Getting fairly high

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Simon from Canonbie. He works all over Europe, and noticing an interest in bridges in recent guest pictures, he has kindly sent me a picture of two fine bridges taken from a third bridge at St Gallen in Switzerland.

We had another fine, dry day here, with almost continual sunshine. As I couldn’t stand the heat outside, I spent the morning in the kitchen. I started by preparing a loaf for the bread making machine, and then baked a batch of ginger biscuits.

Our fan oven is broken at the moment and I found that using the top (non fan) oven was a tricky business. The finished biscuits were no works of art. Sandy came round for coffee and a catch up, and fortunately we found that the biscuits passed the taste test even if they didn’t look very good.

After Sandy left, with some runner beans and plums, I set about stewing some more plums, and by the time that I had finished, Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from another session stuffing envelopes for a mail out from the Buccleuch Centre.

I did find a moment to sneak out into the garden to check on the butterfly situation.

It was good to see a mixed bag of visitors. The hoverfly was having a drink in the pond.

I noticed that there was a good deal of starling activity . . .

. . . and they were particularly interested in the rowan tree. I went and got my bird camera and wasted quite a bit of time trying to get a a decent ‘beak and berry ‘ shot . . .

. . . but the birds were not very cooperative and either swallowed berries very quickly or hid behind branches.

After lunch, I went out into the garden again and saw many more butterflies about . .

. . . and some bright yellow bees which are probably carder bees. The last roses of summer are continuing to do well.

Mrs Tootlepedal, having had a busy morning, had a busy afternoon too, this time on Langholm Initiative business, so I went for a walk.

My plan was to go for a gentle low level walk, taking in any birds that I passed, and hoping to see some fungus. It started well . . .

. . . but there were people throwing stones into the Ewes water to encourage their dogs to go for a swim so any chance of good wagtail shots disappeared.

I looked at trees on the Castleholm as I walked up the Lodge Walks and past the pheasant hatchery instead.

When I got to the North Lodge, I decided that I would go ’round Potholm’ as it was such a lovely afternoon and set off along the Langfauld track. (Click on a picture in the gallery for a larger view.)

I felt so cheerful that I revised my route plans as I went along. The road back from Potholm to Langholm is not the most exciting part of the walk (unless you are particularly interested in lichen on walls), so when I got to Potholm farm, instead of going down to the river and crossing the bridge, I went a little further along the track and took to the open hill. I looked back down as I went up.

I had a look around and there were no cattle to be seen, so this gave me the opportunity to walk back to the town along the splendid ridge, taking in Potholm and Castle Hills.

The camera flattens the route out a bit but in real life, it is quite steep in parts, so I was glad to stop every now and again to take a picture, or two, or even three.

This is the first mini summit.

And there are always curious sheep on the hill, wondering what I am doing.

The ridge separates the Esk and Ewes valleys. This was the view up the Ewes valley . . .

With pictures in the press of queues of walkers waiting to climb up the path on Snowdon, with reports of severe erosion of popular paths in the Lake District, and with questions being asked about limiting access to Ben Nevis because of overcrowding, it seemed almost to be selfish to be able to stroll along this wonderful ridge on such a day without seeing another soul.

Looking ahead:

Looking back:

And a gallery of looking around:

That last frame shows a small copper butterfly. I didn’t want to disturb it and I didn’t have my butterfly camera with me so I couldn’t do it justice, but I was pleased to see one and record the meeting.

At the end of the ridge, I came to the literal and metaphorical downside of my excellent outing as I had to proceed very carefully and slightly painfully when it came to lowering myself down the track back to the Kilngreen. The difficulties of going down steepish hills are quite hard to bear as I used to love bounding down hill in my more athletic days (long ago).

I took a picture of the town bridge to celebrate my safe arrival at the bottom of the hill.

I got home to find that Mrs Tootlepedal had watched a bit of cycling and finished her work.

We had the stewed plums with custard for pudding after our evening meal. I am going to have a ginger biscuit before going to bed. All in all, it has been a very satisfactory day.

I even managed to catch a flying bird of the day on my walk.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Getting fairly high

  1. As much as the area would welcome the ‘tourist ‘ for businesses and growth, the perils of this are plain to see in every direction.
    Different plan needed maybe…

  2. I agree with mj that those trees are beautiful. They reminded me of a Maxfield Parrish painting.
    I thought you got some great berry in beak shots. They can’t be easy to get.
    I’m glad to hear that Sandy is still out and about. I hope his feet are treating him well.
    The river is really getting low. We got another 2.5 inches of rain last night and I wish we could send you some.

  3. I had no idea the other walking areas you mention are so crowded. In the light of that, your solitary walk allowing you the peace and time to drink in and admire the views is particularly splendid.

  4. ‘As I couldn’t stand the heat outside, I spent the morning in the kitchen.’ – you at your driest. As you know, I identify with your downhill pain.

  5. It was good to see the Lodge Walks again, and the sunlit trees. That golden touch made it look almost spring-like. I am impressed with the area, and all the open space and views, not that far from town. Seems like the best of both worlds.

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