Posts Tagged ‘Tarras road’

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce who visited the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway which runs (rather smokey) heritage trains between Duffield and Wirksworth, in the Derbyshire Peak District.  By the way, Henry Ellison was built in 1947 so it may be heritage but it is still younger than me.

Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Easter Sunday was another day of splendid weather, with sun from dawn till dusk and it would have been possible to sit out in the garden all day if we had wanted to.

But we had other things to do, starting with a visit to church to sing with our choir.

We had some guest singers with us today as we sang the Hallelujah Chorus as our anthem and with six sopranos, five altos, four basses and two tenors we made a very reasonable sound.  We are between ministers at the moment and the services are being run by a sort of works committee.  They are making a very good job of it so it was an excellent start to the day.

We had a cup of coffee when we got home and then Mrs Tootlepedal planted some potatoes in the new bed.  When she had done that, she set about making a Swiss roll with lemon curd.  My Achilles tendon was still very tender so apart from wandering gently about the garden dead heading daffodils and taking occasional pictures of both delicate…

pulmonaria, lamium

…and ostentatious flowers…

end of drive colour april

…I was happy to have a particularly complicated crossword to spend time puzzling over.

After lunch, it seemed like too good a day to spend at home so we went on a small expedition by bicycle.  Our mission was to see how the repairs on the Tarras road had progressed since we last saw them two months ago, when they looked like  this…

tarras roadworks scene

Our route took us along the bank of the river Esk where we were entertained by a pair of male goosanders on a fishing trip and Mr Grumpy poising on a rock.

goosander and heron

There are definitely less attractive roads to pedal along in springtime than this one.

Broomholm road out

We saw lots of wild flowers on our trip…

violet, anemone, primrose and celandine

…so we had to stop a number of times before we got to the works.  When we finally arrived, it looked as though the re-building of the road was nearly complete…

new tarras road top

…and when we took a closer look, it was plain that a substantial embankment had been built complete with landscaping and drainage and the road put back on top of it.  The workers had been busy and it shouldn’t be too long before the road is surfaced and open to traffic again.

new tarras road banking

Instead of cycling straight home, we turned right past this tree…

tree broomholmshiels

..waved to some Easter lambs…

lambs broomholmshiels

…and puffed up the hill to the Laverock Hide bird feeders which are now being run by a new project called Wild Eskdale.

There wasn’t much wildlife about today though.  Mrs Tootlepedal scanned the skies in vain for any glimpse of a raptor while I sat in the hide and watched a number of chaffinches and siskins.

I did get one good march past though…

pheasant at laverock hide

…and saw a great tit too.

great tit at laverock hide

I wasn’t complaining though as it was very pleasant just to be sitting there on a beautiful warm day.

I had a look at one of the larches before we set off home.

larch tree at Laverock hide

The trip home, involving some serious downhill work…

Broomholm road back

….was over a good deal more quickly than the trip out and it wasn’t long before we were sitting down to a cup of tea and two slices of Mrs Tootlepedal’s Swiss roll which was so delicious that it took iron self control to stop at just two slices.

The six mile cycle ride had actually helped my Achilles tendon problem to ease off a lot and I was able to walk round the garden with no pain at all when I went out to look at the tulips.

pink tulip

Which were well worth a look…

orange tulip sun

…as a little late afternoon sun enhances everything in general but tulips in particular…

red tulip sun

…either singly or in a clump.

cloud of tulips

I admired a bergenia…

bergenia in sun

…and was delighted to note that the first apple blossoms are beginning to come out…

apple blossom

…before picking some rhubarb for stewing and going in to have a second helping of yesterday’s fish pie for my tea, followed by stewed rhubarb and ice cream.

As both my feet feel not too bad tonight, I am hoping to get out for some exercise tomorrow but the trick will be to take some but not too much.  The forecast is offering us two more lovely days before rain arrives so I hope to make the best of them that I can.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch approaching the feeder with care and attention.

flying chaffinch

Read Full Post »

Today’s guest picture was taken by Dropscone who was enjoying a quiet new year walk up a hill yesterday until he came to this wall which he found very hard to cross.

wall on whita

I was a bit deceived by the weather forecast which had suggested that it might be too windy for comfortable pedalling so I went for a walk in the morning instead.  It wasn’t very windy at all.

It was dry and cloudy and birds were few and far between in the garden.  A lone rook perched on the very top of the walnut tree…


…and two jackdaws shared an arch below.


Since there was not much else to be seen, I put on my boots and got ready to go.  Then I had to take my boots off again because one of them was hurting my foot after yesterday’s ramble.

I abandoned thoughts of high hills and settled for another walk up the same road as we had travelled along yesterday.

There was still plenty to look at.  The ivy is flourishing at the moment.


The walls were full of interest too.  It is  a mystery to me why they have such a variety of growths on them so close together.


The stones were only yards apart both in the picture above and the picture below.

moss and lichen

Still, it makes for an interesting stroll.

The most hopeful thing that I saw was an early honeysuckle bud full of the promise of spring.


Today, I didn’t turn off at the top of the hill but  walked on down the other side until I came to the bridge over the Tarras Water.

Tarras Bridge

The coppery brown colour in the water was gorgeous.

To get to the bridge, I had had to go over the section of the road which had been damaged by the floods in early December.

Tarras road damage

The cyclists were struck not only by the steepness of the hill but by the extent of the damage.

When Mrs Tootlepedal and I had visited last month, there was water spurting from a hastily effected repair to the water main which had been carried away by the landslip….

water spout

This was now under control….

tarras road water main

…and the main had been sent under the road and safely across a neighbouring field.

The scrubby trees on the banking below the road had been cleared and this revealed a possible cause for the disaster.

tarras road damage

This is the view immediately below the slip and the large light brown patch is a smooth expanse of solid rock.  The gradient is steeper than the picture makes it look and the soft ground on top of the slab might easily have slipped away in the rainstorm.  We await developments with interest.

As I walked back up the hill from the bridge towards the damaged section of road, I passed a sign that showed that the present landslip may not be the last problem that the road engineers encounter.

Tarras road

I just walked back the way I had come so there was no further opportunity to take pictures apart from this last snowberry beside the Esk.


As I was walking back, I reflected that it had really been an ideal morning for cycling as the wind had turned out to be light and the temperature at 8°C was  comfortably warm.  All the same I was pleased to have done a five mile walk two days in a row as before I got my new knee, that would have been impossible.

When I got home, I had time for a little sit down before our neighbours Liz and Ken came over to enjoy a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit.  We followed this up with a small glass or two  of port to toast the new year and those of you who are worried about the state of things in 2016 can rest a little more easily now as we certainly put the world to rights between us as we talked.

The short and gloomy days are doing nothing to lift me out of my holidaze and I happily spent the rest of the day doing nothing apart from a little flute practice and catching up on my correspondence.  Life should get back to normal next week as music and choirs restart and I am looking forward to that a lot.

It wasn’t a day for flying birds but here is the best that I could do.




Read Full Post »