A day for soup and a brisk walk

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. In spite of some morning frost, he still had some fine autumn colour to enjoy in Derby today.

We had the first really frosty day of the winter today here with the thermometer touching -4°C (25°F) over night and staying below freezing until coffee time.

It was a pleasant day though, so I was able to go out into the garden after breakfast to enjoy Jack Frost’s artistic touches.

The roses got a shock.

We were visited by a tree specialist who is going to give us a price for reducing the height of our walnut tree which has got too big for its boots. We get a bit worried when we see it thrashing about in the strong winds, especially as they seem to be getting stronger and more frequent every year.

Margaret came round for coffee and there was a good deal of conversation on the subject of the cost keeping warm. However, we agreed that at our age keeping warm is a priority so we will have to grin and bear the cost.

When she left, I looked out of the window at the birds and got a treat.

A greenfinch was enjoying some of the few seeds that I have got left.

Then I had another look round the garden. In spite of the temperature rising to just above zero, nothing much had melted.

Feeling that it was a day for some inner warmth, I made a nourishing pot of leek, potato and carrot soup in the air fryer and we enjoyed a bowl of the soup with bread and cheese for our lunch.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal took her exercise on her bike to nowhere indoors, and I headed for the hills. Or, to be more precise, I headed for Whita Hill by way of Whitshiels and the road to the White Yett. Sheep were sensibly too busy grazing to spare a glance at a passing stranger.

In spite of a few clouds in the sky, I remained in brilliant sunshine as I walked up the road, enjoying a couple of my favourite views on the way.

I like the way that the low winter sun brings out the wrinkles in our landscape.

When I got to the White Yett, I took the track up to the monument. I was walking straight into the low sun at this point, and it was a relief when I got to the top of the hill and could shelter behind the monument for a moment. I looked back over the moor to the newly acquired section of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, and I looked back at the monument itself as I headed onwards.

It was too cold to linger for long on the summit in spite of the fine views, but I did stop long enough to look over the Esk valley to the sunlit hills which I had climbed on my walk yesterday.

I came nearly to the end of the last hill in Scotland and looked out over the broad sweep of the Solway Plain . . .

. . . before following, first the mountain bike track and then the forestry track past the pylons down the hill.

I passed some fine examples of iced puddle art . . .

. . . on my way down to the fine old oak tree that sits on the track from Broomholmshiels back to the town.

The hillside that I had just come down was bathed in late sunlight . . .

. . . but as I turned right and headed through the woods . . .

. . . the sun soon dipped behind the hills, and the rest of my walk was in the shadows.

I crossed the river by Skippers Bridger when I came to it, and took the track along the Murtholm to get home. This is an attractive option now that they have re-opened the walk along the river to the park. They have made a wonderful job of the repair and it is in better condition now than it was a year ago before the storm.

There was a bonus of some amazing hair ice to be seen on the Beechy Plains too, so it was a good route choice.

I was pretty cheery when I got in after an invigorating 6 mile walk, but I was even cheerier after a cup of tea and some gingerbread with Mrs Tootlepedal.

As darkness fell, I found something useful to do on the computer before the evening Zoom with my siblings.

After the Zoom, I made kedgeree for our evening meal (in a very old fashioned way on the hob) and Mrs Tootlepedal added carrots and parsnips so our meal was both tasty and healthy.

It is the full moon tonight, and another clear sky . . .

. . . makes it no surprise to find that the temperature is back down to -4°C as I write this post. The Met Office think that it might go as low as -7° before morning. Brrr!

The flying birds of the day are a large flock of either rooks or jackdaws which rose up and flew past me on my walk.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

30 thoughts on “A day for soup and a brisk walk

  1. I don’t think the rose petals will get along well with that ice.
    I loved seeing the puddle ice, especially that in the lower left. The hair ice was nice to see, too. I still haven’t seen it here. Come to think of it I haven’t seen any puddle ice yet either.
    My favorite was the shot of the lone oak.

    1. It must be an odd year when we get ice before you do. We are in for a good run of cold nights but as it hasn’t rained for a while, we are hoping to avoid icy pavements and paths.

      1. We’ve had some cold nights but no puddles for ice to grow on. I saw a small pond with ice on it but it melted away later that day, so it hasn’t been a December of snow and ice so far. I hope we both stay ice free.

  2. You have captured the winter beauty of your landscape, how my Dad would have loved to see photos like these in his old age. (He was born and brought up in Glasgow, but lived in Africa and Australia all his adult life.)
    The roses look pretty with frosty bits, but I guess they will struggle a bit to survive.
    I enjoyed the post, and it reminded me of how beautiful the winter days can be after frosty nights.

    1. I think another few days of frost will certainly end the roses’ career. We are getting some good weather for taking photographs at the moment. As others have remarked, the low sunshine gives better contrast than a bright summer day.

  3. What a beautiful though cold day in your area! The angled winter light does show off those magnificent views quite well. I am selfishly glad you went walking and shared those photos with readers. My favorite is the fine old oak tree that sits on the track from Broomholmshiels. Old Jack Frost painted some lovely portraits, too.

  4. Beautiful shots of the roses with the ice cristals ! Also a nice capture of the ice hair you found in the forest at the end of your blog.

  5. I am always struck when reading your blog with the variety of walks that you have nearby. I’m curious as to whether there are lots of walkers and hikers in the area.

    1. We get far few visitors to our hills than they deserve. We live quite near the Lake District which is a very popular walking area but we don’t get people coming here for a less crowded experience. Our regional council has tended to be unwilling to give us much help with publicity as we live on the very eastern end of the region and they fear that bringing visitors here will encourage them to leave the region instead of exploring it further.

      1. Interesting. It seems like a walker’s paradise to me. Uncrowded is good and highly unusual these days.

  6. Fantastic photos of that beautiful wrinkled landscape in the winter sun! Love all the ice puddles and their patterns and seeing the hair ice…first time this winter!

  7. I do envy you your iced puddle art and hair ice, not to mention your lovely old oak tree. We don’t have many oaks here other than tan oaks which don’t shed all their leaves and aren’t half as stately looking.

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