Today’s guest picture comes from my walking guide Mark. It shows David and me taking the straight and narrow way on our walk today.
As you can see from Mark’s picture, we got a lovely day for our ten mile walk today. It was quite hard work, with some rough ground across the hill as well as the long straight uphill road. In addition, it involved basically walking gently uphill for eight miles and only getting the downhill right at the end of the walk.
I won’t go through the walk with a blow by blow account. Suffice it to say that we walked out for five miles at a low level and came back by way of the top of the ridge above the Wauchope valley. I didn’t have my camera settings right for the conditions so I took a lot rather dull pictures on the way. I will rush through some of them here with a minimal commentary.
David and I met with Mark at his house after breakfast and we set off to go to Old Irvine along the hillside above the Esk, and then take the forestry track up to the Kerr crossroads.
There was a bit of route finding to do and some rough ground to cross before we got to Old Irvine. I took this picture looking back, as the light was better in that direction.
I liked the shadow of bracken on a lichen covered rock.
We could look across the valley and the moor to Tinnis Hill, the target of our last walk together. The weather was a lot better today.
We saw creeping yellowcress and mint beside the forestry track.
When we came to the end of the track, we walked along the road that I often cycle along, stopping to pick some brambles, before coming to my favourite oak tree.
At the oak tree, we left the road and took to the open hill. The going varied between fairly easy and very hard work. The views along the ridge were expansive, but the light was rather hazy and I could not do them justice.
The heather on the hill was in very good condition.
We spotted this little batch of berries. None of us was brave enough to give them a taste test. There is a suggestion that they may be cranberries. I didn’t know that you could find them on top of a hill.
We stopped for a picnic lunch on the top of the ridge with good views across the Wauchope valley . . .
. . . and some comfortable tussocks to recline on among the heather.
Finally we came near the end of the ridge, and could look over Langholm and up the Ewes valley.
The mast and trig point on Warbla marked the end of the ridge.
Mark and David posed with their dogs at the trig point. We had not been on high hills, or out in wild country far from home, but it still felt like an achievement to have got to this point.
From here it was all downhill (very welcome).
We finished the walk with a look at the touch-me-not balsam (jewelweed) beside the park. It is looking better every time that I go past it. Mark and David had not seen this flower before so I was pleased to introduce them to it.
We were happy to arrive at Wauchope Cottage and sit under the walnut tree while we drank a refreshing cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal.
When the walkers left, we had a look round the garden . . .
. . . and we were hailed over the fence by our neighbour Irving.
He told us that he had leapt out into the road near Skippers Bridge earlier today to take a picture of Mrs Tootlepedal and me cycling along towards him. He had been more than a little embarrassed a moment later to find that he had been waving at two complete strangers, though it must be said that the lady did bear a resemblance to Mrs Tootlepedal. The strangers were baffled by the whole experience and cycled off rapidly.
While we were talking to Irving over the fence, I noticed that a late burst of the rambler rose was blooming just beside him
I filled the bird feeder and we went in. Mrs Tootlepedal then cut my hair and I had a shower before looking to see if anything was eating the bird seed. The sparrows were back.
I took the bird camera out into the garden to see if anything interesting was flying overhead, and in the absence of interesting birds, shot the pink lilies and came back in.
The day ended with a zoom with my siblings (heavy rain in London this evening), and a delicious cottage pie for our evening meal.
The flying bird of the day is one of the many sparrows.