The hills are alive . . .

Today’s guest picture comes from Paul, my Lancashire correspondent, who is currently in the Lake District. He visited Levens Hall, famous for its topiary.

We had a fine, warm but pretty windy day here. Mrs Tootlepedal spent a lot of it in the garden, but she found time after coffee with Margaret to cycle a mile up the road with me, and explore the hillside above Bessie Bells. It was covered in bluebells.

It was wonderful to wander along the hillside among the flowers, but it would take a better photographer than me to be able to convey properly the scene to people who weren’t there. I did my best.

The eye sweeps over the whole hillside, while the camera just takes in one small portion at a time.

There are some very ancient and rather bent and battered hawthorns on the steep slopes . . .

. . . and I combined both a hawthorn and bluebells in a single shot.

I was surprised to spot a peacock butterfly among the bluebells.

Before we cycled home, I took the opportunity to cross the road and scramble down the river bank. The recent rain has put a little power into the Wauchope Water cascade.

The sunny weather was bringing out the best in the garden flowers today . . .

. . . and we are getting some colourful corners developing.

I got a birds eye view of the front lawn from an upstairs window. The damage inflicted by the jackdaws on the grass is very evident.

After lunch, while Mrs Tootlepedal was busy weeding and tidying in the garden, I went for a walk up Whita.

Whether it is because there are more aeroplanes flying, or because of the air conditions of the day, the sky seemed very busy.

I walked up to the monument at the top of the hill, and then took the track along the ridge towards the south. If it had been a less hazy day, the view would have been extensive. As it was, it was still impressive to stand on the very last of the border hills and look over the Solway plain.

I followed a track made by the local mountain biking community as I went down the side of the hill.

It starts gently enough, but the slopes are steep and the track twists, curves, leaps and swoops its way down the hill. I staggered, wobbled, slid and stumbled my way down, but arrived safely at the bottom, enjoying the views when I had time to look up . . .

. . .and admiring the fine oak at the old railway line . . .

. . . before coming down the steps to Skippers Bridge. The view from the bridge confirmed that we are at peak green.

I kept my eyes open for flowers as I went up and down the hill.

As I walked home along the Murtholm track, by happy chance I met Mark, a blog reader who had kindly sent me details of two interesting hill walks. We agreed that we would try one of them together in early June if we can find a suitable day with suitable weather. I am looking forward to the challenge, as it is a demanding walk.

I got home in time for a cup of tea and an oatmeal and raisin biscuit before the regular Zoom meeting with my brother and sisters.

After a light evening meal, Mrs Tootlepedal chose a testing ten mile route over the hill and through the Gates of Eden for our evening cycle ride. Luckily, the electric bikes make testing routes like this good fun, and we had a very enjoyable outing. I only stopped once for a picture. It shows the view that you see when you have passed through the Gates of Eden and are looking down into the Ewes valley.

We got round the ten miles in just under and hour, and that rounded off a very interesting and rewarding day.

I had very little time to watch the birds, but I did spot a siskin and a redpoll exchanging views in the morning . . .

. . .and in the afternoon, I managed to find a pigeon willing to model as flying bird of the day.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “The hills are alive . . .

  1. The hillside of bluebells is easily one of the most beautiful things that I’ve seen.
    I see you also found some poet’s daffodils. You can tell them by the red around the cup, which is why they’re also called pheasant eye daffodils. I haven’t seen any yet this year.
    It was nice to see the garden from upstairs.

  2. I think, while your pictures were nothing to be sneezed at, it is refreshing that some things just have to be seen in the first person to be truly appreciated.

  3. The flying pigeon is an excellent image, as for those bluebells … you have conveyed enough to convince me that they collectively make a beautiful sight. It is good to read that you and Mrs T are making a lot of use of your electric bikes – what a satisfying way to end a good day!

  4. I know how hard it is to capture a landscape in a way that conveys what you felt when you were there. I think the title does it as well as the pictures. There is a lovely meadow about an hours drive from my home that is similarly hard to capture; lush grass, lovely flowers, and magnificent peaks in every direction. It’s name? Julie Andrews meadow. One could almost say (or sing), “The Hills are Alive…”

    One wonders about the “Gates of Eden”. The name suggests that Eden ought to be on either one side or the other of those gates. Which is it? Do you live in Eden, or merely visit there from time to time?

    1. I think that it may depend on whether you live in Eskdale or Ewesdale as to which side of the gates you think the Garden of Eden lies. 🙂

      I would like to see your meadow.

  5. Wonderful photos of the bluebells and the bluebells with the hawthorn tree is special! The aerial view of the garden is splendid- really lovely plantings and design. Pigeon photo is perfect!

  6. I agree, the bluebells make a stunning image on that hillside. It is looking quite nice there as the season progresses. I am glad you had some sun to enjoy. We have had a quite a variety of weather today, including hail.

  7. Now that’s some fancy topiary!!! Makes me think of the Disney cartoon from Alice in Wonderland!
    And your bluebell scenes are delightful (though we all know that the camera doesn’t begin to do such scenes their due.)

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