Modified sunshine

Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal. She has been knitting mittens for our granddaughter Evie to wear in this cold spell.

After some pretty gloomy days, we at last got some sunshine here today…

…..but it was heavily modified by this sort of thing…

…which turned up without notice out of a blue sky every now and again. Oddly, although it looked as though it meant business and temperatures were low, the snow didn’t settle at all, and we had no more on the ground at the end of the day than we had at the beginning.

It was far too cold for me to consider cycling, especially with snow lying here and there on the roads, so I was faced with the choice between the bike to nowhere inside or a walk in the occasional sunshine out of doors. I watched the birds while I pondered.

The light was odd which was a pity as there were a good number of birds about.

Enough to start several fights.

I let it get a fraction warmer outside while I had a cup of coffee and then opted for the great outdoors. It seemed a pity not to take advantage of a day when there was at least some sunshine about.

I asked Mrs Tootlepedal whether she would like to join me in a ten mile walk with the strong probability of snow showers, and for some reason she opted for knitting mittens.

It was snowing gently when I set off, but it soon stopped and apart from occasional icy patches , conditions were good. So that I could wear walking shoes rather than boots, I walked along the road up to the bird hide at Broomholmshiels instead of going through the woods on a muddy path. When I got to the top of the hill and began the descent to the bridge over the Tarras Water, I was in sunshine but I could see a snow shower coming up….

…and I buttoned up my coat and put on my Yaktrax to negotiate the steep hill down the river as it swept over me.

The shower did not last long and I was soon back in sunshine while I walked up to Cronksbank when I had crossed the river. I kept my Yaktrax on to walk up the hill, and it was just as well that I did as the road was a sheet of ice under the fresh snow. Our neighbour Liz had come across a lorry which had slid off the road here a few days ago and I am not surprised. The road was like a skating rink, and I had some difficulty getting up it even with my Yaktrax on.

I stopped to admire the view across the river…

…and then made it safely up, and stood in the sun to admire the barn at Cronksbank…

…but not for long as I could see the next snow shower coming towards me.

I pulled up my hood, put down my head and trudged into the nippy wind and snow until I got to Perterburn when the snow had passed over.

I walked down to cross back over the Tarras by the footbridge in sunshine again, though the icicles hanging from branches a little up the river showed how cold it has been.

I had crossed the bridge and was walking across the rough pasture to get back to the road when I saw movement in the long grass ahead of me.

It was a couple of the wild goats that live on the moor, come down to lower slopes to get out of the worst of the weather no doubt. They were not at all wild in their behaviour and walked quietly ahead of me before moving politely aside to let me past.

As I passed them and looked around, I could see that they were by no means the only goats about…

…and then, wherever I looked, I saw more goats, about twenty in all I should think.

As I walked up the road from the river to Middlemoss, one of the original pair of goats that I had met gave me a quizzical look as if to ask who I was to go disturbing them.

I would have liked to have stayed and taken more pictures of them but I could see another snow shower was on its way. I had to button up and put my head down again as I walked up the track to join the road back to Langholm. This one was a fairly hefty shower and I did have a moment’s worry about what might happen if it didn’t stop. I was fairly confident that all the showers would pass though and once again this proved to be the case. By the time that I got to the road, I could see Tinnis in sunshine.

…and the road up the other side of the Tarras valley too.

As I walked along the road up to the White Yett, a string of showers passed over and by me, blotting out Tinnis…

…before swooshing off down the valley and leaving sunlit views behind them.

When I got to the White Yett after another couple of mini blizzards, I could see that I had just missed yet another one, this time coming down the Ewes Valley on the far side of the ridge.

The view up the Ewes Valley was good…

…but only for seven minutes. Before I had got to my favourite bunch of pine tees, the next mini blizzard had arrived.

I soon found myself sheltered by the beech hedges at Hillhead and it was an interesting experience to find myself walking at about the same speed as the snow was moving so that I walked along surrounded by a gently falling mantle of snow which hardly seemed to touch me.

When I got back to town, I went home round the Castleholm (in sunshine), in the hope of seeing the goldcrest which Mrs Tootlepedal had spotted yesterday. I had no such luck though, and was pleased to get home just before another heavy snow shower came through the garden.

While I was walking, Mrs Tootlepedal had sent me a text message to say that she was making surprise cheese scones for my return. When I returned, I was duly surprised to find that she had indeed made cheese scones and several of them disappeared in short order.

My ten miles had taken a fair time, but as I had had to stop and button and unbutton my coat, put on and take off my Yaktrax, and somehow manage to take eighty photographs as well, perhaps this was not a surprise.

Buoyed up by scones, I had enough energy left to look out of the window at the birds, and I was happy that I did because the wren was back again.

It spent a lot of time popping in an out of the hedge, arguing with a blackbird and pecking about under the feeder.

I was fooled for a moment when a dunnock appeared from under the hedge, looking very spherical and pretending to be a wren….

…but the real thing reappeared too.

That made my day.

We had a good Zoom catch up with my brother and sisters (my sister Mary was on her third Zoom of the day and was a little frayed round the edges).

Finally, a very sound evening meal of soup with bread with cold meat rounded off a really good day, especially as peach slices and ice cream made an appearance for afters.

It was not the best flying bird picture that I took today, but just for a change, a sparrow is the flying bird of the day today.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

37 thoughts on “Modified sunshine

      1. Thank you. I thought it would be much finer… (In the technical sense – the mittens were very fine in the everyday sense!)

  1. Your snowfall sounds like what we call poor man’s fertilizer. Snow drags a lot of nutrients down with it when it falls and they help feed plants, especially if the ground has thawed.
    I just bought a coat called the “storm defender” so I’m guessing we won’t get much more snow this year. When I bought a snow blower one year we had a single flake fall in the back yard.
    The mix of snow and sunshine made for a beautiful day.
    Evie is a lucky girl!

  2. My favorite is the two birds fighting that resemble more like dancing! It’s a great photo. 🙂

  3. Sunshine and a snow squall. Your winter weather is mixing it up on you there, and providing some nice scenes. I especially enjoyed seeing the wild goats today, and the birds. I am sorry the goldcrest did not make another appearance for you.

  4. What a splendid walk – great pictures along the way – I particularly liked the quizzical goat the the portrait of the wren.

  5. I particularly liked your view on the way to Cronksbank, the snowy pines, and your inquisitive goat? Are all your wild goats descended from farm goats? Or do you have actual native wild goats in Scotland?

  6. Ten miles in that wind you deserved those cheese scones! Great goat photos and love all their coats of many colours. The wren must be hungry to stay out in the open- your photo has caught its cheeky, bright character.

  7. I enjoyed the goats, Mrs T’s very pretty mittens and the beautiful scenery on your walk. I can’t get over that you walked so far in that kind of weather. I guess that bike to nowhere is great motivation!

  8. Lucky Evie (and talented Mrs. T., but we already knew that!). The view of your garden bench through the snowfall is quite beautiful – the wavy line is so very striking.

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