Pastures new

Today’s guest picture is another watery one from my brother Andrew. He visited this lock at Aston on Trent on his walk today.

We woke to a beautiful morning and it was a privilege to be out in the garden . . .

. . . along with peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies.

We had coffee outside with Margaret, and while we sat and chatted, the garden was humming with bees and other insects. The demand far exceeded the supply of flowers and co-operative sharing was the order of the day.

This is a post of few words and many pictures for a reason that will become obvious later.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal felt like a breakout from routine, so we got in the car and drove north for a walk round the Black Esk reservoir, the source of drinking water for our town.

We parked the car at the foot of the dam . . .

. . . walked up to see the elaborate plughole at the top . . .

. . . walked across the dam . . .

. . . and joined the road on the far side of the water.

From there we had a most pleasant four mile walk round the reservoir, in the open on the way out, and through trees on the way back.

We passed a large quarry which we thought might well have provided the rocks for the construction of the dam.

I took a selection of photographs as we went round. I put them in here without further comment in the order that I took them. The wooden bridge crosses the Black Esk river as it joins the reservoir at the top end. The water is very low and much of the top of the reservoir has no water in at all.

The pictures in the panel below are from the wooded section at the top of the reservoir . . .

. . . and the next two show just how low the water level is.

We saw wild flowers on our way . . .

. . . and I was happy to see some fine lichen on the rocks on top of the dam itself as we walked across.

There was not much water to be seen coming out to supply the Esk river at the bottom of the dam.

It was a very good walk and we certainly hope to come and do it again, preferably when there is a bit more water in the reservoir.

When we got back to the dam, the alert Mrs Tootlepedal spotted two or three swallows who had not yet made the journey south.

We made out own journey south back to Langholm without incident, and had a well earned cup of tea with a slice of bread and bramble jelly when we got home.

I didn’t have a great deal of time to laze about, as I needed to get my evening meal cooked and eaten in time to be picked up by my recorder playing friend Susan. She very kindly drove us both to Carlisle where for the first time for a year and a half, our ‘regular’ recorder quartet met and played at Jenny’s house (with the window open for good ventilation).

Being extremely rusty, we took pieces at a very sedate pace, but we still thoroughly enjoyed meeting some familiar music after a long absence. Susan and I didn’t get home until after ten, hence the many pictures and few words in this blog.

The flying bird of the day is a buzzard from our afternoon walk.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Pastures new

  1. Your gardens are like a busy airport with all those insects and birds, but much more beautiful and restful. I enjoyed the photos from your outing as well. Reservoirs can be wonderful places to walk, and observe plant and animal life. I agree, that is a fine lichen.

      1. Bird have been scare here, too. The California quail were finally sighted recently, though only once, and only briefly. I was wondering whether they would come through here this year at all.

  2. The low level of the main source of the town’s drinking water sends alarm bells ringing – our dams are empty! We rely entirely on water originating in LeSotho and arriving here from the Orange River via the Fish River, where it is stored and distributed to a variety of reservoirs around the town.

  3. Good to read you are tootling again. Enjoyed all the photos from your walk even though I find all reservoirs rather cold and mysterious- the lichen brightened things up though!

    1. I agree with you about reservoirs up to a point. They do tend to be a bit dead but this one is in a lovely spot and the walking was very enjoyable.

  4. Liked your header page shot.
    Surprised to see you still have a few swallows around.Even though we’re a bit further south ours have all suddenly gone earlier this week..looking forward to seeing them again next year. I believe some return to the same nest site ?
    That was a change from your usual terrain,very nice.
    Our north west news reported tonight that Haweswater which supplies some of Manchester’s water is at a dangerously low level,with the remains of the flooded village of Mardale clearly visible..Shows the lack of rain we’ve had recently.

  5. This year has simply flown by, the swallows are off south. I have to admit they have not been as noticeable this year. But I have not been out and about as much as usual, but I haven’ t noticed any congregating for the trip. I will keep a good eye out on my journey to work this evening.

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