Today’s guest picture was sent to me by MaryJane from New York. She describes it as an unexpected camera phone photo of the Central Park (NYC) reservoir as the sun was coming up. Being in the right place at the right time is an art.
We had a sunny dawn here, but I was eating my porridge when the sun came up and missed the opportunity to capture the sunrise. As might be expected on a fine morning at this time of year, it was frosty in the garden.
The close up picture in the panel above shows the rather disordered crystals on the arm of the bench.
As well as frost in the garden, there were patches of black ice on the roads and pavements so I waited for a while before going to the shop with great care.
It was a pity that when the light was not too bad and I had time on my hands, very few birds turned up on the feeder…
…though there were other birds about.
The forecast suggested that the later afternoon might cloud over, so I went off for a stroll as soon as I thought that the roads would be safer to walk on.
I went through the town and up the Wynd on to Whita Hill, where I was happy to find lichen and fungus in good condition though the yellow brain fungus was frozen.
I didn’t go straight up the hill towards the monument but took the less steep diagonal path that is followed by the riders on Common Riding day.
I looked up the Ewes valley before I started the climb and saw that most of yesterday’s snow had gone….
…though there was a little snow on the track as I got higher.
Among the low lying grey clouds which were sitting on the distant hills, one cloud stood out.
The going was remarkably good though, and with my walking poles in hand, I had no trouble in getting up to the track to the monument . The track was clear of snow itself but as I got near the top of the hill, the ground beside the track was pretty white.
It was really a pleasant day for walking as there was very little wind. The sun didn’t have much heat in it as it is still very low in the sky at this time of year, but I was warm enough in a light jacket and a woolly hat.
Looking across the valley at Warbla, the hill that I walked up yesterday, I could see mist creeping up from the Solway….
…and in a fanciful way, I thought that it might be the cold hand of the English Brexit creeping over Scotland from the south.
Down below, the town was also showing signs of early mistiness too.
I didn’t linger too long on the summit as I could see that the mist was creeping closer all the time.
I was standing on the top of the little triangle of snow beside the mast yesterday.
I had put my new Yaktrax in my pocket before setting out and I fitted them over my shoes for the journey downhill. This meant that I could take the rough path down the fence with confidence rather than taking the track back down to the road.
As I looked back at the monument, I could see that the sun was being overtaken by the mist…
…but ahead of me, it was still clear…
…though more mist was rising from the Tarras Valley to my right.
I followed the fence down almost to the road…
…pleased that I was on the ‘sheep’ side of the fence rather than the ‘grouse’ side as ploughing through the heather would have been hard work. Oddly enough, I did see a few grouse and they were on my side of the fence.
I kept my Yaktrax on when I got to the road as there were a lot of icy patches on the tarmac. There was enough of a grassy verge to let me walk comfortably and I was able to stroll on without fear of falling.
The mist to my left was getting ever closer and was beginning to fill the valley in front of me….
I left the road as I got to the pine trees and headed off across the hill to the top of the golf course. For a brief moment, the mast on top of Warbla showed itself…
…but it was soon swallowed up again and the town disappeared altogether.
Behind me, it was still a lovely afternoon.
I walked down the golf course to avoid the rather stony wynd and found a couple of hardy golfers braving the cold and the mist. It was pretty grey at ground level by now…
…but you only had to look straight up to see that there was blue sky above still.
I have remarked before that Langholm and its hills provide a wonderful variety for walkers with relatively little climbing and reasonably short distances. I had only walked four miles by the time that I got home but it felt as though I had had a genuine adventure.
The only downside was that I got home a little early and had to wait until it was time for a cup of tea and a slice of toast.
However, a cheerful Zoom with my siblings and the reappearance of the slow cooked lamb stew in the form of a tasty curry meant that the day ended very well…and there were more mince pies with cream and brandy butter for afters.
We are trying not to think about the rather alarming rise in Covid cases but it does mean the patient readers will have to put up with a lot of familiar walks in the weeks to come. We are quite rightly not allowed to stray far from home.
The flying bird of the day was one of the few chaffinches about.