Blown up (and down)

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. I inquired how the weather was in East Wemyss today so he sent me this delightfully impressionistic shot.

We had a dry and sunny day here today, but it had dropped slightly below freezing overnight and it never felt very warm, even in the sun. With a brisk northerly wind blowing at times, it was definitely a winter day.

I needed a woolly hat and gloves when I went up to the High Street after breakfast to do a bit of shopping. I had hoped to pay for some bird seed which I had ordered, but my supplier told me that her supplier had not been able to deliver and I would have to wait until next week. There are shortages and delivery problems on all sides at the moment so I will just have to be patient.

I have some seed left, and luckily this was one of the rare days when there wasn’t a great demand for the seeds in our feeder. Perhaps the cold weather doesn’t make it so worthwhile for visiting birds to expend a lot of energy travelling to our garden.

I enjoyed watching the birds that did come.

A starling kept watch from the very top of the walnut tree.

Our neighbour Margaret had a visitor so we had coffee by ourselves today, and then I found useful things to do on the computer until lunch time.

I had bought some new bootlaces on my morning shop, so although I did think of going for a cycle ride after lunch, a particularly gusty spell of wind persuaded me that this would be a really good day to try the new laces out and I went for a walk instead.

I walked up Meikleholm Hill, stopping to admire a complex gate and the winter sunshine before I got out into the open.

It was a glorious day . . .

. . . and with good going underfoot, I was soon at the top of Meikleholm Hill and looking at Timpen, my next target.

The climb to the top is a lot steeper than the camera makes it look, so I was happy to pause and look back to Meikleholm Hill on my way up.

The town was already half in shadow when I looked down at it.

. . . but the view onwards from the top of the hill was as rewarding as it always is on a fine day.

It was extremely parky in the brisk breeze on the top of the hill, so I abandoned any thought of walking along the ridge and began to drop down to the road below soon after leaving the summit. I was a bit sad to be abandoning the sunlit uplands . . .

. . . and the varied views . . .

. . . but I have reached a stage of my life when, even with my phone in my pocket, wandering about by myself on rough ground on a hilltop, with the light fading and a snell wind blowing, is probably not quite the carefree activity that it once was. I was happy to have the wind behind me on my way home.

I found a good track to follow down the hill and was soon walking in the shadow of the valley . . .

. . . and looking up at a sunny hilltop through the Gates of Eden.

I walked a little way down the road back towards Langholm and stopped when I saw a log lorry coming down a track towards what looked like an impenetrable wall of felled logs. It turned out to be an optical illusion, and the lorry snaked its way through the piles of timber.

This is still part of the clearing up activity after last year’s big storm.

I left the road and walked down the newly opened track to the Duchess Bridge. The track is in good condition with the remains of tidied up trees on all sides. Some new duckboards have been added at the muddiest spots.

The light was fading fast as I crossed the Duchess Bridge and came down the Lodge walks to the Kilngreen . . .

. . . where I found about fifty mallards swimming around in a thoughtful fashion.

At the Meeting of the Waters, I could look up the Esk and see the two hills that I had climbed at the start of my walk.

I have remarked before, and I will doubtless mention it again, but you can get wonderful variety in a four and a half mile walk round our town.

And there was gingerbread to go with my warming pot of tea when I got home.

As the day got thoroughly dark, I found more useful things to do on my computer until it was time for our evening meal. We have had three days of excellent broth from the stock of the ham hock I bought recently, and this evening, Mrs Tootlepedal used the air fryer to make tasty ham rissoles from the meat. A good value purchase.

When I looked up into the sky later in the evening, a nearly full moon beamed back down at me.

It is going to be a frosty night.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch at full stretch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

25 thoughts on “Blown up (and down)

  1. I hope that the birds will also be able to muster the necessary patience… Judging by the photos, they seem to have a rather disappointing look. It was a lovely day for a walk today. It was also a pleasant sunny, but cold day for us. Thanks for the many beautiful panoramas.

  2. As you say we become more risk averse as we get older,and also hopefully,wiser.
    Lovely shot of the gates of Eden.
    The sun going down behind the trees was very well captured.

  3. No, probably not as carefree as it once was. Good decision to come back down. Lots of beautiful photos in this post, but the one with the fence is especially nice.

  4. A “snell” wind – another new word for me. We’ve had a lot of those winds lately. There are interesting patterns on the ends of those fallen trees. And I agree with Laurie – good decision to leave some of the treks to the mountain goats!

  5. The silhouetted trees are beautiful to see – and I love seeing all those hills stretching out. No wonder you enjoy walking up there!

  6. Well done for the strenuous climb. You took some beautiful pictures. Enjoyed the way the lorry, seemingly miraculously, snaked through all those piles of logs.

  7. Lovely selection of bird photos all looking quite happy- just wait until they learn about the slow delivery of their seed! Wonderful views and photos on your walk especially the trees silhouetted against the evening sky.

  8. I enjoyed your selection of photos, and Tony’s fine view of molten skies over East Weymss. Your weather was good, and the views breathtaking and inspiring. I especially love the view from your walk up Meikleholm Hill, stopping to admire a complex gate and the winter sunshine.

    I had to look up “snell”, and could only find references to fishhooks. Then I looked up “snell wind”, and found the reference particular to Scotland.
    https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/scottish-word-day-snell-1583071

    1. Fish hooks was a new ideas to me. I don’t know where that comes from. You can certainly get caught by a snell wind if you are not properly wrapped up. 🙂

  9. The treeless hills seem very beautiful to me and I often wonder what our landscape looked like in the 1800s when most of our hillsides were treeless.
    I’m sorry to hear that your having supply problems. We are too, but it seems to happen sporadically, so you never really know what you’ll find. You need an A list and a backup B list when you go shopping.
    Once again the sunset photos were beautiful and so was that shot of the moon.

      1. It was tree covered, except for small areas that Native Americans cleared. Heavily forested is this area’s natural state, and something I’ve known for all of my life. I suppose that is why something so different can seem so beautiful. Here I can see for a few yards. There you can see what seems like infinity.

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