Walk on

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He was walking his dogs when he came upon this artful construction on the beach.

wemyss beach

Our spell of sunny weather continued today, together with a gusty and cool wind from the east.  It got a lot warmer in the afternoon though.

The day started with the crossword and a visit to the corner shop to top up supplies, and I got back in time to find the street coffee meeting in full swing.  I joined in with a cup of Brazilian coffee and a ginger biscuit.

I left the meeting before it was finished and set about putting a little soluble fertiliser onto the middle lawn with the aid a watering can.  This was an effort to encourage the grass to show a bit more enthusiasm for growing.

Out of the wind, life was very pleasant in the garden and when I had finished the lawn care and some additional watering of shrubs and flowers round the lawn, I had time for a wander about.

In the sunshine, the tulips were glowing.

four lovely tulips

Mrs Tootlepedal pointed out a little violet modestly growing in a far corner…


…and I took a view of this wonderful euphorbia, one of the more curious things in the garden.

euphorbia curls

The little willow is beginning to burst out.

willow in garden

Having surveyed the field, I came to the conclusion that this was my favourite tulip of the day.

pink tulip

Mr Tootlepedal thought that this row of freshly thinned bean seedlings should take pride of place

thinned beans

We went in to have lunch and I was able to watch a small group of goldfinches on the bird feeder.  There were enough in the group to cause an outbreak of regrettable behaviour, with vulgar shouting…


…and some use of bad language.

sparring goldfinches

I left all this behind me though and went for my afternoon walk.

I was quite happy to leave cycling for another day as there was still a brisk wind blowing.  Luckily it blew me up Meikleholm Hill.

The ground is so dry that walking up the sheep cropped grassy slope was a pleasure.  You can see that the sheep really do eat everything and to a certain extent, our beautiful green hills are a bit like a desert when looked at closely.

walking up meikleholm hill

Still, it makes for good walking and I was soon at the top of the hill, looking back down towards the dusty track where I was passed by a timber wagon on my walk two days ago.

longfauld from meikleholm hill

I walked on from Meikleholm Hill to the trig point on Timpen, and I took this shot of a normally very boggy bit of ground on the way to show just how dry things things are.

boggy bit in drought

Although the lockdown is tedious, for cyclist and walkers, this has been a good time.  It will come as a shock to cyclists when the roads fill up with traffic again, and it will come as a shock to walkers when the boggy bits fill up with water.

Light cloud was drifting across the sky and it had got rather hazy, so long views were not very good, but looking down from the hill, the scenery was still attractive and the light seemed to emphasise the range of colours on the hills and in the valleys.

castle hill from timpen

I took a panoramic shot from the top of Timpen and a click on the pic will get you the larger view.

timpen panorama

Rather then head straight back down the hill into the wind, I walked on and drifted down over the edge of the hill towards the road which you can see below.

looking down to road from timpen

Fine views of the Esk valley were spread out in front of me.

craigcleuch from timpen

Thanks to the excellent underfoot conditions (and a carefully wielded walking pole), I got down the slope without difficulty and was soon walking home along the road.

Here, away from the sheep, there were wild flowers to be seen in the verges, and a fine willow beside the road.

wild flowers april 2

I left the road at the Potholm junction and walked down through the woods to the Duchess Bridge…

duchess bridge

…which I did not cross.  I was tempted to cross it and extend my walk but my feet explained that they had had enough fun after three days of walks in a row, so I sympathised with them and took the direct route home

I saw laurel flowers, my first red campion of the year and the path was lined with celandine and wood anemones.

wild flowers april

(The celandine picture is very bad but I didn’t realise that until I got home and I needed to make up a panel of four so it got in anyway.)

I was very much taken with the frame of daisies round the long jump run up on the Scholars Field.

long jump run up

I got home in time for a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit before joining the daily Zoom session with my siblings.

The end of our good weather is in sight but I am optimistic that I can get a couple of days of cycling in before the rain comes.  The forecasters have promised that the wind will drop and I hope that I can believe them.

It is becoming more and more apparent that things will not get back to “normal” for some time, and in the months to come, these last few weeks of sunny walks in the hills and valleys round Langholm may become treasured memories for me as it starts to rain again and we sit around waiting for a vaccine to arrive.

On that cheerful note, I leave you with a fine goldfinch as the flying bird of the day.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “Walk on

  1. If you will persist on mentioning ginger biscuits, I might have to make some. And that wouldn’t be good for me, because I have no self-restraint when ginger biscuits are involved. And my recipe makes a very large batch. It will be on your head, Tom! 🙂

      1. Four dozen – which I consider a balanced diet, as it provides an even two dozen for each hip!

  2. The wind was so strong here today I thought it would blow me over. That, along with a temperature of 30 degrees F., made it seem like January. I wonder if our weather will turn when yours does. We are far from warm and dry.
    Your hills do look a bit dry in today’s photos.
    I like the tulip of the day and the fact that you can grow beans in April.

    1. Mrs T points out that they are turnips and not beans! She has got beans but they are growing under the plastic bottles. It has been the driest April on record so far.

  3. Best rock stack I have ever seen.

    I did not know I could plant beans this early. Oh, maybe they are “broad beans”.

    Your bare hills make for much better views than our heavily wooded ones…

  4. The views from the top of your world are spectacular! Thank you for including that violet closeup, too.

    The birds look like they are back to business as usual. 🙂 Numbers have dropped off at our feeder over the last week. One wonders where they go.

    We had a good soaking rain here at both ends of the day today. The grass looks like it grew a few inches, and I will be out mowing soon.

    1. To ac certain extent it will be a matter of what we want to do as much as what the authorities kindly allow us to do. I can’t see people in general being very keen to gather in large numbers for some time.

  5. What will the ‘new normal’ be, we all wonder about that. It is wonderful that you can still get out and enjoy those beautiful views every day.

  6. The view from the hill is breathtaking. Zoom sure makes our confinement better, doesn’t it? Good luck with the bike ride. As for normal…we shall have to wait for a vaccine before life begins to approach normal again. Sigh.

  7. Hi tootlepedal, Been away from your blog far too long, but things have been hectic down here. I sympathise with your feet, great post and pictures. Hope all you and yours are all staying safe. Cheers

  8. Social distancing seems to have upset the goldfinches- they do say that being too close for too long tempers may get agitated! Lovely seashell display…so missing visiting the seaside! Lovely shot from Timpen…what a vista but looks like a jolly hard climb to see it! Thank you for doing it!

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