Mrs Tootlepedal goes too far

Today’s guest picture comes from former Archive Group member Ken, who is now over in the north east.  He sent me this picture of a very special K4 kiosk, one of only 50 introduced in 1927.  They combined a telephone kiosk with a coin operated stamp vending machine and a post box.  This one is still in use in Whitley Bay, although the stamp machine no longer works.

K4 Kiosk

After the recent Christmas excitements, I had a quiet morning at home with nothing more testing than a crossword and a visit to our corner shop to help pass the time.

I did have a look at the birds who were out in force today.

We had siskins and goldfinches…

siskin and goldfinch incoming

…and lots of chaffinches…

chaffinches incoming

…and sometimes siskins, goldfinches and chaffinches at the same time.

busy feeder

A chaffinch landed with a single claw on the perch…

one footed chaffinch landing

…but once it was in situ, it was determined not to be shifted.

goldfinch and chaffinch determined

Unlike the chaffinch, Mrs Tootlepedal was set on being shifted and so, after an early lunch, we went out for a walk.

Encouraged by her five mile, relatively flat walk yesterday, she had bigger ambitions today.  I followed in her wake as we walked along the main road for a mile before turning up the Copshaw road to walk up to the White Yett.

We stopped to admire the beautifully trimmed beech hedges at Hillhead…

beech hedges Hillhead

…and I noted that the monument, which was on Mrs Tootlepedal’s planned route, looked quite far away and quite high up.

I stopped again to record an unusual grey sheep in a field with more standard models.  I have no clue as to what make it is.

grey and white sheep

As we got higher up the hill, I looked over a wall at a view up the valley, but it was a dull day so the wall was more interesting than the view.  I have no idea what the little brown globe on the lichen is.  I haven’t seen anything like it before.

lichen with brown ball

Another wall caught my eye.  It had a purpose built hole in it.

hole on the wall

Mrs Tootlepedal likes this bench near the parking place at the White Yett.  It reminds her of one like it in her childhood.

seat on White Yett road

We didn’t stop to sit on it though, but pressed on when we got to the MacDiarmid memorial and headed up the track to the Monument.

memorial and monument

It was warm for the time of year, and the hint of sunshine was encouraging as we climbed up to the monument on the summit of Whita at 355m (1164ft), passing some good looking lichen on the way…

kichen in stone whita

…and being passed by an enthusiastic mountain biker…

mountain cyclist whita

…who soon disappeared over the horizon.

cyclist at monument

It is very difficult to get a view to the west at this time of year because the low sun is in the way, but it did make the Solway Firth gleam as it came into sight.

solway gleaming from whita

Following Mrs Tootlepedal’s plan, we walked on past the monument at the top of the hill and came to the edge of the world.

Or at least we came to the end of the last Scottish hill and looked out over the expanse of the Solway plain stretched out below us.  It was misty in England.

solway plain from edge of whita

We kept going and walked down the ridge towards the Moorland Project bird hide.  This involved some hard walking through heather, over moss…

sphagnum moss

…and tussocky grass…

rough moorland whita

…following faint tracks across the moor until we finally got to the road just above Broomholmshiels.

Both of us fell into bogs on the way but we were very brave and soldiered on.

It was a relief to have solid ground under foot again.  We had a choice of road or a somewhat soggy track to take us back to Langholm and unsurprisingly, we chose the road.  After walking down the hill to the banks of the Esk, we took the direct route home and arrived in perfect time for a cup of tea after three and half hours of fairly strenuous walking.

A check on the map when we got back showed that Mrs Tootlepedal had taken me on a seven mile walk.  I was very grateful to her as this was the longest walk that I had managed all year.

Not unnaturally though, we were fairly tired after that so not much else of note happened before the end of the day.  To be be honest, nothing else happened before the end of the day.

We look as though we might be in for a spell of dry weather so I hope to add a little pedalling to the walking before the end of the year.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.  It was not the cleanest picture that I took today but I like the tiny siskins a lot, so it got the honour.

flying siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “Mrs Tootlepedal goes too far

  1. An ambitious walk that rewarded you both with many fine views from the expansive to the very small. The brown knob on the lichen is very interesting as is the hole in the stone wall.

  2. Seven miles is a good walk. I haven’t gone that far in a while.
    The beech hedge is amazing and I’m so glad I don’t have to trim it.
    I don’t know what the brown globe on the lichen is but that’s a darn good shot of it. I’m guessing it would be a spore bearing surface of some kind. There are British soldier type lichens with brown instead of red spore bearing surfaces.

  3. A good way to end the year with a splendid walk and lovely photos. We saw the post box when we were on holiday years ago- good to see it’s still there!

  4. What a fabulous sight that beech hedging makes. I wish our hedges were as tidily kept in the Neath Valley. Nowadays the farmers seem to just attach a piece of equipment at the back of their tractors that beats and slashes (they are justly named flailing machines) hedges into submission. No tidy results just battered looking hedges. Obviously, time is money, but we are losing the sights that make our countryside so beautiful and well maintained hedges are sanctuaries for wildlife. No wonder we are losing so many birds and mammals, now disappearing so fast. Properly maintained hedging would stop some of the slide toward an empty sterile desolate countryside. Well done on a very good hike by yourself and Mrs tootlepedal. Cheers.

  5. Just recently I came across a news article which mentioned that Scotland was far ahead of everyone else in switching to renewable energy. It brought to mind all those lovely wind turbines you’ve included in your posts. Of course you’re doing your bit with your all electric buggy.

    1. I wouldn’t say that we were far ahead but at least our government is giving the matter some serious thought and a bit of action which is very welcome.

  6. I keep meaning to look for interesting post and phone boxes, but never seem to manage it.

    That’s a very impressive walk. Or a lesson about letting Mrs T select a route. 🙂

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