Making the most of my one expedition

Today’s guest picture comes from Matilda.  She is off school but obviously getting good art lessons at home.

matilda's wolf

Here, we had another dry day with a lot of thin cloud again.  It did get slightly warmer in the afternoon and may well have got into double figures at last.

We are limited in what we can do and where we can go so my first activity was to walk round the garden and admire the primroses.

primorses garden

We are allowed a shopping trip so I cycled round to the corner shop and passed the oyster catchers on my way home.  This one likes standing on one leg a lot.

oyster catcher one leg

Then I did a little compost sieving and followed that by making some potato soup for lunch, using chives from the garden for added flavour.

After lunch, it was time for garden action again.  Mrs Tootlepedal was clearing out the old strawberry bed.  We have decided that it makes more sense to buy the excellent strawberries produced by a local grower than use up a lot of space for a not very bountiful or tasty crop of our own.

I finished sieving the compost in Bin C and started turning out the contents of Bin B into Bin C.  I am taking this in gentle stages and did about a third of the pile before hanging up my fork and going for a walk,

Apart from shopping, we are allowed one excursion for exercise each day, and as it was far too windy for comfortable cycling, a walk was the choice for today.

In decided to visit the top of Warbla and as I walked up the track from the park to the Stubholm, a ray of sunshine brightened the day…

sun on trees stubholm track

…but it didn’t cut through the haze and the rest of the walk was pleasant enough but didn’t offer anything in the way of sunny views.

I saw horses…

two horses stubholm

…and the bench that my neighbour Liz likes to sit on when she takes her dog for a walk in the morning.

bench on warbla

As I got near the top of Warbla, a gap in the cloud let the sun pick out this blasted tree…

tree on warbla

…and when I got to the summit, I was able to take a quick shot over the town before the clouds  began to close again.

town and ewes cloudy day from warbla

I couldn’t stop on the summit as the wind threatened to blow me over the edge so I began to walk down the other side of the hill towards the cattle sheds which you can see below.

view down from warbla summit

This was an adventurous route for an old man with dodgy knees, crossing rough ground and finding gaps in old walls…

warbla wall

…but fortunately there was a reassuring sign telling me that I was going in the right direction.

walks sign warbla

Just as I was getting towards the bottom of the hill, I saw a cloud of sheep ready to head upwards…

sheep gathering below warbla

…so I had to make a diversion and was able to watch them heading uphill as I passed below them.sheep at skipperscleuch

I came to Skippers Bridge and the water was low enough to let me take a picture from the upstream side….

skippers March

…where I could enjoy the clear water splashing over the rocks…

esk at skipeprs

…and get a good view of the old distillery building.

distillery March

I walked home along the Murtholm.  There are not a great many hazel catkins this year but one bush is doing very well and when I looked more closely, I could see that it also had a lot of female flowers on it.  I have never seen three flowers together like this before.

three hazel flowers

The sheep were safely grazing…

sheep eating

…and I rounded off my walk by seeing a garden escape adding a little colour to the river bank above the Park Bridge.

colour at the park bridge

When I got home, I saw the familiar pair of piebald jackdaws on the path beside the dam. It  seems amazing that that prominent white feather has not fallen off.

piebald jackdaws

I passed a family party of four on the hill and a lone dog walker on the flat during my walk so I reckon that it was isolated enough to be fine.  If the weather stays good, I hope to have a cycle ride for my permitted excursion tomorrow.

Mrs Tootlepedal is crocheting a blanket to keep herself occupied during the shut in and I am waging a losing battle against my computer security suppliers which may well take me the rest of my life.  We are both keeping busy.

The flying bird of the day is not flying.  It is a jackdaw perching on the park wall.

jackdaw on park wall

For some not very clear reason, no birds are coming to the feeder at all at the moment so flying birds will be at a premium.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Making the most of my one expedition

  1. On my little tablet, your pictures are very small. So I thought your cloud of sheep was going to turn out to have been a tease, that they were in fact a load of agricultural sacks. But no, they really are blue and white sheep.

  2. Good shot of skippers bridge.
    Our weather here today was excellent,sunny and not too windy which enticed me into a slow bike ride,which for a change I really enjoyed especially as the roads were almost deserted there were almost more bikes than vehicles..very surreal.
    Maybe the birds are finding a few live insects,who knows.

    1. There are more insects about this year which is heartening but the birds seem to have left the area altogether as I am not seeing or hearing flocks of them when I go out into the country, Well done for getting an enjoyable ride. That has been a rare thing so far this year for you.

      1. Very strange for birds to disappear from what is a veritable feeding banquet?
        Yes I’m hoping to start getting quite a few more miles in,particularly now I don’t have to collect my grandson from school and my wife,who’s an offsted inspector ,is working from home for the foreseeable future,giving me much more free time, which I intend making the most of.

  3. I like Matilda’s drawing. The highlights in the eye and on the nose show she has a good eye. Put her behind a camera and who knows what she’d do.
    I’ve never seen a cluster of female hazel buds like those either. It looks like what male catkins you have are opening.
    I was just reading about negative ions, which you probably had in abundance on your walk. They are another good reason to take nature walks: “Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.”

  4. A “cloud of sheep” is a very good descriptor! I am glad you had some reasonable weather to go walking. I enjoyed the views.

    Our birds disappeared this afternoon during the hailstorm, but returned when skies brightened later on. Mr. Chipmunk has become a regular. His motto seems to be “Come early, come often.” He has become rather portly these days.

  5. More lovely spring colours, thank you. And a handsome jackdaw, a fierce guard dog, and fluffy sheep. A good day, I’d say.

  6. Lovely views over the mountains and I like the little scraggy hawthorn tree too. Good to see Skippers Bridge and the distillery on your walk. Wise decision to get out of the way of those sheep- they looked determined to get to the top of the hill whatever was in their way!

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