Stretching my legs

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. In the course of his work, he passed a rugby ground in the middle of Edinburgh which had some unusual visitors. It is not often that you see curlews and oystercatchers on the playing field.

We had a cool and mostly sunny day here today. It was another day that felt colder than it should have done according to the thermometer. A brisk wind may have been the reason for that. Sandy walked down for a cup of coffee and commented on how cold it was in spite of the sunshine.

We were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret and then Sandy walked home again.

After Sandy left, I took a moment to watch the birds before rejoining Margaret and Mrs Tootlepedal. After a quiet day yesterday, it was a busy time at the feeder today.

I had another look after Margaret had gone . . .

. . . and found a siskin dropping food on the ground as they often do.

Then, since the sun was shining, I had a tour round the garden.

After my garden tour, it started to rain so I waited for a while before going round to the corner shop on my bicycle. It was cold and windy enough to persuade me to take a sheltered walk after lunch rather than trying to battle the wind on a bike ride.

Mrs Tootlepedal had arranged to drive Margaret up to see the snowdrops, so I went off by myself after they had gone.

I had hardly got out of the back door before it started to rain again. I say rain, but it was more like light hail. Fortunately, it didn’t last for more than a few minutes, and by the time that I was walking along the park wall, it had stopped.

I stopped too to admire some pixie cup lichen.

I walked fairly briskly down to Skippers Bridge, and then took the road to Glentarras without stopping to take any bridge pictures. It was a beautiful day again by this time . . .

. . . and when I came to wall beside the road up to Broomholm . . .

. . . I paused to look at items of interest (to me at least).

Just past the old railway bridge, I found the first scarlet elfcups that I have seen this year.

I walked to the top of the hill and then down the other side into the Tarras Valley. Here, I crossed the river . . .

. . . and followed the track along the far bank.

I passed the great heap of stuff that the volunteers have been removing from the wood over the past three weeks . . .

. . . and headed along the flat . . .

. . . to the path through the woods that I had had such difficulty following when I came along it in the opposite direction a week or two ago. I took a lot of pictures looking both backwards and forwards as I went to help me remember what the route looks like next time that I do it the other way.

After an enjoyable wander up through the wood, I found myself back down beside the river, and the ‘swing bridge’.

Once again, I resisted any temptation to bungee jump. I walked soberly over the bridge, and headed across the flat and up the bank on the far side.

The climb up the banking is short but steep, and currently made more complicated than it should be by fallen trees. Crawling under one tree, I came up close and personal with some fine moss.

I had my walking poles with me, which were a great help, and arrived safely at the road to the bird hide. When I got to the hide, I sat inside for a few minutes to get my breath back, look at some chaffinches and the view, and have a snack.

Clouds were coming up from the west as I left the hide . . .

. . . and the sight of another little snow/hail shower looming up over the hill lent wings to my feet as I headed for the shelter of the oak woods and the track back to town.

I made the woods before the shower arrived. It was very light and didn’t last long.

I was sorry to see that one of the old oaks has been blown down at Jenny Noble’s Gill . . .

. . . but this seemed to be the only one, and the rest of the track was in very good condition.

I was on well trodden ground by now and kept my camera in my pocket for the rest of the walk, concentrating on getting home before it got too gloomy and cold.

My route app tells me that I did seven and a quarter miles on this walk, but it was so varied and interesting that it didn’t seem as far as that. The time passed very agreeably.

The rest of the day followed a well worn path too; tea and biscuits, a family zoom, the third (and final) appearance of the slow cooked lamb stew, and a little sofa surfing in front of the telly.

The flying bird of the day is a siskin.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Stretching my legs

  1. Your first two pictures are very impressive in their different ways. And you’re going to need an impressive lorry to remove all that stuff from the wood !

      1. Sometimes the hardest part of cleaning up debris is getting rid of it at the end. It’s been hard work removing it, and it looks very heavy sitting there. The barrels might make good rain barrels.

  2. The scarlet elf cups are very pretty.

    The pile of garbage is impressive evidence of a lot of hard work. You might be able to make a bit of money selling the caged totes – reconditioned ones here sell for at least $200.00 CAD. It would be nice to think you could make enough to pay to haul the pile away.

  3. That might be rose moss that you found, but I’m not sure. If so that would be a nice find. It’s rare here.
    Nice scarlet elf cups, too. That’s another rare one here.
    The blue crocus was my favorite. I’d love to see a field full of them.

    1. I think that the most was almost certainly just common or garden sphagnum. We have got a sharp frost coming tonight so the crocuses may go into retreat. The elf cups are quite common here (if you know where to look).

  4. When the sun comes out and the first flowers start to grow in our gardens, we feel that spring is on its way…
    unbelievable how much rubbish people throw in the woods !

  5. A true stretch of the legs in every sense, great sights to see, in variable weather. As always thank you for sharing. Cheers.

  6. The pixie cup lichens and others in the genus Cladonia are among my favorites. Seems like good weather for moss and lichens, though on the cold side again. We are back in a drier stretch of weather here. I did find the hazelnut blooms out back.

  7. Wonderful to see the new players on the playing field-haven’t seen a curlew for years around here! Seeing the pixie cups and Scarlet elf cups on your lovely walk was a bonus.

  8. What a fantastic walk, made that much more so by the variable light. I imagine the “swing” bridge does just that. The flying siskin is beautiful.

  9. It seems your Siskins are as messy as ours!
    The Pixie cups are marvelous!
    Thank you as well for the pics of the elfcups. I found some on a recent walk here and couldn’t identify them!
    Had to chuckle at the thought of you bungee jumping off the bridge. 😏

    1. The siskins are exceedingly messy because the sunflower seeds are too big for their beaks. I should have niger seed for them but it makes an even bigger mess!

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