A surprise

Just to show that it still often sunny in East Wemyss, our son Tony sent us this picture taken a couple of days ago.

We expected it to be cold this morning, but all the same we got quite a shock when we looked out of the window when we got up.

The snow didn’t discourage visitors though. First Sandy and then our neighbour Margaret and finally our other neighbour Liz joined us for coffee so we had a very sociable morning indoors.

When all our visitors had left, I had a moment to look at the birds. I found that we had quite a lot more visitors outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and not bothered apparently by the chilly temperature.

The feeder was more or less continuously busy . . .

. . . so I filled it up and put out a second feeder. They both became busy even when the sun went in for a while.

Where there is a siskin there is conflict . . .

. . . but the other birds were very conscientious in their tidying up underneath the feeders.

It has to be said that the snow was not very deep but it did seem as though a little walk in the hills might be quite rewarding photographically, so after lunch I put on my boots and set off up our nearest hill. When I looked around, I saw that the sunshine had reduced the snow cover on the hills round the town.

I circled round the side of Meikleholm Hill, avoiding cattle grazing on the path half way up and coming up to the col by a non standard route.

Although the snow was not deep, it was still hard work plodding along, and I was happy to stop for a breather and a view back down the hill before I got to the summit of Timpen.

You can see from the number of footprints in the snow that I was not the first person to try this route today but I didn’t meet anyone else on my walk this afternoon.

When I got to the top of Timpen, I had a good look round.

Because of the cold conditions, I was using my tough Olympus pocket camera to take pictures, but I realised that if I wanted to show a genuinely snowy summit, a zoom lens was needed so I got my little Lumix out of my other pocket and put it to work on some higher hills in the disatnce.

The Lumix’s zoom gets a bit cranky if it used too much in the cold, so I put it away and went back to using the Olympus on my way back down the hill.

On my way down to Meikleholm Hill, I rested for a while while I talked to my sister Mary on my mobile phone. I am going to London to visit her and my sister Susan tomorrow and there were arrangements to be made. It is a sign of the times that I thought nothing of being able to do something which would have seemed miraculous when we first came to live in Langholm when even TV programmes came to us down a wire rather than directly through the air.

While I had my phone out, I let it have a look round too.

I went back down by the other side of Meikleholm Hill on my descent, hoping to avoid the cattle, but they had shifted over during my walk and I had to go round them very sedately, pretending that I wasn’t there.

I didn’t stop to take a picture until I was well past them.

When the cattle were out of sight over the brow of the hill, I took a few more pictures on my way down as the shadows lengthened.

My final picture, taken just before I dropped back into the town, was of a sinewy tree catching the low sun.

I had a wander round the garden before I went inside and I liked the icing on the box ball . . .

. . . and was impressed by how much evidence of avian footfall there was in the snow.

Astute observers will note that I was wearing my Yaktrax on my walk.

After a cup of tea, I had a Zoom recorder lesson with our granddaughter Matilda in Edinburgh which went very well. She had actually practised behind my back. Mrs Tootlepedal is in the process of making a dance costume for Matilda and she was able to show her the progress that has been made so far. Matilda was very excited.

After our evening meal, I put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database. Thanks to the lens problems with the new reader, the data miners have been out of action and I have actually caught up with them at last. My desk is clear. Now that the lens in working properly, I will probably fall behind again quite soon.

As I am going to London for a few days, there may not be another proper post until Friday though I will try to post a quick phone update just to keep my daily posting regime intact. It says it will be -5°C here tomorrow morning so I hope that the bus and train run on time.

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

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

11 thoughts on “A surprise

  1. Yesterday’s sun on greenery has become today’s sun on snow! Those are some impressive wintry views all around, especially from Timpen. I had a good chuckle at the panel of bird tracks with your Yaktrax print in the lower left.

    Enjoy the time in London, and I hope the train and bus are running on schedule. Stay warm.

  2. You and Mary are clearly skilled and accustomed mobile phone users when out and about. Conventionally sitting in my armchair at home the other day, I was chatting with your sister and learned that she was on the bus when our call started, then she got off, waited at a bus stop and got on another bus, all before our call ended. And reception was perfect throughout. I was impressed at both her ability, and the mobile phone line (if that’s the right word these days).

  3. The view looking up at the new track on Whita certainly shows what a challenging walk it is. Hope the snow doesn’t impact your travel plans.

  4. What a surprise, the long awaited snow has finally arrived. The world looks very different with a layer of this white powder. It was really enjoying the snowy views. I wish you a good and safe journey to London for tomorrow.

  5. Can’t complain too much about the snow and ice when everywhere looks so beautiful and just perfect for a lively walker/photographer to record it all. Super photos of the near and far landscapes. My favourite photos are the lonesome hawthorn tree, the sinewy tree and all the birds. Wrap up well for your journey…it’s minus 5 down South too!

  6. The new track up Whita looks as if it goes towards the wall above Colonels planting making for Whita Quarry.Then a left to the Monument. If I am correct that is the route Alex Borthwick and I used to do when we were 11 years old. Lots of ammunition about then. I may be entirely wrong about the path. Keep up your splendid work as without it being unable to manage up there because of family illness I would be relatively ignorant of what’s going on around the Langholm Hills which I love.

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