On the up

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline who found a quiet moment in a visit to a cafe to reflect on things. Mirror, mirror on the wall . . .

We had another lovely day here today, though at times when the sun was fully out, it was almost too hot, a good complaint to have at the end of August.

Once again, I did a little butterfly hunting in between dead heading and having coffee in the garden with Liz and Margaret. It didn’t require a lot of skill to spot the butterflies. Indeed it was quite hard to find a buddleia flower that didn’t have two butterflies on it . . .

. . . though red admirals were in short supply among the peacocks and tortoiseshells.

However, my eyes did open a little wider when I spotted a less common visitor, a painted lady . . .

. . . and they popped open wide at the sight of a totally unfamiliar shape and colour. This turned out to be a comma butterfly.

I did look at other things in the garden, not just butterflies . . .

. . . though I see that another butterfly sneaked into the panel. The pretty white flower in the top left corner is a new addition to Mrs Tootlepedal’s wild flower mini meadow. She thinks it might be some sort of flax.

I also found a moment to look at the birds when there were birds to look at, a happy coincidence. We had a good selection of visitors today.

After lunch, I went out to see if I could catch birds eating the rowan berries. Although there were one or two starlings in the tree . . .

. . . they weren’t in a peckish mood and flew off without picking a berry. I turned my attention to a jackdaw on the lawn instead.

It seemed a bit too hot for a comfortable cycle ride, so in the afternoon I went for a walk up Meikleholm Hill and then to Timpen to get my daily exercise.

I was impressed by this bunch of thistles just as I got to the open hill.

There are no sheep or cattle on Meikleholm Hill at the moment, and as a result, my walk was blessed with many wild flowers. Among quite a selection, I saw yarrow, scabious and eyebright . . .

. . . which were not hard to spot . . .

. . . as I walked along the track that takes a circular route to the top of the hill.

There were clouds about which gave me some relief from the hot sun and added contrasts to the views when I got up the hill. I took this one before leaving Meikleholm Hill and climbing up to the trig point on the top of Timpen.

It is a short but steep ascent and I was happy to stop and look back at the town and across to Whita Hill on the opposite side of the valley.

When I got to the top, I looked down to Craigcleuch house and the Esk . . .

. . . and across towards Milnholm and the hills of the Ewes valley beyond.

I decided to take a new route back down the hill, and walked down along the top edge of the steep slope until I got to the wall that divides Meikleholm and Timpen Hills. I then followed that down.

As I went along, I got a splendid view of the walk ’round Potholm’ which I sometimes do. You can see the Longfauld track on the right and the road back on the left with a glimpse of Potholm farmhouse among the trees at the far end.

I also met some pretty harebells . . .

. . . and a sheep with a view.

When I got to the bottom of the wall, I had to keep my camera in my pocket and my eyes firmly down while I followed a rough and narrow track along the side of a steepish slope to get to a point where I could get down onto the road back to Langholm. I was very glad that I had taken my walking poles with me as they kept me upright more than once.

Still, it was good to explore a new route, and I got home in good order. Mrs Tootlepedal was kind enough to make me a refreshing cup of tea, much needed after a strenuous effort on a warm day (I had climbed and descended 990 ft in my 3.3 miles outing.)

I might have had time to walk a little further if I had not spent time after lunch listening to radio commentary from a very exciting test match at Headingly. Mrs Tootlepedal and I watched the highlights later in the evening.

The only test match that I have ever attended in person was at Headingly in 1977. With Boycott at the crease all day, it was a very dull affair compared with today’s excitements.

After the regular Zoom with my siblings, our son Tony’s cabbage provided a third tasty evening meal when combined with bacon and potatoes. All the same, I will be quite happy to have a change of diet tomorrow.

The flying bird of the day is a starling, popping off the top of Irving’s holly tree . . .

. . . but the real flying star of the day is a butterfly.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “On the up

  1. That’s a nice panorama in the header photo. My phone keeps asking me if I want to do one but I haven’t yet.
    Interesting that you have colored yarrow. I always thought it was a plant breeder’s creation.
    Nice butterfly shots, especially that last one.

  2. Nice to see “round Potholm” from another perspective. I have only attended one day matches but not for a long time…I need to be guaranteed a seat thats not too hot, cold or obstructed and that usually ends up being my sofa๐Ÿ˜ the butterfly photo is great!

    1. It is so long since I went to a big sporting event that i recoil in horror when I see the ticket price. I still think that a fiver should get you in.

  3. The butterflies are also enjoying the last real summer days and the buddleias are their favo landing and feeding spot rihgt now. You made a lovely hike in the mountainhills and the pictures you made are very inspiring. The weather looked perfect, just like we had here the last twoo days.

  4. Good to see the butterflies back in your garden, Tom. We haven’t been so lucky, and I think it may be a little too late now but we’ll see. Nature is full of surprises.

  5. I very much enjoy those hilltop views of the area. The bird portraits were good to see, especially the starling, who looks quite proud of his plumage.

    Your sister Caroline’s photo of herself in the mirror at the outdoor cafe was fun. The mirror reflection looks like a painting on the wall. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Was that FBOTD really flying upside down? ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Cricket score is still very much to my liking as are the super photos from your idyllic walk and all those butterflies…green with envy!

    1. I haven’t paid much attention to cricket since it went behind a paywall so it was just chance that I happened to pick a really interesting day to take an interest again. Joe Root’s square off drives are a thing of beauty.

      1. Apparently so! My son and I used to sit and watch TV cricket all summer long but as you say now the paywall is a barrier to watching. Youngsters won’t be encouraged to play or enjoy watching the game as they don’t see it enough on TV!

      1. Oh, yes! We feel the same way about our butterflies. And, of course, the hummingbirds, who will only be with us for another two weeks.

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