Hitting the heights

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He passed this old building, once a home for nurses in Derby, and now with just a frontage left standing.

After a spell of grey and wet weather here, it was a pleasure to get up to a sunny morning today. The pleasure was slightly modified by the fact that the temperature was -2°C, but we were happy to sit inside and look out at the sun until it warmed up a bit.

Traffic at the bird feeder was light. This was a surprise as I expected quite a few birds on a cold day, but at least the light was better . . .

. . . so that I could get a good view of what birds there were about.

A blue tit paid us a flying visit . . .

. . . and siskins were in evidence again.

Out of the direct sun, it was still freezing at midday and I was entertained by some wonderful Jack Frost artwork on the bodywork and windows of the cars in the drive . . .

. . . as well as a fine show of mini icicles on a wing mirror and some frosty fun in the garden.

It was just the weather to see a robin.

Mrs Tootlepedal made a warming pot of curried parsnip soup for lunch which went down well with fresh bread and a variety of cheeses. Our visitors have not brought rough country footwear with them so after lunch, while they went for a gentle town walk, I put on my walking boots and headed up Meikleholm Hill.

It was one of those days when the sun was out in one direction and the moon was out in the other.

My little Lumix has just the zoom lens for these occasions.

There were cattle on the hill but they were in a very calm mood and continued to graze peacefully as I skirted round them on my way to the top of the hill. The view across the valley towards the road up to the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve was very good . . .

. . . and one of the Langholm Walks direction poles stood out on the summit. The day was so clear that the distant hills of the North of England in the background looked quite close.

It was a grand day to be out on the hill, so I continued my walk up to the top of Timpen where the views across the Esk valley were as good as always.

A sheep regarded me with curiosity . . .

. . . while a trick of the camera dissolved the space between the sheep and the track on the other side of the deep valley, half a mile away.

I gave some thought to how I would get home. The way forward down the hill and onto the road that I had walked along yesterday was deep in shadow . . .

. . . so I walked a little further along the sunny ridge that I was on until I could just see snow capped hills far to the north . . .

. . . and then, having taken a look across the Esk valley straight through the Gates of Eden and into the Ewes valley. . .

. . . I turned and went back by the way which I had come, admiring some artistic track work as I did so.

I skirted the grazing cattle on the other side as I went down Meikleholm Hill, and as I descended, the shadows were lengthening over the town below me . . .

. . . and creeping up the hills behind me.

With the frost keeping the ground firm underfoot and with no long grass or bracken to wade through, I couldn’t have asked for a better day for a short walk.

There were even a few artistic puddles.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal and Matilda spent some time constructing a fine domino rally . . .

. . . and after some early failures, the whole thing worked like clockwork and toppled over to resounding cheers from the makers and onlookers.

Alistair and Clare produced another tasty evening meal, meatballs and rice noodles in a rich sauce, and we followed that up with ice cream. We have eaten very well over the holiday period.

After the meal, Alistair, Clare, Matilda and I went out in their car to the top of Callister to do some star gazing, It was a very clear night and the moon shone brightly. It was impressive to see, but unfortunately it spoiled the star gazing as it was far too bright. We could still see a lot of stars and planets but not nearly as many as we had hoped. Nevertheless, we did a fair bit of gazing before bundling back into the car and making it home safely.

Our visitors go home tomorrow and it will be sad to see them go.

The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch framing a perching male with her wings..

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Hitting the heights

    1. Who knows what happened after the photographs were taken. 🙂
      No, my puddle stamping days are gone, I like the patterns too much to spoil them these days.

  1. The angled winter sun on those views was quite striking, as was Jack Frost’s artwork. The robin did not seem pleased about the icy footing.

    Stargazing under the Langholm sky sounds like a perfect end to the visit, even with the moon spoiling things a bit. It has been overcast enough here we haven’t seen it much lately except for fleeting glimpses.

  2. Our family went home early yesterday morning leaving our home feeling large and awfully silent! Scenes from your walk are good to see.

  3. Unless the colder weather, an ideal day for a walk. I loved the shots of the ice cristals and the frozen wather. It looks like real artwork. Thanks for taking me on your walk.

  4. The perfect day for a winter walk in your beautiful countryside. Love all the artistic ice photos too. Apparently there’s a Wolf Moon this week…says in my book! Hope you have your camera ready again as your moon photos are amazing.

  5. I feel bad for the big robins in my American garden, because every time I see one, my second thought after being pleased to see one is that wish we had your cute robins, too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: