Posts Tagged ‘Langholm Church’

Today’s guest picture comes from Irving, who sent me this fine shot of the bottom of Bealach-na ba on the way to Applecross, one of the most spectacular roads in Scotland.

bottom of Bealach-na ba on the way to Applecross

We had another day of frozen sunshine here, with temperatures at zero or below all day.  However, with stories of snow and slush in England, we certainly weren’t going to complain about a little tingle in the cheeks when we went outside.

It was still freezing hard when Dropscone came round (on his bike) bearing scones to go with our morning coffee.  He has just come back from seeing his eldest son in the south of England and had managed to avoid all the traffic chaos caused by wind, rain and snow recently so he was feeling quite smug.

After coffee, I tempted Mrs Tootlepedal out for a walk to enjoy the sun.

When we got to Pool Corner, we found the the Wauchope had completely frozen over…

frozen wauchope

…and it was definitely a good idea, where possible, to direct one’s feet to the sunny side of the street.


The sharp eyed reader will be able to spot Mrs Tootlepedal heading for a patch of sun.

I always like the combination of sycamore and cypress which line up so perfectly as you walk along the road here.

The absence of leaves, lets the lichen on the roadside bushes have its moment in the sun.


I try to keep an eye on fencepost tops on a day like this.

frozen fencepost

When we got to the Auld Stane Bridge, we could see that there was enough running water there to keep the Wauchope mostly free of ice.

frozen wauchope

We turned onto Gaskell’s Walk and I was looking for hair ice because this is a spot where it can often be found.  Unfortunately, a lot of the dead wood that grows the hair ice has been cleared and this small and not very exciting sample was the only bit around.

frost hair

On the other hand, there was any amount of decorative frost to be seen as we went along the track.

frosty leaves

I particularly liked two patterns which had formed on one of the small bridges on the track.  The Y shapes are wire netting which has been put there to improve the traction on the bridge on slippery days.

frost patterns

We were pleased to get out of the shady part of the walk and back into the sunshine…

Meikleholm Hill

…as even the low winter sun (10 days to go to the Winter Solstice!) had a bit of heat about it.

We had to keep our eyes down for quite a lot of the time as there were plenty of icy patches along the track but we made it up to the Stubholm on safety….

frosty bench

…and resisted any temptation to spoil the patterns on the bench there by sitting on it.

As we came down the hill to the park, Mrs Tootlepedal spotted this fine crop of icicles…


…and this curious frozen formation on the track itself.


When we were out of the sun, it was a very blue day, chilly to feel and chilly to look at.

Langholm Church in winter

The benefit was the great number of interesting frosty things see.  This was some moss on the park wall.

frosty moss

And this was the frozen dam behind our house when we got home.

frozen dam

I made some warming potato and carrot soup for lunch and with the co-operation of our bread making machine, a dozen rolls, a couple of which we ate with our neighbour Liz who came round for tea later in the afternoon.  As she left, Mike Tinker arrived so we were well supplied with visitors today and this cheered up the cold late afternoon.

In between times, I looked out of the kitchen window.

I put out an apple and it disappeared into blackbirds in the twinkling of an aye.


This one looks as though he might have most of it.


The strong contrasts in the light and shade makes catching birds in the air tricky at the moment but I liked this dramatic scene.

flying chaffinch

Robins are easier to spot.


As are sitting birds.


My flute pupil Luke came in the evening and we had another go at our new sonata as well as working on the Quantz as well so he will have plenty do if he finds himself with an idle moment at home.  (I need to practise as well.)

Our Monday trio group is not going to meet again until the new year so although I miss the playing, I wasn’t entirely unhappy to have a quiet night in after travelling to Edinburgh and then having two concerts in the last four days.

I am hoping to get a few more cycling days in before the end of the month but the forecast is not optimistic.

The flying bird of the day is a chiaroscuro chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by Venetia and shows Wells Cathedral at its best.

wells cathedralIt took quite a lot time for the temperature to creep above freezing today but as it was beautifully sunny, this didn’t matter too much.

I had put out a second feeder expecting a bit if a rush since the snow came but things remained very quiet in general.

goldfinch and chaffinch

A goldfinch and a chaffinch doing a little basking in the plum tree.


Two goldfinches hitting the high spots.

There were moments of action.

goldfinch and chaffinch

Shooting the breeze

It was such a nice day that we decided to brave the icy patches and go for a walk.  Mrs Tootlepedal kindly let me have the Yak Trax and I was able to step out with confidence.  We went round Gaskell’s walk….

Gaskell's Walk…which was well trodden down and only icy here and there.

The path is tucked into the shady side of the hill but when we got out into the sunshine, it felt positively warm.

MeikleholmwhitaWhether the sheep were enjoying it so much is another question.

Stubholm sheepThe parish church was gleaming when we got to the park.

Langholm ChurchI took a shot from the Park Bridge…

Park Bridge…before getting home in good order.

After lunch, I took a moment to do some bird watching….

chaffinchchaffinchblue tit…and was thinking of an afternoon walk when I inadvertently lay down on my bed for a moment and fell asleep.

Instead of feeling refreshed when I woke up, I felt terrible and all thoughts of the walk vanished.  We finished (Mrs Tootlepedal finished, I supervised from a chair) getting the rooms ready for the great end wall repair.  We had a useful site meeting with our joiner and builder and things look good.  The only fly in the ointment is the possibility that sub zero temperatures will hold up the building work.  It would be typical if after weeks of above zero temperatures, next week will be the week when they plunge.

As the meeting went on, I took a moment to admire the setting sun bathing the top of Whita Hill with a curious tint.

WhitaIn the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Mrs Tootlepedal and Mike were banished to the kitchen as Alison and I filled the sitting room with music, some of it according to the directions of the composers involved.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.


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