Hitting the heights and down in the dumps

Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s recent walk. She came across this old lime kiln.


Today was a marked contrast to yesterday. As a result, there are too many pictures in today’s post for which I apologise, but I got carried away by a glimpse of the sun and the chance to get outside.

There are still very few birds in the garden so instead of hanging about watching the feeder, I went for a walk. And as there was little breeze to hinder me, I went for a walk up a hill.

On the way to the hill, I passed lichens and fungi . . .

. . . and a number of signs of the recent storm.

As I strolled up the track on the open hill, I stopped to look back several times to enjoy the lifting clouds, the play of light and shadow on the hills behind me, and then forward to the green road to the summit in front of me.

I was very sad to see damage to some of the very few trees on this part of the hill.

They are old friends who have appeared on the blog often.

It is a tribute to its manufacturers and installers that the mast on the summit seems to have withstood the storm . . .

. . . though judging by the fact the both phone and television services were cut off for a while, maybe the dishes and aerials weren’t quite so lucky. Everything seems to be working now.

I was still able to enjoy light and shade when I looked around from the summit.

I was quite lucky because, as you can see, many of the surrounding hills had a thick layer of cloud sitting on their summits.

The ground was drier than I had expected, so I was able to walk down the far side of the hill across rough ground without getting my feet very wet or falling into a boggy patch.

Once again, I looked around as I went. It really was a very pleasant day for a walk in December.

The sun finally went completely behind the clouds as I came down to the track at Skipperscleuch, and although I saw a bright little lichen on a wall . . .

. . . the devastated wood above the main road south out of town was rather sombre.

The works at Skippers Bridge continue. They contractors have now built a fence behind a fence on top of the wall. It is hard to know what is going on.

I got home just in time to have lunch before going out again. This time we went by car, and took a selection of garden and household rubbish to the municipal dump near Annan. As it is about twenty miles away, Mrs Tootlepedal filled the little car as full as she could before we set off.

The dump is well run and the staff are very helpful, so as usual, it was a pleasure to visit it. I don’t have any pictures as Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that pictures of a waste disposal facility might be too exciting for older readers of the blog.

We came home by way of the outlet shopping village at Gretna where I topped up my supplies of walking socks and bought a very expensive merino vest. “Do you have vests?” “Oh no sir, we have base layers.” It looked like a vest to me, so I bought it.

We drove a little bit down the road and parked in the hope of seeing a murmuration of starlings. The starlings had been seen here last month, but they must have moved on as we saw the Solway, a light plane . . .

. . . and a perfect sky for starling spotting, but no murmuration.

We got home in time for a cup of tea and a slice of toast before the regular Zoom meeting with my siblings. They were anxious to find out what Boris was going to say about further Covid restrictions in England, so we ended a little earlier than usual. This gave Mrs Tootlepedal and me time for a relaxed evening meal of scrambled eggs and baked beans before we went out for the final practice with the augmented church choir before our concert on Friday.

I can recommend this concert to any local blog readers who are not busy doing other things, as the concert will be short and it is for a good cause, our organ repair fund. It should be quite pleasant to listen to as well.

The flying birds of the day are a bunch of starlings who flew past us on their way to murmurate somewhere else.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

39 thoughts on “Hitting the heights and down in the dumps

  1. I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a vest, thinking it might free up your arms when walking. Since I’ve never worn one though, I don’t know if that is true or not.
    Loved seeing the landscape shots. Too bad about so many fallen trees. Nature does what it will but sometimes it’s hard to see.
    That’s a great macro of the lichen. Even I can see the red on that one.

    1. This vest has long sleeves and is worn under a shirt so perhaps that is why it is called a base layer. It is not a vest like an armless waistcoat which is maybe what you are thinking of. Language may be confusing us here.

  2. Merino – you won’t regret the purchase. Light, warm, basically self-cleaning, and long wearing. The only thing better is the merino/silk/possum blend that you can get in New Zealand – but that’s a long way to go for a vest/base layer!

  3. Beautiful scenery, a reminder of the powerful forces of nature, and I have learned that a vest is no longer a vest … a rose by any other name …

  4. I enjoyed al the photos from your day, especially the views from the hills. It is hard to bear so many trees down, though. They do become old friends.

    Your starling photo reminded me I don’t remember seeing any murmurations of them here this year. Usually I see a few while crossing the valley.

    1. We used to see hundreds of thousands of birds not so many years ago but the murmuration has got smaller and smaller until now it has disappeared.

  5. Congrats to the possibility of visiting a good dump. We here in Solingen have such a facility and a great service since in 1901 the waste bins were introduced. The persons working there are too seldom thanked for their good work.

  6. Love all the views over that amazing countryside indeed a beautiful day for a walk in December. Sad to see those solitary trees gone with the wind- thank goodness you have recorded them in previous posts. Walking socks arrived here today, present for daughter, bought online, base/liner/socks…they are so thin!!! Who wears a base sock under a sock?

  7. Liked your description of the fallen trees as being like old friends,I know what you mean..but at least you have some photographs to preserve their memory.
    Some superb landscapes shots today. Liked your flying birds of the day. I wouldn’t be able to tell they were starlings.
    Made some potato,parsnip and carrot soup today,with the addition of some leeks and tomatoes that needed using up.
    I wizz mine up in a blender and finish it off with some white sauce at the end to make it a kind of ‘cream’ soup.
    Very nice it was too 👍

    1. The white sauce adds a touch of class to a ‘what’s lying about’ soup.

      I am pretty sure that they were starlings but they were a long way away from me.

      We hope that the hawthorn might come again from the truncated stump.

  8. Re the Kernigal wood looking bare…After our big storm of December 2007, a NW Oregon coast neighborhood called Surf Pines got the nickname Surf Pine, because they lost so many of their beach pines.

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