Posts Tagged ‘Fairy Loup’

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony’s partner Marianne.  She shared her enjoyment of a view over the river Tay at Perth with some jackdaws.

birds on Tay

I realised when I came to put this post together that I had included far too many pictures in it by accident so I apologise in advance and recommend that busy people give today’s effort a miss.

I spent the morning down at the community cafe at Canonbie Church with fellow camera club members Stan and Sandy helping to put up our camera club exhibition there.  It takes longer than you might think to hang thirty photographs so that they look inviting and well balanced even with the expert help of Archie and Beverley from the cafe.  The finished set up looked good and it is ironic that I should have forgotten to take a picture to show the exhibition in place.  I hope to cycle down to Canonbie soon and take a picture when I am there.

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal sitting on a garden bench looking intently at one of the flower borders.  She was watching our local pair of partridges and they kindly waited long enough for me to get out a camera before they marched off over the lawn, down the drive and away.

the partridge

While I had the camera in my hand, I noted some daisies…


…the first open tulip of the year…

open tulip

…and the unnamed little white flower which Mike Tinker told us last night is a cardamine, so it is no longer unnamed.


The feeder was empty so I filled it up and in no time at all, the birds were back in business.

busy feeder

Mrs Tootlepedal had been very busy while I was down in Canonbie and had discovered that the brick foundation which she had excavated yesterday ran the whole length of the bed that we were cultivating.

It would be too hard to remove it so the trench will be filled in and potatoes planted and then next year, it may all go down to grass.

trench in potato bed

Speaking of grass, I pushed my light mower over the drying green but grass was in very short supply and most of the area is covered in spongy moss with the occasional blade of grass sticking through.

moss on drying green

After lunch, I suggested a walk and Mrs Tootlepedal thought that that would be a good idea.  There was a light drizzle in the garden so we decided to go down to Canonibie in the hope that it might be drier down there.  It had been sunny there while we were putting up the exhibition in the morning.

It was rather grey when we got there but we parted the car at the bottom of the Byreburn wood and went for a walk anyway.  Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a fine display of wood anemones not many yards away from the car so that was a good start.

wood anemone

Our walk took us through the oldest part of the wood where there are many fine old conifers, including one of the earliest Douglas firs to come to Britain.

big trees byreburn

Although there are not many larches in this part of the wood, this one stood out with its fresh green growth.

latch buds

As we went along, the wood got younger…

byreburn wood trail

…and we finally emerged into an area that has been felled.  Here the path took a turn up a steep but short climb….

path through uphill byreburn wood

…which gave us a look back over the sawmill below.

canonbie sawmill

Luckily, the path makers had thoughtfully provided a place of rest for the elderly walker at the top of the hill.

bench in byreburn wood

We now walked along the edge of the wood beside green fields as we headed up the Byreburn valley…

Windy Hill

…passing this interesting tree on the way.conifer at Windy Hill

We got to the spot where a great railway viaduct spanned the valley in days gone by…


Photo from the Langholm Archive collection

…but it was demolished in 1986 and there is no sign of it all now.

view of burebrun from old viaduct spot

We continued on until we came to the road and then walked down to the Byreburn itself.  The willows have been outstanding this year and we thought that this showed how well they are doing.

fat willow

We crossed the Byreburn by the road bridge and walked down the track on the far side of the stream, stopping at the Fairy Loup to record a clump of ladybirds on a fence post…

clump of ladybirds

…and noting the very gentle trickle of water over the waterfall after a good few days without any rain.

fairy loup trickle

This was a coal mining area once and an old engine house can still be seen.  It pumped water out of the workings beside the burn.

old pumping house

We were out of the woods now and walked back along the old A7 towards our car.

Just past the engine house was a patch of grass which was full of lichen.  It makes a change from moss.

lichen at byrebrunfoot

We were on the flat beside the river Esk and the farmer had been out rolling his pasture which gave the fields a very well tended air.



fields at Canonbie

Then there were just a few celandines…

celandine beside old A7

…a patch of blackthorn hedge…

balckthorn at Byreburn wood

…and a horse chestnut bud to record….

chestnut bud

…before we got into the car and drove home, having enjoyed a walk, some of which Mrs Tootlepedal thought was entirely new to her.  It certainly had a great variety of surroundings and interest for its modest two and a half mile distance.

Not surprisingly, we were quite happy to sit down and have a quiet cup of tea and a rest when we got home.  It had been a strenuous day for Mrs Tootlepedal in particular with a lot of digging and delving in the morning.

The flying bird of the day is a female chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from our friend Bruce who was more adventurous than me and went for an outing in the rain.  His reward was a picture of the Byreburn in full flow over the Fairy Loup. (I have put a little video that he took at the bottom of this post for those who like loud noises.)

fairy loup

As you can see from Bruce’s picture, there was a lot of water about today.  It had started raining before two o’clock in the morning and it rained until it got dark in the evening.  At that point 35 mph winds started to blow so it wasn’t in general a very pleasant day.

Dropscone arrived with bonus scones as he had left his hat and gloves here yesterday  and we had a cup of coffee before we went off with them firmly in his grip.

While we were sipping, there was a mass flight of birds from the feeder and when we looked, we could see the reason for the excitement.

sparrowhawk in plum tree

The sparrowhawk lurked in the plum tree for some time but no little birds were foolish enough to come back to the feeder and it eventually flew off.

As it had been raining for 8 hours by the time that Dropscone went off to do some shopping,  I walked down to the river under a capacious umbrella to see if the water was high.  It was surprisingly low…

Wauchope fairly full

…and you can see from the grass on the far bank that it had been higher yesterday after a much shorter but much heavier shower.

Two goosanders found it calm enough to paddle about.

goosanders on wauchope

…and I noticed the usual autumn outbreak of fungus around an old tree stump next to the church wall.

church mushrooms

The rain started to come down a bit more vigorously so I went home and looked at the birds as there was nothing much better to do.

Although the rain was very persistent, it was quite light at times and the birds didn’t get as soggy as they sometimes do in the wet.

I don’t know if we just have one coal tit who visits a lot or several coal tits who come one at a time but I never see more than one at the feeder though I do see it/them a lot at present.

coal tit paying flying vivit

We had a good number of greenfinches today and at times they dominated the feeder, shouting at sparrows…

greenfinch being rude to sparrow

…and grumbling at other greenfinches.

greenfinches squabbling

Between the greenfinches and the sparrows, goldfinches could only sulk in the background.

goldfinch sulking

Some sparrows tried enchantment to get rid of a fellow sparrow on a perch…

greenfinch witching

…while others took a more direct route to eviction.

sparrow kicking sparrow

A greenfinch…

greenfinch on arch

…and a goldfinch rose above the bad behaviour.

goldfinch on arch

A touch of class was brought by the arrival of some collared doves…

collared dove

…but sadly, in a sign of the times, even the doves fell to fighting each other.

fighting doves

I couldn’t look any longer and went off to put a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and practise some singing as I will have two choirs tomorrow.

Since it was still raining in the afternoon, I went down to look at the rivers again but although the water in the Esk was high, it was still lower than it had been yesterday.  I was surprised…

esk fairly full

…but it shows how well our rivers drain the rain away. There was plenty of water going under the bridge…

town bridge with water

…but not enough to wash away a tree which has been stuck under one arch for some time.

I passed another very similar crop of fungus on a different tree stump on my way home.

more fungus

And that more or less completed the events of the day though I did have some stewed apple and custard for my tea which was quite exciting.

The flying bird of the day is one of the greenfinches…..

flying greenfinch

…and the flying water comes courtesy of Bruce and the Fairy Loup.


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We had such a grey day here that I badly needed something bright for the post so today’s guest offering is another of Tommy cycling in the South African sunshine.  Lucky chap.

tommy in SA

The only colour in the garden today was provided by a few stubborn daffodils who defied the cold and the wind.


It was very depressing after having had a few nearly decent days to go back to mean, cold and nasty weather again.

The birds had to hang on to the feeders…


…and take great care getting on  to the perches.


The encompassing gloom was cheered by the arrival of Dropscone with treacle scones and Sandy to help eat them with our morning coffee.

We were also pleased to see the return of the dam bridge repairers with the new railings, ready to be installed.

Sandy and I arranged to go for a walk after lunch and he duly arrived and drove us down to Canonbie where we parked at the Hollows and walked along the road to the Byreburn bridge.

In spite of very poor conditions for taking pictures, the wall along the old road provided us with plenty of temptations to get the camera out.

fernsmoss on lichengorsemoss and fern

When we got to the Byreburn bridge, we left the river Esk and followed the track beside the burn…

Byreburn track

…with plenty to see as we walked up to the next bridge.


A hint of the coal seams which were mined in days past

fairy loup

The Fairy Loup

fairy loup

The Byreburn

byreburn bridge

Here we left the shelter of the woods and took to the road to make a circular route back to the car.

Once again, there were things to look at as we went along…

gate at Claygate

Gate of the day being threatened by encroaching hedges

gilnockie schoolhouse

Snowdrops at the old school house

Near Gilnockie station

Neatly trimmed hedges, often a feature of our back roads.

…and things looking at us…

mean sheep

…with a very hard stare.

As we got down the hill back towards the Hollows, Sandy noticed a tree beside the road which looked as though it had been the victim of a very bad sewing job by some dendrological Dr Frankenstein…

tree with ivy

…and I enjoyed the sight of a clump of hardy trees hanging by their toenails to the bank high above the river Esk.

Hollows Bridge

We had thought that we might get blasted by the cruel wind as we walked back along the road but by happy accident, the wind was directly behind us and the whole walk was remarkably comfortable considering the conditions.

The Hollows Bridge is hard to see from the road so the best that I could do was to peer through the trees…

Hollows Bridge

…but the consolation was the sight of the little stone carvings which keep appearing on the wooded knoll beside the river.   This set were new since I had last been here.

Hollows Bridge statues

When we got home, the bridge railings had been installed but not quite finished so I took a temporary shot of each side…

dam bridge repair railings

…and then forgot to come out later to take the finished article.

I will try again tomorrow.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out to a concert in the Church which was raising funds for the restoration of the church organ and the refurbishment of the social club in the town.

The concert featured brass and pipe bands, guest singers from Hawick and a fine selection of local talent.  I am not an out and out fan of pipe bands playing indoors but the concert was thoroughly enjoyable all the same and only the attendance was a bit disappointing.  I hope that those who couldn’t come had something better to do for they had missed a treat.

On a grumpy note, it went on too long.  Two and a half hours sitting in a church pew is enough to let the iron enter anyone’s soul.  I may have remarked before that I have never heard anyone come out of an amateur concert saying, “That was too short.”

Still, it proved that we are not short of musical talent in the town.

The flying bird of the day matches the weather.  Rather a poor effort.


The weather is due to get worse.




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Today’s guest picture was taken yesterday by my neighbour Gavin, who was walking behind us back from the Market Place after the band had played.  He describes what he saw as ‘a rose between two thorns’.  Rather rude I thought.

Al, me and matilda

We had another lovely sunny day today but with added ice…

icy puddle

…which we haven’t seen for some time.

The wind was light though and Alistair, Matilda and I went to visit the park again.  The play equipment was too iced up to play on so we did walking instead and after some initial wariness in case of slipping, Matilda took to breaking the ice in any puddle we met with great gusto.

Sadly the fun had to go unrecorded as I failed to put a card into my camera.   There were hundreds of puddles so we had a busy walk.

We got back in time for a quick look at the birds….


Dappled goldfinches

….followed by lunch and then all too soon, it was time for our visitors to go back to Edinburgh.  We waved them goodbye and went inside sadly and then a few minutes later, we waved them goodbye again when they had come back and collected a forgotten item.

Although the walk yesterday and two days of grandparenting had both been fun, they had also both been quite hard work and the thought of a quiet sit down was quite attractive.  On the other hand, the weather was so good that a walk seemed almost compulsory.

I rang Sandy and soon afterwards, we drove down to the Hollows in his car.

On one side of the river, Hollows Mill was looking impressive…

Hollows Mill

…and on the other, the little wood where the original tower once stood was looking lovely.

Hollows Bridge wood

Sandy noticed a most unusual bird in one of the trees.

owl at hollows

We parked at the gate to the old road…

Old A7 hollows

…and walked the two  mile circuit along the road, up the Byre Burn track past the Fairy Loup and back down the road past the old station.

The wall along the old A7 was full of interest…

Pixie cup lichen

The biggest and greyest pixie cup lichen I have ever seen

Colour among the moss

Colour among the mosses

…but it was nothing compared to the unexpected appearance on twigs all the way up the Fairy Loup track of any amount of ice hair.

It was everywhere.

ice hair at Byreburn

I couldn’t find a perfect picture opportunity but this was my favourite today.

ice hair at Byreburn

The Byre Burn at the Fairy Loup was running quite calmly…

Fairy Loup

It is very annoying for a man with a camera that there is no view of the waterfall that doesn’t have a branch in front of it. Unfortunately the bank is too steep for an old man to climb down it with a saw in his hand.

The same might be said of the bridge over the burn at the top of the track.

Byreburn bridge

I have never seen a bridge with so many branches in front of it – whatever side you view it from.

We were struck by a rather haunted looking tree in the wood beside the track as we came up to the bridge…

Gothic tree

We didn’t get too close in case it reached out and grabbed us.

…and we liked the ice rimmed leaves of a bramble as we walked up the hill away from the bridge.


Just as we got to the top of the hill at Gilnockie School, there was a tremendous amount of mewing from a buzzard (or two).  It sounded very close but I couldn’t see a bird. Then  the sharp eye of Sandy spotted a buzzard on a telegraph pole in a field.  It flew up onto a tree on the far side of the field and posed.


The Lumix zoom at its full extent.

We walked along the road to the station looking straight into the sun….

Gilnockie road

…hoping that any cars would be able to avoid us as we wouldn’t be able to see them coming.  The camera saw much more clearly than we could.

Once we had dropped back into the woods as we got near the car, the light was kinder and when we got down to the old road again, it was positively golden.

Old A7 hollows

Straight out of the camera, no processing at all.

It is going to be hard for the rest of 2107 to live up to the first two days of the year as far as good walks and fun with family go.

Sandy came back for a cup of tea, a cake and a crumpet and then it really was the time for some serious sitting down.

I sat down seriously.

The flying bird of the day really is a bird today.

flying chaffinch



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Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s portfolio of London’s parks.

regent's park

With the thermometer at 2°C, it was warm enough for yesterday’s snow to be melting slowly but cold enough to keep me off the roads on my bike.  As a result, I girded my loins and did ten very boring miles on the bike to nowhere in the garage.

I am using a low cost magnetic resistance trainer on top of which the back wheel of my slow bike sits.  On the plus side, this gives me a sensible riding position but on the minus side, there is no inertia at all and as soon as you ease off the pressure on the pedals, it slows down instantly.  It is like pedalling through porridge.  There is no free-wheeling and none of the helpful spinning of a flywheel which you get with a gym model.  The result is like cycling constantly uphill and it makes an hour seem like a lifetime.

I was pleased to get off and look out of the kitchen window.


Chaffinches looked down….


…and up


…and all around

You can see that by lunch time,  it had started to rain and sleet.  This didn’t make the siskins any more well disposed to other birds than usual.


It eased off not long after it started though and that was a blessing even if it left things looking distinctly soggy.


By the time that we had finished lunch, it had stopped entirely and after going nowhere in the morning, we thought it would be nice to go somewhere in the afternoon.

We combined the need to put a little petrol in the car and get some shopping done with an excursion to Canonbie for a walk on less snowy tracks.

Though it is only six miles away, the path through the Byreburn wood was almost snow free…

Stream at Hollows

…though the lack of snow was made up for by plenty of water.

The walk up past the Fairy Loup and back down the road turned out to be a sociable occasion as we met the owner of the Archimedes Screw at the Hollows Mill on the way.  He was walking with his wife and tiny baby but was happy to stop and tell us about the workings of the Screw.  He invited us to come and have a view and we will certainly do that at the first convenient time.

There was plenty of brown water rushing over the waterfall at the Fairy Loup…

Fairy Loup

Further up the track, we met two more friends, parents of children at Canonbie School when I was teaching there, and we had another good chat with them.  Their daughter, a grand athlete in her primary school days, has taken to running very seriously and ran 1500 miles in the course of last year.  It made my knees hurt just to hear about her efforts.

We walked on beside the leaping stream….


…until we got to the top of the track and then we headed back to the car by the quieter road.

For a day that looked quite cold….


… and grey….

Hollows hill

…the walking was very kindly.  The unusual absence of anything but the lightest breeze made for perfect conditions for a January stroll.

We filled the car up on the way out and managed our shopping on the way home . When we got back, we enjoyed a welcome cup of tea and a sit down.

We didn’t have all that long to wait though before we were off again.  Our target this time was the Buccleuch Centre, where the RNSO were presenting a New Year Viennese Gala.

The hall was packed and so was the stage, with 60 musicians ready and willing to give us a seasonal treat.  There was nothing unexpected in the concert but the sheer delight of having 60 accomplished musicians playing live music in a good humoured way to an appreciative audience banished any thoughts of rain and snow completely.

As a bonus, there was a sparkling soprano too and when she sang Vilia, Oh Vilia as an encore, you could almost hear the physical and mental strain of the many amateur opera singers in the audience trying desperately not to sing along with her.

The RNSO, our national orchestra, is on a new year tour of some of the most notable towns in Scotland outside the big four cities.  They are visiting Dunfermline (pop. 50,000), Inverness (pop. 46,000), Stirling (pop. 36,000), F0rfar (pop. 14,000) and Langholm (pop. 2,301).  It’s hard to work out but we don’t ask, we are just grateful.

There was a flying bird in action during the morning snow today too.

flying chaffinch

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Today seems to be World Book Day and to celebrate this, my Newcastle correspondent has sent me a picture of her daughter Hannah with just a few of the books she is reading.

book dayThe temperature was a little up this morning.  This would have been welcome if the wind hadn’t also got up and the clouds come down.  This made for a rather gloomy day.

I spent a lot of the day hoping the things would improve but they didn’t.

I started the day by taking our new second hand car to our local garage for a health check.  At first acquaintance, it seems to be so low mileage and in such good condition than I was worried in case it was too good to be true.  I walked home in time for breakfast.

The frogs found the weather just to their liking though and the pond was chock-a-block with them.

frogLater on, I was cheered by the arrival of Sandy on his way back from filling the Moorland Feeders just in time to join us for a coffee.

We wondered whether the weather might be better a few miles south so he drove me down to the Hollows and we took a walk up the track through the Byreburn Wood.  It turned out that the weather was much the same down there, windy with occasional drizzle but the walk through the woods was well sheltered so we didn’t mind.

There was a striking patch of moss on the wall beside the old main road as we walked along the river to the start of the track through the woods.

moss at ByreburnThere has been a ,lot of forestry work in the wood and we were a bit worried about the state of the track.  Our worries were groundless though as the track has been restored to a better state than it was in before the forestry work began.

Byreburn woodThe wood men took most of the coniferous trees out of the plantation but were careful to leave the deciduous trees untouched.  As a result, the wood looked pretty good for one that has had substantial felling, light and airy and very green as we walked along.

The tree felling meant that the little waterfall at the Fairy Loup looked less sombre than before but it still has too many saplings growing in front of it for a photographer’s taste.

Fairy LoupI would like to scramble down to the waterside to get a better view but the bank is far too steep so I took a shot of the minor cascade at the top instead.

Fairy LoupInstead of going back by the same way that we had come, we walked further along the excellent track…

Byreburn wood…admiring a plentiful crop of catkins…

catkins…until we came to the road, which we followed back to the car.  We were exposed to the wind and drizzle once we were out of the woods and frequently wondered about the wisdom of our route choice.

In spite of the drizzle, we really enjoyed our walk and aim to go back and see what the newly cleared woodland will look like in a month or so.

I picked up our car from the garage on our way home and was delighted to find once again that my fears were groundless and that it is indeed as good as it looks.  As soon as we get a good day, Mrs Tootlepedal and I will put our bikes in the back and go off for a jaunt.

It was too gloomy for much bird photography…

chaffinch…and there were very few birds about anyway.  This was in spite of the absence of builders who were working elsewhere in the town today.  I didn’t see a siskin all day.

The frogs were undaunted and at times the noise from the pond was nearly as bad as the builders.

frogThey came in various sizes…

frog,,,and colours….

frog…and there was a whole lot of love about.

frogI spent most of the afternoon thinking about going for a bike ride, going to the back door to check the wind and then thinking about not going for a bike ride.  This pattern was repeated several times. When I wasn’t doing that, I put a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the database and grappled with an unsympathetic crossword.

I was lucky to look up from my work at just the right moment to catch a robin obligingly perching on the arm of a bench.

robinIt looked rather ruffled but when it turned away a bit, it looked better.

robinIt is quite hard to believe it is the same bird taken within seconds.

Although the builders gave us a miss today, the electrician came in the late afternoon and started his work so that kept us more than happy.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the Buccleuch Centre to see a film about J W Turner and i went up to the Archive Centre with Sandy.  My journey was rather pointless as once again our internet connection refused to co-operate so we retired for a glass of wine and a sulk before coming home early.  Still, I managed to put a third week of the paper index into the database when I got home so I had had quite a productive day in that respect at least and have kept up with the data miners.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s film went on far too long for her to be able to enjoy it.

The flying bird of the day is one of the few chaffinches that visited.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture has been sent by Langholm exile Joyce, now resident in the wilds of Canada.  She thinks that I ought to stop complaining about the weather here.


It was thirty degrees C warmer than that here today and the wind wasn’t too bad so I got the speedy bike out after breakfast and went off to check the state of the roads on the morning run.  They were terrible, with ever more potholes, gravel on corners and very soft verges to fall into if a car came the other way.  Luckily, I only met one car and got round safely but I don’t think that I will go round that route again on the speedy bike for a while.

The most notable thing about the trip was the sky.  To the south and west it looked promising but to the north and east, it was black as paint.  As I went up the back roads from Glenzierfoot to the Kerr, I got some strange lighting effects.  My phone did its best to capture some of them.

windows at the Fauldie

Fauldie with brightness to the left and darkness to the right.

Cottage at Fauldie

Bright eyes at the cottage there.

I stopped again going up the hill to Tarcoon.



It looked as though I was going in the wrong direction.

I was going in the wrong direction and hit a heavy rain shower on the last few miles back into Langholm.   However, as usual in the winter, I was well protected against the elements and I enjoyed the ride, especially as the wind blew me home through the rain down the Wauchope road.

The rain stopped soon after I got back and I was able to capture a perching chaffinch in a sliver of thin sunshine.


A minute later, the sun had disappeared again.


The promise of better weather convinced us to have an early lunch and then Mrs Tootlepedal and I set off for Canonbie in the car to have a little walk.  We stopped at the Moorland bird feeders, as it was my day to fill them but they were quite full enough not to need topping up so we drove on.

We parked at the gate to the old A7 and walked along the road to Byreburnfoot.  Our eye was caught by a spectacular show of fruiting pods on a lichen.


When we got to Byreburnfoot, we turned and walked up the Byre Burn itself.  This little stream runs in a steep gorge but we found a place where even elderly folk could scramble down the bank to a little waterfall.


The gorge is hard to get at and the stream banks are untended and littered with fallen trees.

fallen trees byreburn

Mrs Tootlepedal sees the ghosts of early settlers crossing streams on such ready made bridges as this.

We scrambled back up the slope and rejoined the track until we came to the Fairy Loup, a larger waterfall further upstream.

Fairy Loup

Only in winter, when the leaves are off the trees can you get a good look at the fall.

Fairy Loup

I had my tripod with me and took the top picture at f4.2 and 1/160th and the bottom one at f8 and 1/20th.  In spite of what is often said, I see more water movement in the top picture than in the bottom.

The eagle eye of Mrs Tootlepedal spotted a fine display of fungus perched on a fallen tree, half way down the steep bank above the water.


My fungus identification skills are not yet developed enough to say what sort of fungus this is.  In fact they are not yet developed at all.

Above the waterfall, the river takes on a quieter tone, though with many little rapids still there to delight the eye.


When we reached the road at the top of the hill, we didn’t cross the stream but turned to other way to go back to the car.

Byreburn bridge

We stopped on the bridge first to chat with the couple you can just see walking off up the road.  Jean was so interesting about life in this part of the world when she was a child that I am going to make a point of recording her reminiscences for the Archive Group’s records.  She and her husband were recalling just how much there life there was in the village when they were young and as we walked back to the car, we passed the old school and the old station….

Gilnockie School and Station

Gilnockie School and Station, now both private  houses.

…and reflected on often you can pass houses called The Old Post Office, The Old Police Station, The Old Rectory, The Old Smithy and so on as you cycle through villages which are only a shadow of their Old Selves.

There was an Old Gate to be seen as well.

Old gate

We had timed our walk well.  As we got back to the car, the heavens opened and the rain poured down.  We were pleased to get home in dry clothes to enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit.

It was so dark by half past two that further exploration or camera work was impossible so I made a little pizza dough and settled down to catch up on my correspondence.  We were visited by Mike Tinker later in the afternoon.  By coincidence, he and his wife had walked past the Fairy Loup a couple of days ago and he had a fine picture of it on his phone with a good deal more water going over it than we had seen today.  If he sends a copy to me, it will appear as guest picture of the day.  Hint.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre and did a little work by myself.  Sandy, who had been away on an outing all day, poked his head round the door later on and we went off for a drink at the Eskdale Hotel.

The forecast is back to heavy rain and gales again tomorrow so I think my 100% record of cycling everyday of the year will come to a shuddering halt.

I found a flying chaffinch in a  bright spell today.

flying chaffinch







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