I am not good at identifying trees.

two conifers

As we were sheltered from the breeze by the woods on our right, it was a fine afternoon for walking. Whita was looking at its best when we came to the end of the trees and got a clear view.

whita from Pathhead

There is not much colour about at the moment apart from green and brown, but a vibrant dogwood in a garden did its best to brighten things up.


We came down the hill to the Sawmill Brig, where I was hoping to see a dipper but this little robin on the mossy parapet was the only bird about.

robin on sawmill brig

I had seen two dippers on the rocks beside the Kirk Brig when I came out of church in the morning but of course I had no camera with me then. It was annoying but typical that when I had a camera, the dippers were conspicuous by their absence.

After a few rainy days earlier on, the water in the rivers has dropped a lot and only half of the Sawmill Brig was needed to deal with the flow today.

sawmill brig low water

The white duck was floating quietly on the Ewes water as we went along the Kilngreen.

white duck

There had been dark talk of snow in the forecasts but there was no sign of it in Langholm and this impressive cloud was the nearest thing to bad weather that we got.

dark cloud

As our Carlisle Choir is on holiday for the next few weeks and Strictly Come Dancing has finished for the year, we were a bit short of entertainment for a Sunday so we went to Carlisle and paid another visit to the pictures.

We saw a well reviewed film called Knives Out. I was a bit doubtful about it when I found that it lasted for two hours which is a long time to sit around. However, my fears were misplaced and the film was great fun from first to last and the two hours sped by. The film was chock full with ideas, but even at two hours there was not enough room to develop them all, so many promising threads were discarded along the way. It must have been tough for the writer/director to know what to throw away as the film developed.

With a few more cold days to come, I am hoping to get more walking practice in during next week. Strike while the iron is cold is my motto.

A chaffinch appears as the flying bird of the day. I might have to adjust the feeder so that birds approach it into the sun!

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “A night out

  1. Those trees along the walk do have quite a lean. A lot of them have fallen here this year.
    The bare tree is really something. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one like it.
    I can’t say that the tree on the left is a hemlock but the cones do look just like those on our eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis.) They’re quite small compared to other evergreen cones.

    1. I concur with you on the left tree. It definitely is a western hemlock (I just .checked it against the one in our backyard). The right one seems to me to be just the same.

      1. There was a great fashion among landowners for collecting seeds of impressive conifers and planting them on their estates at one time. We have some fine examples around us here.

    2. It was the small cones that made me think of a hemlock.
      Several trees across that path have fallen down lately too. The increasing wet weather is not helping their stability.

  2. Looks like you live somewhere near heaven on Earth. No pollution,no noisy vehicles,all serene atmosphere and your stunningly beautiful photography!! That mossy parapet and flying bird..I need dictionary to search perfect word to praise your wonderful photography.

  3. The white duck was my favourite today, closely followed by the dark cloud.
    I quite agree about the film, one of the most enjoyable I have seen for a long time.

  4. The guest picture was a good choice, and the chaffinch an excellent flying bird. I sympathise with your two hour stretch in the cinema. Until recently used to have an annual trip to a Gilbert and Sullivan performance directed by Jacki’e cousin as he worked his way through the calendar. I literally could not sit in the seats while awaiting my knee replacements. I had to go to the back and drape myself along them.

    1. My knee replacement has certainly made theatre and cinema going a lot more comfortable but a bad back is always liable to spoil a long performance unless the seats are very sympathetic. Cinema seats have improved a lot lately.

  5. I liked “Knives Out” very much. And for all its silliness, there was a strong political message. One reviewer even wondered how it would play in the American heartland. Haven’t heard but the movie, in general, is doing well.

  6. I enjoyed all the photos from your sunny day there, and particularly liked the tree-lined road to Holmhead.

    The dunnocks are such serious little birds. They must spend a fair amount of time searching for food on the ground?

  7. Your jackdaw looks quite similar to our raven. I’ll have to go look it up. That dogwood put on a good show for December. I don’t think our dogwoods do that, but I could be wrong.

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