A walk to welcome winter

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan who came across a bumper barrow of cheese at an outdoor market. She tested the blue goat’s and found it delicious. I would have tested everything.

It was definitely a frosty morning when we got up, but it was calm and dry. As it was the first official day of winter, we couldn’t complain since it might easily have been much worse. All the same, we were in no hurry to get out to check the morning air, and I had a happy time watching birds through the window.

My viewing started with a full house of goldfinches….

…and then a jackdaw dropped in…

…and there was a constant stream of blue and coal tits visiting the feeder.

I saw a lone great tit too. I am not sure of how many of each there were in total because they all look the same, but I noted at least three blue tits at one time so I have put them in pride of place on the panel.

A goldfinch nobly restrained itself from kicking a chaffinch at the last moment…

…and the chaffinches provided endless entertainment for me. One got stuck in…

…while one stood in the air to check things out…

…and another peered hopefully round the corner.

It wasn’t until we had had our coffee (indoors) that I thought of exercise.

Cycling was ruled out as I have resolved not to go out for a cycle ride when the temperature has been frosty in the morning and is still below 4 degrees. I fell off heavily on an icy patch not so long ago and I am very keen not to repeat the experience. Even if the roads were not actually icy, I would still be worrying that they were, and that would spoil my enjoyment.

So after polishing off a tomato sandwich, I went for a walk.

The tracks and roads were not icy and when I had gone a couple of miles, the sun actually came out as I took the road past the old bird hide near Broomholmshiels…

…and walked down to the Tarras Water….

…which I crossed by a bridge. I could not have hoped for a better winter walking day.

I passed the impressive remains of this year’s horsetail crop not far from the bridge…

…before walking up the hill to Cronksbank.

From there I could look across the Tarras to the little oasis of green round Rashiel amid a sea of brown grass, bracken and heather…

…and lifting my eyes, I could see the monument on top of the hill.

Ahead of me, the valley of the Little Tarras stretched out. My walk would cross the head of the valley later on.

Sadly, the sunshine didn’t last but on a nearly windless day, I was quite warm and comfortable as I walked on to the little footbridge back over the Tarras Water at Perterburn…

…past a fine stand of pine trees below Middlemoss…

…and took the track out of the Tarras valley and on to the road back to Langholm.

This road climbs gently but steadily round the top of the Little Tarras and up to the White Yett….

…crossing the ridge at that shallow v to the right of the monument. The sharp eyed will be able to see the road angling up the hill towards the little col. The golden light beyond the col is shining on Langholm of course.

It was just two o’clock but already the light was beginning to fade. Behind me, mist was floating over the face of Tinnis Hill…

…but it was still a superb day to be out on the moor. I pressed on towards the White Yett, stopping to look back down the Little Tarras valley towards Cronksbank.

I could see that England was largely obscured by mist and I was glad to be up in the clear hill air.

A lot of my walk so far had been on the land which is being acquired by the community buy-out and it will be very interesting, if spared, to walk this way again over the years and watch the changes to the landscape that the new ownership will bring.

As I got to the White Yett, I took a last look back over the moor…

…strolled over the col…

…and descended back to Langholm under an interesting sky, too gloomy for any more pictures.

Any day in December when you can come back from a nine mile walk with dry feet, warm hands and a phone full of good views can be counted as a really good day. This was one. (Two of the pictures were taken with the Lumix and not my new phone. Virtual prizes for spotting which two)

And to round it off, I had the last two profiteroles with my afternoon cup of tea.

Strangely, I didn’t do a lot more after I got in and I joined Mrs Tootlepedal who was having a quiet afternoon testing out her new sofa pillow while watching a box set of the West Wing.

The beef stew provided an excellent evening meal and we can only hope that the rest of December is as good as its first day.

Two passing rooks are the flying birds of the day.

Footnote: After tea, I had a late look out of the window and caught a nearly full moon behind some very picturesque wispy clouds. I was hoping to get a cloudy moonscape but the moon was too bright and the clouds didn’t register on my camera. You can just see traces of them on the face of the moon.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

47 thoughts on “A walk to welcome winter

  1. OMG! I love cheese!
    We had some sleet this morning, and will be in the mid 20’s for tomorrow. Brr! 🙂

  2. Would love to know which pics were Lumix. Was it the first one of the path and the one with the hut and monument? Quite prepared to be completely wrong!

    1. It was the last look back at Tinnis from the White Yett and the evening sky over Langholm. The phone gives me fairly saturated pictures compared with the Lumix, although that too tweaks the contrast quite a lot.

      1. And so I was completely off the mark, but I can see the difference (I think), now that you’ve given the answers. Thank you!

  3. I am glad there are such places near Langholm one can go for such a scenic 9 mile walk. I enjoyed all the photos from your day, and the birds are entertaining, as always. That oasis of green amid the brown made an interesting picture. Grass can certainly hang on in the right climate with a little tending.

    We have had plenty of mist here lately, and have been sitting in pea soup a good part of the day. Visibility is limited, and I may not see the moon tonight, though it glows bright enough above the fog enough to cast a glow on things. Mist creeps down off the mountains, and can be felt as a cold air mass slowly moving down from the east before it is seen as fog.

  4. Today I tried to follow your route on an OS survey map. I don’t know why I never did before. It helped me better imagine where you went and what you saw. Unfortunately, I was not able to find some of the named sites on the map. But still, I think I could follow your walk fairly well. Thanks again sharing this beautiful area with folks like me who live far away.

    1. I could put OS maps of the walking routes on the blog as I have a programme that lets me track my routes but I am not sure about OS copyright.

      1. my husband has been making bread with cheese powder in it. Son bought mature cheddar and blue cheese powder off the internet. the bread is far too delicious

  5. Love the cheese photo- great selection- so tasty! A nine mile hike is a wonderful achievement and quite inspiring. I’m glad the mist stayed over England and didn’t spoil your views. The rook photo is great!

    1. I could easily have eaten any of those cheeses. I really like Shropshire Blue and goat’s cheese. It was a lovely day for a walk so the nine miles was not a burden, more a pleasure.

  6. I’m not sure how I missed this post. I’d guess that the moon and the interesting sky were taken with the Lumix.
    I like them all though. Especially the shots that overlook the moor.
    My favorite is the footbridge, because I’ve never seen one with a gated end.

  7. What wonderful acreage the buyout acquired. I look forward to future years of photos. I agree winter starts on December 1st and goes till the end of February. None of this Dec 21 malarky, because the first of March is definitely the beginning of spring.

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