Going green

I have had a rush of good guest pictures sent to me recently but I thought that the most appropriate one to celebrate the warmest day of the year here in Langholm today would be this one from Mary Jo in Manitoba.  It shows her weather today.  She is a bit fed up to say the least.

Mary jo may snow

Apart from the absence of a friendly shower of rain, it was another perfect day here.  There were a few fluffy clouds about in the sky but it was genuinely warm and the socially distanced street coffee morning nearly had to be cut short because we were too hot from sitting in the sun rather than too cold from a nippy east wind.

Before coffee, I had had a look at the back of the house and found plenty of colour looking in both directions along the dam from our new bridge.  Only the blue aquilegia is ours, the other fine plants are the work of neighbouring gardeners.

three damside flowers

Back in the garden, yellow was the centre of attraction.  I was pleased to see some white on the poached egg plant flowers.

three yellow flowers

Mrs Tootlepedal had kindly given me a haircut after breakfast so I was looking very spruce at coffee time.

After coffee, we went back into the garden and there was once again a good deal of watering to be done, this time mostly in the vegetable garden.

I mowed the drying green and the green house grass and did some garden wandering too.

Another ornamental strawberry flower has come out to join a new and fancy dicentra, while our lone pulsatilla flower tries to keep our attention with its seed head.

three garden flowers

Tulips and primroses represent the old guard while allium and aquilegia are the coming generation.

four garden foiwers

A friend came round with his camera, complaining that it was habitually overexposing his pictures and wondering if I could help.  Greatly to my surprise, I was able to help while keeping our social distance and not even having to handle the camera.  He went off very cheerfully.

After lunch, I went for a walk.  Mrs Tootlepedal considered coming with me but thought that it was probably too hot for comfort and stayed at home to do some useful gardening and enjoy some of the wonderful flood of arts programmes appearing on YouTube during the lockdown.

As far as I could, I chose a shady route and after passing Skippers Bridge, which was looking almost overcome by springtime…

skippers brdge from garage

…I strolled along shady lanes beside the river…

penton road

…and up the hill out of the Esk Valley…

road to broomholm

…and I walked down into the Tarras water valley.

The water was low and just trickling over the characteristic little steps in the river bed as i crossed the bridge and walked along the river bank on the far side.

tarras bridge

As I walked along the track beside the river, I could see a good example of where those little steps in the river bed come from.

seams tarras water

It is fascinating to reflect on the different conditions which led to these strata being laid down perhaps 350 million years ago when this part of the world lay around the equator.  (I may not be totally accurate about this as one of the many things that I wish I knew a lot more about is geology.)  It does make you feel that we are only very temporary visitors when we tread upon the earth’s surface.

Still, I was very happy treading on the earth’s surface today as it was a beautiful day, the surface was dry underfoot and the woods were delightful….

tarras walk track

…totally delightful.

tarras walk

I was heading for the next road bridge over the Tarras to make my return journey so I didn’t cross this footbridge when I came to it…


footbridge tarras

…nor did I attempt any bungee jumping.  I can never quite make up my mind whether the person who affixed the notice (inset) to the bridge had a great sense of humour or absolutely none at all.

The track between the two road bridges is of very variable quality and in normal times would require boots or even wellies to negotiate the many boggy bits along the way.

Today, I could bound over dried up bogs and skip merrily over trickling streamlets.

wall and ford near rashiel bridge

Near the second bridge, there is an impressive stand of reeds and a large spread of wild iris.

reeds and irises tarras

I hope to come back and see the irises when they are in flower.  In a good year, they are a spectacular sight.

I was welcomed by a spread of speedwell and some bristly crosswort when I got to the road.

violet and crosswort

I crossed the river and began the walk up the road towards the now unused bird hide.  Out in the open, the sun was beating down and I got good views across the trees towards the Lake District hills.

lake district from bird hide

I took the track from Broomholmshiels back to Langholm and in spite of the brilliance of a new broom flower…

broom flower

…and the glory of the view over the oaks towards Warbla…oak wood

…I was very pleased to be back in the shade again.

jenny noble's path

I sat for a moment on the bench at the Round House and enjoyed the view over the town while I had a drink of water and a revitalising date.

view of Langholm from round house bench

Thus refreshed, I pottered home, stopping only to note an oyster catcher in the river below the Suspension Bridge when I got back to the town.

oyster catcher esk

Once again, I hadn’t checked the distance of my walk before I set out and I was very pleased to find that I had managed just under eight miles without getting any complaints from my feet.  A measure of the warmth of the day was the fact that when I checked, I found that I had lost three pounds in weight since I weighed myself after breakfast.

A couple of date rolls and an excellent meal of fuselli pasta and meat sauce cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal followed by rhubarb and custard should have put that back on again.

I spoke to Dropscone on the phone in the evening and was happy to find him in good form.  He is walking and cycling a lot as well as doing a regular half hour on the bike to nowhere in his garage every day.  He will be fit as a fiddle when the golf season is finally allowed to start again.

The flying bird of the day is a heron which flapped past me on my walk today.

flying heron tarras

Footnote:  There are wild rumours of as much as a millimetre of rain overnight and the temperature is going to be 10°C or more colder tomorrow than it was today (and with a brisk north wind), so I am very happy to have made such good use of the sunshine and wamth today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Going green

  1. I find it wierdly reassuring that Earth has morphed and changed, folded and exploded, for long before I got here. Lets hope we humans dont totally muck it up. As for bungy jumping from that bridge…I think it would require a stout heart to walk sedately across it, one at a time, discarding excess luggage beforehand😊

  2. You wouldn’t have been seeking shade here today. It snowed and the 35 mph wind gusts had the trees groaning. I’m glad you had such a beautiful day.
    That ornamental strawberry is a pretty flower, and so is the poached egg flower.
    I think you’d need a very short bungee for jumping from that bridge. I doubt I’d even cross it unless I was in a hurry.

  3. The wooded paths you follow beg for exploration. It is wonderful that you can do so – presumably without the obligatory face mask.

    1. We are not in obligatory face mask territory yet and as I didn’t meet anyone at all on my walk while I was out of the town, that wasn’t a problem.

  4. Great to see you’re making the most of the fine weather. Disappointingly, I failed to do so this morning, touch of lazyitus. I was rather tired before I started my commute home from work yesterday, but managed to get myself going and with a slow slog I got back to the Yaris in Neath and home again. I was off today, and so last night I got my gear ready for a ride this morning. The sun was already out when I got up at 07.30, but I just went back to bed for an hour. I’ll be back to my commute tomorrow, I hope, because now the temperature has dropped, the clouds have come over and it looks certain to rain. The weather forecasters are talking about the possibility of frost and even snow over the next few days. Your walks look great, there are lots of places to meander about the woods and valleys around here, I really should, and I know I’ve said it before, get my walking boots on, and try an adventure of the walking kind. You never know, without the rigamorole of stopping, getting off my Pioneer, removing my gloves, and getting my mobile phone camera ready, I might finally capture a shot of something interesting and recognisable. Watch this space. By the way that Tannus Tyre Insert Armour has held up and stayed secure in my back tyre. After the struggle I had getting it in, I had nightmares of it exploding out from the sides. The installation has now given me more confidence as I commute etc.. Cheers.

    1. I quite sympathise with the problems of taking pictures while cycling, it can be a nuisance. Interesting birds almost always fly off before I can get the camera out. Walking is both much better for seeing things and for taking pictures. I am glad that your tyre armour is behaving. I look forward to getting a report if you do manage a walking adventure…and if you get good weather for it.

      1. Will do, I am supposed to be off from Wednesday till Saturday, so will try to get a walk in. I’m still looking out for swallows, swifts etc to no avail. Where are all those bluebells I normally see each, as I look from the road, path, cycle path into the woods under the canopy? Usually there is a field on the south side of the valley here that appears blue from the other side, but so far nothing showing. Perhaps my eyesight is worse than I thought? Cheers.

  5. Snow! Hope the weather improves soon for Mary Jo! I wish I knew more about geology too- very interesting photo of the rock bank with its undulations. The photos through the woodland and the shadows are favourites of the day. Hope the rain found you it missed us by a mile!

  6. Another good walk documented by beautiful photos – I like the idea of a bridge being “almost overgrown by springtime”. My walk was only 5 miles, and I can guarantee I didn’t lose 3 pounds! Most of the snow is gone already but it’s still just 3ºC – half way to the dizzying high of 6. Hope you warm up – if you can’t get rain, it should at least be warm.

  7. the flower photos are so lovely and I await your photos of flag irises as I know them. It reminds me so much of times when we used to sea kayak on the NW of Scotland at this time of year and we would always see them.

  8. I have read about the polar vortex making a visit back east. We are back in cooler weather ourselves this week here in the Pacific Northwest, but nothing like that photo from Manitoba.

    The strata in the riverbank was fascinating, a look at geologic history. The Age of Mankind is only a tiny fragment of that.

    Broom is a beautiful plant, and grows all over here, and down into California. Unfortunately, it is is considered an invasive species.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: