Today’s guest picture is for those worrying that the sun may have stopped shining in East Wemyss. Tony sent me this scene today to reassure you, and added himself in too.
Rather surprisingly, we had a pretty good day here. It was a bit warmer than yesterday, and quite a lot windier, but the forecast rain passed us by and we had a very welcome sunny day. It was rather hazy though. I took a picture of a hellebore which looked very cheerful. . .
. . . but when I walked up to have coffee with Sandy and looked back over the town, a thin haze was drifting over the scene, and it took the edge off the sunshine.
Sandy was a bit fed up, and after having two serious operations in quick succession, it was no surprise to hear that he is finding the process of recovery a real trial of patience. However, we hope that he will be fit enough to walk down to have coffee with us next week.
There was plenty of avian activity in the garden when I got home, with starlings in the holly tree . . .
. . . and the sky above full of raucous jackdaws.
I couldn’t take feeder pictures in the morning as I gave the feeder a thorough wash and had to give it time to dry out.
While I was waiting to hang it up again, I dug up a couple of leeks from the garden, and made leek and potato (and carrot and sweet pepper) soup for lunch. This sort of soup is called Ciai Soup (chuck it all in). It was very tasty.
After lunch, I hung up the feeder and a small squad of chaffinches came to try it out.
Mrs Tootlepedal is slightly under the weather at the moment and was having a quiet day, so I went out for a walk by myself.
I thought that I would look to see if there were still cattle on Meikleholm Hill. Just as I got to the open hill, I met a knowledgeable couple who told me that the cattle had been taken off the hill on Sunday, and wouldn’t be back until they had had their calves. This was good news, and I took the contour route round the hill and up to the gate at the col with confidence.
It was a good day for a walk. The going is easy at this time of the year, with little growth on the hill, and the ground was remarkably dry. It isn’t the time of year for views of green hills though, and the view from the gate was further muted by the haze which you can see in the background to the picture.
It gave my walk a rather other worldly feel, with everything looking a bit more distant than it is in real life.
The views from the top of Timpen at 1000 ft were similarly low key.
The wind was very brisk, with the basic wind at 18 mph and frequent gusts over 30 mph, but fortunately this was not a nuisance, as it was more or less straight behind me, and blew me up the hill in a most helpful way.
It was so helpful that I continued along the ridge to the Black Knowe, where more misty views were to be had, including a rather unusual view of the Gates of Eden as I started down the hill.
That last photograph makes the descent to the valley look alarmingly steep, but it is quite gentle if you choose a sensible route, which I did. I enjoyed the sight of the big house at Craigcleuch . . .
. . . and I came safely down to the sheep fold above my road home.
As the sun had gone in by this time, I thought that a black and white study of the walls of the fold might be in order.
When I got to the road, I was rewarded for good route choice by finding that I was almost totally sheltered from the wind. I had a very easy stroll back down the hill to Langholm. On the way, I noted a scarlet elf cap and a dandelion . . .
. . . the only bits of colour that I saw on the whole walk.
The sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal had told me that I didn’t have to go far to find pixie cup lichens as there was a good set in the garden. When I got back, I had a look, and she was quite right (of course).
The Strava app on my phone kindly keeps a record of where I have walked in case I forget.
It also tells me that I walked 4.94 miles and climbed 796 ft in 1 hr 38 mins. Considering how hard I found my cycle ride yesterday, my legs found the walking amazingly enjoyable today. I only spent three minutes taking photos, and had no other stops.
A cup of tea and two oatmeal and raisin biscuits rounded off an excellent afternoon.
Our quiet evening in was enhanced by watching the highlights of stage three of the Paris – Nice bike race. Sandy had told me that this was on terrestrial TV.
The forecast is for a windier and eventually wetter day tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be wrong about the rain again.
The flying birds of the day are some of the jackdaws above the garden.