A wet walk

Today’s guest picture comes from Langholm exile Tom in South Africa. He had good company, weather, and scenery on a recent cycle outing.

We were definitely short of good weather here, as it rained all day, not heavily but persistently. Luckily I had things to do indoors in the morning. First, I made bread in the bread maker, and then I prepared a lamb stew for the slow cooker.

After that I looked at the birds. It was hard to miss a flying chaffinch today as they were very active.

Even the ones who landed looked a bit unsteady.

One female chaffinch did settle on the plum tree . . .

. . . and other birds were more restful, including a robin, back on the feeder again . . .

. . . a pigeon on the lawn . . .

. . . and a welcome return from the brambling.

In fact, the brambling, or perhaps different bramblings who all looked the same, paid us several visits.

Then Margaret came round for coffee and we enjoyed a comfortable conversation with her.

I did venture out of the house after that, but only as far as the corner shop to get milk and butter.

An unsuccessful fly through by a sparrowhawk put paid to the small birds’ enthusiasm for visiting the feeder, so after lunch I thought that I had better take a little exercise after two quiet days. It was breezy, but not so breezy that I couldn’t take an umbrella with me. This meant that I could take a few pictures along the way without getting my camera wet.

Looking across the river as I walked down towards Skippers Bridge, I could see the mess on the far bank which has overcome the path there.. There are those who think that that path will never be re-opened because of the scale of the work required and I think that they may well be right.

Why that very tall and slender tree in the middle of the picture was not blown or knocked over too is a complete mystery.

It wasn’t a day for views as the clouds were very low, so I looked put for small things like this lichen on a wooden fence beside the river . . .

. . . which may be physcia alpolia if my research is correct.

I crossed the bridge when I got to it. . .

. . . and walked back along the track on the other side of the river. This time alder catkins, and other lichens caught my eye as I walked up to the Hungry Burn.

I left the main track to the Stubholm and scrambled up through the wood where the bluebells will appear in the course of time. Just now there was more fungus and lichen to be seen on my way to the track past the stables.

Gaskell’s walk is closed, probably permanently, because of a dangerous bridge across an ever expanding gorge, so I walked up the track to the open hill before coming down to the far end of Gaskell’s Walk at the Auld Stane Brig. This section of the walk was entirely for exercise as there was nothing to see!

When I got back to the road, I thought that I had had enough fun for one day, and took the direct route back home. I was glad to see that the drainage pipe in the new wall at Pool Corner was doing its job well.

When I got home after just under four miles of walking, there wasn’t enough light left to take a picture of the first crocuses in the garden so I had to use a flash. I will try to get a better picture tomorrow.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been working hard on a curtain while I had been out, and we sat down to enjoy a cup of tea and an oat and raisin biscuit or two to recover.

A zoom meeting with my brother and sisters rounded off the active day.

The lamb stew made for a nourishing evening meal.

The first week of February has been a very poor week for cycling, with lots of wind and some rain, but looking at the forecast, next week is going to no better, with more strong winds almost every day coupled with some overnight frosts and occasional rain. There should be some sunny intervals though. It has come as a shock after a mostly mild and mostly calm January.

The flying bird of the day is the robin, not a great picture with its wings folded, but a novelty as FBotD.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “A wet walk

  1. Too bad to be losing so many trails but I can see how much work restoring them would be.
    I liked the misty shots but it was a dark day.
    My favorite shot was of the crocuses. I’m looking forward to spring wherever it happens.

  2. A grey and misty day, but still beautiful in its own way, with many things to see. So your sparrowhawk grew hungry and noted all the activity at the feeder? We have a large hawk show up here now and then, and sometimes she goes after the neighbor’s chickens.

    That is a beautiful lichen. The macro is quite artistic.

  3. Lovely pose by the robin and great photos of the chaffinch and bramblings. Although a damp and dreary day you still found lots of interest on your walk. Love the pattern of the lichen -physcia alpolia- no less!

  4. It’s a great shame, all the damage that recent storms have caused to your walking routes. I dread to think what has befallen my local Gunpowder cyclepath route up through the Nedd Fechan gorge. Haven’t been that way for over a year now. Some good news for me here in South Wales, I have seen some improvement in my ability to bend my new knee. So a little advancement. Cheers.

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