A surprisingly dry wet walk

Today’s guest picture brings a little sunshine to another grey day here. My brother Andrew enjoyed the setting sun picking out the fine new pedestrian bridge across the A52 in Derby yesterday.

Dropscone brightened up a rainy morning when he arrived (bearing scones) to share a cup of coffee or two with me and Mrs Tootlepedal. He had managed to find a semi dry day to play some golf recently but he tells me that the golf course is very soggy at the moment. We both have hospital visits for consultations in Dumfries tomorrow at roughly the same time so he very kindly offered to give me a lift over. As we used to travel together to a lot of senior golf competitions when I was still playing, this will feel just like old times.

After coffee, I read the gas and electricity meters and sent in my readings. The bill is going to be a nasty shock when it comes. We have used a lot of heating during the cold spell and while we have had visitors.

After lunch, I had a look at the birds . . .

. . . and found that once again we had a good variety at the feeder.

Sparrows demonstrated contrasting footwork.

I collected some of the fallen seed from under the feeder and scattered it on the lawn. Chaffinches and goldfinches were grateful.

Although it was cloudy and damp, it was quite warm so I decided to go for a ‘wellies and brolly’ walk. Much to my surprise, I found that after I had gone half a mile, I could furl up my umbrella and tuck it under my arm as the rain had stopped. It stayed dry until I was almost home again so I had plenty of time to look about as I went along. This resulted in too many pictures, and I have put them in galleries so that the impatient reader, eager to get to the flying bird of the day, can skip through them easily.

I walked down to Skippers Bridge with my camera in my pocket and apart from some beech leaves, I only took it out as I walked along the river on the Penton road. It was a green and brown sort of day.

Once I had gone round the corner which you can see in the bottom right of the gallery above, I took my time going up the hill so that I could study the wall beside the road and enjoy the mosses . . .

. . . and the lichens . . .

. . . and the ferns too.

I exchanged views on the weather with a sheep at the top of the hill from our respective sides of the fence. . .

. . . saw some more lichen on a tree and wondered about the purpose of a hole in a barn wall at the farm . . .

. . . before heading back towards the town.

When I came to the start of the trees . . .

. . . I had a choice between the low track through the oak woods or the new timber extraction track which climbs halfway up the hill. It seemed set to stay dry for a while, so I took the hilly route.

The mountain bike track was like a little stream today so I wasn’t tempted to follow it down the hill and I stuck to the main track. This gave me the space to enjoy the misty views and the muted winter colours on the hill.

The new pond in the cleared and replanted wood at the end of the track seems to be holding its water well. I look forward to seeing it develop.

I made my way down to the riverside, past rough teasels and smooth hedges . . .

. . . and saw that in spite of recent rain, the river was well down from its recent high point.

It had started to rain by this time, so I was pleased to get home after a more enjoyable five mile walk than I had expected.

After the social whirl of the last few days, we were happy to have a quiet evening in. The flying bird of the day is a siskin having a go at dislodging a goldfinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “A surprisingly dry wet walk

  1. That siskin FBOTD looks like he means business!

    I especially loved the mosses, lichens and ferns today. I got in my own walk before the rain squall. It was unseasonably warm today, reaching 60 degrees. Clouds, rain and sun along with a good measure of wind were served up today. I think we are getting some peripheral weather up this way from the Pineapple Express hitting California.

      1. I also love the moss photos, especially the header photo. You don’t seem to be doing your header photo compilation each month anymore!

  2. The hole in the barn wall could be for air circulation. It can be awfully hot and stuffy in a barn in summer. I wonder if it was on the windy side of the barn.
    It looks like the mountain bike trail is going to become a deep rut with all that water washing it away.
    That was a nice selection of ferns.

    1. the soil on the hillside is pretty shallow so I don’t think that the bike path will get too deep. I should go for another walk with my friend Mike Tinker who knows a lot about ferns. He gave me a lesson a year or two ago but of course I have forgotten most of what he told me.

  3. It seems to be raining in the North and Southern Hemisphere at the moment…unusual for us in summer, but so much better than drought conditions. I enjoyed the birds, the sheep looking at you, and the wonderful outlines of the big trees in winter.

  4. The bottom closeup of moss looks like a tropical rainforest. I really like the photo of the very sturdy looking sheep.

  5. You should have taken your car to Dumfries, I was there yesterday and in the A&E parking area there is a full row of charging points and all free.

    1. it was just as cheap getting a free lift from Dennis. The electric charging points at the hospital are quite slow. The last time I used one, I got the magnificent total of 10 miles in the time it took me to have a consultation.

      1. It’s no wonder there’s a few of them empty then. Trust your vist went ok.

  6. Love all the different panels and the range of photos. All those little ‘cities’ in amongst the mosses and lichen and then the lovely trees…wonderful. The siskin looks quite evil!

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