Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew’s permitted walk today. He was pleased to see such cheerful blossom.
We had cheerful flowers in the garden here today. They were pleased to see the sunshine on another rather chilly day with an east wind sweeping down from the far north.
I went out to view them after my standard start for the day (another good crossword helped pass the time)
Mrs Tootlepedal enjoyed a coffee and some of my ginger biscuits in physically distanced but socially integrated conversation with our neighbours, while I did some daffodil dead heading in the garden.
Later on, I clipped and sawed the remains of the pruned lilac and added the logs to our tidy log store. I didn’t go so far as to wash the bricks again today (though they needed it) but contented myself with a gentle brush.
And of course, I kept an eye open for birds…
The daffodils are fading but the trout lilies are taking their place with some verve.
The star of the garden today for me was this freshly flowering Amalanchier.
Seeing the ducks in the dam behind the house, I put a little bird seed into the flow and this attracted their attention.
Mrs Tootlepedal made some tasty green lentil soup for lunch with chicken stock from the recent roast chicken. There is no doubt that real stock is an improvement on commercial stock pots but we can’t eat chicken all the time just to make stock.
After lunch, I idled round the garden a bit and then went for a walk.
In spite of the nippy wind, it was a good day for a walk and as I wanted to get in a view or two, I resolved to walk up to the monument on top of Whita Hill.
My route took me onto the golf course where I found an old friend.
It wasn’t a brilliantly blue sky day but the light was interesting…
…and although there were plenty of clouds about, I seemed to walk under the sun the whole time.
I got on to the open hill at the top of the golf course and took the track up the Birnie Braes which is followed by the horses on Common Riding day.
It was very dry and peaceful today.
Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that is it described as a road 20 feet wide in old documents but the road has has fallen into disuse and the current path goes to one side of it.
I took this route as it offers a gentler gradient as it goes diagonally across the contours rather than the direct path which goes straight up to the summit. When it gets to the shoulder of the hill, it joins the vehicle track from the road to the monument and a handy seat has been placed there.
The seat is modest…
…but the views for a person who sits on it are magnificent.
Looking down to my left, I could see a glimpse of the road up the Wauchope valley which i had followed on my walk on Tuesday.
I arrived at the top of the hill (355m) and paused to enjoy the view…
…and inspect the monument, which has some fine algae at the bottom but is pretty clean further up.
The keen wind made sure that I didn’t hang around too long and I was soon on my way down again, going towards the road and enjoying the contrast between pastoral land on the left of the wall ahead of me and old grouse moor on the right.
I didn’t take the vehicle track back down but followed a charming path through the heather, used by mountain cyclists.
There are plenty of cairns to be seen all over the hill and I have put three of them here and a look at one page of the MacDiarmid memorial too.
When I had passed the MacDiarmid memorial, I followed the road down to the bottom of the hill, passing this unusual tree…
…and a delightfully sinuous wall…
…on the way.
On approaching the town, instead of taking the direct route home, I crossed the Sawmill Brig and headed across the Castleholm towards the Jubilee Bridge in the hope of seeing interesting birds. I heard a lot of tweets but didn’t see any birds, interesting or otherwise.
However, I was rewarded by this refreshing sight so I wasn’t complaining.
My walk ended up at just under five miles and was very satisfying, a joy to the eye, a tonic for the spirit and some healthy exercise too. Who could ask for anything more?
The mince and tatties made a welcome second appearance for our tea and as I went out and pulled some rhubarb, stewed it and made some custard, we ate like kings and queens to round off as good a lockdown day as we could wish for.
The flying bird of the day is a passing gull.