In the swing

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. His picture looks like a big pipe but is in fact a bridge over a main road.

We woke to another generally sunny day here, and this left the feeders in the shadows after breakfast.

There was a decidedly cool air as I walked up to town to visit the monthly market in the High Street. Having spent a small fortune on honey and fish, I scampered home before I bankrupted myself with any more treats.

After coffee with Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret, I walked back up to the town, as I had been asked to take some photographs at an Hugh MacDiarmid exhibition in the Welcome to Langholm office which are to be sent to the local paper. On my way, I noticed a male goosander swimming in the Esk.

At the Welcome to Langholm office among others, I took this photographs of two of the men behind the exhibition, Sandy Moffat and Alan Riach, standing in front of a striking picture by Ruth Nicol, who couldn’t be present as she is recovering from Covid.

On my way home, I saw the goosander again, and taking its picture from a different angle turned its head from black to green

The lack of meaningful rain is beginning to really show in our rivers, and the Wauchope as it runs along Caroline Street, is a mere trickle.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went for a walk. As she has not done it before, we decided to try the circular route from the bird hide down the road to the Tarras Bridge, then along the far side of the river, and finally back up to the bird hide by way of the swing bridge.

It is not a long walk at under three miles, but it is very varied and feels quite adventurous at times.

This was the walk down to the Tarras.

We crossed the bridge . . .

. . . and I recorded the moss on the parapet.

These were the sights on our way to the swing bridge.

When we got to it, I sent Mrs Tootlepedal across the swing bridge first to check that it was safe for me to cross, and she refrained from running, swinging or bungee jumping.

Once we got to the other side of the bridge, the sun came out as we crossed the flat ground to the bottom of the hill. It was a steep climb up the hill, although the picture makes it look quite easy, and we stopped for a snack while sitting on a fallen branch half way up.

We were sheltered from the wind and it felt positively warm in the sun by the time that we got to the road back to the bird hide. We looked back up the Tarras Valley . . .

. . . and ahead towards the bird hide, and we were impressed by the cloudscapes in both directions.

The dark clouds stayed away from us though, and it was a very clear day as we approached the hide and looked south to the English fells.

We sat for a while in the hide, and watched birds visiting the well filled feeders. Pictured are a coal tit and a great tit.

Then we drove home feeling very blessed to have had such good weather for an interesting walk.

I had a quick scout round the garden while Mrs Tootlepedal put the kettle on for a cup of tea. New flowers were to be seen in the shape of a dicentra and a lamium . . .

. . . while an ornamental fruit tree snaked up a cane and a poppy was nearly brave enough to open its petals wide.

After our cup of tea, I set the bread machine to produce a panettone for us. The brioche had worked so well that it seemed that a panettone would work well too. A quick test in the middle of writing this post confirmed that the bread machine has international baking skills.

It looks as though our cold but sunny spell will come to an end tomorrow, with some grey and windier weather on the way next week, so it was most satisfactory that we got such an enjoyable walk in today while the going was good.

I refilled the feeder and took a set of fine flying bird pictures in the late afternoon, but as I managed to wipe them all off the camera card, the best flying bird that I can find today is a siskin in a crowd (and the shadows) this morning.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “In the swing

  1. I like the coal seams in your header photo. I hope nobody ever comes along wanting to dig.
    Beautiful shots of the moss spore capsules. I keep forgetting to look for them not that flowers are blooming.
    I clench up just looking at that bridge over the stream. It’s not the safest looking bridge I’ve seen.

    1. We went over the little bridge very carefully indeed. Quite recently there have been great plans for open cast coal mining and explorations for gas too in our area as there is a big coal field underneath us. Luckily they seem to have come to nothing.

  2. The coal seam is beautiful!

    I read and enjoyed the LI newsletter. I’m very impressed by the amount of work done by that organization. It’s heartening to read of such groups that work to safeguard the interests of a community. Langholm and its surrounds are in capable hands.

    1. There is a lot of work going at the moment, I agree. But the town needs more work still if we are to keep our shops going and offer useful employment to younger people.

  3. Another comment from the Coal Seam Appreciation Society. I wouldn’t have thought something as mundane-sounding as “coal seam” could contain such beauty! That’s why we need photographers and writers, to help us see and seek out that which we would otherwise miss. Thanks as always for sharing the beauty from your corner of the world.

  4. That coal seam is a treasure trove. How many milennia it took to meet the eye today! Thanks for showing.

  5. Hope the coal seam stays intact for all to enjoy in the future- with energy charges so high etc…! A lovely walk over those old tracks and bridges. The smaller one looked a bit perilous! Great cloudscapes!

  6. The coal seam is beautiful. It reminds me of driving through parts of Kentucky where the road cuts through them.

    I enjoyed the virtual walk, and always tarry at the wide views. It looks like there is still some snow in the upper elevations. The season is slowly moving forward with more color and form.

    1. There was a little snow about and there may be be a bit more at the end of the week. Things are moving slowly which is no bad thing as an early spring can be easily undone by a late frost.

      1. Our pear tree often blooms too early. It has been cool enough this spring we may hopefully be out of danger. I did see a forecast for possible snow this coming weekend, which has me a little worried.

  7. I am sat here waiting to chauffeur her indoors to mass. Once that has been done I will be off for a pedal myself. Just local I am afraid maybe 10 or so miles, nowhere near one of your 50 plus efforts. Probably, because I keep forgetting to make marmalade and banana sandwiches. Even though I obviously need their recuperative power. I saw dozens of cyclists yesterday because there was some kind of event on. Same again today, no doubt. Cheers.

      1. No need to sell me on bananas and orange marmalade sandwiches, just love them. It’s got to be orange marmalade and a Scottish variety. Cheers.

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