Posts Tagged ‘Craigcleuch’

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my friend Bruce who seems to have popped up in Spain.   He had an excursion today to the monastery at Montserrat and found a statue there of interest.  He claims that its eyes followed him about wherever he went.  Look closely at the triptych which he took and you can see what he means.

MontserratI didn’t need to be followed anywhere this morning as I stayed firmly at home doing nothing more exciting than making some slow cooked lamb stew and a pot of coffee.  Sandy joined us for coffee on his way home from a fifteen mile cycle ride which put me to shame.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work doing preparatory work for the final decoration of the downstairs room and I lent a small hand from time to time.

I did take a walk round the garden.   I found two small tortoiseshell butterflies trapped in a spider’s web in the garage and Mrs Tootlepedal came with her delicate fingers and freed them.  We were worried that they might be fatally injured but after a little basking in the sun…

butterfly…they both flew off looking quite chipper.

New flowers are to be seen.


The first of many tulips


A few forsythia flowers

The tadpoles are beginning to roam free in the pond.

tadpolesSpurred into action by a sardine sandwich for lunch, I put on my walking shoes and walked up to the top of Timpen, a 1000 ft summit behind our house.  I had my cameras with me but I was more interested in walking than shooting so I took my walking poles along and hardly stopped until I had made it to the top of the hill.

Two brief photo ops detained me on my way up.

Hill cattle

With the hill cattle around, I had to be careful not to get between mother and calf.  They can be fiercely protective.

meadow pipits

I saw quite a few of these little birds on the hillside.

meadow pipits

They turned out to be meadow pipits.

There is a trig point with a bench mark on the summit….

benchmarkThe numbers do not refer to the height above sea level which is 1069 ft.  Another benchmark near our house in the town is at a height of 269 ft and this shows that I had climbed exactly 800 ft, as my route had not involved any loss of height.

It was another hazy day but I took a couple of shots from the top of the hill.


The town just visible 800 ft below.


In the other direction I could see Craigcleuch, one of the houses built by mill owners in Victorian times.

The light was very variable but every now and again, a bit of sunlight penetrated the haze and lit up a view.

Castle HillI went (very carefully) down the steeper side of the hill towards the Bentpath road and could see the pheasant hatchery on the Castleholm laid out like a map plan below me.

CastleholmOnce back on the road, I crossed it and walked back to Langholm through the woods to the Duchess Bridge.  I was greeted by a very charming bunch of primroses.

primrosesThe recent dry weather has made the path much less muddy than usual and it was a pleasure to walk along it.

Duchess bridge walkThe bridge itself is very difficult to see because of the trees lining the riverside…

Duchess Bridge…and if I was the landowner, I would make sure that there was at least one gap in the trees so that walkers could admire this historic bridge.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had reached a natural hiatus in her decorating tasks so we went for a nine and a half mile cycle ride up and down the Wauchope road in the the warm early evening sunshine.  The trees at the school are retreating ever further along the banks of the river.

Wauchope school treesWe turned for home at Westwater and had a quick look at the massive wooden circular construction there which will be used for a falconry centre there.   You can see a picture of it at the end of Gavin’s latest blog.

When we got home, Mrs Tootlepedal washed one of a pair of big velvet curtains from the front room in a large tub and I helped her to hang it out.  I question whether it will ever dry out but we can but hope.

I took a picture of a euphorbia before I went back in.

euphorbiaThe lamb stew turned out very well after my gravy chef had worked her magic and provided us with a good meal.  As I was feeling inexplicably snoozy, the rest of the evening saw no action of note at all.

Bird  action was very limited in the garden during the day but as I was waiting for the stew, I did see a late flying chaffinch.


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Today’s picture shows a member of the cleaning staff at a café in Nottingham encountered by my brother.


After I posted last night’s blog, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went up to the White Yett to do some stargazing.  We were hoping to see some meteors and we did, though not as many as we had hoped.  We also saw the International Space Station zooming across the sky which was a first for us.  It was a very clear night and the Milky Way was spread across the sky above us.  I had hoped to be able to take some streaky photos but the meteors were too few and far between to give me a chance.  It was a long time since I had been out in the dark, away from town lighting and it was a very satisfying experience.

It was still clear in the morning and as Dropscone was off playing in a golf tournament at Hawick for old men, I took the opportunity of the fine sunny weather to go cycling with Mrs Tootlepedal.  We took a fifteen mile tour round Enzieholm Bridge, taking our time and admiring the scenery as we went.

Church at Bentpath

The church at Bentpath



We made several unscheduled stops to admire the wild raspberries too (and eat a good few of them as we went).

raspberry eater

We couldn’t help notice the ongoing construction of the new primary school as we passed.

primary school

It looks very alien in the middle of a stone built town but maybe the finished product will look all right.

It was a very enjoyable trip and another chance to try out the new glasses.  When we got home, I walked round the garden and met some new flowers.  There is a fresh Shirley poppy out just to show that there was some variety in Mrs Tootlepedal’s seed packet.

shirley poppy

And a striking new lily has appeared in the back border.  It has an appropriate name after last night’s activities..



Just to prove me wrong yet again after I said that the roses had finished, three new flowers have bloomed.

late roses

I am always pleased to see blue tits in the garden.  We seem to have at least one family at the moment.

blue tits

And I was delighted to see the first coloured butterfly of the year.

peacock butterfly

A peacock butterfly

After lunch, I went to the tourist information point where I was impressed by the hanging basket outside the door.

TIP hanging basket

It has been a good year for hanging baskets.

I was able to give information to two tourists and I was visited by Sandy who kindly came in to stop me getting too bored.

After I locked up, I bought an ice cream and sat by the river while I ate it.

young black headed gull

I watched the black headed gulls.

I filled the car up with diesel and then went to pick up Sandy.  We had arranged to go wild raspberry picking as I had felt that there were plenty to go round as we passed them on our morning ride.  We spent about three quarters of an hour and picked three pounds of fruit between us.  (We actually picked a bit more than that but I dropped my bowl and spilt some.)

When we had had enough picking, we walked up a small hill nearby.

Peden's view

The little knoll was our objective.

We were looking for a good view of the town.



It was a bit annoying that the sun had gone in by the time we were taking our photographs but photo editors can always help.

blue sky

Blue sky, nothing but blue sky

We also looked back up the valley along which Mrs Tootlepedal and I had cycled in the morning.

Esk Valley

The large house in the foreground was built for the owner of a mill in the town which has finally closed this year.


Sandy on top of the world.

Sandy has posted some very nice pictures of our walk yesterday which you can find here.

When I got home, I just had enough energy to shift a bit more of the compost from bin A into bin B before collapsing in front of a delicious meal cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal.

After tea, I made some jam from the raspberries that Sandy and I had picked.  it looks all right but the taste test will come tomorrow.

raspberry jam

Waiting to cool before putting the lids on.

Three for him and three for me.

The flying bird of the day is one of those black headed gulls I was watching with my ice cream in hand.

flying gull










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