Posts Tagged ‘Tinnis’

Today’s guest picture from my brother Andrew shows what was on the other side of the lake at Locko Park.

Locko Park (2)

It was zero degrees when we got up and -1 when I came to write this post.  In between it crept up to +1 in the middle of the day.  I didn’t go cycling.

I thought that the chill might bring in more birds and there were a few chaffinches about..

two chaffinches

..but not many.

straight up chaffinch

For one reason or another, we had a very lazy morning with a late coffee.  Then I made a pot of vegetable soup for lunch and I ate a lunch of soup, bread and cheese.  Then, since the sun was shining, I thought that I ought to go for a short walk just to stretch my legs after yesterday’s hilly effort.

It was almost windless and the pool at Pool Corner was a reflection of that state of affairs.

reflections at Pool Corner

The contrast between the cheerful sun shining through moss on a tree branch…

sunshine through moss

..and a frozen fence post beside the road to the Auld Stane Brig was very marked.

icy fence post

As a result, I thought that it might be just the sort of day to find hair ice  if I knew where to look.

hair ice gaskells (2)

I didn’t find much but there were a couple of really good examples.

hair ice gaskells

I could see the cattle that I had avoided yesterday enjoying the sunshine on Meikleholm Hill across the valley…

cattle on Meikleholm

…but on the whole, it was too chilly to spend a lot of time looking round so I took a picture of some dilapidated fungus on a tree and headed home.

decrepit fungus

The reason for the short walk was to make time for a shopping visit to Carlisle to buy supplies to fill up the serious date and prune gap in our storage cupboard.  Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to acquire some crochet hooks as she is going to learn to crochet this winter.

I took a couple of pictures of chaffinches before we set off to Carlisle and I got my camera setting badly wrong and wasted this rare opportunity to get a respectable flying bird of the day…

noisy flying chaffinch

…but I quite liked the pointillist effect that I got by accident.

misty flying chaffinch

The sun was still shining when we arrived back in Langholm so before we went home, we drove up to the White Yett to see if we could see anything interesting.  The light was pretty mellow as we looked up the Ewes Valley on our way up the hill….


…and it was absolutely gorgeous when we got to the top and looked over the moor towards Tinnis Hill.


We dropped down into the Tarras valley in the hope of seeing some of the wild goats but saw none.  Our reward was to see the sun sinking behind the monument as we drove back home…


…well satisfied with our little excursion in spite of the absence of birds.

Although the setting sun made it feel like evening, it was only mid afternoon when we got in and we sat down to a nice cup of tea and a slice or two of sourdough bread which had fallen into our shopping bag while we were out.

Sandy has been hard at work and I put a couple of 1967 Langholm Parish Church magazines, which he has scanned and formatted, into the Archive Group website.  I note that 448 people attended the communion services in November 1967 and yet the minister was still inclined to complain about poor church attendance from time to time.

It looks as though we are in for a pretty cool spell of weather in the coming days but with little or no rain about,  a good deal more walking than cycling may well occur.

I did manage to get the camera more or less correct on one occasion this morning so there is a flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch


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Today’s guest post is the third and last of Tash’s portraits of Tony’s dogs beside the Forth.

Tony's dog

It was a cold but brighter day here today so there were no complaints but I had a slight chesty cough threatening so I abandoned a plan to wrap up well and go for a pedal and settled for a morning of light loafing about.

I kept an eye on the birds.

We had two greenfinches…


…many goldfinches…


…several dunnocks…


…and robins on every perch.


There were at least three robins and I could often see all three at the same time.  They seem to be mildly territorial but not very fierce about it so maybe there is room in the garden for all of them.

We went out for our midday meal as it was the day of the annual Archivists’ Lunch. It was at the Eskdale Hotel this year and a party of thirteen sat down for an excellent meal.

After the meal, I thought that I probably needed to shake the calories down so I went for a walk.  I also hoped that a bit of exercise might frighten away my incipient chesty cough.

It was crisp and breezy and a beautiful day for an outing on a hill so I left the Eskdale Hotel behind….

Eskdale Hotel

…and went up the Kirk Wynd on the opposite side of the market Place and headed straight up the hill to the monument on top of Whita.

It was warm enough for the puddles in the fields to be unfrozen….


….but the brisk north wind which was rippling the water made it feel decidedly wintery.

I had hoped for splendid views as it had seemed quite bright when I was in the town but as I got further up the hill, it became clear that there was still a lot of moisture in the air…

View of langholm

…and both the town and the Ewes Valley…

misty ewes valley

…were rather fuzzy.

Still, there was always moss to look at, both on a wall…..

moss on wall

…and in big tussocks making some of the walk hard work.

moss tussock

It didn’t take me too long to get to the summit though as the nippy wind didn’t encourage much standing about and enjoying the view….


…but I did take a moment to look over the wall behind the monument and enjoy the view across the Tarras to Tinnis Hill.



And you can’t stand next to a wall without admiring the lichen.

lichen at Monument

It is exactly a mile from the Eskdale Hotel to the monument at an average  gradient of 16% so I was pleased to have taken exactly half an hour to get there. There is a nice neatness about it.

The sun was already getting a little lower in the sky so I didn’t dilly dally and was soon on my way down the track to the White Yett and the McDiarmid memorial.

McDiarmid Memorial

Beside the memorial there is a cairn with a cap of moss which invited a closer look.

cairn and moss

As I walked down the road to Whitshiels, the sun sank further and a gently golden light kissed the hills at the top of the valley.

Ewes valley sunset

As our friend Sue said the other day, the colours in winter can be just as rewarding as any other time of year.   If you choose the right day.

Ewes valley sunset

I kept an eye out for moss and enjoyed this collection of moss and lichen on a badly  decomposing fence post beside the road.

moss on fencepost

A group of horses caught the last rays of the sun as I  got near to the main road.


I had hoped to be in time to take a picture or two of a rugby match at Miltown but the players were just trooping off the pitch as I came down the last stretch of hill.  A spectator leaving the game told me that Langholm had won by over 100 points.  Their opponents must have got quite discouraged.

The sun was on its last legs as I got back to the town but it gave me the chance for one last picture on my walk.

tree sunset

The walk turned out to be  exactly four miles and took me exactly an hour and a half so the whole excursion was mathematically very satisfying.

When I got home, I found that Mrs Tootlepedal had been very busy in my absence and the Christmas tree was back in its own home again.

Christmas tree

As it is Twelfth Night, that is as it should be.

The walk may have shaken down my lunch but sadly, although I thoroughly enjoyed the walk and didn’t cough at all, it didn’t do my chest much good so I am going for an early bed and hoping to get a good night’s sleep.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.  We had left for lunch before the sun got to the feeders so it is another impressionistic effort.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest picture shows spring in Regent’s Park, London this morning.  It was sent to me by my sister Mary who was enjoying a game of tennis on the one of the public courts in the Park.blossom in Regent's Park

By contrast here, Mrs Tootlepedal reported snow on the lawn when she got up.  By the time that I had unearthed myself, the snow had all but disappeared.   It was that kind of day.  One minute there was sunshine and the next there was a hailstorm.  Out of the back window, we could see snow on Whita.

snow on Whita

Out of the front window there was not a flake to be seen.  There were birds to be seen of course.


Goldfinches seem to have a special liking for the very topmost point of a plum tree twig.

Once the temperature had hit 5°,  Mrs Tootlepedal joined me for a pedal.  Our route was flexible and depended on the weather.  As we were cycling into a strong breeze and were pelted by not one but two passing hailstorms before we had even got to Wauchope School, we settled for six miles.

Once home, the weather took a turn for the better and I was able to dry off gently while looking out of the window.  Today the chaffinches reigned supreme.




Tiptoeing onto a perch


Spreading his wings


Taking in some rays

After lunch Sandy arrived on his new second hand bike.  He and Mrs Tootlepedal both have very nice Dawes Sonora machines.

The sun looked as though it was firmly out (for a while at least) so Sandy and I resolved to go to the bridge at Westwater.  Sandy has not cycled for many years and is working up towards pedalling some longer distances in the summer holidays.  Meanwhile a ten mile trip is just what the doctor ordered.

If the wind had been a little bit lighter, it would have been a splendid day for cycling.  As it was, we were pleased to take a rest at the new bridge…


…and enjoy the view….


…before being blown home by the breeze.

As we headed towards Langholm, we could see a hint of snow on the distant hills.

snow on hills

This looked as though there might be enough to make a picture so after Sandy had gone home, Mrs Tootlepedal and I drove up to the Langholm Moor to see if we could see an interesting bird or two and a snowscape at the same time.

There was not a bird of any sort, interesting or otherwise to be seen so it was lucky that there was a little snow on the hill tops contrasting with the deep brown of the moorland below.  I started with a view of Tinnis Hill….

Tinnis Hill

…and took took shots looking up the Tarras valley.

The top of the Tarras valley

Tarras valley

There was only the merest trace of snow in the Ewes valley.

Ewes valley

It was cold and windy on the moor so we didn’t stay for long and were soon back in the warmth of our kitchen looking out on yet another very heavy shower.

In a break in the weather, we were visited by a jackdaw.


I am still spending quite a bit of time deciding what to put onto the new computer which I am going to use as my internet connected workhorse and downloading and backing up is taking up far too much time which could be better spent.  I am hoping that it will all be worth the trouble.

With this in mind, I had some fish for my tea as it is supposed to be very good for the brain.  It isn’t working so far though.

The flying bird of the day was one of the flock of chaffinches.


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Today’s guest picture, in the absence of any up to date contributions, is a charming bridge near Buttermere, which was crossed when he came to it in August by my brother.

Leaving Buttermere, I headed over an ancient bridge

In spite of beautifully sunny and calm conditions, or perhaps because of the beautifully sunny and calm conditions, the temperature stayed resolutely below three degrees Celsius all day and a large ice covered puddle outside the back door persuaded Mrs Tootlepedal and myself that cycling might be a bit risky on roads that had been quite wet last night.

She went off to church to sing in the choir and I was about to settle down for some superior quality idling when I was mugged by my camera and dragged out for a walk.  Having already been up Warbla and Whita,  the camera was hungry for change and took me up the third of the four hills of Langholm, Meikleholm.

It was worth the walk.

meiklehom track

The track from the town onto the hill.

gate onto meikleholm

The hill ahead.

Unaccountably, the hill had got a bit steeper since I last climbed it and I was forced to stop to admire the view quite often but I made it to the top (265m) and looked at Timpen (326m) in front of me.

timpen from meikleholm

The legs said stop and the camera said go on.  I went on.  The frosty conditions made for good walking on the boggy ground and I was (fairly) soon at the top, looking back over the Ordnance Survey trig point at the mist covered Solway plain to the south.

mist and trig point

To the far north, I could just make out the first snow covered hills of the year on the horizon.

snowy peaks ettrick

Because of the steep climb and the still conditions, it was positively balmy on the top of the hill.   There were good views to be had as a reward for climbing.

tinnis from timpen

Tinnis hill seen in the distance.

Milnholm from Timpen

The Esk winding its way north past the farm of Milnholm with Craigcleuch house in the foreground.

I was enjoying the views so much that I took many more shots but when I went through them later on, they all looked much the same.  I walked back down the hill by the way that I had come up and stopped for a couple more pictures on my way down.

Castle hill from

Castle Hill seen from the mini summit of Meikleholm Hill

As usual, the direction of shooting compared with the position of the sun produced some very different colours.

Langholm from Meikleholm

The town below.

Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from church by the time that I had got back.  I offered her the chance of a pedal but the ice was still on the puddle outside the back door and her needle calls her as insistently as my camera calls me.  She is making herself a jacket.

The sun wouldn’t shine on the feeder but the plum tree was glowing gently.

perching chaffinches postcard

Two chaffinches posed decoratively for me.

It was too good a day to sit inside so I rang Sandy to see what he was up to and it turned out that he was up for the short drive north that we meant to take yesterday.  He had been for a walk in the morning too and had seen a shot which he liked so we drove into the centre of town first.Langholm Bridge (3)

He is busy preparing prints for a stall at a forthcoming craft fair so he may not have time to put them on his blog as well but I hope to see some of the pictures he has been taking soon.

We left the town and drove to Milnholm, the very spot which I had photographed earlier on the day from the top of Timpen.  The farmers were hard at work in the fields.

Milnholm crops

All around them, the trees were glorious.

Longfauld trees

We crossed the river and parked the car before walking along the track to Staplegordon.  This gave me a view of my favourite picturesque cottage at Henwell.


Even the barns at Potholm farm looked good in the light of the low sun.


Although a single house and a graveyard are all that is left of Staplegordon now, this used to be the centre of the district and I took a  photo of the motte, all that remains of the motte and bailey Barntalloch castle which once guarded the spot.  There are no traces now of the wooden Norman castle that stood there first or of the stone tower that succeeded it.


When we got home and had enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea, I noticed that somewhere along the line, I had left a pair of gloves behind.  I might possibly have left them beside the river in the town or more probably up at Staplegordon but as the river in the town was nearer, I decided that I must have left them there so after finishing my cup of tea, I walked down  to find them.  As I got nearer, I was more and more convinced that I must have left them at Staplegordon and I was only looking at the riverside because it was nearer.  However, it had been a good day so far and my luck held as I found my gloves lying beside a wall where I had dropped them.

I had my phone in my pocket and took another picture of the bridge to show the same view in the fading light.

Langholm Bridge

Our days really are getting shorter.  This was taken at twenty past three.

I walked back over the bridge in the picture and took this picture from it looking upstream.

Langholm Bridge

You could call this the end of a perfect day as far as the weather went.

Mrs Tootlepedal rounded off a top notch day by cooking a feast for our tea and then we settled down to watch the worst two dancers in Strictly meeting in the dance off.  Sometimes even the thought of the gas bill can’t spoil a good mood.

In between all the rushing about, I found a moment to catch a flying chaffinch.

flying chaffinch (118)










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Today’s guest picture is an absolute stonker from my sister Susan who was on the south bank of the Thames a couple of days ago.  She liked the working river but i have cropped it to emphasise the sky.

A working river

The radio and TV have been full of warnings about the coming storm.  It will be the worst since…..keep away from trees…..don’t travel unless necessary…and so on but the Met Office local  forecast promised me a dry morning  with little wind and the forecast was absolutely right.  In fact I got up so early in a bid to get the best of the day that it was still dark and I had to go back to bed again.  Still I managed to have a reasonably early breakfast and I was out on the bike before nine o’clock.

garmin route 26 Oct 13I didn’t have a set route in mind, fearing that I might have to run for home if the rain came so I just pootled along at a steady speed admiring the views as I went.  In the end I was able to add little extras onto the distance as the weather stayed very benign and managed 34 miles.

The only defect of the trip was the fact that I hadn’t eaten enough at breakfast to deal with the slightly longer than expected distance and I found myself quite a bit short of fuel with a few miles still to go. Luckily the legs stuck to the task well and I filled up with some specialist recovery protein when I got back home.

I stopped to take a lot of pictures on my way round and here are just a few of them.

near Paddockhole

A nice selection of greens and browns near Paddockhole

Canonbie bridge

Plenty of water flowing under Canonbie bridge

Canonbie bridge

The view upstream from Canonbie bridge

The old A7

The old main road, closed to through traffic by a landslip since the early 1980s and now part of the Morning Run

After lunch, Sandy came round and we were expecting to be shut indoors by the rain but it held off so we went for a short expedition over the White Yett and onto the Langholm Moor.  Looking south we even caught a glimpse of sun on the fields at Cronksbank…


…but it didn’t come to anything.

Looking  east, the view across to Tinnis was definitely autumnal.


We encountered an unaccustomed amount of cars beside the road.

Hound trail

They had gathered for a hound trail and we were tempted to stop and watch the hounds but instead we edged our way past them and continued down to the Tarras Water, stopping to admire a dramatic sky on the way.

Langholm Moor

We got to Tarras Lodge where  we parked and took a few pictures.  It was rather gloomy but we did the best that we could.  I was trying out a tripod that Dr Tinker is considering selling.  It was very good, being light and adaptable, and if the price is right and he still wants to sell it, I shall buy it.

Tarras Bridge

Tarras Lodge

The road up the valley

It was blowing a brisk wind by this time and that made the air pretty chilly so we didn’t linger at the picnic table but after taking some pictures of the various fungi about…

Tarras fungi

…and evidence of the recent wet weather….


…we headed for home and warmth.

We stopped on the way back to admire this view of trees and hill as we approached the town.

Meikleholm Hill

Once home, we had a cup of tea.  After that Sandy showed me a few useful buttons on my new photo editor (of which he already has a copy) and then we put  a week of the newspaper index into the database.

After Sandy went off to look at the pictures which he had taken, I spent quite a bit of time playing on the new editor and trying to remember which buttons Sandy had shown me..  It is Photoshop CS6 and is probably certainly better than my pictures deserve but it will be fun to get to know it.

It can change this….



…to this…



… in the twinkling of an eye.  I was impressed.

Our clocks go back tonight, which means that it will get dark so soon that cycling in the afternoon will  be unattractive.  As cycling in the morning can be very chilly, I for one wish that they would leave us on BST all the year round.

I didn’t have much time to look at the birds so I was pleased to catch this chaffinch looking mean, moody and magnificent with the long grass stems in the background.

flying chaffinch








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