Mistified again

Today’s guest picture comes from ex archive group member Ken. He was rather unimpressed by this reservoir in Central Park, New York, but I think that I have probably seen it looking better on sunnier days in several films.

We had a stark contrast in the weather today here after yesterday’s glorious sunshine. It rained all day. It was not even heroic or interesting rain, just a miserable drizzle for most of the time.

After breakfast, I had to go up to the Archive Group work room to check on the microfiche reader which was not working. We think that it needs a new bulb. I went into town to try to buy one, but it is an old fashioned machine and I had to go online to find one. I hope that it is the right sort but only time will tell. It cost more to pay for the postage than the bulb!

After I got home, we were in no hurry to get out and about again, and the next thing of interest on a dull day was the arrival of Margaret for coffee.

When she left, I put most of a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and then had a look at the birds. A robin made a bold attempt to be be picked as flying bird of the day but the poor light was against it.

Two blackbirds lurked under the feeder . . .

. . . and the goldfinches returned in numbers.

I might have gone for a cycle ride after lunch, even in the drizzle, but my electric bike still isn’t working even after a night of good drying out. I didn’t fancy being out for the length of time that taking my push bike would have entailed.

So I went for a walk round Whita Hill.

I stared along the Murtholm and was pleased to see modest willow developments . .

. . . as well as a very bold statement about the housing development at the end of the track.

It is easy to be a critic and I would have phrased that bit about low energy standards differently. People might like to live in a house with high energy standards and low energy consumption. I applaud the intent though.

As I walked along the river and up the hill to Broomholm, moss on fenceposts and walls caught my eye.

Once I got onto the road to Cronksbank, the rain got heavier so I kept my head down as I crossed the Tarras at Rashiel, went up to the tree nursery at Cronksbank, wondered at a very pretty lichen covered hawthorn, descended back to cross the Tarras at Perterburn and noticed a group of goats in the distance.

I didn’t have my little Lumix with the big zoom with me as it doesn’t like getting wet, so I didn’t chase after the goats but kept going past Middlemoss and up to the Newcastleton road.

The rough track from Middlemoss, which you can see in the final frame above, poses a challenge to the elderly walker. Which side is the smoother to walk on? In the event, it always turns out to be the other side, no matter which side you choose.

It was fairly bleak when I got to the road back to Langholm, with all the surrounded hills invisible under the low clouds . . .

. . . but just round the corner was the mother of all potholes, famous locally in myth and legend.

Our neighbour Liz recently came across this monster and was so incandescent with rage that she was still seething two days later. I understand that the council are planing on renting out the bigger puddle as a training area for the British Olympic open water swimming team, and that several speleological clubs have volunteered to come and try to get to the bottom of it.

I got safely past it and ploughed on into the persistent rain up to the White Yett. It was hard enough to see the MacDiarmid memorial and there was no sign of the monument at all.

It was all downhill from this point, and I made good speed home past the curving wall round the pines, curious horses, and cherry blossom beside the river.

When I got home, I found the ducks were back in our pond. It was good weather for ducks. Our plastic decoy heron didn’t seem to worry them.

I had put some mince and vegetables into the slow cooker at midday, and Mrs Tootlepedal used this to make a reviving evening meal to restore my energy levels.

In spite of the conditions, I had really enjoyed my outing, and the only slight sorrow was finding that I had walked 9.98 miles instead of the perfect 10 that I had hoped for. I had climbed 1000ft though, so that made up for it.

The flying bird of the day, beating the slightly blurred robin, was yet another chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “Mistified again

  1. Those are massive potholes, and I can sympathize if people are seething over them. The cherry blossoms and birds are bright spots in the gloom of the day.

    9.98 miles is still an impressive walk!

  2. I enjoyed your write-up about the potholes! The reference to spelunking made me laugh out loud, but I do sympathize with Liz.

    As for the fuzzy robin not qualifying for the fbotd – I think you are being a bit too hard on the photo and/or the bird. Based on the photos you include here, it seems to be such a rare thing to see a robin actually flying that I thought you could have been a bit more generous towards the poor wee thing. 🙂

  3. I agree with you, the sign for new housing should be high energy standards!
    Last year Paul and I did a great deal of driving in the rain, and the potholes around the countryside were dreadful. So Australia could certainly train a swimming team too.

    1. It would help here if motorists were content to reduce their speed when the potholes have been repaired and not drive over then with such force as to open them up again.

  4. I love your narration about the potholes – our whole town is filled with potholes – including our High Street – making it difficult to negotiate roads whichever direction one needs to follow.

    1. Our motorists complain bitterly about them without ever acknowledging that it may be the passage of cars along the roads that have caused the potholes in the first place.

  5. Now that you have introduced me to the mother of all potholes, I will be less annoyed by the potholes I encounter. Olympic size, indeed, and I adored your description.
    While I am a little sad to see a new development in your midst, I am grateful that you still have so much accessible and beautifully wild, wide open space which you share with us.

  6. A brave soul to go on such a long walk in such miserable weather but your photos show it was well worth it. Love all the views and the different scenes . My favourite photo is the cherry blossom so pretty. Your comments about the potholes are brilliant!

    1. I love the way that motorists complain about potholes as though it wasn’t them that had created the potholes in the first place. You might think from the way that they go on that people from the council come out and create the potholes just to annoy them.

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