Posts Tagged ‘Castle Hill’

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my sister Mary.  She went to the Haynes International Motor museum in Yeovil with her friend Venetia, and her eye was caught by this shiny Morris Oxford 6 saloon from 1930.

haynes motor museum

I got up intending to have a quick breakfast and go cycling but like so many of my good intentions, this one was unrealised.  In the end, I had a slow breakfast, did the crossword, waited for a rain shower to pass, checked on the butterflies in the garden…

more butterflies

….and then finally went cycling.  By this time the wind had got up and was blowing pretty forcibly so I reduced my intended route distance from 30 miles to 12 and even then had quite a hard time cycling the six miles up hill and  into the wind to my turning point.

The grass is pointing to my way home.


blowing grass

I was freewheeling along a flat section at 25 mph with not a breath of wind in my face at one time on my way home, and that gives some idea of the briskness of the breeze.  Under the circumstances, I was quite pleased to have managed even 12 miles.

While I was out, Mrs Tootlepedal had done some serious lawn edging.

edged lawn

I had another walk round the garden and was pleased to find that lots of flowers had survived the four inches of rain that we have had during the week…

six garden flowers

…and that bees were busy visiting some of our newer blooms.

two bees

After lunch, leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to do some more gardening in the sunshine, I drove down to Canonbie to visit the flower show there.

As well as jams, jellies, needlework, art, flowers and vegetables, there are always other attractions at the show and this year, there was a modest display of falconry.  It was slightly hampered by the very strong winds but a couple of patient birds sat on their perches taking an interest in what was going on.

This is a Harris Hawk..

harris hawk

…but I can’t remember what this striking bird was.

falcon canonbie

There are usually some static engines on display and this fine oil engine was the star of the show this year.

static engine canonbie

Some more mobile vehicles were to be seen as well.

two tractors canonbie

When I went into the hall to see the photographs, I was surprised to find that I had managed to acquire two first prizes and a second ticket from my twelve entries.  Sandy had been in the prizes as well and we shared  a trophy with yet another exhibitor for most points in the coloured photo classes.  We all had had a first and a second.

There were a lot of pictures on display and quite a number of different people had caught the eye of the judge.  This is very satisfactory and should bode well for the entries next year.  I would like to thank Linda for taking my pictures down to show and putting them up for me.

After a tour round the flowers and vegetables, I went for a walk along the river.  As I crossed the bridge, I saw a dipper below.

dipper in esk canonbie

A started my walk at the church and was pleased to find sheep safely grazing in the glebe fields.

sheep canonbie church

I felt that I was being laughed at as I took the path down to the river but it was only a conifer covered in strange fruit.

pine fruit

It was very peaceful walking along the grassy bank of the Esk…

esk at canonbie

…although a little waterfall splashing down the banking further on showed how wet it has been.

waterfall at canonbie

I was going to walk along the river for a good bit but the path became very muddy and as I didn’t have suitable footwear, I had to turn back and go back to the hall by the route that I had taken on the way out.

I met Sandy there and he kindly offered to bring my pictures back after the show had ended, so I was able to drive home and find out what Mrs Tootlepedal had been up to in my absence.

She had lifted the onions.

onions 2019

We had a cup of tea and then we drove up to the White Yett and walked up the track to the monument on Whita Hill.

It was still very breezy but the sun was shining, so I expected to get some good views.  Once again my expectations were unrealised as it was pretty hazy, but when the sun shone in the right place, views of some sort were available.  This is the Ewes valley.

ewes valley august evening

There is a plan to put a lot of exceedingly tall wind turbines on the top of these hills and although I am a supporter of wind power, we think that this is a step too far.  We can already see about 60 turbines from the monument but they don’t impinge on the views too dramatically,  These huge turbines would overwhelm the valley altogether.

They are several times the height of our monument.

monument sugust evening

When we arrived at the monument, we were being buffeted by the wind to such an extent that we didn’t stay for long.  I did look over the wall and down onto the Solway plain which stretches between our hills and the English hills which you can just see though the haze in the distance.

view of Solway plain from whita

When the sun came out from behind the clouds, the monument cast a long shadow over the moor.

shadow of monument

As we turned to go back down the hill, a patch of sunlight played on the top of Castle Hill across the valley.

castle hill august evening

As we went back down the hill to the town in our car, we passed several notices calling for care and warning of sharp bends and sudden steep sections.  When I checked, I found that there is a cycle sportive coming this way tomorrow from Hawick.  I just hope that the wind drops a bit or it will be hard work for the cyclists.

After a busy day for us both, we were refreshed by corned beef hash and rhubarb crumble with custard for our tea.

The falconer at Canonbie was able to fly an owl over a very short distance in spite of the wind so I have got quite an unusual flying bird of the day today.

flying owl canonbie

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Today’s guest picture is from our son Tony and shows that the temperature was lower in Fife than it was here this morning.

frosty wemyss walk

We had been promised a day of freezing fog so it was a pleasant surprise to find no fog and a temperature of two degrees above zero when we got up.   It was still too cold for cycling though as I am resolved not to risk hitting any icy patches this winter so I had a relaxing morning of chatting to Mrs Tootlepedal and making ginger biscuits.

I had a good deal of time to stare out of the window and was happy to see one or two birds making a welcome re-appearance at the feeder.

I caught a great tit in the plum tree…

great tit in plum tree

…a redpoll on the feeder…

redpoll in december

…and a blackbird on the ground below.

blackbird head

There were visits from a robin and a blue tit too but these went unrecorded as they were too quick for me.

The jackdaws were back again…

jackdaw on chimney

…but there was still not a great number of finches.  I met two neighbours this morning, one of whom reported that his garden was short of small birds and the other who had many sparrows but no finches.

It was still only 2°C at lunch time but it was such a nice day that a walk was in order even if cycling was not on the menu so after  a cheese and chutney sandwich, I set off to walk up to the monument.

There were no flowers to be seen except the occasional gorse bush but some bright lichen on a small bush beside the track caught my eye.

lichen on Kirk Wynd

I was resolved to see if I could walk up the hill to the monument without stopping but one or two views compelled me to pause for a second or two.

ewes valley december

This is what lay ahead.

up to the monument

Although the ground looks a bit rough, there is a path all the way to the top and I was soon looking back on the lower hills across the valley…Castle hill

…and it didn’t take me too long to get to the top of the hill and look over the wall across the Tarras valley.  The camera makes it all look rather flat but it would be very hard work to walk across the moor, down across the river and then up to that hill in the distance which is quite a bit higher than Whita.

tinnis hill

Looking out to the west, I could see Criffel, 30 miles away, rising above a sea of mist over the Nith estuary.   We were obviously getting the best of the weather.

Criffel above mist

Looking around I could see a mixture of commercial forest and sheep grazing grounds.  It seems as though we are going to have more forestry and less sheep round here in the future as the grants system makes timber more profitable than meat at the moment.

grazing and woodland

I took a zig zag route back down the hill as the direct route is steep and would have been hard on my knees and as I walked down the track towards the White Yett, the low sun picked out these heather clumps…

heather lumps

…and I cast a long shadow as I went.

big shadow on whita

I didn’t go right down to the road but followed the track that the riders come up at the Common Riding back down towards the golf course.

Below me, I could see that the woodcutters had left the pines standing when they otherwise cleared felled the wood at Hillhead.

pines left at Hillhead

I passed a small tree as i came down the hill.  Trees like this are very scarce where the ground has sheep on it but once the sheep are taken off, trees start to grow quickly.

tree on whita

A little cairn marked my route down the hill…


cairn on Birnie Braes

…and I came safely back to the top of the golf course with my knees intact.

Looking down towards England, I could see the Lake District hills in the distance, looming over the mist covered Solway plain.

mist over solway

We were still mist free and the golf course was very peaceful….

5th green

…as I walked down the side of the course without being disturbed by cries of “fore!” or being hit by a golf ball.

I timed my three and a half mile walk well as I got home just as the sun dipped below the hills and a distinct chill came over the town.

Once inside, a cup of tea and some delicious ginger biscuits refreshed body and spirit and I was fully recovered when Luke arrived for some flute playing.  We played the Loeillet sonata which we have been working on and it went very well, with some good ornamentation and some faster tempi.  Although practice hasn’t made us perfect yet, we are definitely making progress.

The forecast is once again offering us fog tomorrow so I hope that we end up with another sunny day like today.

We are well prepared for Christmas Day and intend to have a quiet but jolly time.  I wish all readers of the blog a Happy Christmas and I hope that they have held Santa’s hand firmly when presents were being considered so that nobody is disappointed.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch enjoying the sunshine.

flying chaffinch


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Today’s guest picture comes from our daughter Annie, who has been out shooting night street scenes in Macao while working at the film festival there.


We had another bright and sunny day today but it was even colder than yesterday so we were very pleased to be one of the parts of the country that didn’t get any snow. That might have made driving difficult.

After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing with the church choir and I made a venison stew for the slow cooker.

While I was cooking, I glanced out of the kitchen window from time to time.

A siskin added some colour to a frosty scene.


Down below, I asked a robin where its friend had gone.


“Over there,” he replied.


Once the stew was safely stowed in the slow cooker, I went for a short walk.  In spite of the low temperatures, the sunny weather has made sure that our pavements and paths are ice free for whihc we are grateful.

I was looking for gulls.

I soon found one which had lit on a lamppost thus become a lamplighter I suppose.


It flew off and got into an argument with a friend about something.


On Castle Hill, the cattle once again preferred the high ground.


As I walked along the Kilngreen I was very taken by an optical illusion which made this perfectly flat picnic table look as though it was bent into waves.

kilngreen bench

The low sun certainly increased my stature as a photographer.

If you were well enough wrapped up, it was a lovely day for a walk.


And I enjoyed the view up the Lodge Walks….

Lodge Walks

…before turning to cross the Castleholm…


…and heading for home…

…where the garden was frosty.


Once back inside in the warmth, I looked out again.   There was steady traffic at the tray under the feeder.




Up above, the unfriendly light did the flying chaffinches no favours in their efforts to get the nomination for flying bird of the day.


Mrs Tootlepedal returned from church and we had a moment or two to enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice or two of toast before setting off to Carlisle for a final practice and the Christmas concert with the Community Choir.

The concert took place in St Cuthbert’s Church.  This church is one of those places which it is a pleasure to visit under any circumstances.

St Cuthberts Church

The concert was very well attended with the balconies and the main body of the church both being pretty well full.  The choir sang well and the guest school choir was very charming and accomplished.  Our choir needs more men badly and one of the reasons for our lack of men might have been seen in the fact that the primary school choir  had only a single boy in it.

Unless schools can instil a love of choral singing in boys, it is hard to see where adult male singers are going to come from in areas without a living tradition of male choirs.

It was -5° as we drove home but the road seemed to be ice free and we got home in nice time to enjoy the venison stew from the slow cooker.

There were only two gulls about today but they stopped quarrelling for long enough for one of them to make flying bird of the day.


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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew’s visit to Nottingham.  As well as bridges, he saw this wheel.  Your town or city is unappealing if you don’t have a big wheel these days it seems.

Nottingham wheel

After a lonely breakfast, I checked on the vigour of the wind outside and decided that this would be a good day to stay indoors for a while and catch up on putting some of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  I have been very slack lately and have not been doing my fair share of the work.

It took me quite a bit of time as there were one or two existing entries in the database that needed editing and by the time that I had put my week in, gone to the corner shop to get some milk and done the crossword there was not a lot of time to look out of the kitchen window.  It was fun when I did look out.

siskins and chaffinch

Some birds who were on the feeder were shouting at others as they approached….

goldfinch and chaffinch

…and others who were approaching were shouting at those who were on to get off

I went for a walk round the garden too.  The crocuses were looking very pretty.

washing green crocuses

white crocus

The pond was humming with frogs again today.

frogs in pond

Sandy rang up and we made an arrangement to meet for a walk in the afternoon.  Time was a bit tight so I made a quick leek and potato soup for lunch and then popped out for a short test run to see how the new rear gear mech was working on the fairly speedy bike.

It worked very well but the very brisk wind made testing it quite a trial.  I pedalled five miles up to Callister and in spite of trying quite hard, it took me 31 minutes.  By contrast, the return journey back to town took me 14 minutes.  I had time for a battle back up the road to Cleughfoot and another 20mph glide back home to complete 18 miles.

I topped my fuel up with a cup of tea and a roll and honey and was just changed and ready as Sandy appeared.

We walked along Gaskell’s and The Becks, starting along the river beside the park.

mossy wall at park

The glowing green of the wall at the park made me moss conscious and we looked for a few more examples as we went round.  They were not hard to find.

Moss on gaskells

Sandy’s sharp eye caught sight of a scarlet elf cup in a ditch near the Auld Stane Brig….

scarlet elf cup

…and I knew another place later in the walk where we should see more if they were out.  I was right and the example on the left is from Sandy’s ditch and the two on the right are from a large crop in the Becks wood.

The light was good enough for big views at the start of the walk….

Castle Hill

Castle Hill

…but the sun went in as we walked along and once we were in the wood, it was hard to get the cameras to focus.  We saw some bootlace fungus on a dead log and lots of hazel flowers in a dark corner.

bootlace fungus and hazel flowers

On the whole though, it was a better day for stretching the legs than taking pictures.

I did stop to take yet another picture of the Auld Stane Brig, just because I could…

Auld Stane Brig

…and a splendid gnarly tree beside it.

tree at auld stane brig

On our way back along the track after crossing the Becks Burn and coming up through the wood, we saw equines of various sizes…


…some with very cheerful associates.

Ramsay and horse

When we got home, Sandy stayed for a cup of tea and a biscuit or three and then I made a  really delicious dish of baked eggs in a bed of spinach with a cheese sauce topping.  This is a recipe with so many variables (how much mustard in the sauce, how long to cook the spinach, has the cheese got enough bite, is the sauce too thick, too thin, are the eggs cooked properly or like bullets) that when you get them all right by sheer accident, eating it is like dining with the gods.  Tonight was such a night.

I had a shower and a shave and went off to the Langholm choir practice in a very good mood after such a generally pleasant afternoon of cycling, walking and eating.

The choir practice was enjoyable as well and it rounded off a day which was as good as any day without Mrs Tootlepedal in it can be.

There is a frog of the day….


…and a flying bird of the day to go with it.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture is the town hall of Ripon.  My brother, who was visiting,  was much taken with the inscription.


We had a day of pleasantly cool but sunny weather today and if I hadn’t had quite a strenuous pedal yesterday, I would have been out on my bike.  As it was, I spent a quiet morning in the garden checking out insects.

The bees have been joined by hoverflies.


Mrs Tootlepedal has some very pretty sunflowers coming out…


…and they are real insect magnets.


I was busy with a little dead heading when the garden was suddenly invaded by a team of expert rose clippers.

rose pickers

They attacked our ramblers with ready secateurs and in no time they had a crate filled with blooms.  When they left, I followed them on my bike and trailed them to their lair.  They were part of a gang which was hard at work in a shed.

The crown

The object of all this activity is the ceremonial crown which will be carried through the town among the other emblems as part of our Common Riding procession on Friday.  It is an honour for our roses to be part of it.

Once the roses are trimmed and prepared, the crown maker Les binds each one individually to the framework which has been precovered with moist sphagnum moss to keep the roses fresh.

Les making the Crown

This is the most painstaking work, taking many man and woman hours and I shall look at the crown with new respect when it is paraded  round the town on Friday.

When I got back home, Attila the gardener was starting the job of taking down a small tree which is steadily dying and I helped out by shredding the branches.

After lunch, I printed out some more pictures to go on cards which will go on sale in the town. They raise funds for the Archive Group and the last lot sold quickly which was pleasing.

Then Mrs Tootlepedal headed off to Carlisle for some shopping and I took advantage of the continuing sunshine to go for a walk.

My plan was to walk along the ridge between Castle Hill and Potholm Hill and then descend to the road for the return journey.

It had rained quite a lot last night and I wondered whether the going might be a bit too soggy for fun but the hill was in very good condition and I followed my plan to the letter (well almost).


There was no chance of waving at Mr Grumpy on my way as the Kilngreen is given over to the shows for the next few days so I went straight up the hill.

Castle Hill

The hill was covered with wild flowers…

Castle Hill

…and the walking was delightful.

The views weren’t bad either.

Panorama from Castle Hill

You can click on this panorama to get the bigger picture.

I soon got to the summit of Castle Hill and the ridge stretched out in front of me.

Castle Hill

I walked along the ridge…

Ridge from castle hill

…looking to the left….

Esk valley

The Esk valley

…and the right…

Ewes valley

The Ewes valley

…and sticking to the wall as I went.

Castle Hill ridge

As well as the views, there were things of interest closer to hand.

fungus and heart's ease

Fungus making use of a handy drop of dung and Heart’s Ease sheltered against the wall.

I got to the end of the wall and there was a handy stile to get me onto the next part of my route.

stile on Potholm Hill

All was going well until I got to the top of the next summit and  spotted a group of cattle grazing further along on my route.  I don’t like to get too close to hill cattle so I cunningly dropped down the side of the hill and contoured along with a view to reaching the fence and then walking up it to the next gate, having bypassed the cattle.

My plan was not very successful.  I dropped down out of sight of the cattle quite successfully but the cunning beasts knew what I was up to and when I looked up the hill, they were cantering along the ridge and soon formed up in front of the gate I was hoping to get to unobserved.

I wasn’t going to argue with them so I changed tack and followed the fence downhill until I came to a second gate which gave me access to the track which I would have joined in the first place so all was well.  I took a look at the very picturesque cottage at Henwell…


…and then went down to Potholm Bridge and walked home along the road.

I ate wild raspberries from the hedgerows and clicked away as I went but there have been too many pictures already so I will just put in a sign of the times that I passed.


Crops starting to ripen in the fields

…and a chaffinch that was hopefully looking for seed in the garden when I got home…


…and that will wrap up the day nicely.

It was a walk of just under 6 miles and it is a tribute to both my new knee and the exercises which the physio gave me for my troublesome hip that I could do it at all.  Two or three years ago I was quite certain that I would never be able to walk over the hills again so I count this a great blessing.

The chaffinch wouldn’t fly to order so there is no flying bird of the day but Rosa Wren more than makes up for this deficiency in my opinion as it appears as flower of the day.

Rosa Wren







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Today’s guest picture is another from Fiona’s visit to the Washington Wildlife Park.   It’s a striking bird, I think you’ll agree.

lego bird

March, as it should, went out like a lamb and we enjoyed a sunny and calm day from start to finish.

I had a busy morning so it was just as well that I wasn’t in need of any extra cycling miles as it would have been a pity to miss such a good cycling day if I had needed some distance.  As it was, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went up to fill the Moorland feeders after breakfast.  This is usually Sandy’s job on a Thursday but he is still hors de combat so we filled in for him and were pleased to do it on such a fine morning.

The usual suspects were grateful for the bird food…

chaffinch and woodpecker

A near chaffinch and a distant woodpecker

…but I was pleased to catch a glimpse of a wren as well.


Mrs Tootlepedal scanned the skies for hen harriers while I watched the small birds but she hadn’t seen any by the time we left for home.

We saw a jackdaw when we got in.  It was collecting a stout twig for a nest but it dropped it just before I took its picture.  This may account for its wistful air.


We also met our neighbour  Gavin, back from America.  He arrived in perfect time for a cup of coffee and one of Dropscone’s  fabled scones.  Dropscone himself had brought the scones round and we enjoyed listening to a mixture of foreign travel and golfing tales as Dropscone had played his first full eighteen hole round of golf since his accident a couple of days ago.

A passing greenfinch listened with close attention.


When the coffee drinkers went, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went up to the High Street to collect the Camera Club pictures from the Moorland Festival exhibition and then returned to to the garden.

It was looking good in the sunshine.


The bees were enjoying the crocuses too.


Mrs Tootlepedal has been very busy recently with a big project.  She has been digging things up, shifting piles of stones and heaving tree stumps out of the ground…

stones and tree stumps

…and planting box hedge plants to remodel the space at the back fence.  The old fence will go and a new hedge and grassy bank will soon take shape.

Back fence

I did some gardening too but on a more modest scale…

strawberry bed

…as I weeded half the strawberry bed….with the emphasis on weediness.  I leave the heavy work to Mrs Tootlepedal.  I pruned the gooseberry bush too just to show willing.

In spite of the weather tempting me to go out, I put another week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database after lunch and only then did I go out for a walk.

My target was Castle Hill to the north of the town and I was hoping for some good views.

I passed Mr Grumpy on the Kilngreen on my way.  He wasn’t going to step aside for anyone.


The path up the hill was reasonably dry but it has been much trampled by cattle so it was hard going.  Still, the joy of our local hills is that you don’t have to go very far to get a good view.

View from Castle Hill

The sweeping curve of the Esk valley lies to the north west


The town lies to the south

And my zoom lens can pick out the Kilngreen and the town bridge.  Mr Grumpy can’t be seen though.

Kilngreen and town bridge

A tempting ridge leads on to Potholm Hill…

Potholm Hill

…but a shortage of time and some gloomier weather up the valley…

Esk valley

…persuaded me that a quick route home might be the best thing.

I walked back down to the Castleholm through the woods…


…enjoying some birch polypores…

birch polypores

…and a fine pine tree..

pine tree

…before waiting for a while to see if I could spot a nuthatch or two near the Jubilee Bridge.  I could but they were not in a helpful mood when it came to posing and this was the best that I could do.


They have a nest here though so I should be able to get better pictures next month.

It is not a long walk to the top of Castle Hill and back but it took me a long time and I just had time to look through the pictures and eat a few fish cakes for tea before Susan came to pick me up to go to Carlisle to play with our recorder group.

We had an enjoyable play with a mixture of ancient and modern pieces and this was followed by a cup of tea with some really excellent biscuits so the day ended on a high note.

The flying bird of the day is a black headed gull, spotted on the Kilngreen during my afternoon walk.

black headaed gull

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Venetia during the cold snap a week ago and shows her cat testing the ice on her pond.  It held up.

Venetia's cat

There was no ice here this morning although the temperature was only just above freezing and in spite of a very gloomy forecast, there was no snow either.  Looking at the weather maps there was snow on all sides of us but once again, we had escaped the worst.

I put out some food for the jackdaws.  It attracted their attention…


…and that of a rook too.


In fact it was quite a pleasant morning if you were able to disregard the piercing wind.  Mrs Tootlepedal found a sheltered spot round the back of the house to do some gardening and I wrapped up well and went for a short walk.

I took a picture or two in the garden before I left as there definite signs of things to come to be seen.

crocus and magnolia bud

I was hoping to see some suitable gulls for the flying bird of the day on my walk but there were no gulls to be seen, just some ducks lurking in a corner out of the wind.


It wasn’t a day for taking your hands out of your pockets more than necessary and as I was walking a well trodden route and there was nothing new to see, I only took the occasional picture.

contrasting tree trunks

When I got home, I noticed that the rhubarb has begun to show itself….


There were quite a few birds about so I settled down for an hour to do a garden birdwatch count for the RSPB.

There were plenty of birds to watch both on branches….

birds in plum tree

…and in the air…

busy feeder

…but I was a bit disappointed that not all the birds which I often see put in an appearance today within the time limits.  I saw rook, jackdaw, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch, siskin and blackbird but didn’t see sparrow, robin, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, dunnock or starling.

When the time was up, it was far too windy to be an attractive outdoor cycling day so I did a gentle half hour on the bike to nowhere in the garage and then had lunch.

As you can see from the busy feeder picture above, there were few snowflakes about but they came to nothing so after lunch, I went for another walk.  Owing to the adverse cycling conditions, I have put on some weight since Christmas and I will either have to start watching what I eat or get less fussy about cycling in miserable weather.  Meanwhile a walk was a feeble effort to shake down my lunch.

As long as I was out of the wind, it was a nice enough afternoon for walking but if you caught the wind in your face once you were out of the shelter of the town, it was both hard to walk at all and hard to stop crying.

Luckily I had planned a sheltered walk.

There were hints of sunshine too.

Castle Hill

I would look at Castle Hill again later in the walk.

There was plenty of moss to be seen on Gaskell’s Walk.  This was all on just one tree stump by the path.


There was lichen too but I kept my hands in my pocket as I passed it.

I tested the zoom on my new Lumix to its fullest extent to try to catch a heron in a field on the Murtholm and by propping it on a fence post managed to keep it steady enough to get a recognisable picture from a good distance away.


A fallen tree trunk beside the path caught my eye as I climbed the steps to the old railway at Skippers Bridge….

tree grain

…but there were some less welcome ones to be negotiated on the railway.

trees on old railway

Even on a raw winter’s day, it was a pleasure to be out in the woods….

Wood near round house

…but a quick look at  Castle Hill when I got to the Round House…

snow on Castle Hill

…persuaded me not to hang about but to head for home without delay.  I managed to get to within 300 yards of home before the snow hit me so I was quite pleased with my timing.

Although the snow didn’t come to anything once again, the day was very grey by this time so I settled down to do some top quality idling for the rest of the day.  I did interrupt it to cook my tea and have another very short pedal on the bike to nowhere but idling was the chief activity.

I checked the Met Office website and saw that they have got another named storm for us in the offing.  We can look forward to being slapped by the coat tails of storm Henry on Monday evening though the worst should pass to the north of us.    We would give a lot for a small ridge of high pressure.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch in the snow this morning.

flying chaffinch

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