Today’s guest picture comes from sunny East Wemyss. Our son Tony wishes to point that they get the moon there too.
We got plenty of sunshine here today, but as the temperature was a measly -5°C at breakfast time, there was no inclination to go outside and do some sunbathing. Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a Langholm Initiative board meeting, and I thought that I would have a gentle morning watching the birds while she was out. A very severe lack of birds thwarted this ambition so I walked up to the High Street to register my new bank card at the cash machine there instead. Although it was still very chilly, it was a lovely morning .
I got home safely, and when the sun crept round to light up the bird feeder and a sparrow appeared looking keen . . .
. . . I thought that my ambition to bird watch was about to be fulfilled.
However, it was not to be, and this was my typical view for the rest of the morning . . .
. . . though there were some starlings perching on the top of the truncated (branchated?)walnut tree.
Giving up on the birds, I made some lentil soup and Mrs Tootlepedal came back in time to join me in testing it out at lunchtime.
As it was still below freezing after lunch, there was no question of cycling and I went for a walk up a hill instead. It had obviously stayed cold in Langholm while I was away in London because there was still a fair amount of snow and ice about. I put on my Yaktrax and headed up the well used track to Warbla.
Although it has been cold, it has obviously been sunny too, because while the track was white the views were mostly green and brown.
I passed some curious sheep on my way to the summit and I had a good look round when I got there. (I made a couple of galleries from this part of the walk, and as usual, a reader with time on their hands can click on a gallery to get the bigger picture.)
I continued over the summit and down the other side of the hill, springing lightly from tussock to tussock as I went, (the technical term for this skill is ‘staggering’) and pausing from time to time to catch my breath and enjoy the views
Although there were lots of footprints in the snow as I walked up the hill and on the first part of the descent, as I got to the rougher ground on my way down, I saw only a single set a footprints coming up the hill towards me. When I noticed that the walker’s boot marks had been accompanied by some paw prints, I wondered if my walking friend Mark had been this way earlier in the day with his faithful hound Henry.
My question was answered in the affirmative when I met the faithful hound taking Mark out for a second walk of the day, this time with Mark’s wife Leila too. Mark and Henry had been up the hill in the morning. They are indefatigable walkers.
I came down to Skippers Bridge . . .
. . . where you might not think that it had snowed at all. All the same, I was grateful to have my anti slip footwear on as I walked home along the Murtholm Track and took the slippery path beside the river to the park. Appropriately for an icy day, the sun was slipping behind the hills as I walked along.
I finished my photographic walk with some neatly outlined bramble leaves and a a chilly look at the river as it flowed past the park.
Although it was still a clear day, the light the light was fading fast by the time that I got in, and as the temperature was beginning to drop well below freezing, I was not tempted to go out again.
In the evening our friends Mike and Alison came round for their traditional Friday visit. Thanks to one thing or another, this was their first visit for some time and I really enjoyed the opportunity to play recorder music with Alison at the keyboard, while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal caught up on the news. Mike and Alison are going to New Zealand soon to see their son and his family, so we won’t have another musical evening for quite a bit.
I was extremely fortunate to be at the window at exactly the right time to catch one of the very few possible flying birds of the day.