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Posts Tagged ‘Castleholm’

Today’s guest picture comes from a reader in Bucks Co., Pennsylvania. Spurred on by my biscuit making efforts, Lisa has produced her own Garibaldi biscuits which are very nicely presented.

It was a day of constant wind here today, often gusting at over 40mph. As a result, apart from going out for a very short street coffee morning, we had a quiet day indoors as there was definite danger of being blown over if you were not paying attention when you were in the garden.

To be truthful, I did spend a few moments in the garden after coffee seeing if I could get plants to stop waving about for long enough for me to get a picture. One or two obliged.

There were dancing feet to be seen on a Jacob’s Ladder….

…and a Veronica.

More flowers that survived the frost are showing which is a cheerful sight.

Old tulips are fading away gracefully while the Welsh poppies are doing their best to fill any gaps

A shy ranunculus has just come up. Its delicate colour is a challenge to my camera but the dull light this morning was helpful.

I couldn’t miss a second flower on the clematis at the front door. The front door variety may not have the huge number of flowers that the back door clematis has but each of its flowers packs a bit of a punch.

It didn’t take me long to get back inside out of the wind and I frittered away much of the rest of the morning reading newspapers, doing the crossword and looking at birds (and occasionally mentioning to Mrs Tootlepedal that there was a bit of a wind out there).

There were plenty of birds to watch. While the feeder was not very full, sparrows congregated on the bottom plate…

…and when I filled it, a siskin sensibly took the high road.

During the afternoon, a tentative beak appeared…

…which was followed by the rest of the bird…

…and a hearty snack ensued.

Now you know what a happy rook looks like

We did think about going for a walk after lunch but several punishing gusts of wind in quick succession, persuaded us that the chance of fun was strictly limited and we found more things to do indoors.

I put some accompaniments onto the computer so that I can play trios without breaking any isolating rules.

We have been cooking for ourselves since the lockdown began but following a suggestion from a friend, we applied to a local hotel for a hot meal to be delivered this evening, and bang on schedule delicious portions of fish and chips and vegetarian lasagna arrived from The Douglas, fully as tasty as they would have been if we were eating in their dining room.

However, this was a much more substantial amount of food than we have been used to eating, so afterwards I felt the need to ignore the elements and go for a walk to shake the meal down.

Luckily the wind had dropped a bit and the sun had come out and it was by no means a hardship to do a quick three bridges.

The church was looking good without the trees in front of it…

In spite of an inch of rain recorded by Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge over recent days, there was still not much water in the river but there were plenty of oyster catchers and a wagtail to be seen.

The nesting mother, the anxious father, and another pair further upstream The wagtail was wagging its tail.

I saw a goosander but as it had its head continuously under water and was trawling at speed, it didn’t offer a photo opportunity.

The brisk wind made things a bit chilly and I didn’t hang about too long as I went round the new path on the Castleholm and crossed the Jubilee Bridge…

…but as always, there were things to see along the way, like a thrush in the Clinthead Garden

It was very tame and hopped about until I had got my picture.

…and some neat planting there….

….trees and flowers on the Castleholm and Scholars’ Field…

…and the the heavily tree lined banks of the Esk as I crossed the bridge.

I was pleased to have taken some exercise, especially as the wind is due to continue for a day or two, so cycling is not on the menu until Monday at the earliest.

The flying bird of the day is one of the many sparrows about at the moment.

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Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He found himself being watched by a troop of little monkeys as he walked round his garden.

monkey faces

We had another cold morning here, and another dry and sunny day that never really warmed up.

Mrs Tootlepedal got down to the serious business of protecting her potential peas from serial attacks from scavenging sparrows.

pea fortress

With frozen peas readily available at reasonable prices in the shops, she sometimes wonders why she tries to grow her own peas at all.  It is the principle of the thing though that counts.  She is a gardener, she grows peas and sparrows will not stop her.

It was so chilly that the morning street coffee gathering did not take place at all and I must admit that I spent quite a lot of time lurking indoors grappling with a very tricky crossword puzzle indeed.  It was one of those with ‘special instructions’  and in this case the instruction were so special and impenetrable that it took the combined might of my sister Mary and me over several days to get the bottom of them.  We managed in the end and felt quite triumphant.

I did go outside a bit.

Mrs Tootlepedal had decided that more of the box hedge should be removed to get an even wider view of the front garden and she applied herself vigorously to the task of uprooting the box plants.

I shredded a lot of the casualties and in between times, I wandered round the garden, enjoying the sunny light.

six may flowers 2

When  indoors, I looked out at the birds.  Mrs Tootlepedal is not necessarily very happy when she sees that I am feeding up sparrows.

sparrows on feeder

Another anemone is doing its best to come out and it was joined by a cornflower and a magnificent oriental poppy which added to the colour provided by geum, lamium and rhododendron.

six may flowers

After lunch, we moved the new bench into roughly the position where it will live under the walnut tree and you can see that Mrs Tootlepedal has considerably widened the view already…

wider view of lawn

…but she tells me that more widening is on the cards.

The bench can be seen sitting beside its dilapidated predecessor.  There was some hope of repairing the old bench, but so many bits fell off when we moved it, that that doesn’t seem likely now.

new bench in situ

When the bench had been moved, I mowed the middle lawn.  The moss eating treatment is working but the lack of rain and constant chilly mornings have inhibited the growth of the grass and it will be a week or two at least before the lawn begins to look respectable.

To console myself, I made a batch of Garibaldi biscuits.

garibaldi biscuits

My arithmetic and measuring was much better on this occasion.  They could be neater but they passed the taste test.

I had thought of going for a walk in the afternoon, but when the time to go came, I was overcome by feebleness and stayed at home.

A couple of years ago, I bought a new pocket camera and very unwisely took it down to the sandy beach at North Berwick where we were on holiday with Matilda.  It saw a lot of sandcastle and sea bird action but it never really recovered from sand in the works and finally the zoom and focus stopped working.

It was under guarantee but as I had no-one to blame but myself, I didn’t like to send it back to the manufacturer and it lay unused for some time.  My son Tony has the same sort of camera and when his failed (not through his fault) he got it mended under guarantee, and this motivated me to do something about my camera.

I found a repairer, got a very reasonable estimate, sent the camera away a week ago and got it back yesterday.

I opened the parcel today and took the camera out for a trial run in the garden.

bee on polemonium

I thought that it coped very well…

tulips

…and since it was obviously back in working order…

aquilegias

…after Zooming with my siblings and making omelettes for our tea, I went out for an evening walk with Mrs Tootlepedal to give it the camera a good go.

We went for a traditional three bridges walk, but Mrs Tootlepedal thought it would be good to go the opposite way to my usual direction and we came to the Jubilee Bridge first.

It is guarded by two fine trees.

jubilee bridge may

On the Castleholm. the castle itself was nearly invisible.

castle in spring

I spotted one of the grasses that may have led to my earlier decision not to go for a walk. My breathing is not at its best at the moment.

grass seed

Another source of pollen was spotted too.

pine flowers

It was chilly, but all the same it was a lovely evening for a stroll, as this view of Warbla from the Sawmill Brig shows.

view of warbla from sawmill brig

The rivers are extraordinarily low at the moment and the still of the evening provided us with some unusual reflections.  We could see the mission hall both over and under the town bridge..

mission hall reflection

…and George Street in the bottom of the river.

george st reflection

Looking at the river itself, we spotted a goosander resting on a rock…

goosander on rock

…not far from a pair of oyster catchers.

oyster catchers

Instead of rushing off as goosanders normally do, this one stood up and made sure that I got its good side too.

goosander

A little further along the river, Mrs Tootlepedal, who pays attention to telegraph poles, drew my attention to the interesting patterns in the wood grain on one.

I can see a magnificently bearded wizard and a goblin but you can see whatever you like or nothing at all.

telegraph pole patterns

The walk rounded off the day very pleasantly.  There is hope that it is going to get slightly warmer as the week goes on.  This will be welcome, but I just saw a forecast of 27 degrees for the end of next week.  If this is true and there is still no rain in the offing, the garden may get burnt to a crisp.

The flying bird of the day is a thrush leaving the garden fence at speed.

flying thrush

Footnote:  Mrs Tootlepedal asked me how long our little walk had been.  I checked and found that it was about 1.3 miles but following the government policy on the statistics regarding testing, I told her that we had walked two and a half miles.  She was very impressed.

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Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony.  He is quite unhappy that his work as a painter and decorator has been unceremoniously stopped by government order but no provision for helping the self employed to pay their bills has yet been put in hand by the authorities who are happy to pay the wage bills of large firms.  The sea at East Wemyss today looked a little angry too.

waves at wemyss

We had another dry day here and we are in danger of forgetting the awful weather of February.  It will come as a shock when it starts to rain again.

We should have been in London today attending the civil partnership of our daughter Annie and her partner Joe but circumstances did not permit it.  However, we were able to see them in the registry office immediately after the ceremony through the wonders of video calling.  They looked very happy (and civil).

We spent a quiet morning in and around the garden while we were waiting for the call.  There was a thin cover of cloud, thin enough to let some weak sunshine through and all our neighbours were busy in their gardens too.  I sieved some compost.

Things are progressing slowly towards full springiness and new signs are about, like this berberis…

berberis

…and the first of the fritillaries.

frist fritillary

The forsythia enjoyed the such sun as there was…

forsythia close up

…and a sparrow and starling took in some rays as well.

starling and sparrow

There were quite a few bees of various sorts about and I caught two of them visiting the hellebores.

two bees n hellebore

We had some conversation over the garden fence with our neighbours Irving and Libbie.  They introduced us to Boris the badger who had been getting a fresh coat of varnish.

wooden badger

He didn’t say much.

After lunch, I went for a short walk.  There were no birds visiting the feeder in the garden at all, so I thought that I ought to see what the waterside might provide.

I spotted a dipper in the Wauchope but it was living up to its name so well that I would have needed an underwater camera to get a picture of it.

A black backed gull was more conspicuous…

black backed gull flying

…as he roared across to the water to join his partner….and looked very pleased with himself when he got there.  She looked demure.

black backed gull pair

There were only a couple of black headed gulls about and the sole oyster catcher flew off without waiting for me to get a picture so I was feeling a little underbirded until some loud song at the Sawmill Brig brought a grey wagtail to my attention.

grey wagtail

And as I walked across the Castleholm, a pheasant passed me by.

pheasant castleholm

And I felt that my walk in search of birds was very satisfactory.

I was well sheltered from the wind and the weak sunshine gave off a little warmth so I was in no hurry to get home and could take time to enjoy the light on this mossy tree…

castleholm tree with ferns

…and to realise when i got closer that it was not just moss.  It had a whole garden on it.

ferns on tree

There was a lot to enjoy with heartening signs of growth on all sides (and a handsome fungus too)…

wild flowers and fungus

…but the high spot of the walk home was seeing this flash of colour in a tree…

view of nuthatch

…and finding, when I looked more closely, that it was a nuthatch.  It obligingly flew to another tree nearby so that I could get better shots of it.

nuthtach posing

It was very busy.

nuthatch on branch

As I got near to our house, I found Mike Tinker washing his car in his drive.  He asked me whether I would like to see something interesting so of course I said yes.  I followed him to his back garden (at a satisfactory ‘social’ distance) and he showed his Wollemi pine.

A Wollemi pine is one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants dating back to the time of the dinosaurs and Mike is privileged to be growing one in his garden.  He is very excited as it has both male (left) and female (right) cones on it.  I was impressed to say the least.

wollemi pine with cones

I saw a few other people out walking and we all gave each other a wide berth or changed direction when we came towards each other.

I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden when I got back and we went in and had a cup of tea.

Since the days are getting longer and it was still relatively warm and dry, I got my bicycle out and added another fifteen miles to my month’s cycle mileage.  I found, when I got out of the shelter of the town, that the wind was quite brisk but I got the benefit of it on the way back and covered the last five miles home at an average speed of 19.7 mph  I wish that I had known that as I was pedalling.  I would have pushed a little harder to get the magic twenty miles an hour onto my bike computer.

I made the last of Mrs Tootlepedal’s chicken cacciatore into a curry with added mushrooms for our tea and then we waited for the prime minister’s address to the nation with some foreboding.  The foreboding was justified as the upshot was a lockdown for an indefinite period, a rather depressing but necessary situation.  Honestly, it is not too bad for a retired couple like us but it is a lot harder for people with young children and/or jobs to do so we feel a lot of sympathy for our children and their problems.  It will also not be very jolly to say the least for my sisters and step mother who live in the middle of cities.

As we are officially allowed out for exercise once a day. I will be able to have a walk or a cycle, weather permitting, so I am lucky.  And Mrs Tootlepedal will have her garden so she is lucky too.

The flying bird of the day is a crow which was having a drink at the river and flew off as I approached.

flying crow

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Today’s guest picture comes from my camera club friend Simon,  He too was in the hills yesterday, but in bigger hills than the ones that I visited.   He was skiing in France, the lucky chap.

IMG-20200305-WA0002

We had another beautiful morning here today and Mrs Tootlepedal had to go to a meeting so she couldn’t make the best of it.  I was able to go for a sort walk.

The crocuses beside the Ewes water are just beginning to make a show.  The sharp eyed reader will be able to see signs of frost on the grass in the shadow of some of the flowers,  It was sunny but it was cold.

kilngreen crocuses

I took a picture of a black headed gull on a fence post just to show the black head, a sure sign of spring.  I was interested when I looked at the photo to see that the gull has been ringed.

black headed gull with black head

The oyster catchers, who are quite fond of worms when they can’t catch an oyster, were trundling about in the field beside the river looking for helpful mole hills.

oyster catcher mole hill

A mallard took in some rays.

sunlit duck

Mr Grumpy was there too.  He was standing facing the sun and gently opening his wings to let the sun in.

heron spreading wings

Did I mention that it was quite chilly?  The fence post at the gate onto the Castleholm looked as though some paper shreddings had been sprinkled on it but a closer look showed that they were ice crystals.

ice on gatepost

I was able to lift my eyes to the hills where I had been walking yesterday and I wished that I had had time to walk there again today.

timen from castleholm

I enjoyed the sun and in spite of the ice crystals, it was a good to day to be out.

sunlit tree 1

The ground has dried out a bit after a few days without rain.

sunlit path castleholm

Birds were singing on every side but as usual when I looked up into the trees, I couldn’t see them

sunlit tree 2

Mrs Tootlepedal came home from her meeting soon after I got back and we had time for a quick cup of coffee before setting out to catch the Edinburgh train from Lockerbie.

The trains had been cancelled yesterday because a bird flew into the power lines and fused the system but they were running today and more or less on time.

The carriage windows hadn’t been washed recently but it was still possible to enjoy the view of the hills as we went north.

hills from train

We had a very good light lunch of poached eggs on muffins with a Hollandaise sauce when we got to Edinburgh .  Mrs Tootlepedal had extra smoked salmon with hers and I opted for the Ayshire bacon.

Because of the timetabled changes, we are having to catch an earlier train these days which cuts into the day, but the light lunch is a consolation and we also had time to visit Holyrood on our way down to Matilda’s.

We have been watching the renovation of this building near the palace with interest and we were rather disappointed to find that it has been turned into some upmarket B & B apartments rather than something more interesting.

b and b holyrood

We went next door and visited the Queen.  She wasn’t in her Gallery but many beautiful drawings by Leonard da Vinci were at home and we enjoyed looking at them a lot.

queens gallery

The gallery has an unusual set of door knobs.

queens gallery door handle

If the weather had been warmer we might have enjoyed a cup of tea at the palace.

palace tea room

As it was, we walked down to Matilda’s, stopping on the way so that Mrs Tootlepedal could visit a useful contact for her community land buy out group.  She never stops working.

We had a most enjoyable time at Matilda’s, chatting with her parents, watching her demonstrate her mastery of tap dancing, being shot at by bows and arrows and generally having fun.   Mrs Tootlepedal won the Pelmanism and Matilda won the Snap and I enjoyed my usual level of success.

The journey home went smoothly and as the temperature stayed just above freezing, there was no danger of ice on the road.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch, threading through the reflections on our window.

flying chaffinch with reflections

 

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Today’s guest picture is a lovely study of a heron in the pond at Myatt’s Fields in London.  It was taken by our daughter Annie.

annies' heron

We had another fine and sunny day, both here and when I got to Edinburgh.  It was a bit too chilly for cycling in the morning so I went for a quick walk round three bridges while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to an interesting meeting which lasted all day.

You wouldn’t know that we have just had two weeks of storms.

peace after storm

An oyster catcher had taken over the fence post duty from the gulls.

oystercatcher on fence

I did see a grey wagtail at the Kilngreen but it was too quick for me and got away.  I had to make do with a tree on the Castleholm which stood quietly and echoed the hill behind it quite neatly.

tree and timpen

It was a lovely day for a walk (as long as you were well wrapped up as the wind was bitter).

lodge walks

I just had time for a coffee and a slice of toast after my walk and then it was time to drive to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh.  It was nearly on time.

There are some fine views to had as the train goes through the hills on its way to Edinburgh.

snowy view from train

When I got Edinburgh, I got off the train at Haymarket instead of going to Waverley as usual.  I had a couple of hours to spare before Matilda got out of school so I walked from the station to the start of the Union Canal, stopping for a snack on the way.

The area round the canal basin has been ‘poshed up’ a lot…

 

union canal

…but some more traditional buildings can be seen further along the towpath.

old church union canal

This was my favourite spot on the whole walk.  It was hard to believe that I was still in the centre of a city.

tree and union canal

two rowing boats union canal

clubhouse union canal

There were bridges to admire along the way, both metal…

 

metal bridge union canal

…and stone…

stone bridge union canal

…and mechanical.  This is a lifting bridge near the canal basin.

lifting bridge union canal

The towpath was sometimes wide…

wide towpath union canal

…and sometimes narrow…

narrow towpath union canal

..but mostly busy.  Cyclists do not seem to have discovered the purpose of bicycle bells so it was nervous work from time to time.

I liked this rather desperate attempt to make a dull building more interesting by adding a portico and a palm tree.  It didn’t convince.

buildings union canal

I took many, many pictures and I hope to visit again in the not too distant future and show you some more of this pleasant place.

On my way to the canal and back, I passed along this splendid crescent.  I lived in Edinburgh for five years but never went this way before.  It is called Gardner’s Crescent..

gardeners crescent

…and it has a garden called Gardner’s Crescent Garden but the planting is not very interesting to say the least.

gardeners garden

I got back to Haymarket and enjoyed a ride on the tram to the other end of Princes Street.

Edinburgh Tram

This was a great treat for me even though I had to buy a ticket because my bus pass doesn’t work on the tram.  Perhaps this was why there was no shortage of empty seats.

I arrived at Matilda’s in time to welcome her back from her school day.  She was in good form and told me that she had been learning the ‘banana hold’ at the judo club.   We had a good time and after some energetic action with a hula hoop, we settled down to do a quiet jigsaw puzzle.

matilda and puzzle

Alistair not only cooked a tasty lentil dahl for our tea but sorted out the coding problems on my Langholm Archive website.   This is just the sort of son you want when computer problems loom and you are peckish after a good walk.

The train home was late but not by much and although I had to scrape ice off the car, the drive home went without any hiccups.

Mrs Tootlepedal reported that her meeting, which was to do with community land purchase in general not the Langholm buy out in particular, had been thoroughly worthwhile, so we had both had a good day.

I walked just under 20,000 steps according to my phone.  It tends to exaggerate a bit but it was still a good day of exercise.

The flying birds of the day were seen at the canal basin and were strangely immobile even when I said “Boo!” to them.

canal birds

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Today’s guest picture comes from camera club member Simon.  He was taken for a walk on our local hills by a friend.  They walked yesterday morning before the storm came.  A good choice.

simon's hill picture

The storm arrived with some force yesterday evening, and we had a rather restless night  as the wind howled round the house and rain hammered on the windows.  We opened the curtains with some trepidation this morning but everything still seemed to be there so we breathed a sigh of relief.

It became clear that there had been quite a lot of rain though when we went to church.

Storm Ciara rivers

As it was still raining hard when we went in, we did offer a small prayer that we wouldn’t need a boat to get home.

storm ciara esk

In fact, it had stopped raining by the time that we came out and although the Wauchope still looked high, a glance at the tidemark on the river bank showed that the water level had already begun to drop.

storm ciara caroline st

While Mrs Tootlepedal went home to make a pot of coffee, I walked up to the Kilngreen to take a contrasting picture…

storm ciara meeting of waters

…to the one that I took yesterday morning at very much the same time of day.

view of timpen before storm ciara

When the River Esk is high, I always wonder at how much the bridge acts as a dam to the flow with the river level on one side of the bridge being a good two feet higher than the other.

storm ciara langholm bridge

I got home and enjoyed Mrs Tootlepedal’s coffee.  The wind had calmed down a lot by this time and the rain had kept away so I was able to spot a few birds on the feeder.

A greenfinch arrived and thought that it would prefer the perch above it, occupied by a siskin.  A siskin is feisty but no match for a determined greenfinch so an exchange was negotiated.

greenfinch and siskins

In spite of the slightly better conditions, Mrs Tootlepedal and I were in two minds as to whether it would be sensible to drive to Carlisle for our afternoon choir as there were reports of flooding on the road.  Discussion was cut short though when we read an email from the choir saying that the practice had been cancelled anyway.  A good decision, we thought.

A few more birds caught my eye both on the feeder…

robin, dunnock, chaffinch, siskin

…and below

The robin wanted to make sure that I got a close shot.

robin on stalk

A check with the forecast suggested that we were in for a spell of sunshine and showers with wind gusts at no more than 40 mph so I decided that a walk would be in order, hoping to get more sunshine than showers.

There was remarkably little debris about and the flow of the Wauchope under the Auld Stane Brig was nothing like the storm last year where the level was so high that the trees washed down the stream couldn’t get under the bridge and ended up on the bank above the bridge.  The roots of one are still there.

debris and auld stane brig

I walked up the Becks road and took the path down to the bridge across the Becks Burn.  Mrs Tootlepedal had been mildly worried that the burn might pose a threat to an elderly walker, but by the time that I got there, the sun had come out and the water was running at a comparatively gentle rate.

Becks Burn storm ciara

I crossed the bridge and walked back to the town along the track in pleasant conditions.

whita from becks

In fact conditions were so pleasant that instead of going directly home, I walked through the Galaside wood and round the Scholars’ Field…

scholars storm ciara

…and over the Jubilee Bridge.

jubilee bridge trees

A glance down from the bridge reminded me that it hadn’t been so pleasant a few hours ago…

swollen esk

…and although the path round the bottom of the Castleholm looked inviting….

new path storm ciara

…frequent puddles had to be navigated…

puddle new path storm ciara

…and the river was not far away.

full esk new path storm ciara

When I got to the Kilngreen, the waters had dropped far enough for an oyster catcher to perch on a fence post in safety.

oyster catcher on post

As I walked back past the church, a small flock of oyster catchers swirled through the sky above my head.

flock of oyster catchers

I got home from a three mile walk which I hadn’t expected to be able to take let alone enjoy and then sank into sloth for the rest of the day.  Mrs Tootlepedal did get out to do a little gardening so the day wasn’t entirely wasted.

We have been lucky again as there was enough water at Hawick 20 miles up the road to seriously damage a building beside the river.

Looking at the forecast now, it seems that the worst may well have passed us by and we can expect some damp and windy weather for the next couple of days but nothing worse.

We are grateful.

The flying bird of the day is that greenfinch avoiding the first siskin that it met..

flying greenfinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mike and Alison’s recent trip to New Zealand to visit their son and his family.  Knowing that I like a bridge, Alison showed me this picture to prove that they have bridges in New Zealand too.

NX bridge

I am pleased to have a little sunshine in the guest picture because there wasn’t a hint of  sunshine here today.  It was grey, very windy (45 mph gusts) and often very rainy too.

The birds weren’t keen to fly in to the feeder but our resident dunnocks pottered about on the ground in the shelter of the hedge behind the feeder…

dunnock

…and a lone goldfinch appeared.

goldfinch

When I was taking the picture of the goldfinch, I realised that it had stopped raining for a while at least, so I put on every waterproof I could find just in case and went out for a short walk to stretch my legs.

There was a fair bit of water going down the river but that didn’t put off a dipper from doing a little dipping…

dipper in Esk

…and two crows found rocks to stand on as the water rushed by.

two crows in the water

I crossed the Town bridge and went on to the Kilngreen where there were a few gulls about. The wind was so strong that when they tried to fly into it, they went slowly enough for even my pocket camera with the zoom well zoomed to catch them in the air.

flying gull lumix 2

I couldn’t do much about the light though so the results are far from perfect.  I took the pictures  just to show how strong the wind was.

flying gull lumix 3

Looking at the Meeting of the Waters where the Ewes coming from the right joins the Esk, it was easy to see where it had been raining the hardest.

meeting of the waters

The Sawmill Brig was getting its feet wet today.

sawmill brig with water

And I got my feet a bit wet as I puddled along the path round the bottom of the Castleholm.

puddles on path

Sheep were astonished at the sheer beauty of my rainy day get up (woolly hat with cap underneath, scarf, big coat, waterproof trousers and a grumpy expression).

inquisitive sheep castleholm

But it was quite warm and it wasn’t raining so after admiring some artistic lichen on a gate…

lic hen on gate

…and some more on the gatepost..

lichen on gatepost

…I decided not to cross the Jubilee Bridge…

jubilee bridge

…but to walk a little further up river and cross the Duchess Bridge.

I was just admiring a fern garden on a tree and thinking how much rain is needed to get a result like that….

ferns on tree

…when it started to rain very heavily.

I was grateful for my ample clothing and for the shelter from the wind that walking along the river bank provided, but the last few hundred yards of my walk through the town got me and my gear thoroughly soaked.  The wind was so strong at one point that my legs were going  forwards but my body was going backwards.

I got home safely though and enjoyed cold beef and fried bubble and squeak for lunch.

After lunch, the weather settled down to being constantly beastly so I settled down to putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Database.

I then tidied up the front room a bit for the most important gathering of the year, The Langholm Archive Group Annual General Meeting. (Drum roll and fanfare.)

Eight members were present and we congratulated ourselves on having extended the newspaper index from 1848 to 1901 and past the death of Queen Victoria and the end of the South African war.  The photographic collection has increased too, thanks to the work of Sandy and as we get a continuous trickle of inquiries and many remarks about the usefulness and interest of the website, we decided to keep our work going for yet another year.

Thanks go to all the volunteers who make it happen.

In spite of its great importance, the meeting was over in twenty five minutes and I was soon able to sit down to an evening meal of baked potatoes followed by baked apples, a warming treat on a miserable day.

I couldn’t get a flying bird in the garden so the flying bird of the day is one of gulls at the Kilngreen battling into the wind.

flying gull lumix 1

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