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Posts Tagged ‘River Teviot’

Today’s guest picture is from my sister Mary’s recent visit to the Lake District where she stopped at a cafe in Grange and enjoyed this lovely view.

cafe garden at Grange.

We stopped at a cafe today.  This one was at a garden centre near North Berwick where we had an excellent breakfast this morning as we left for home after a very enjoyable week at the sea side.  It seemed easier to eat out than have to do a lot of washing up just before we left our holiday cottage.

Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to acquire a few plants while we were there.

We then took a road that we haven’t travelled along before to get home and drove over the Lammermuir hills to Duns and Kelso, adding about 15 miles to our trip but getting some wonderful views in exchange.  Unfortunately, it was rather hazy and there weren’t a lot of handy parking spots so you will have to take the views on trust but they were good enough to make us think of going that way again.

We did stop at the Whiteadder reservoir in the heart of the hills.

P1100510

There was enough sun to give the water some sparkle.

Whiteadder Reservoir

The Lammermuir hills are treeless and heather covered as they are extensively used for grouse shooting and their spare beauty is entirely man made.  It is sad that this also means that birds of prey have a hard time here and often suffer mysterious accidental deaths.

We passed a great number of cyclists who were testing their legs against some impressive climbs on the good surfaces of the East Lothian roads.

Soon after leaving the reservoir, we crossed the River Whiteadder on this fine bridge.

Lammermuir bridge

After we had passed through Kelso, we stopped again at another garden centre (can you detect a pattern here?) for a cup of tea and a tea cake .  This one has a water garden and caters for lovers of pet fish…

Teviot fish

…and it also has a very charming garden that tumbles down the bank…

Teviot water garden

…from the centre to the river Teviot running past below.

River Teviot

It had a most spectacular aquilegia in its plants for sale section.

aquilegia

We didn’t buy one but I did get some good cheese from their smokery department.

Were were nearly home when we got caught up in a rush of traffic heading for Mosspaul to meet the rideout from Hawick, part of the Hawick Common Riding proceedings.  Luckily, we were early enough to avoid the horses and riders so we didn’t suffer too much of a delay.

After all this excitement, we got home in the early afternoon and had a look round to see how the garden had got on without us.

Very well.

blue flowersred/purple flowersyellow flowerswhite flowersazaleas and rhododendrons

I will go round again soon taking a more detailed look at what is new as I have not got all the new flowers in by a long chalk.

Things needed watering though so I got the sprinkler out and gave the vegetable garden a good soaking while I cut the grass on the middle lawn.

Then I cut the front lawn while the sprinkler sprinkled water on the middle lawn.

The sprinkler was adjusted so delicately, that Mrs Tootlepedal and our neighbour Liz were able to sit on the new bench and catch up with the news as the water drops stopped a few inches away from their feet.

Mrs Tootlepedal is pleased with the way that her new bed at the end of the middle lawn is shaping up.

new bed

In the background to the picture above, the tree peony is in flower and this year, unlike last year, the flowers are not (entirely) hidden behind the leaves.

tree peony

Mrs Tootlepedal filled the pond, which had gone down a lot during a dry week, and we were relieved to see plenty of tadpoles swimming around once the water level had gone up.

tadpoles

The path along the back of the garden, familiarly known as “Ally’s allium alley” is looking good…

P1100546

…from either direction.

Ally's alley

There wasn’t a lot of time to look at birds today but I did catch a couple of siskins and a goldfinch on the feeder.

siskins

…and while I was hoping for a flying bird, my attention was diverted by this colourful corner.

colourful corner

We enjoyed our holiday a lot but we are nevertheless very pleased to be back on home territory again.  The forecast is good for the next few days so we should be able to catch up on garden tasks that need doing and perhaps get some cycling in too.

There was no flying bird of the day available so a creeping thrush is here instead.

thrush

I hope to do better tomorrow.

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Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary and shows Mr Grumpy’s London cousin trying (successfully) to outdo a work of art in the background in Hyde Park.

Hyde Park. Mr G's cousin trying to compete with artistic installation

There were touches of frost to be seen when I got up.  However, it was cheerfully sunny and the day got warmer as it went on.  It might have been a good day for cycling but I had arranged to go with my recorder playing friend Sue to a “playing day” organised by the Roxburgh branch of the Society of Recorder players in Denholm, about 30 miles north of Langholm.

Sue arrived very promptly after breakfast and kindly offered to do the driving, an offer which I was glad to accept as I have done enough driving lately.

The playing was conducted by Helen Hooker, an accomplished player, teacher and conductor and she provided us with an excellent selection of music from Schmeltzer to Moon River by way of Bach and Steve Marshall.  As well as providing good music, Helen offered us some very sound advice as how to play the pieces which, as far as I possibly could, I followed.

Both Sue and I enjoyed the playing and we took advantage of the fine weather to go for a walk along the River Teviot during the lunch break.

It is very useful for me to have a keen wild flower enthusiast to walk ahead of me and spot the wild flowers.

Sue

She goes to wild flower courses and knows what she is talking about.

I am sure that I saw many more flowers today than I would have done if I had been walking by myself.

Here is a selection of what we passed.

wildflowers

Pretty little flowers

wildflowers

Bigger showy ones

dead nettle

Fantastically furry ones

wildflower

Some were under development

There were some mysteries.

dandelion and yellow flower

At first we thought the flower on the left in the panel above was just another dandelion but a closer look showed that it clearly wasn’t.  Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that it might be a garden escape.  The dandelions were in great form.

The most mysterious plant of the day was one that covered a woodland floor at one point.  I took several pictures of it.

white flower

The flower stalks were triangular and tall so that the flower heads bent over.  There seemed to be several flowers in turn on each stalk, leaving behind the shiny yellow spheres which you can see in the bottom right panel.  The foliage in the bottom left panel is from another plant.

I would be more than happy to have my store of information increased by any knowledgeable reader who recognises this flower.

As well as flowers, we were able to watch a pair of goosanders scoot up stream under the eagle eye of a buzzard…..

P1110407

…while we sat on a bench and ate our packed lunches.  There were oyster catchers heckling the buzzard and delightful views as well…

River Teviot

…so the time passed quickly and we had to return to the village hall at a brisk pace.

I had enough time for a river view on the way…

River Teviot

…and a glance at Minto Hill.

minto hill

The bridge at Denholm is fine….

Denholm Bridge

…and it was a pleasure to walk across it twice.

We passed a neat thatched cottage in the village….

Denholm

…though Sue remarked that it had a fashionable ‘green’ roof and we were nearly brained by some enormous catkins….

Denholm catkin

…as we went back to the hall.

The afternoon session was as good as the morning had been so we were very well satisfied with our day as we drove home.

And did I mention that we saw some excellent lichen too on our walk?

lichen

Denholm is a great place for this yellow lichen and the hedge plants are covered with it.  I was hoping to show Sue some script lichen but there was none to be seen and the best that I could do was this.

tree lichen

When I got home, I had a quick look round the garden…

azalea, tulip and primula

…where it looked as though the flowers had been enjoying the sunshine.

tulips

Mrs Tootlepedal’s mixed bed of tulips is developing.

I saw the first potentilla flowers on the plants along the dam at the back of the house…

potentilla

…and these will be the first of many as they stay in flower for months.

Mrs Tootlepedal had been very busy in the garden while we were tootling but she had enough energy left to cook a meal of mutton chops for tea and that rounded off a day which was firmly entered in large letters, underlined, on the credit side of the great ledger of life.

I just had enough time before I sat down to eat to look out of the kitchen window.

flying goldfinch and chaffinch

Note: I discovered during the day that Helen Hooker is not just a very good recorder player and teacher but a fanatically keen and expert photographer who has been posting pictures every day for many years.   You can see the record of her journey to Scotland here.

It is well worth a visit.

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows you-know-who enjoying a chocolate cake.  It was sent to me by her proud father.

Matilda

The day didn’t start quite as I had planned.  Instead of leaping up and cycling into the middle distance, I staggered up, had breakfast and retired back to bed to read a magazine for an hour or so.

When I finally got up, I was just in time to help Mrs Tootlepedal.  We had accumulated a very large pile of clippings from the front hedge and the two smaller hedges in the garden which she had clipped.  We have a small electric shredder which is usually quite adequate for our needs but this pile would have meant a very long time standing and feeding the little machine.  Hidden away in the garage, we have a large petrol driven shredder which we stopped using years ago basically because it was very noisy and smelly.  But needs must so it saw the light of day again.

petrol shredder

Mrs Tootlepedal was very pessimistic about the chances of it starting after being inactive for so long but much to our surprise, it started easily and the large pile of hedge clippings  were turned into usable  composting material in a quarter of an hour.

After the machine had been stowed away, I had a look round the garden.

peonies

Peonies are bursting out all over. They look gorgeous seen from the side….

peonies

….and from above.

New roses are appearing every day.

roses

The Queen of Denmark and Goldfinch

There were bees on all sides.

bees

Brilliant clusters of flowers.

sweet william and onion

Sweet William and what Mrs Tootlepedal describes as ‘another onion thingy’

I like these two quite a lot….

lupin and foxglove

…but not as much as I like the astrantia.

astrantia

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal expressed a wish for a cycle ride somewhere new and as we have cycled round pretty well every road in the vicinity over the years, we packed the bikes in the car and drove thirty miles north and parked the car at the visitor centre at Harestanes.

Mrs Tootlepedal suggested that we should cycle to the village of Roxburgh about 6 miles away and make a circular route by coming back past the Waterloo Monument.

This turned out to be a very good plan indeed. The weather was perfect for cycling, the roads were quiet and well surfaced and there was something interesting to look round every corner.

We saw a huge fungus at Nisbet….

fungus

…the Cheviot Hills in the distance…

Cheviots

…white campion and strikingly blue comfrey in the verges…

white campion comfrey

…hares chasing each other through the fields…

hares

…a picturesque lochan complete with many waterfowl…

lochan at Mounteviot…and if we had stopped for every photo opportunity, we would never have got round the thirteen and a half miles at all.

The roads were varied and the views often spectacular both to north and south.

Mrs Tootlepedal was very interested in visiting Roxburgh, as the original town was once a thriving market community but it has been written out of history and can no longer be seen.  She was hoping for signs of ruins but rather disappointingly for her, it turns out that the name has been passed on to the little village that we visited today and it is two miles away from the site of the ancient town.

I was more excited by the modern village…

Roxburgh

…which had an ancient ruin but more interestingly had the remains of two substantial railway bridges which once crossed the road which we use to enter the village.

It turns out that Roxburgh was a junction where the branch line from Jedburgh met the line from Kelso to St Boswells.  As a result it also has a splendid viaduct where the Kelso railway (long shut) crossed the River Teviot.  I love a good viaduct.

Roxburgh Viaduct

We cycled down Ferry Road from the village to the river and walked along to the viaduct.  There is no need for a ferry now as there is an excellent footbridge attached to the viaduct.

Roxburgh Viaduct footbridge

As far as I can find out, the footbridge was part of the original design of the viaduct which is most unusual.  You can see that it is perched on the piers of the viaduct.

I walked onto it and looked upriver.

River Teviot

As you can imagine, I spent a good deal of time taking pictures but in the end, we pedalled back up into the village and took the road back towards the Waterloo Monument.  It can be seen from many miles away and one day (soon, I hope) I will come back and walk up the track to the monument itslef.  Today, though, we cycled past it….

Waterloo Monument

…and I had to use the zoom on the Lumix to get a good view of it.  The views over the Teviot valley as we came down the hill back to Harestanes were outstanding.

Teviotdale at Harestanes

That is a potato field in the foreground.

All in all, we thought perhaps that it might be  the best value thirteen miles that we have ever pedalled.   The  mild weather, light winds and occasional sunshine all helped of course.

We enhanced the drive home with some serious shopping in Hawick and arrived back in Langholm tired but happy.

I had no time for staring out of the kitchen window today so the flying ‘bird’ of the day is my cycling companion floating up a hill.

Mrs tootlepedal

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