Posts Tagged ‘pony’

Today’s guest picture comes from my Newcastle correspondent and shows her daughter Hannah taking part in the Newcastle Vamos festival celebrating Latino music.  What fun.

HannahThe wind was all that was forecast today (40-50mph) and sometimes it felt as though it was even stronger than that and we had worries about trees in the garden but the rain, after a wet start, was not anything like as bad as we feared and although there were showers, there was sunshine too.

The temperature had fallen to a feeble 10 degrees C and in the wind and rain, I had to wrap very well to go to the monthly producers’ market for supplies of fish and cheese.

In lieu of gardening or pedalling, we sat down to watch the tennis over lunch and in the early afternoon and the better conditions let me get out from time to time to see if there was anything new in the garden.

welsh poppy and hellebore

I saw mostly old favourites like the welsh poppy and hellebore which were unbowed by the weather.

rose and euphorbia

The first sighting of a rose and a flourishing euphorbia

In general things were waving about so much that trying to take photos was not much fun so I went back in.

In the end we got bored and seeing a sunny spell, we resolved to go for a walk.  After quite a bit of discussion about where to go to miss the worst of the weather, we settled for a walk along one side of the Tarras and back by the other mostly in woodland.  With typical good timing, no sooner had we driven out of the town to get to our starting point than the heavens opened and rain and wind lashed the car.  We parked at the Moorland feeders and waited for the storm to subside.  It was gloomy.

View of TarrasAfter a while, it did brighten up but Mrs Tootlepedal had lost all confidence in the day and decided to go home.  As the sun was shining when we got back to Langholm, I got her to drop me off at the Kilngreen while she went back to do some decorating.  My plan was to do a two mile walk to take advantage of the sunshine and hide under big trees if it should rain on the way.  This time the plan worked out beautifully and I was just beside some trees that were well supplied with thick foliage when it started to rain heavily.

The shower didn’t last long and I was soon on my way again.

The same tall wild flowers that Sandy and I had seen beside the Esk were growing beside the track today.

wild flowersI don’t know what they are but they obviously like the present conditions as the tallest were nearly up to my head height.

I walked along the top of the woods above the Castleholm….


The bluebells are going over but were still a fine sight.

…and came down at the North Lodge before walking back along the Esk.  When the sun was out, everything was green.

Pheasant hatchery track
Pheasant hatchery trackThe sky was blue but the clouds were racing past at a speed which promised that the next shower would not be far away.

TimpenOn the Castleholm, the trees provided a colourful backdrop to my walk.

Castleholm treesCastleholm treesAll the way round the walk, I was able to admire the fauna as well as the flora.



A rabbit hiding behind a buttercup…not entirely successfully

As well as the bigger picture, there was some detail to enjoy as well.

leaf sproutoak flowersOn the whole, though, I didn’t dawdle too much as the sky clouded over and a few drops of rain added some impetus to my homeward speed.

The walk was a bonus and pretty well sheltered from the wind so in spite of the low temperature, it didn’t feel as cold as I had expected.  Of course, having my big coat and a woolly hat on helped.

There was plenty of starling action again at the garden feeders but I thought that I probably had had enough starling pictures this week so I have put in a sparrow picture to show that there are other birds in the garden too.

starling and sparrow

Oh all right, I did put one starling in as well.

Things are due to calm down a bit meteorologically tomorrow and then get warmer on Monday so I hope that cycling will be back on the agenda soon.  Meanwhile, I am trying with only limited success to learn a song off by heart for tomorrow’s Carlisle choir practice.  Thank goodness the conductor only wants one piece without the music in hand.

Today’s flying bird is an evening greenfinch among the flying insects.


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Today’s picture shows an  interesting cake which Dropscone picked up for an extremely modest price when coming through Hawick yesterday evening.  I thought that it looked unnervingly like a set of frogs peering out of a very muddy pond which may have affected my ability to truly enjoy my slice.


Freezing temperatures again put paid to morning cycling but I put the time to good use by marking up a table of golf fixtures for putting onto Dropscone’s BGA website and putting some more of the newspaper index into the database.  This took me until the great man himself arrived for a cup of coffee bringing the cake with him.   The cake certainly contained enough calories to keep us cycling for several weeks and Mrs Tootlepedal had a taste and pronounced it very good.

A chaffinch watched from the plum tree as we nibbled and sipped.


It was another brilliantly sunny day so after coffee, I finished off entering the week of the index and then set off for a walk in the sunshine.  I left the river behind today and walked up the hill behind our house before heading along a track towards a wood.

Track and bench

You don’t have to look hard to find a bench to rest on when walking on the paths and tracks round Langholm.


I spotted this thrush (or possibly a fieldfare)  in one of the fields beside the track.


There were sheds a plenty in the small fields.


After passing the fields, I reached the wood.

I followed the track down through the woods, crossed the Becks Burn and emerged into the sunshine again on the other side.

Gate and tree

At this stage, the battery on my camera gave out and you are spared all the other interesting pictures that I might have taken on my walk home.  In fact, I was lucky and didn’t see anything very exciting so I wasn’t too sad about the battery.

I had a look round the garden for new flowers when I got home but had to settle on this exuberantly red rhubarb sprout for my splash of colour.


I am looking forward to some rhubarb crumble.

Mrs Tootlepedal is in cycling mode at the moment so after lunch (and a quick look at the birds)…

wood pigeon

A woodpigeon shows off a delicate palette of colours

chaffinch dropping seed

A staggered chaffinch drops a seed.


It really was a good sunny day.

…we packed the bikes into the back of the Kangoo and drove down to Longtown, just over the border into England.  We were going to do a circular route in largely flat country.

We started by adding to my recent collection of churches by passing the substantial parish church at Arthuret.

Arthuret Church

Built in 1609

For those interested in history, I append a snippet from a Wikipedia article on Arthuret:

The site of the church overlooks the site of the Battle of Arfderydd, which appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Vita Merlini and also the Annales Cambriae in the year 573. The battle took place very early in the reign of the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, (patron of St. Kentigern, and Myrddin’s supposed brother-in-law), between the Warlord Gwenddoleu ap Ceidio and his cousins Peredur and Gwrgi, Princes of either Ebrauc (Modern York), or possibly from Gwynedd. In this battle, Gwenddoleu loses his life, and it is not known if one of his brothers, Nudd and Caw, survived to succeed him as king of Arfderydd afterwards.

I hope that is clear.

We pedalled on and took a cycle path along an old railway line which took us over the river Lyne…


…on this bridge

Lyne bridge

This track is part of National Cycle Route 7 and one of the few off road cycle tracks suitable for ordinary bicycles in our vicinity.

We got to the end of the brief track and pedalled on across the A7 where we  had to face an annoying wind for the next seven miles.

I noticed an elegant summer house in a garden at Alstonby…

summer house

…and once we had crossed the Brampton road and back over the river Lyne again, I could see Kirklinton Church on the other side of the river.

Kirklinton Church

The road wound along the top of a small escarpment above the river through some very pretty country and if it hadn’t been for the nagging wind in our faces, it would have been cycling heaven.  An especially nice shack caught my eye…


It shared a field with a brown object.


It turned out to be a very shaggy pony on closer examination.


..and it had a friend too.

Other livestock was available.

Donkey and windmill

A donkey waiting for Don Quixote to turn up.

There were a great many very pretty mature trees beside the road as we cycled on and I stopped to take a shot of Mrs Tootlepedal passing a typical specimen.

Nice tree

Mercifully, the last three miles were slightly downhill, with the wind now behind us and we completed the twelve mile circuit in good style.  However, Mrs Tootlepedal was slightly miffed to find that we had arrived after the cafes in Longtown had closed.  Bad planning.

We enjoyed the change from our usual routes and if the weather is good, we hope to extend our cycling to other new areas in the spring.

In the evening, Susan came and fetched me and we went to Carlisle for our recorder group session.  We were five tonight and we played well which made the music more enjoyable than ever and rounded off an excellent day for me.  Mrs Tootlepedal had gone to the pictures in the Buccleuch Centre with two friends while I was tootling and had a good time watching a film of an extravagant concert in Maastricht by Andre Rieu which she had enjoyed a great deal.  He is a real crowd pleaser.

The flying bird of the day was another chaffinch (surprise, surprise) caught in the shadows before the sun got round to the feeder.


P.S. I took this half moon in the early evening yesterday and forgot to put it in.  I thought it was worth a post.

half moon











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