Going with a bang

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He found an old railway bridge crossing the River Derwent and took a picture of it because he knows I like a bridge.

If Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, this one was a bit of a failure. We started by cycling to church and singing in the church choir. The minister likes to keep the choir on its toes, and instead of letting us all sing from the same hymn sheet, he chose different words for one hymn, and the effort of trying to sight read the tenor part of the tune from the hymn book in my hand while reading the words from the screen at the far end of the church was too much for me. I just had to sing the tune.

It began to rain as we cycled home, so we had to put on a bit of speed to get back before getting wet. We needed a coffee after all that excitement.

After coffee, I went out into the garden and cut up a fairly large branch that had fallen off our walnut tree in the recent windy weather.

We were rather short of birds at the bird feeder once again, so when I went back in, I only spent a little while at the window . . .

. . . before putting on my walking boots and going for a quick walk before my afternoon choir.

The wind was pretty brisk, so I hadn’t considered cycling, but the rain had stopped and it was a pleasant day for a walk.

I started along the river, noting how low the water is again at the Kirk Brig. I also noticed a lot of white berries on a tree beside the old tourist office, and I was pleased to see preparations going on for the night’s bonfire. It looked promising.

There was too much activity on the Kilngreen for me to spend time looking for waterside birds, so I headed off onto the road up the hill. There was more colour left than I thought that there would be, and the walk up to Hillhead and the clump of pine trees was delightful.

Here I left the road and took the track along the contour of the hill to Whita Well. Amidst some fine views back down the hill, bare trees reminded me that the year is slipping by

I was never short of fungi to look at as I went along, both beside the road, on the hill, and on the Kirk Wynd as I went back to the town.

Most were quite familiar but I was very struck by the little clump of red fungus. It was unusual.

There was other colour about, a bush covered in haws, the first gorse of the late season and several small but bright red lichens on a wall.

The green grass of the Kirk Wynd as it drops back into the town looked very inviting.

After two barren lockdown years, I hope that we will all be able to come here on the last Friday of next July, and once again see the cornet and his mounted followers galloping up the hill to the cheers of the townspeople.

The river was looking lovely when I came to down to it and crossed the suspension bridge.

I had a look round the garden when I got home and found more colour there than I was expecting.

Mrs Tootlepedal was out gardening but I couldn’t hang around, and I went in to have a late lunch.

After lunch, I went off to the Carlisle choir where we had an excellent sing in spite of the masks and the social distancing. It will be a treat when we can stand close enough properly to hear each other sing. Our conductor does all she can to make us enjoy the present circumstances and she does it very well.

I got home in time to have a cup of tea and a slice of toast before going out to see how well the bonfire builders had done. The Langholm Pipe Band led a substantial crowd up the High Street . . .

. . . and when everyone was assembled on the Kilngreen, the flame was lit. The bonfire builders had done their job well.

The glare lit up the trees on the other side of the river.

Then they let off the fireworks. (Click on a picture in the gallery for the full excitement of the occasion.)

They finished with a big bang and everyone went home very satisfied.

I had a late evening meal, complete with the last of our apples which Mrs Tootlepedal had stewed. She had made some custard too, and I reflected that in a properly constituted world, there would be stewed apples and custard every night. I hope that we get a better spring for apple flower pollination next year.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Going with a bang

  1. I thought those were great shots of the fireworks. That isn’t at all easy to do.
    The views were beautiful. I love those treeless hills even though it isn’t natural.
    That was quite a fire! I’m glad everything went well.

  2. I thought Guy Fawkes day was November 5. I assume the bonfire was for that celebration, but today seems to be November 7. Is it like many US holidays, where they adjust the day of celebration so it’s on the weekend?

  3. Your hillsides look far more civilized than what we have here. Even though that drop back into the town looked pretty steep to me.
    And oh! the bonfire and the Langholm Pipe Band! And fire works as well! How exciting!

  4. That’s one way to get rid of unwanted pallets! Beautiful fireworks – it must be difficult to get a night shot with such brilliantly contrasting light.

  5. Love the pipe band and the bonfire! All the fireworks – gunpowder, treason and plot – makes sense on your side of the globe. Here it just sets stuff on fire!

    1. I don’t think that we have a strong feelings about gunpowder, treason and plot any more, it is more just a cheerful autumn festival as the nights get longer. After the recent rain, we were pretty safe from unintentional fire raising.

  6. Thanks to both the drought and the pandemic there were no fireworks here this year. Your photographs of the bangs, whizz and pops are very good.

  7. I enjoyed all the photos from the day. I hope you are able to see the Common Riding next year. There is still so much to see in the area, and I am in awe of those wide views of the countryside. How many kilometers to the nearest town from Langholm?

    And the flowers bloom on, or at least some of them. The lichen photos remind me that I should check on my patch of cladonia on the stump again.

    1. We are 16 miles from the very north of Carlisle, our nearest big town to the south of us, and 18 to 23 miles away from towns to the north and west of us, so to a degree we are in the middle of nowhere and very pleased to be there as we rely on ourselves for a lot.

  8. Well, TP, I’ve never seen a bonfire made like that before – how neat and tidy. Was it all pallets, or did it have a woody debris core. As always some gorgeous photos, particularly your firework images which are superb, and prompts me to ask what camera you use? I struggle with anything at night with mine,
    best wishes

    1. The bonfire was extremely clean as it burnt with very little smoke so I think it must have been almost pallets. The header picture of the river was taken on my Samsung phone using ‘night’ mode. Most of the fireworks pictures were taken on my LUMIX TZ80. I had a Nikon D7000 with me but didn’t have time to work on the settings to get good results. They all went through Photoshop which improved them quite a bit.

      1. I am always going to go up the hill on a clear cold night and try to take long exposures with my Nikon, but somehow, I never quite manage to go.

  9. Great photos with lots of autumn colour in the countryside, fantastic colour and patterns in the fireworks and colourful flowers in the garden…good to be back from Canada reading your post again!

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