I’m going to need an ark if this goes on

Today’s guest picture comes from Mary Jo from Manitoba.  She is not in Manitoba at the moment, having left her -15 degree temperatures there for the roasting air of Queensland, Australia where she met these Boer cross doeling goats.

Boer cross doeling

It was so gloomy here, after another night of wind and rain, that we had to have the light on in the morning and that made looking at birds through the window a bit tricky.

light in window

When I did get a sight of them, I could see that it was still raining and the wind was blowing hard enough to making staying on the feeder quite a task.

goldfinch hanging on

The birds came and went in busy patches and disappeared to other feeders for long spells.

siskin arriving

Just like the school playground, there is always one person with no mates.

siskin no mates

Others could only stand and stare.

siskin on pole

I put on my coat and boots and walked along to the shop and back, and then, after coffee, I put them on again and walked along to the Buccleuch Centre where there was a well timed public display regarding the proposed flood defences for Langholm.

As usual with these affairs, everyone in the town knows exactly what should or not be done and the only people with no clue are the experts.  I had a very nice conversation with one of the experts, an Irish lady who seemed to know quite a lot, and learned a bit myself.  The proposed protection mostly consists of high mounds and walls which may protect the town from flooding but will certainly make the riverside less attractive so no one will be able to get everything they want.  The experts have a bold scheme to divert the course of the Wauchope so it will join the Esk on the other side of the church.   I would need quite a lot of persuading before I thought that this was a good way to spend money but I am open to persuasion.

When I came out of the meeting, I went to check on the river behind the hall just to see if the exhibition was in danger of being flooded itself.

esk at flood prevention meeting

There was a bit to go before that happened.

I went home and had lunch with Mrs Tootlepedal, Annie and Evie.  The rain and wind were still going full steam ahead and for some curious reason none of the ladies wanted to join me in a walk, so like that lonely siskin, I went out by myself.

I was well wrapped up and it was reasonably warm so it wasn’t too bad.  The rain wasn’t very heavy but the strong wind made even light rain feel serious so I kept my head down and didn’t take too many pictures.

Most of my pictures featured water since there was a lot of it about.

becks bridge wauchope road
The Becks Burn goes under the road.
auld stane brodge
The Auld Stane Brig straddles the Wauchope Water.
flooding over road
The roads were running with water coming off fields and out of woods.

I didn’t take the opportunity to sit on this bench in the rain and contemplate the churchyard over the water.  I felt the day was grey enough already.

wet bench

I was standing on a new bridge at the end of Gaskell’s walk, taking a picture of this little cascade…

waterfall at Stubholm

…when I noticed some movement and saw the the bank was slipping into the water as I was watching.

landslip at stubholm waterfall

I thought it prudent not to linger on the bridge too long and walked along the track to the Murtholm.  The river Esk was rising.

trees in river

I got to Skippers Bridge and was impressed by this waterfall running down onto the road.

waterfall at Skippers

I was intending to go down to the water’s edge to take a picture of the foaming current swirling through the arches…

skippers on a rough day

…but a look at the situation made me decide to walk back to the other side of the bridge and take my picture from the safety of the main road.

skipeprs from upstream

As I walked back to the town, I reflected that there were probably some snowdrops down there.

no snowdrops

If the flood prevention scheme goes ahead, this path will be widened and have a 2m barrier between it and the river.  It will be safe but the river view will be limited.

path that will be walled

The river was full but not flooding when I got back to the suspension bridge.  There would be barriers along both sides of the river here.

esk in flood again

We had more of Mrs Tootlepedal’s tasty brisket of beef for our tea and then after Evie had retired for the night, Mike and Alison came round for their customary Friday night visit.   It showed how miserable the weather was that they used their car to cover the 200 or so yards to our door and still got wet before they got into the house.

Alison and I enjoyed some good music making and when she and Mike had left, I walked down to the river to see if it was still rising.  The rain had stopped after a full day and the river was no higher than it had been at five o’clock.  The Esk is working overtime carrying all our rain away.

I emptied Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge today.  It had collected five inches of rain during the week.  Some places got that amount of rain in a day last weekend so it is no wonder that there has been heavy flooding.  Once again, we have been wet but lucky,

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

flying siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “I’m going to need an ark if this goes on

  1. I’m glad you haven’t been flooded out but I hope the rain stops. High water is a bit nerve wracking for me, having grown up beside a river that flooded each spring.
    All the talk about diverting the river and building up its banks tells me that someone somewhere must expect flooding to become a regular event. I hope not.
    At least your walk was worth it. The mossy trees and stream banks are beautiful.

    1. Flooding in the north of England and the south of Scotland has become a regular feature in recent years. Probably a combination of poor upland management, agricultural practices and more frequent heavy rain storms are all part of the problem.

  2. Nothing worse than rain being driven by the wind, as your feeder photo demonstrated. The water does look very high, and I hope the decision-makers can come up with a long-term solution that does the least damage to the landscape. I am afraid you may yet lose your river views.

  3. I like those meetings when in the end someone may stand up and say: “It may have been all said already, but not by me!” Flooding may indeed happen more often with the climate change proceeding. And there are always more knownothings than experts.

    1. I agree on that last remark wholeheartedly. I like your description of meetings even though I may have been that last person from time to time in my earlier life.

  4. I can’t get enough of those little waterfall photos- just imagine them with some sunlight too! I’m trying to stay positive about this wet weather and look for the bright side. Flood defences are a good idea but if they limit photo opportunities there must be some serious discussions beforehand! Stay dry!

  5. And may you stay lucky! A waterfall pouring onto the road is quite the sight. Has flooding always been a problem, or are they getting worse? Really liked your description of the meeting and of the various opinions. Sounds just like what happens in my town.

    1. We have had regular flooding in small areas of the town from excess surface water but the river hasn’t had a serious flood since 1977. I think that they they are looking at the increasing occurrences of very heavy rainfall and are preparing for the worst.

  6. Wow, that’s a scary amount of water rushing along. While we had lots of snow at the end of last year, it’s now on the news that with a very dry 2020 so far, we’re heading back to drought conditions. It’s supposed to rain a wee bit today. Let’s see if that happens. Best wishes on continued safety from your over-abundance of rain.

  7. The major flooding we had in 2011 led to a lot of changes in the little town in which I was then working. The school was right beside the river and it was a beautiful setting. The berms blocked the view completely, but were an unfortunate necessity. It’s unfortunate that utility and beauty are often at odds. Hope Langholm finds a solution that’s a compromise.

  8. That is fascinating to know. The lone bird was me in junior high school and high school, and it bothered me a lot then but doesn’t bother me now.

    The banks must be falling in a lot to make the water so murky. I hope the snow drops survive or end up replanted somewhere scenic.

  9. I hope you can retain some of the beauty of your town while you protect those properties from flooding. I was going to ask the same question as Laurie about flooding and am not surprised by your answer.

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