Today’s guest picture comes from my Welsh cycling correspondent Keiron. He spotted this serene family of swans making their way up the canal.
We had hardly a blink of that nice sunshine here today as it was another cloudy and cool day, but the rain in general held off until the late afternoon and evening so it wasn’t too bad even if it didn’t feel much like summer.
It was generally a full day for us both. Mrs Tootlepedal was busy on community buy out matters. A news team from Channel 4 was in Langholm interviewing locals, the Buccleuch Estates chief executive and a prominent land reform supporting politician for a news item due to appear on Thursday evening Channel 4 news. The amount of time and work work that goes into producing the short items that finally appear on news programmes is amazing.
While she was out (not being interviewed herself), I walked round the garden.
The dahlia continues to develop…
…and roses of all sorts continue to flower.
They compete with the poppies for the photographer’s attention.
Other fine fine flowers are available too.
My favourite of the morning was this poppy.
Mrs Tootlepedal combined a little shopping with talking to people and was not back in time for morning coffee, so Margaret and I constituted the whole gathering until Liz, just back from her walk, joined us for a while. Margaret went off with some rhubarb just as Mrs Tootlepedal returned. I picked some more rhubarb for myself and then mowed the front lawn, the middle lawn and the greenhouse and vegetable garden grass. I did not trim any hedges.
Then it was time for lunch and a look at the birds.
There was plenty of action at the feeder…
…but some peaceful posing too.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal decided to do the necessary preparation work prior to the painting of the ceiling in the sitting room. This is specialist skilled work, far beyond my pay grade, so I went for a walk.
After a good deal of havering about possible routes, I settled for a low level, longish walk just to see if I could do a decent distance without my feet complaining too much. My plan was to take one picture every mile to illustrate the outing. Like most of my plans, it was a complete failure and I couldn’t stop myself taking far too many pictures. When I got home, I was a little tired for some reason and the task of whittling the photos down to a reasonable number was beyond me so I have put in a panel rather than a picture for every mile. Patient readers will be glad that I didn’t go further than I did.
Mile 1: Through the park and down the Murtholm track. (The yellow potentilla is beside the dam and I took it to mark the start of my walk.)
Mile 2: Through the woods between the road and the river below Skippers.
Interlude: When I rejoined the main road after the riverside path, I had the pleasure of walking down the cycle path for the first time. I have cycled along it countless times but this was my first visit as a pedestrian. (I didn’t have small child to hold my hand though.)
Mile 3: Past Irvine House.
Mile 4: Nittyholm. The difference between cycling and walking was shown up starkly here as I found that I have been cycling past many orchids many times recently without noticing them. There were not just one or two but dozens of them in plain view.
Mile 5: Past Hollows Tower and down to the bridge at Hollows, my turning point for home.
Mile 6: Up the hill to Gilnockie Station and along the old railway line to the North Wood.
Mile 7: Along the road past Mumbie, a view at last and under a dismantled railway bridge
Mile 8: Down to the Tarras and up the other side and then back down towards the Esk (with another ex railway bridge).
Mile 9: A welcome sight as Mrs Tootlepedal puts down her decorating tools and comes out to see how I am doing.
Satisfied that I am in good order, she cycles home and leaves me to do…
Mile 10: Along the river bank from Skippers to the town.
The final picture, taken from the bridge looking back down the Esk should really be in mile 11 but it had got so gloomy by this time that I had stopped taking pictures.
The whole walk was about 10.8 miles, the furthest I have walked for many, many years and took me about three and a half hours with stops for taking pictures and talking to a couple of people that I met on the way.
Footnote: It may well be that my mile pictures don’t always exactly tally with the actual mile on the ground but they are roughly right and I don’t really need anyone to tell me where I have gone wrong.
We had scrambled eggs for tea and then Mrs Tootlepedal went out for another buy out meeting and I had a relaxing bath.
We both feel that we have had a rewarding day.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch at full stretch.