Today’s guest picture comes from my Lancashire correspondent Paul. He is on holiday in the Lake District and had a splendid day today for enjoying views of the Kentmere Fells.
My plan for the day, which involved enjoying wall to wall sunshine, coffee with Sandy and a mid length cycle ride, was an excellent plan and would have undoubtedly come to fruition if it hadn’t been extremely misty rather than sunny, and a very miserly -0.5°C at breakfast time.
There were justified hopes that the mist might burn off and that the temperature could rise, as some blue sky could be seen if you looked straight up. Sadly, the mist hadn’t read the script, and it was still all over the town when I walked up the hill to have coffee with Sandy.
Sandy and I had a good chat, and I was happy to learn that he is expecting to go in for the operation on his other leg early next month. It will be good when he is clear of problems and on the road to a full recovery.
The mist was obviously sticking to the valley bottom because the sun came out while we chatted and when I left, it lit up Sandy’s gatepost and its associated items of interest . . .
. . . but it was still misty when I got back home. Mrs Tootlepedal was having coffee with Margaret, and while they chatted, I had a look at the birds.
We could still see the blue sky straight above the town, so when Margaret left, I suggested a drive up to the White Yett to Mrs Tootlepedal to check if we could rise above the clouds and look down on mist filled valleys below us.
Once again my plan was good, and it went well as far as getting up to the start of the track up to the monument and looking back down the Ewes Valley.
Once again though, the best laid plan went agley, and as we walked up the track, the mist walked up faster and engulfed us. Soon there was no sign of the monument ahead of us . . .
. . . and although we could look back and be above the cloud . . .
. . . we were soon in thick mist and the only thing to be seen was a curious sheep beside the track.
Occasionally we could get a glimpse of the monument as the clouds swirled about, but it was only when we got to the summit of the hill, that we finally got into the clear.
It was even quite warm in the sunshine and we stopped for a while and enjoyed what views we could see above the thick river of mist rolling up the valley.
As we went back down the hill, the river of mist subsided a little and we could see both over it and under it at the same time.
I stopped the car on the way back down the road to finish off our misty trip with a shot of my favourite trees.
The mist had sunk well down by this time, but the town was still misty when we got home. With the mist being quite thick and the temperature in the garden being 1°C, cycling looked an improbable dream. However, while I was tucking into soup with bread and Brussels pate, the mist thinned and the thermometer rocketed up to 4°C.
There had been no sign of ice on the track to the monument, so I took my courage in both hands, hoping that the mist would continue to thin and the thermometer would stay up, and went for a cycle ride.
The start of the ride could not have gone better, and the sun was shining when I came to the Glencorf Burn.
I wasn’t foolhardy though, and jinked about so that I could get my twenty miles in without ever being more than 6 miles from home. This was in case the temperature dropped as the sun went down and left me in danger of evening ice. In fact it was ice free at the top of Callister where the tractor driver is completing his abstract art work entitled ‘Life Has Many Branches’ . . .
. . . and it was still 3° as I went back towards Langholm. The mist was gathering again as I went back down the road . . .
. . . and by the time that I got to the Sawmill Brig (while I was adding a little coda to my trip to bring up the twenty miles), the sun was setting and the mist was rising over the Castleholm.
In the end, I got home more or less precisely at the official sunset time, so I was very grateful to have managed to squeeze the ride in. Along with my coffee with Sandy, my walk with Mrs Tootlepedal, and the many misty pictures, it had been a much better day than had looked likely at one time.
As the temperature has dropped to below freezing again as I write this, we may well have the same scenario tomorrow, with a nervous wait to see if the day clears up enough for another pedal.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch homing in on the feeder.