Today’s guest picture comes from my Manitoba correspondent Mary Jo. She is on a visit to British Columbia, and sent me this fine shot of a lake between Vernon and Coldstream.
It was snowing heavily when we went to bed last night, so we were both pleased and surprised to wake up to a sunny day without a flake of snow to be seen. The crocuses were very pleased too.
And I expect that this pair of jackdaws in the walnut tree were quite pleased as well.
Even the oxalis on the indoor windowsill seemed happy.
Margaret popped round for coffee, and then I had another look round the garden. Nancy, my archiving friend, who had come round earlier with some more sheets of entries for the newspaper database, had been very struck by the crocuses, so I went to have another look.
Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a bee on a snowdrop and I found some more crocuses . . .
. . . and some more bees (or bee look alikes).
It felt very springlike, in spite of a chilly wind.
The strength of the wind kept me off my bicycle in the morning, and after lunch, I had a choice. I could wait to see if the forecast was correct and the wind dropped later in the afternoon, in which case a cycle ride would be fine, or I could get impatient, not trust the forecast, and go out for a walk while the going was good. Walking into a wind is much more fun than cycling into one and I was impatient, so I put my boots on and went for a walk.
I didn’t regret my choice, even though the wind did drop and a later cycle ride would have been quite possible.
It was a perfect day for a walk, and I took so many pictures as I walked the circular route round Whita Hill that I have put them into galleries over which the discerning reader may skip at speed. Readers with time hanging heavy on their hands may click to get the bigger picture.
Gallery one: Going up the road to the White Yett and onto the moor:
Gallery Two: Going across the moor
I met some charming animals on my way down to the crossing of the Tarras Water.
There were a lot of goats waiting for me in the field that I had to cross to get to the bridge . . .
. . . but they were not bothered by me at all, and kept grazing quietly as I walked past. They may be wild goats but they are not fierce wild goats.
I crossed the bridge as there was far too much water to think of using the ford.
Gallery three: Crossing the Tarras:
Then I walked up to the track from Perterburn to Cronksbank.
Gallery four: The other side of Tarras water:
I recrossed the Tarras Water below Rashiel and took the road up to the bird hide. I sat for a while in the hide, eating ginger biscuits and Medjool dates to get up strength for the final miles.
Gallery five: The bird hide side:
As I sat in the hide, I got the opposite of a birds eye view.
. . . and there was a welcome number of birds to view. Volunteers have been keeping the feeders filled.
I had another choice when I left the bird hide, should I go back by the road beside the river, or by the track through the woods? I chose the woods . . .
Gallery six: Going home:
This time, I did have some regret about my choice of route. The sun had come again, and walking through the woods is always a treat visually, but the recent rain had made the tracks very boggy in parts, and I had to keep my head down and my eyes on where I was going to the extent that I couldn’t enjoy the scenery as much as I would have liked.
Still, I survived without slipping over and getting muddy, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad choice after all.
The Esk has gone down a lot since yesterday, but it was still in a lively mode when I came to cross the suspension bridge, just before getting home.
I took things very easily as I walked round, conscious that I had had a hard time walking two miles yesterday. But that was a cold and rainy day, and this was a day to lift the spirits. I managed to cover just under ten miles today at a sensible speed without any difficulty. The mind is a wonderful thing.
A good day ended with a cheerful Zoom with my brother and sisters. My brother reported that Derby is suffering from serious flooding, so once again, we thanked our lucky stars that Langholm has been spared the worst of the bad weather.
The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch. (I would have liked to have had a fine bird from my moorland walk to show you, but as I specially took my bird camera with me, it is needless to say that I didn’t see a single bird of interest, or indeed of any sort at all.