Blown down and blown up

Today’s guest picture is another from Bruce’s visit to Sheffield. This time he saw a very helpful signpost.

We did have some more sunshine here today, but as forecast, it came with quite a lot of wind. Just after breakfast, a fierce gust blew a compost bin over, and we had to go and hide it in the lean to. With some trepidation I set out to walk around to the shop to buy milk and butter. I was quite relieved when I arrived home unscathed. Margaret bravely came out of her door, and got round to us for a cup of coffee. Thankfully, by the time she went home, the wind had dropped a little.

In spite of the wind, a good sized flock of goldfinches descended on the garden and the feeder was busy.

In fact, it got very busy with goldfinches for a while, and chaffinches barely got a look in.

I left the goldfinches to it . . .

. . . and walked up to the High Street to visit the butcher. It was still very windy, but it was warm for the time of year. The light was patchy, and little bits of sunshine lit up the the houses in Caroline Street . . .

. . . and the bridge over the Esk . . .

. . . while leaving most of the hills in the background under the clouds.

I had one of the butcher’s excellent individual steak pies for my lunch, and it gave me enough strengthto go for a walk while Mrs Tootlepedal continued to work on her curtains.

I went out with a certain amount of care, as the wind was still strong and there had been sad news of a woman killed by a falling tree in the north of Scotland earlier in the day. There were no more really heavy gusts though, and I was feeling more confident as I crossed the Sawmill Brig until I came to barriers across the Lodge Walks. When I peered up the road past the barriers, I saw this.

Along with a good number of people, I had walked under that tree yesterday. It showed how strong some of the gusts must have been. Luckily, today’s route did not take me along the Lodge Walks but up the hill and along the Baggra instead.

The foresters have recently felled all the tall trees at the start of this track, so I was on no danger today as I strolled along. The sunshine was a bit more generous by this time, as you can see, and sheltered by hedge and wall and propped up by my walking poles on slippery bits, I could look around and enjoy the views as I went.

I came down to the High Mill Brig and took the track along the banks of the Ewes Water . . .

. . . and hoped that I wouldn’t come across any fallen (or falling) trees.

I crossed the Target Burn and walked up the short but steep track that brings you out onto the open hill.

I was happy to have got out of the woods, but a bit apprehensive about encountering the full strength of the wind as I went up the hill.

I needn’t have worried as the wind was straight behind me and I was deeply grateful for the helpful hand it gave me, though I was also pleased to get out of it for a moment as I went up and down this little dip . . .

. . . as it was quite noisy.

With the helpful wind still behind me, I whistled up the path beside the wall . . .

. . . and soon found myself at the MacDiarmid Memorial at the foot of the track up to the monument.

Although conditions look quite benign in the picture above, the wind was fairly buffeting me about as I walked up the track, and I was very grateful to have my walking poles with me. It would have been far too dangerous to have been out on my bike.

I hadn’t let the wind blow all my brains away, so I didn’t go right up to the top of the hill, but turned off half way up, and took the track that goes diagonally back down the hill towards the golf course.

It was looking a bit murky ahead, and the strong wind made me keep a good eye on where I was putting my feet, so I didn’t hang about taking pictures, except for a lonely cairn . . .

. . . and my favourite group of trees, a bit thinner after the recent big storm, but with a lot still standing.

You can see the line of the Baggra, running along the bottom of the fields with the drainage ditches on the far side of the valley.

I paused for a moment to consider my options as I got further down the hill. To my right, there was weak sunshine still shining on the Ewes valley . . .

. . . but to my left, over Warbla, a different scenario was unfolding.

The camera makes it look more dramatic than it actually was, but it didn’t encourage me to add any little diversions to my walk, and I headed straight for the golf course, stopping only to acknowledge a cheerful little lichen on the wall.

Once I was on the golf course and walking down the side, sheltered by the bushes beside the Kirk Wynd, prospects looked a little brighter . . .

. . .and I had plenty of time to get home before the clouds came over. It was still quite gloomy by the time that I got to the Park Bridge though.

As I got in, Mrs Tootlepedal laid down her needle and we enjoyed a cup of tea after our various labours.

Two walks to the shops, and a vigorous five mile hike in a brisk wind gave me the feeling that I had done quite well for the day, but I had enough energy left to make a beef and carrot stew for our evening meal before I allowed the rest of the day to slip through my fingers unhindered.

The flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches doing a bit of looming up.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

32 thoughts on “Blown down and blown up

  1. I still follow but haven’t posted in a year but still am actively engaged in gardening. We just missed ground zero of this weeks nor’easter. I am tired of snow covered ground. Our gardens have been covered by snow for almost a month. I can’t wait for the ground to thaw. I am ready to create a food forest and winter garden!

  2. It sounds like you were wise to stay away from the trees and the hilltops. We had the same kind of wind here today.
    I loved seeing the landscape shots.
    That was a nice shot of the lichen too. I think I’ll have to finally break down and get a new camera to match it.

      1. It is. My unsteady hand doesn’t help but it can be a trial to get it to look at what you want it to look at. There is a manual focus but I find it fiddly and my poor eyesight doesn’t help. All the same, I think it is a brilliant little camera.

  3. I am, fully, a month behind in reading your blog, but with the aid of my own Tardis, I jumped ahead to find out what is going on in the present lol. Seems quite apt to use your quote about allowing the rest of the day to slip through your fingers. I am allowing far too many to slip through mine. Not getting anywhere. But it was good to see you are making the most of the vast majority of your day. Great to walk with your poles in the hills. By the way, her indoors has ordered a pair for me as a birthday present. I’m hoping that will ease my fears of walking downhill. Things have remained remarkably mild, here, in South Wales. Great to catch up with your travels. Cheers,

    1. I am glad that you have caught up. You won’t have missed much exciting in the last month. Life has remained very much the same for what seems like years now. I can thoroughly recommend the walking poles. If you haven’t done cross country ski-ing, they take a bit if time to get used to, but it is well worth the trouble and they are second nature to me now.

  4. The track along the bank of the Ewes Water looks quite similar to parts of southern Manitoba. As for the shot over Warbla – it looks as though a set of stone tablets are about to rain upon you! Very glad that tree you passed under didn’t rain on anyone – yikes.

  5. I enjoyed all your photos from the day. That is a very high wind you describe here, and I was saddened hear someone was killed in the north of Scotland, and to see one of the large tree blown down at The Lodge Walks. High winds and trees are a dangerous combination.

    You had a good group at the feeders tucking in for seed.

  6. Hope you counted all those birds for the Garden Bird count! Love the dramatic photo over Warbla and all the other wonderful landscape photos too. All those tracks and trails across the land and the different views all around- it is such a special area!

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