Posts Tagged ‘trig point’

Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my friend Bruce who seems to have popped up in Spain.   He had an excursion today to the monastery at Montserrat and found a statue there of interest.  He claims that its eyes followed him about wherever he went.  Look closely at the triptych which he took and you can see what he means.

MontserratI didn’t need to be followed anywhere this morning as I stayed firmly at home doing nothing more exciting than making some slow cooked lamb stew and a pot of coffee.  Sandy joined us for coffee on his way home from a fifteen mile cycle ride which put me to shame.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hard at work doing preparatory work for the final decoration of the downstairs room and I lent a small hand from time to time.

I did take a walk round the garden.   I found two small tortoiseshell butterflies trapped in a spider’s web in the garage and Mrs Tootlepedal came with her delicate fingers and freed them.  We were worried that they might be fatally injured but after a little basking in the sun…

butterfly…they both flew off looking quite chipper.

New flowers are to be seen.


The first of many tulips


A few forsythia flowers

The tadpoles are beginning to roam free in the pond.

tadpolesSpurred into action by a sardine sandwich for lunch, I put on my walking shoes and walked up to the top of Timpen, a 1000 ft summit behind our house.  I had my cameras with me but I was more interested in walking than shooting so I took my walking poles along and hardly stopped until I had made it to the top of the hill.

Two brief photo ops detained me on my way up.

Hill cattle

With the hill cattle around, I had to be careful not to get between mother and calf.  They can be fiercely protective.

meadow pipits

I saw quite a few of these little birds on the hillside.

meadow pipits

They turned out to be meadow pipits.

There is a trig point with a bench mark on the summit….

benchmarkThe numbers do not refer to the height above sea level which is 1069 ft.  Another benchmark near our house in the town is at a height of 269 ft and this shows that I had climbed exactly 800 ft, as my route had not involved any loss of height.

It was another hazy day but I took a couple of shots from the top of the hill.


The town just visible 800 ft below.


In the other direction I could see Craigcleuch, one of the houses built by mill owners in Victorian times.

The light was very variable but every now and again, a bit of sunlight penetrated the haze and lit up a view.

Castle HillI went (very carefully) down the steeper side of the hill towards the Bentpath road and could see the pheasant hatchery on the Castleholm laid out like a map plan below me.

CastleholmOnce back on the road, I crossed it and walked back to Langholm through the woods to the Duchess Bridge.  I was greeted by a very charming bunch of primroses.

primrosesThe recent dry weather has made the path much less muddy than usual and it was a pleasure to walk along it.

Duchess bridge walkThe bridge itself is very difficult to see because of the trees lining the riverside…

Duchess Bridge…and if I was the landowner, I would make sure that there was at least one gap in the trees so that walkers could admire this historic bridge.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal had reached a natural hiatus in her decorating tasks so we went for a nine and a half mile cycle ride up and down the Wauchope road in the the warm early evening sunshine.  The trees at the school are retreating ever further along the banks of the river.

Wauchope school treesWe turned for home at Westwater and had a quick look at the massive wooden circular construction there which will be used for a falconry centre there.   You can see a picture of it at the end of Gavin’s latest blog.

When we got home, Mrs Tootlepedal washed one of a pair of big velvet curtains from the front room in a large tub and I helped her to hang it out.  I question whether it will ever dry out but we can but hope.

I took a picture of a euphorbia before I went back in.

euphorbiaThe lamb stew turned out very well after my gravy chef had worked her magic and provided us with a good meal.  As I was feeling inexplicably snoozy, the rest of the evening saw no action of note at all.

Bird  action was very limited in the garden during the day but as I was waiting for the stew, I did see a late flying chaffinch.


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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother Andrew in Spain and shows a mountain chapel.

Mountain Chapel

The forecast was for a cloudy but dry day with frost at first and icy patches at first.  Apart from the fact that there was no frost and it was sunny all day, they got it pretty well right and at least it was dry.  Dropscone and I had delayed the start of the morning run in case of frost but we were quite pleased to have a late start and be able to pedal round in a relaxed fashion in sunny conditions.

I was able to stare out of the window before he arrived.

There was peace and quiet at times…

robin and chaffinch

…and plenty of action too.

siskin and greenfinch

A tiny siskin was quite happy to threaten a greenfinch.

After a coffee and a shower, I went out to admire the crocuses, both singly…


…and collectively.


I also communed with the frogs while I was there, once again both singly…


…and collectively.

frog colloquy

A three frog colloquy on the subject of independence.  They are for it.

It was such a nice day, almost windless and feeling warm, that Mrs Tootlepedal and I decided to have a walk after lunch to see if the new bridge on Gaskell’s Walk was ready for use.

It was.  Here is a view of the bridge from one side…

new bridge

…and a picture seen from the other side of Mrs Tootlepedal and Corrie, a keen photographer himself, taking in the view from the bridge .

Having met a fellow member of the camera club, the next two people we met as we continued our walk were a fellow archivist and a fellow member of both the choirs we sing in.  We felt among friends.

We also saw and admired the colours and patterns on this recently felled tree stump beside  the path.

tree stump

At the end of Gaskell’s Walk, we turned left and set off up Warbla.  After a while, Mrs Tootlepedal thought that since she had already crossed her bridge when she had come to it, she might well have better things to do than walk up a hill, however benign the weather conditions, and turned back towards home and useful tasks while I plugged on to the summit…

summit of warbla

…occasionally exclaiming, “Excelsior!” ( which is Latin for, “Coo, this is steep.”)


Luckily I came down this very steep bit.

At the top, I noticed a curious object on the top of a fence post.  I wondered of it was something like an owl pellet.

Pellet on the post

The craggy architecture of the top of the fence post was worth a picture in itself.

The views were as good as ever but because they haven’t changed significantly (or at all) since my last visit. I tried to find a few different pictures on my way up and down.

Looking over Holmwood

Looking over Holmwood at 14.31

Looking over Holmwood

Roughly the same view from a different altitude and angle at 15.25

I kept an eye for fungus and lichen on my way up and down.

fungus and lichen

With added moss

With added moss

I was tempted into a traditional lonesome tree shot .


The thermometer showed that it was 14°C in the sun by the time that I got back and it certainly felt as though it had been the warmest day of the year so far, although it was still in single figures in the shade.

There was plenty of light to try a little continuous shooting in the direction of the bird feeder and it came up with one quite lively result.


It was still light when my flute pupil Luke arrived for his lesson.  He played very nicely and showed that he has been listening to the points for improvement in his set pieces for his grade examination next month.  However, he is still not doing his breathing exercises and I had to issue some dreadful warnings regarding the possible end of the world if he doesn’t start doing them properly.  Like singing, flute playing is heavily dependent on good breath control and I might feel a little less guilty about being so forceful with Luke if I did the exercises daily myself to help with my singing in the choirs.  Perhaps this will make me concentrate too.

As our pianist Isabel was unwell, I couldn’t go to play trios with her and Mike this evening so I enjoyed a quiet night at home throwing away hundreds of the pictures that I had taken during the day.

I did reserve one of the many flying chaffinches as flying bird of the day.

flying chaffinch

The pick of another bunch of continuous shots. It is worth doing.











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