Going the other way

Today’s guest picture comes from a Welsh correspondent Keiron.  He saw this fine tree in Ystradgynlais a day or two ago and thought that I might like it as I am fond of trees.

Ystradgynlais tree

It was a sunny day here today, but as it was also freezing when we got up, we were in no hurry to get the active part of the day going and sat and read the papers after breakfast until it was time for coffee.

The birds were not very active either, and the only birds that came near the feeder in the morning were a pair of chaffinches.

frosty chaffinch

Stimulated by our cup of coffee, we leapt gently into action and went for a walk.  We did think of a drive to a start point but we couldn’t think of one which we both fancied so we settled for the walk from the town up the River Esk to Potholm and back again.

We had done this walk three weeks ago an a very gloomy day so this time we decided to go round it in the opposite direction, starting by crossing the river by the Langholm Bridge.

There were plenty of gulls to be seen on the river when we looked from the bridge….

view from Langholm Bridge

…and I had my bird camera with me, so we stopped for a moment to enjoy the black headed gulls in flight and on the ground.

four gull panel

It was a grand day for a walk, and if you could get out of the chilly wind, there was even a hint of warmth from the sun.

Although we were walking a familiar route, it didn’t stop us enjoying the sights as we went along through the woods…

road to Holmhead

…over culverts….

bridge on Longfauld track

…and past tree plantations.

young spruce in winter

The views up the valley were delightful in the sunshine.

view of Milnholm

Rather to her surprise, Mrs Tootlepedal had read recently that beech tree leaf litter is slow to rot and does not contain much in the way of useful nutrients  and with that in mind, the clear ground under the beech trees which we passed was explained.

beech wood longfauld

I have always liked the openness of beech woods but I had never understood that the beech leaves themselves were probably suppressing the competition on the forest floor.

There was not a lot of fungus to be seen but I liked this colourful clump on a tree stump at Potholm..

tree stump fungus

…and this pale outbreak on a growing sapling near by.

fungus on sapling

As I had my bird camera with me, we kept an eye out for buzzards on the way.  The sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal spotted quite a few, but they were circling high in the sky and my 300mm lens could not get very close to them.

two high buzzards

At one time, we could see five at the same time, but all them out of range.

A robin in a tree at Potholm as we came down to the bridge was more co-operative and sang loudly to make sure that we didn’t miss it.

robin at Potholm

On the bank below the robin, snowdrops were talking about spring.

snowdrops at Potholm

We stopped at the bridge for a small snack…

potholm bridge

…and then we headed homewards along the road.  The fields were astonishingly green.

green fields milnholm

A  young cow regarded us with curiosity.

cow on potholm road

And the wall beside the road offered a feast of lichen.

six lichen on potholm road wall

At the end of the Potholm road, we joined the main road back into Langholm.  It is lined with concrete posts which hold the metal bars which stop errant cars falling down the steep slope into the river below.  Two of the posts caught my eye.

two concrete fence posts B709

We got home after 5.4 miles, quite ready for a cup of tea.  Mrs Tootlepedal had enough strength left to cycle down to the Co-op to do some shopping so that she could make a dahl for our evening meal and I had enough strength left to eat it.  It was very good and rounded off a peacefully pleasant day very well.

One of the Kilngreen gulls is the flying bird of the day,

flying gull

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Going the other way

  1. Your gulls are so refined and pretty; ours are definitely their brash country cousins – many times removed at that! I don’t imagine you would ever become tired of such beautiful views no matter how many times you walked among them.

  2. Excellent bird pics today and detailed fungus and moss. I find myself wondering which newspapers you take. The Independent or The Guardian perhaps? Is there a local daily?

    I find myself reading more British newspapers online than American ones, partly because The Guardian has no pay wall. It is interesting to read views from across the pond on our mess.

  3. It great to see the snowdrops coming along and the green fields are a special treat since snow is falling here.
    It’s nice to see the gulls doing something other than post sitting. I thought they must have to eat sometime.
    I’ve read that beech trees have a very dense root system right at the soil level which also discourages other plants from growing under them.

  4. The views from your day are refreshing, especially after all the grey weather here. The forecast says sun for tomorrow. I especially liked the lichen and moss panels.

    That is interesting about the beech leaves. I have read that walnut trees can suppress growth around them, but did not know that about the beeches.

  5. Cowriosity is a common trait among cattle. The singing robin is a delight. As always a very interesting post.

  6. Great photos of the gulls and who can resist a sweet singing robin perfectly perched! Wonder what is growing in the lovely green field and if it belongs to that picturesque farmstead

  7. What a lovely walk, and thanks for using my Ystradgynlais tree as your picture of the day. I have no doubt it’s composition leaves a lot to be desired but your blog has made me appreciate the beauty of trees much more. For me, with my inability to get my phone camera on target for those pesky birds and other wildlife which keep moving, trees have the added attraction of staying in one place. Ergo, I quite often manage to get them in my shot. Cheers, keep on tootling and pedalling.

  8. Another lovely walk with you, I am getting to be a Mrs T admirer, walking that far and then a bike ride to do shopping, wow.

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