A stroll in the sun

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. On another visit to Spondon, he walked down Guzzler’s Nook. He took this picture from halfway along. He says that it looks remarkably similar in the other direction too.

After the relatively warm weather yesterday, the temperatures sank steadily over night and we were down to 5°C by 9 o’clock. And the temperature continued to go down steadily throughout the day until we are at -1°C as I write this in the evening.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off on Tarras Valley Nature Reserve business in the morning, and I idled about while she was gone. I did manage a walk to the shop and a look at the river as I went . . .

. . . and a walk round the garden when I got back.

That is a sarcococca in the bottom left frame.

This left me with time to watch the birds. They were restless, and it was a piece of cake to catch a flying chaffinch today. In fact it was hard to take a picture without one in.

Talking of pieces of cakes, I found that Parkin(son)’s law still applied.

The sun came out and although the day didn’t get any warmer, it was definitely more pleasant to be out and about, so after lunch, while Mrs Tootlepedal went back to her business, I went for a walk.

I decided to explore another favourite walk to see if it was viable, and went up Hallpath and along the track through the oak wood to Broomholmshiels.

The wood at the start of the track had been wrecked by the storm and trees in gardens had been felled too. . .

. . . but once I got onto the track, things were much calmer in spite of that split tree in the bottom picture above. Although there was some damage and occasional branches were to be seen on the ground, the oaks had survived well.

There was an occasional obstruction, but nothing that I couldn’t leap over . . .

. . . or walk round.

All things considered, it was a beautiful day for a walk among the oaks and birches.

I loved the sun shining on the green field at Longwood . . .

. . .and the final patch of the oak wood with the sun low in the sky behind it.

Once I got into the open, the strong and chilly north wind reminded me of why I hadn’t gone out cycling, and I bustled on through the farmyard and down the hill until I was in the shelter of the river valley.

Here, I looked about again on my way home, and I saw a lot more fallen trees at this low level than I had seen higher up in the woods. It definitely seems as though the winds funnelled through our narrow valleys and picked up strength as they were squeezed by the contours.

You will not be surprised that among the fallen trees I noticed some polypore fungus. It was on an old tree stump still standing.

And not every building in Langholm escaped unscathed. As the slates crashed onto a well used path, it was just as well that this happened in the night.

The sun had sunk behind the hills by the time that I was nearly home so that I was in the shade, but it was still pouring a gorgeous light onto the upper slopes of Castle Hill and Whita.

Mrs Tootlepedal got home just before me, and although it was technically too early for tea and parkin, the gathering dusk gave us an excuse and we had a cuppa and a slice of the parkin (or two in my case).

Later on, we enjoyed a Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters, including an art quiz from my sister Mary who had visited the National Gallery. She shows us pictures that she has taken of pictures, and we all say that we knew who they were painted by after she has told us the answer. It is good fun. (Sometimes some of us know before they are told.)

After an evening meal of corned beef hash, we set off in the dark and the cold to go to an augmented church choir practice ahead of our concert in the church next week. With several sopranos, two basses, two tenors and two altos, we were reasonably well balanced and we had a thoroughly enjoyable sing. We just hope that we get a few people in the audience to come and hear the results of our work. I hope that I can tempt some local readers of the blog to come out and support us next Friday evening (10th). And bring a friend. It is for a worthy cause as the proceeds will go to the organ repair fund.

The flying bird of the day is a serious minded chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “A stroll in the sun

  1. Enjoyed the pictures of the trees along your walk – lovely colours in the sunshine.
    Glad you had a good turnout for the church choir concert practice.

  2. I like the sound of your sibling zoom meetings! I am an expert at knowing quiz answers (“it’s on the tip of my tongue! Dont tell me! No, its gone) once someone provides them. I hope you get a good turn out for thd choir. Sounds very Christmassy and apt to me

  3. When we lived in Nottingham alley ways like your brother’s photo were called ‘twitchells’ – wonder if there’s a name for similar places in Scotland. Lovely day for your walk especially the light shining through the trees.

      1. Thank you for those words. Never heard of ‘wynds’ but ‘entries’ my husband from SOT tells me is used there too. It’s all interesting!

  4. The angled afternoon light at this time of year lends itself to a beautiful photo of whatever it is shining upon. The old gnarly trees have quite a bit of character to them. I think you are right about winds being more destructive as they squeeze around hills and through mountain passes. Weather comes in like a freight train up the southwest pass here.

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