Posts Tagged ‘Hollows’

Today’s guest picture from my South African correspondent, Tom, shows a jackal.  Not something we see round here at all!


My day was conditioned by an awful warning of heavy rain;  one of those warnings that comes with a little yellow triangle with an exclamation mark in the centre.  We were to expect rain so I expected rain.

It was a pleasant sunny and dry morning,  a little breezy to be sure and not warm by any means but fine for cycling so I cycled; but I expected rain by lunchtime and when I saw some very dark clouds looming up, I took the hint and cut a putative 35 mile ride down to 25 miles.  Some cows took a dim view of my cowardice (or prudence).

tarcoon cows

I stopped on the Hollows Bridge to record the first turning of the leaves….

hollows bridge view

…but my camera misinterpreting my wishes, kindly slid the incipient yellows back to light greens so the effect was less impressive than I had hoped.

Still, I got home dry and warm;  but still expecting rain….the forecast had put it back to three o’clock by this time.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help at the Buccleuch Centre and I had a slice of bread and raspberry jam and went out to mow the drying green grass before the rain came.

Bees, butter and hover flies were having fun on the Michaelmas daisies beside me as I mowed…

insects on daisies

…and the the poppies looked gorgeous as always.


The large lilies are developing and I wondered if they would attract a butterfly or two.

They did.

peacock butterfly on lily

I saw an odd thing at the other side of the garden….

peacock butterfly

…a peacock butterfly with only one pair of eyes.  It must have had its second wing tucked under its first.  I have never seen this before.

After I had finished my cycle ride, I had arranged with Sandy to go for a walk (before the rain came) and he arrived on cue and drove us to the top of Callister where we intended to walk round the forestry plantation.  We were discouraged when we found that there were fierce signs telling us not to enter on account of forestry operations but a queue of cars emerged through the gate and one of the drivers kindly told us that there were no operations going on today and that we could proceed with care.

We proceeded with care.

Although we were in the sun, there were dark clouds about….

Callister walk

…and depending on which way you looked, sometimes very dark clouds.

Callister walk

We walked on expecting rain.

I led Sandy down the middle of a wide forest ride.  It was very tussocky and hard going and if you lifted your head to see if there was anything interesting to see, you tended to fall over.   We therefore didn’t see much until we went into the forest beside the ride to see if the going was better.  There we saw fungus…


…and when we emerged back on to the ride, we saw a very unusual set of fungi, pressed like buttons on a sofa in the peaty side of a drainage ditch.


We battled on to the end of the ride and joined a track.  It is fair to say that I enjoyed plunging through the heavy going a good deal more than Sandy did.  I used to do a lot of orienteering and ground like this was second nature to me.

We came to a pond beside the road….

callister pond

…which would have looked better, I thought, without the telephone pole at the end of it.

callister pond

And it started to rain.  I was so appalled by this that it soon stopped and disappeared apologetically.

We continued our walk expecting rain.

We were walking round a small valley and crossed the stream that flowed out of it.  It dropped into a dark and mysterious pool as it flowed under the track.

callister pool

Strange spirits might dwell in a pool like that.

It was a lot brighter at the dark pool than it used to be because they are going to build another windfarm to add to our local collection at the far side of the forest and to that end, a lot of tree felling has been taking place.

tree felling callister

…which leaves a bit of a mess to say the least.  It is amazing though how the ground recovers as a look at a new plantation nearby shows.

callister plantation

There were three existing wind farms visible as we walked and we could see the offices for the soon to be built farm beside our track.


I welcome these wind farms as we have a tremendous amount of wind round here doing nothing but annoying innocent cyclists so it is good to see it being put to good use.  Each turbine must take a little energy out of the wind and this should make it easier for me to pedal about…..though I do realise that we might need a whole lot more turbines before any noticeable effect could be felt.

The tree felling led to some impressive piles of logs beside the track.

callister logs

Like this heap, quite a few of the piles had ‘chip’ written on them and we wondered of they were going to be chipped for use in the wood fired power station at Lockerbie.

There were some plants to be seen as we walked.

callister plants

callister plants

As we got near to the end of our walk, black clouds over Callisterhall looked threatening.


It is a pity that this is no longer an inn as our two and a half mile walk had been quite tiring with tough going at the start and some hills on our way back.  A light refreshment would have gone down well.

We had to wait until we got home until we got a much needed cup of tea and a Jaffa cake or two to restore our energy levels.

When Sandy left, I set about sieving the rest of the compost in Bin D and while Mrs Tootlepedal distributed the results around the vegeatble beds, I turned most of Bin C into the now empty Bin D.  When I flagged, Mrs Tootlepedal lent a hand.  As a special treat for those pining for compost bin illustrations, I photographed the result.

compost bins

The contents of Bin C had rotted down well.

We didn’t stay out in the garden too long as we were expecting rain but we did have time to look at some flowers before we went in.

I have picked three favourites.  Mrs Tootlepedal likes the dahlia on the left for its colour, the big bumble bee likes the dahlia in the middle for its pollen and I like the new hellenium on the right for its shape and pattern.

dahlias and hellenium

Everyone was happy.

Dropscone had dropped in before I went cycling this morning with a generous gift of a sea bream which he had acquired on his recent travels and Mrs Tootlepedal cooked it for our tea.  I don’t think that I have ever knowingly eaten sea bream before and I thought it tasted very good.  Dropscone says he will tell me all about where he found it when he comes for coffee tomorrow.

As I sat down to write tonight’s post, the rain finally arrived.  I had been expecting it.


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Today’s guest picture comes from Mrs Tootlepedal.  She found a very prominent fairy ring on her brother’s lawn.

fairy ring

Mrs Tootlepedal is still away visiting her mother, whose hundred and first birthday is imminent.  This means that I am having to make up my mind for myself here with no assistance and this is quite wearing.  On top of this, I am getting rather fat because every time I wander into the kitchen to share an interesting thought with Mrs Tootlepedal, she isn’t there and I eat something instead.  Luckily she will be back next week and all will be well.

The forecast offered a dry morning and a wet afternoon so in an ideal world, I would get up promptly and go for a cycle ride and then do useful things indoors in the afternoon.

It turned out to be an ideal world.

I didn’t waste any time in the garden but got on the bike after breakfast and did thirty miles.  I stopped for one picture….

Esk at Hollows

…just to prove that I had been out.  The wind was lighter than of late but the sky was grey so it was not a day for views.

I did notice when I got home that I had a serious outbreak of helmet hair which I have decided to share.  Nervous readers should look away now.

helmet hair

I flattened my hair down and mowed the greenhouse grass, did some poppy dead heading, cut down some plants which were beyond their sell by date and had a walk round the garden.

The poppies had appreciated the dry morning.


This was my favourite poppy of the day.


The should be a mixture of poppies and cornflowers growing round the front lawn but they are both taking their time thanks to the cool weather. Still, there are a few cornflowers about.


As I walked between the flowers and the compost bins during my tidying up, I couldn’t help but enjoy the jumble of white clematis and red rose on the arch through to the veg garden…

clematis and rose

…and the clematis growing along the fence too.


If every flower has the same number of petals, there must be three different clematis growing there as I can see flowers with six, five and four petals in the picture.

I am always interested in fruits and berries and so are the birds.  I am keeping an eye on the plums and the blackbirds are keeping an eye on the rowan berries.

plum and rowan

Those rowan berries are in a neighbour’s garden.  Ours aren’t quite as ripe yet.

My neighbour Liz kindly took a surplus turnip off my hands and I picked some more carrots and beetroot. I am eating the beetroot at golf ball size and they are absolutely delicious as snacks.

After lunch, the forecasters’ predictions arrived in the form of a persistent spell of rain which lasted several hours.   I caught up on my correspondence and packed up the camera lens which I am trading in, having been offered a very fair price by the company which will sell me my new lens.  I then braved the rain and took the parcel up to the post office only to find the that post office was closed.

I brought the parcel home again and did some muttering.

Then I did some ironing …and a bit more muttering until getting a bit of advice from the ‘Call Mrs Tootlepedal Hotline’.

I had corned beef hash for my tea and was pleasantly surprised to find that our new potatoes taste very good when mashed and fried.

Recently I have had a choir to go to on a Wednesday night but that has finished now so finding that the rain had stopped, I filled in the time by wandering aimlessly about.

The bed at the end of the drive gave me a cheerful farewell as I left the garden.

pot marigolds and nasturtiums

For some reason, the rather grey light seem to suit the church so I stopped being aimless and pointed the camera at it as I passed.

Langholm Parish Church

Our usual mallards have been joined by several darker ducks with bright white breasts this summer.

darker duck

A little research tells me that they are probably mallard hybrids rather than anything more exotic.

I exchanged a few words with Mr Grumpy as I walked down to the Kilngeen…


…and thought that a bunch of ragwort on the bank of the Esk just above the Meeting of the Waters added a nice touch to the scene.


I was pleased to find that there was still a banded snail or two on the stump of one of felled trees along the Lodge Walks.


Although the evening was fundamentally grey and it looked as though it might well rain, every now and again a shaft of sunshine illuminated the scene….but always a little bit away from where I was.

sunshine behind trees

Like behind a tree….

sunshine on the Esk

…or round a bend in the river…


…or on top of a hill.

But I got round dry and saw a most unusual thing on my way.


A ragwort plant with no insects on it.

It was nearly seven o’clock by this time so perhaps all the insects had gone home to bed.

My last picture was a pleasing tangle of grasses.


No flying bird of the day but there is a very badly painted blackbird and a splashy sparrow.


sparrow splashing

There were plenty of puddles to choose from.

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Today’s guest picture comes from my daughter Annie in London, hundreds of miles to the south of us.  She wants to point out that it was very cold down there this morning.

frozen London leaves

We might have been forgiven for feeling a bit smug when we saw her picture because it was a comparatively warm day here with the temperature well above freezing from dawn until dusk and likely to stay so for tomorrow as well.

On the minus side, the birds had abandoned the garden almost completely and there was hardly a seed eaten all day.

I had arranged to have coffee with Dropscone and I didn’t see a bird worth snapping before he came.  He is playing slightly better golf at the moment so he was more cheerful about his game than he has been lately.  He and his daughter Susan are going on a short city break in Edinburgh tomorrow and as Mrs Tootlepedal and I will be there too, visiting Matilda, Edinburgh will be unusually busy.

I did see a bird after he left (to go and play golf).


And it got a bit nearer later on.


But that was about it.

I didn’t have long to watch the birds, even if there had been some about, as I wanted to take advantage of the warmer weather (6°C) to get some miles in.

I had a quick lunch and set off on the fairly speedy bike.  The roads were clear enough to let me do a circular ride with confidence that I wouldn’t find any icy spots.  The trouble with setting out straight after a meal though is that your system is too busy digesting the food to give you much help with the pedalling but I stuck to the task and things settled  down after a while.

With the light wind behind me, I enjoyed the return half of the journey.  I had a camera with me but didn’t stop because even at 6°C, cycling is quite a chilly business.  Because you are well wrapped up from the cold, you tend to work up a light perspiration so if you stop for too long,  you get very clammy and that makes for chilly riding when you start again.

However, a little burst of sunshine when I was only a few miles from home suddenly lit up a section of woodland in such a striking way that I was forced to a halt and get out the camera.


It was very annoying to find an electricity pole in the middle of the view.  If it hadn’t been there, it would have looked like this…


…but you can’t do anything about this sort of thing and just have to put up with unwelcome intrusions into your pictures..

There was another pole in front of the Hollows Tower too…

Hollows Tower

…but it couldn’t spoil the soft light which made the scene an enchanted one for a few moments.  By the time that I got home, after 31 miles, the clouds were back in force and it was so gloomy that Mrs Tootlepedal came in from the garden where she had been working and joined me for a cup of tea and a mini Jaffa cake.

I had planned to get a short walk in after my pedal and perhaps find a flying bird but it was far too dark for that so I did some music practice instead.  After yesterday’s 170 pictures, I only took seven in total today so the conscientious reader can only be grateful for that.

In the evening, I went off to a Langholm Sings choir practice and we had a very good session.  We have a concert with our local orchestra on Sunday and we are reasonably well prepared for it (I hope).  Time will tell.

The leaves of the day belong to a very healthy looking wallflower which seems impervious to frost.


The flying bird of the day (the only one I saw) just qualifies as the chaffinch hasn’t quite reached the feeder.






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Today’s guest picture comes from Langholm exile, Tom.  He lives in South Africa and recently took the cable car up Table Mountain.  The composite picture shows the way up and the view down.

Table MountainOur dry spell continues but today was very grey from start to finish and there were even a few spots of rain in the morning just to keep us on our toes.

In the morning, I put a week and a half of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database.  I should have done this last night but between Sandy being in Majorca and me going to watch Hamlet, my regular Thursday evening at the Archive Centre vanished.

When I finished, I filled our bird feeders.  The old feeder is still busy…

busy feeder…and there was a group of interested jackdaws on the ground below the new feeder on the lawn.

jackdawsThey were waiting for the right moment.

jackdawsMrs Tootlepedal cut some more of the apple tree down and then set about sawing some of the branches into logs for our stove.  I did some more sieving of compost because she is using a lot at the moment as she tidies and remodels flower beds as the season ends.

We have quite a good pile of logs now and I went round to Mike Tinker and borrowed his handy device for measuring the moisture in wood.  It told us that some of the pile is ready to burn which is good news.

We had intended to cycle down to the church at Canonbie and have a cup of tea and a scone there but the grey weather and the occasional spots of rain in the morning had made us rather wary about the trip.  In the end though, we plucked up our courage and set off.  It is only six and a half miles to Canonbie so we could easily come back if the weather took a turn for the worse.

I stopped at Byreburnfoot when another ‘flaming’ tree caught my eye.

Flaming tree ByreburnfootThe weather stayed fair until we got to Canonbie and the very reasonably priced tea and scone went down very well.

It was a different matter when we came out of the church, as a light drizzle was falling and we resigned ourselves to getting rather damp before we got home.

I stopped at Byreburnfoot again to take a look up river this time and even on a grey and damp day, the Esk looked good.

Byreburnfoot EskWe were lucky as exactly as I stopped to take the picture, the drizzle stopped too and we pedalled home untouched by rain again.

We stopped at the Hollows Bridge where a tree with a golden halo stood out.

Hollows BridgeThe digger in the bottom left of the picture was busy putting in an Archimedes screw for the mill.

Hollows MillUnfortunately, it is concealed behind foliage but you can just make out the green structure if you look with the eye of faith.

There is no getting away from the fact that we are getting deeper and deeper into Autumn now….

Irvine House…and as we bicycled up the old main road past Irvine House, we were pleased to be well wrapped up.

We enjoyed our ride though and Mrs Tootlepedal is always pleased if a cycle outing involves a visit to a cafe.

There is a lot of fungus about at the moment and I almost trod on this one when I stopped to take the shot at Byreburnfoot….

fungus…but the most that I have seen in one place were pointed out to me by Mrs Tootlepedal as we passed the church on our way home.

chestnut tree and fungusAlthough it was getting towards the evening when we got back, there was enough light to enjoy a quick tour of the garden flowers.

nasturtium, cosmos and marigold

Nasturtium, cosmos and marigold lighting up a gloomy day

The perennial nasturtium looks as though nothing will stop it continuing to flower.

tropaeolumAnd the poppies are still here.

poppypoppypoppyMike and Alison weren’t able to come round for their usual Friday night of music and conversation so we had a quiet night in, fortified by cauliflower cheese and apple pie.

The flying bird of the day is another beady eyed jackdaw.


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Today’s picture shows the 13th century Cathedral in Toledo which my brother and his wife visited yesterday by high speed train.  He thought that the journey was well worth while.

Toledo Cathedral

It was a generally sunny, quite calm day today but as the temperature was only three degrees, I gave up any thoughts of cycling.  My chest is not taking to this cold, damp spell at all well at the moment.  I thought that I was getting another cold but I am not and I much cheered up by that.  The asthma will clear up shortly and I will be back on the bike and whistling a merry tune as soon as the temperature goes up a degree or two.  Meanwhile, I am honing my skills as a pro rester.

Once we get to November, the kitchen window which is north facing, looks out into deep shadow for most of the morning so taking pictures is hard.  It doesn’t stop me trying though.

perching robin

A robin caught my eye in the gloom.

The sun hits the plum tree before the feeder and as the leaves fall off, the perching birds are an easier target.

perching chaffinch (25)

I spent some time getting photos ready for our next camera club competition.  The subject is ‘blue’ and I am finding it much more difficult than I thought.  I presumed that I would have any amount of blue flowers in my collection but as always, things that look not too bad on the blog, look a lot less satisfactory when you look at them with a judge’s eye and on top of that, many of the flowers which I think of as blue turn out to be purple.  I am not expecting to trouble the judges.

During the morning, I did take a blue photo although not for the competition.  In a sheltered spot near the greenhouse, a defiant delphinium is just keeping its head above water.

delphinium (2)

After lunch, there was enough light on the feeders to see the birds.

flying chaffinch (117)

The feeder was short of seed so competition for perches was fierce.

Sandy came round and we decided to go up the road to the north of the town for a little expedition.  However, almost as soon as we had left the house, the sight of huge, dark clouds to the north and clear blue skies to the south induced a change of heart and direction and we headed south instead.

After four miles, Sandy parked the car and we walked down to the river Esk following a fisherman’s path.  We haven’t really got to grips with the recent change in the clocks and we were a little too late to get the full benefit of the sunshine but the river looked good anyway.

Looking up stream

Looking up stream

Looking down stream

Looking down stream.

The ground was rather muddy and we didn’t have the right footwear owing to our change of plan so we soon left the river and drove a few hundreds yards along the road to Hollows Tower.

As we got there the sun went in….

trees at hollows

The trees looked good but unexciting

hollows tower

The tower seemed a little plain and hardly worth the bother of visiting.

…but three minutes later, the sun came out again with stunning effect.

hollows tower 2

The trees along the river burst into life too.

trees Esk hollows

trees at hollows5

Sadly, I had been too lazy to get my tripod out as I hadn’t expected such wonderful light, so these are all hand held pictures.  I will learn in the end that you have to take trouble to take good pictures.   Still, the scenery and the light were so good that I was pleased to have been there.

Those dark clouds were looming up so we left to go home via Claygate.  As we drove along the side of the hill, we could see a heavy rainstorm coming down the valley.  Sandy stopped the car and I got out to take a dramatic picture but within seconds I was being peppered with hailstones so I abandoned art and got back in the car.

We took a break when we got back to Langholm.  Sandy went home to change his wet shoes and I watched a bit of Scotland playing Japan at rugby on the telly.  There were some exciting moments which pleasantly surprised me.

Our plan was to go off to Gretna again with Mrs Tootlepedal to see if we could find the starlings.  Although we set off a lot earlier than in our abortive attempt yesterday, we were still rather late by the time that we caught a glimpse of them.  We found a place to park and watch the display….

gretna starlings 13

You can just make out the birds in a long thin line above the trees.

…but we were too far away and it was too dark to get a good view of them.  Still, we know where they are now and we will be better prepared for our next visit.  There are few experiences to match having several hundred thousand birds swirling around above your head so we will certainly be back.

The views of the dark clouds across the Solway were striking.  In the centre of the picture, you can see the line of red lights on the TV mast across on the English side.

solway clouds

We enjoyed our weekly dose of Strictly Come Dancing when we got home and we hope that the public in their wisdom will vote one of the people who can’t dance off the show rather than one of the people who can dance.  But we aren’t holding our breath.

In the absence of any decent flying starling pictures, an old favourite makes it as flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch (116)

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Today’s picture comes from my brother and shows Calke Abbey.   It doesn’t look like an abbey because it isn’t one.  It is a grand house built on the site of an old abbey.

Calke Abbey

It was a good day for a morning pedal with a balmy temperature of 4°C and no signs of ice.  I was expecting Dropscone to turn up but it turned out that he had other business and I was left to go round the morning run on my own.  It was just as well that I was on my own because I was not very consistent as I pedalled along.  I was fine of the flat but every time that I came to a hill, my legs turned into wobbly custard and I struggled badly.  I think it is just a product of the cold weather which affects my chest so that I don’t breathe as well as I should and consequently have no reserves of energy when it comes to a bit of pushing.

Still it was a very calm and dry day, there was no traffic on the back roads, the views were good and I got round safely so I am not going to complain.

Sandy came round for coffee after I got back and then helped to put another week of the newspaper index into the database which was very useful.

He went off to get his lunch and I ate mine and then took my first photo of the day through the kitchen window.  The goldfinches are still being rude to the chaffinches.

goldfinch and chaffinch

The chaffinch doesn’t look too upset though.

After lunch, Sandy reappeared and we went down to the Hollows.  When I had cycled through on the morning run, I had thought it might be worth a photographic visit.

Because of the couple of very calm days since the first frost came, many trees have still good a good complement of leaves on board and the walk along the old A7 from Hollows Bridge….

Hollows Bridge

To the Byreburnfoot bridge….


…was very agreeable.  The light was pretty poor and got worse while we walked but we had tripods with us so we were able to take a snap or two on our way.

old A7

Between the bridges


The Byreburnfoot bridge

Autumn Leaves

As I said, there were still a lot of leaves on the trees.


The big house beyond the bridge is now an upmarket B&B and the owner is doing his best to get businesses in Langholm and Eskdale to work together to encourage more visitors and provide things for them to see and do when they get here.  I hope he succeeds as it is a place well worth visiting.

This bridge was the limit of our short walk as the light was getting very poor and the paths into the woods looked very gloomy.

Fairy Loup

On our way back, we saw a glimpse of the Hollows Bridge.  This would have made a fine composition and we regretted that it was obscured by trees.

Hollows Bridge

If I had several hours to spare, I could magically photoshop them all away.

Hollows Bridge

Some quick  work got rid of a few branches but much more work would have been needed to do a good job than I had time for as I had to have an early tea and go round to Masonic Lodge where the choir meets to have a practice with the other tenors.

We had a useful session and we have all got disks with three of our songs on to warble along with in the privacy of our own homes.  We had a good sing when the full choir appeared, or at least as many of them who hadn’t been put off by the closing of the High Street to all traffic from eight o’clock and overnight.  I did a bit of conducting in the second half of the practice and was very alarmed when I looked up from the score to find a member of the choir looking at me.  I’m not used to that at all.  Who knows, maybe we will start singing in time next.

A curiously contorted chaffinch is flying bird of the day.







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Today’s picture shows a Henry Moore sculpture at Kenwood, taken by my sister Mary.

Henry Moore two piece reclining figure, Kenwood

I had some undeserved treacle scones with my coffee today because after my battles with the wind yesterday, my joints were on strike this morning and I stayed at home.  Dropscone who is made of sterner stuff, kindly carried the extra weight of four scones around the morning run and arrived with them bang on time.  Very good they were too.

Mike Tinker has sold me his old tripod and I took it out into the garden while I was waiting for Dropscone to arrive and set it up to take a picture of the fuchsia gleaming in the morning sunshine.  The value of keeping the camera perfectly still was slightly negated by the breeze which was blowing the flowers about but I waited for the wind to drop for a second and the result was quite sharp.

fuchsia (15)

After Dropscone left, I had time to take a quick picture of a sparrow looking rather scornfully at the poor supply of fat balls….

sparrow on fatball

…before going off to take some pictures with Sandy who had arrived with time to spare before going north to see his grandsons.

We went to the Moorland feeders first.  They are in a larch grove and the trees were worth a look just for themselves.

feeder larches

We didn’t see any winter migrants and only one woodpecker arrived.

woodpecker (26)

The position of the sun meant that birds on the far side of the grove were hard to photograph convincingly and the the presence of Sandy and me seemed to discourage a lot of action on the near side so I contented myself with just a couple of shots.  A blue tit…..

feeder blue tit…and a chaffinch.

feeder perching chaffinch

In spite of the sun, the brisk wind made it chilly sitting there and we soon moved on to see how the autumn colour near the Hollows bridge was getting on.

Esk hollows bridge

The trees beside the river were nothing to write home about but the woods beside the road down to the bridge from Gilnockie were better value.  It is one of my favourite short stretches of road at this time of year and I hope that a few pictures might show why that is.

hollows road (3)

The field beside the road

hollows road (2)

Looking back up the road towards the old station

hollows road (4)

Looking down towards the bridge

The low sunlight through the woods beside the road made everything look particularly lovely.  Sometimes you couldn’t see the wood for the trees….

leaves hollows road

leaves hollows road (2)

..but sometimes you could see the wood.

wood hollows road

We parked the car at the bottom of the hill and I looked south along the old A7 which is now part of our morning cycle run.

cycle route hollows

Sandy dropped me at home in time for lunch and I did think of going for a pedal but my legs voted against it as the wind was still pretty brisk.  By the time that the wind had dropped later in the afternoon, it had got rather cold so I stayed inside and played on Photoshop with the pictures which I had taken in the morning.

I did venture out into the garden for a moment to snap a marigold as the forecast is for near zero temperatures over the weekend and the flowers may soon be gone.

marigold (11)

After only a few hours practice and having only read about 40 of the 700 pages of my guidebook, I can safely say that there is good deal more to learn but first impressions are of infinite time wasting possibilities in the effort to produce the best possible result.  The first thing that I will have to learn is when to stop.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a social for the workers and helpers with the pony driving for the disabled group and she came home after good night out with a very fetching rosette.

In her absence, I enjoyed some flute and recorder playing with Alison who came round with Mike, having only just arrived back in Langholm from a long car journey in the dark from seeing their daughter.  That is dedication to music.

The flying bird of the day is a buzzard which Sandy spotted at the Hollows.

buzzard hollows road




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