A noble outing

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony, and shows a platform having a holiday at East Wemyss.

After a frost free night, the morning had a familiar feeling about it involving sunshine, a crossword, compost sieving, coffee and conversation with Liz and Margaret in the garden, daffodil dead heading and wandering about taking pictures.

New tulips are arriving from time to time to add to the variety of colour in the garden…

…and gooseberry flowers have joined the tree peony and amelanchier ( I have thrown in a cowslip to complete the panel).

…but although they are trying, the trout lilies don’t seem to be likely to recover from being frosted. They are a sad sight.

I had sardines on toast for my lunch and, pepped up by them, I went for a short walk before the virtual choir practice.

I went to check to see if the bluebells were out properly yet, and found that they are coming along but are not at their best yet.

As they arrive, the blackthorns are fading.

I walked up to the Kernigal wood , passing new leaves on a tree…

…and a rather faded view of Timpen on my way. The light was strangely muted today.

I walked up through the wood and then round the edge of a clearing. There was plenty to look at on the way.

I crossed onto the open hill above the clearing and found myself in a very nice little wood as I walked along the lower slopes of Warbla.

I came to the track that I had followed down from the top of Warbla last time I walked on the hill, and this took me down to Skipperscleuch. More new growth and some very dried out fungus added interest.

I arrived at Skippers Bridge, and since my cello playing friend Mike is very interested in the river levels, I went down to the waterside to take a picture of the extremely low water for him.

The scene was so peaceful that I sat on a rock under the bridge and rested my legs for a while.

Looking up, I could see the join where the bridge was widened in 1807.

If it hadn’t been for the call of the choir, I could easily have sat there longer and had a little snooze, but after a while, I scrambled back up the bank and took the walkers’ path up to the old railway line and then the Round House.

From there, I took the track back to town and since I had a little time to spare, went past the Kilngreen where the ice cream van, a gathering of motorcyclists and a Covid testing station made for a busy scene.

The fenced off area in the foreground will become a charging station for electric cars sometime in the future. The bases have been fitted but there seems to be no rush to put the chargers in.

The large numbers of people about didn’t make it good for watching waterside birds so I walked over the Sawmill Brig and went round the Castleholm looking at other things. There were more signs of spring.

I was chiefly interested in looking at the noble firs at the corner of the new path. They are related to the Korean Pines that I saw on a recent cycle ride. They were well worth looking at today with the male flowers busting out all over.

A few cones have started to develop too.

A lot of people walk past these trees without noticing them at all. I would have done so myself in times past. Getting a good camera and learning how to stop and look has been a great boon to me in my retirement.

I crossed the Jubilee bridge and noticed a bee and some speedwell beside the path round the Scholar’s Field.

I got back just in time for the choir practice. This was an interesting experience, as at times we were practising new music which I hadn’t been sent. Although I am a fair sight reader, reading music that I didn’t have is a skill that was beyond me. We sang songs that I did have the music for as well and I enjoyed the session.

It was still a lovely day when the practice had finished and after a chat on the phone with one of my recorder paying friends who had been at the Zoom meeting, I went back out into the garden and enjoyed the early evening light.

I hadn’t had time to look at the birds so I took a quick peek at them…

…but it was one of those days when I just couldn’t move my shutter finger at the right time and I gave up in the end and went and had a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal sitting in the warmth of the greenhouse.

We seem to have come to the end of this run of cold nights and lovely sunny days, and we are coming in to a spell of cold nights and cloudy days for next week, with more frost on the cards for the end of the week. Notice the chilly nights. The weather people have said that it has been the driest April for some time but also the coldest. The poor flowers must be wondering what is going on. Still, they say it might rain tomorrow afternoon, and this would be good.

The poor quality flying bird of the day is a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A noble outing

  1. You have a nice election of flamboyant tulips, a colorful addition to spring! The photos show spring trying to progress though the land still looks fairly brown and the leaves re not out very far. The coldest and driest April on record I can believe. It has been cool and dry for the most part here, too, though I think your area has been hit harder than our own. I hope May is kinder to Langholm and its surroundings.

    We got a sprinkle today and that is it. I am glad we had good soaking rain yesterday.

    1. We are still waiting for a soaking. The countryside is very brown as you say and the sheep farmers must be getting worried about feeding their animals.

  2. Your weather is doing what ours is with huge variations from one week to the next, and sometimes even day to day. It’s been the oddest spring that I can remember. I did, however, put my winter boots and all the shovels away today and I refuse to get them out again this spring!

    I think that Skippers Bridge is akin to one of those photogenic people who can’t take a bad picture. Today’s shot in the bright light, and from water level, is particularly striking

    1. I agree about Skippers. It is hard to take a dull picture of it though I have managed to do that more than once.

      We are back to cold grey weather but it hasn’t gone below zero (yet).

  3. I wonder why the stones below the normal level of the water turn so white when the water level drops. My first thought is lots of lime or calcium in the water.
    Those are beautiful purple cones on the noble firs. It’s a shame that so many people miss them.
    I’m cheering the bluebells on. They’re already quite a sight.

    1. It always happens in hotter weather so I suspect that it might be some growth on the stones drying out. It won’t be lime or calcium I don’t think as we are in sandstone country here.

  4. “Getting a good camera and learning how to stop and look has been a great boon to me in my retirement.” I echo this sentiment wholeheartedly and am grateful for the richness both the camera and blogging have brought to my retirement activities.

  5. Interesting you should mention electric chargers in this post. Just yesterday (Sunday) I wrote to my MP asking what the government is doing to ensure there are sufficient chargers throughout the country to satisfy demand, in support of its policy of obliging people to buy electric vehicles.

  6. Didn’t know the platforms were that close to land or is it a zoom photo? As you say it’s well worth keeping your eyes open when you can spot wonders like the cones on the noble fir…they are wonderful. Love the panel of tulips and the little magnolia….lovely shapes, colours and forms. Skippers Bridge never fails to impress…like us I hope the building in the background can finish off their building work and take the scaffolding down soon.

    1. The platform is parked and out of uses. It was taken on a phone so the distance will be foreshortened.

      We had our end wall rebuilt and it finally got rid of damp so was worth the expense and inconvenience.

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