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Posts Tagged ‘Kirk Wynd’

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who is a railway enthusiast and was present at the unveiling of a plaque by Captain Chris Smith at the spot where the Hawick railway station would be if it was still here, which it isn’t.

The Jellicoe Express ran between Euston and Thurso.  Hawick on the old Waverley Line.  Hawick was a station where the Express called in one direction for coal and water and now is the only location that no longer has trains. The Express was the longest rail journey in Britain and ran during both world wars transporting mail and navy personnel

Many local people cherish the hope that the station will reopen in the not too distant future.

Jellicoe Express

The weather here was a lot better today as I could judge for myself when I crossed the Esk by the suspension bridge…

dav

…on my way to meet Dropscone at the now ex-archive centre where we read the electricity meter and I passed over the door key.  On my way home, I popped into the garage to pay my bill and then went into the Welcome to Langholm office where our local art club was holding an exhibition and bought a painting.

When I crossed the suspension bridge on my return home, I enjoyed the view  downstream.

sdr

I didn’t have long to wait once I had got in before I was re-joined by Dropscone who had been cooking some of his traditional Friday treacle scones while I had been busy.  They were excellent as usual and added to the general cheerfulness of the day.

When the scone eating ceremony was completed,  Dropscone cycled home and I walked back up to the town to collect my art purchase.  Coming out of the Welcome to Langholm office, I couldn’t help noticing that workmen were well up to the job of putting the decorations on the enormous Christmas tree outside the Town Hall.  Rather them than me.

dig

Mrs Tootlepedal, who had been out having coffee with friends, came home just after I got back and I was able to present her with the painting.  I had bought it as a secondary birthday present for her to go with the light bulb.

The painting is by a local artist, Margaret Walty who does the most beautiful and detailed work.  The panel below shows the whole painting and a section of it enlarged.

Margaret Walty

To give an idea of the scale at which Margaret works, the breast of the robin is less than 1 cm across….and she works in acrylics without using a magnifying glass.

I turned from art to nature and watched the birds for a while.  Two goldfinches were enjoying the seed today without being battered by the rain.

bookend goldfinches

A dunnock hopped about on a chair beside the feeders.

dunnock on chair

I made some vegetable soup for lunch.  We still have plenty of potatoes left from the garden but after I used one of our onions, there are now only two left.  Still to get to December with our own onions is not too bad.

It was pretty windy in spite of the sunshine so I decided to go for a walk after lunch instead of a cycle ride and this turned out to be a good decision as I had a most satisfying stroll.  I have declared my leg officially cured so I ventured up the Kirk Wynd and on to the open hill.

I had a look round the garden before I left.

strawberry and sweet rocket November

Ornamental strawberry and sweet rocket.

As I passed the golf club, I couldn’t help noticing these very bright yellowy orange flowers on a shrub beside the track.   It might be a pyracantha or cotoneaster but whatever it is, I was surprised to see it flowering.

november flowers kirk wynd

As I got further up the track beside the golf course, the hills came into view.

View from Kirk Wynd

As the brisk and chilly wind was coming from behind me, there was just enough heat from the sun to keep me comfortable and I could enjoy the play of light on Castle Hill with the dark clouds behind.

castle hill November

Luckily the clouds were being driven up the valley and although the sun was low in the sky, the views were delightful.

sunshine and shadow ewes

I had taken Mrs Tootlepedal’s advice and had my walking poles with me.  They are a great help when going up hill and I soon got to the top of the golf course where a good crop of British Soldier lichens can be found…

soldier lichen

…and headed out onto the open hillside.

I didn’t go any higher up the hill but walked along the contour….

two trees abive Hillhead

…until I came to the road to Newcastleton.

Up ewes

There has been a lot of tree felling on the far side of the road and I could now see the sheep pens and buildings which have been hidden by the trees for many years.

sheep pens

The sun dropped below some low clouds behind Warbla at this point…

warbla late november

….but the road down the hill is well sheltered…

 

copshaw road

…and my walk back to the town was no problem.

I took the little path along the Lamb Hill and was greeted by some gorse in flower.

november gorse

I reached home after just under two and a half miles in harmony with nature and enjoyed a cup of tea with Mrs Tootlepedal who had returned from a visit to the hairdresser.  Everything was good.

Mike and Alison are busy babysitting their daughter’s dogs at the moment so there was no Friday night tootling but I employed the time in practising singing for Sunday’s choirs so it wasn’t time wasted.

The flying bird of the day is roughly the 120th chaffinch to have had that honour this year.  I will have to try to get out more.

flying chaffinch

 

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Today’s guest picture shows that Bruce was not just looking at trams on the Great Orme. He was looking at the view of Llandudno too.

Great Orme

After yesterday’s miserable day, we had a very pleasant, warm and often sunny day today.

I didn’t make the most of it but I didn’t entirely waste it.

The better weather certainly encouraged my trigger finger and when I downloaded my camera card onto the computer in the evening, I found that I had taken a lot of pictures.  I ruthlessly pruned them down and discovered that I still had 54 so in the end, the number that appear on this post are just a shadow of the ones that I took.

While Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I made a beef and mushroom stew for the slow cooker and mowed the greenhouse grass.  No speed records were broken during this process.

I did have time to admire the rambler roses on the arch…

rambler roses

…and to reflect on the downside of a camera which sees the greenhouse, the whirlygig and the houses beyond while the human eye just sees the roses and ignores the rest.

I walked round to the back of the house to admire the excellent display of flowers along the dam.

Dam flowers

In the garden, the privet is attracting bees and it was quite hard to get a shot without a bee in it.

privet

The sparrows stopped eating Mrs Tootlepedal’s vegetables for a moment or two and started pecking my lawn.

sparrows

There are so many berries on our blackcurrant bush that our neighbour Liz came in and picked a colander full…

blackcurrants

…and then passed them on to another neighbour and came back and picked the same amount again, all without making a serious dent in the number still on the bush.  I will have to make more jelly.

After lunch, we settled down to watch the Tour but I felt a bit guilty about wasting such a good day so I put it on to record and went for a walk.

I went along the Kilngreen seeing sparrow and gull….

sparrow and gull

…and thought that the sparrow will enjoy the blackberries when they ripen.

I walked along the road to Whitshiels and then took the track up through the woods.

The track was covered in self heal and occasionally decorated with ragged robin.

self heal and ragged robin

At the top of the track, I took a picture of a remarkable tree.

Tree with hole in trunk

It is one of a row of three which defy the odds and flourish in spite of having only half a trunk and a tenuous connection to the earth.

tree

I walked onto the rough pasture and and saw a good selection of interesting (to me) things.

meadow pipit, cyclist, pylon

The bird is a meadow pipit which was trying to hide from me, the energetic cyclist was in the process of doing five repetitions of the climb to the White Yett and back down again and the pylon was doing nothing much at all.

I enjoyed the views of course…

Ewes valley

Ewes valley

…and took a panorama to show the extent of them.

ewes panorama

Click to enlarge

You can see why I like being up here on a sunny day.

I walked back across Whita Hill, passing these pretty pink flowers on the way….

pink flowers

…which may be lousewort (I am open to correction of course).

I came back to the town by way of the Kirk Wynd.  I was very distracted by the large number of red soldier beetles doing their best to contribute to the survival of the species.  There seemed to be several on every flower I passed at one point.

red soldier beetles

The Kirk Wynd was very flowery.

trefoil, daisy and bedstraw

rosebay willowherb

At the bottom of the Wynd, I passed the old graveyard wall which is hidden by a metal fence while repairs are being done.  I peeped through a gap.

The wall is supposed to be fully repaired by next week.  This seems like one of those targets which may be missed.

Old Kirkyard wall

I will doff my chapeau to the wall builders if the job is finished on time.

At the bottom of the Wynd, I stepped into the Market place and noticed that the Common Riding bunting is up at the Town Hall.

Town Hall bunting.

The Common Riding will take place on the last Friday in July so we are getting very excited already.

I walked down to the river….

River esk

On the gravel bank below the suspension bridge, a man was making a circular bench out of the river stones.

stone bench on Esk bank

This is a real labour of love as it is very likely that it will either be covered up or swept away by the next flood to come down  the river.

I got home and sat and watched the end of a very exciting stage of the Tour and followed that by eating the beef stew with peas and potatoes from the garden for our tea.  The presence of peas in the meal was a tribute to the fine pea fortress erected by Mrs Tootlepedal.  The sparrows’ frustration was our treat.

After tea, I got out the fairly speedy bike and had a fairly speedy trip down to Canonbie and back by my usual route but in the opposite direction.  It was a lovely evening but the brisk wind made the return part of the journey quite hard work.  Fortunately, I didn’t take my camera with me!

The sitting bird of the day is a blackbird which was keeping an eye on Liz as she picked the blackcurrants.

blackbird on fence

 

 

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