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Posts Tagged ‘Warbla’

Today’s guest picture is another from Tom in South Africa and, appropriately enough since he is a great rugby man, it shows some springboks.

springbok

The first named storm of the year was visiting Britain overnight and we were warned that Aileen would bring heavy and persistent rain overnight and well into the morning so it was no surprise to find the sun shining when we got up.

It turned out that Aileen had stayed well to the south of us.

I went up to the town to do some business and then walked round the garden.  The variety of Mrs Tootlepedal’s poppies never fails to delight me.

poppies

And they continue to attract bees in numbers.

poppies with bees

And of course, some of them are simply beautiful.

poppy

As well as some good weather, the morning brought Dropscone, complete with a batch of excellent scones for coffee.  He has recently been to Aberdeen on golfing business so it was good to see that he had got back without losing another wheel on the way.  He had crossed over the new Forth bridge on his trip but told us that it was far less exciting to drive over than to look at from a distance as it has tall panels each side of the roadway which severely restrict the driver’s view.

When he left, I got the mower out and mowed the middle lawn.  After the overnight rain, the lawn was fairly squelchy and the mowing involved quite a lot of worm cast squashing as Mrs Tootlepedal kindly pointed out to me when I had finished.  All the same, if you didn’t look too closely, which I didn’t, things looked quite cheerful.

Middle lawn

Rudbeckia, lilies, cosmos, nasturtium and poppies are still giving the lawn a colourful border.

There are three colours of potentilla in the garden.  They are not all flowering freely but if you look hard, you can find them.

potentilla

All through the day, sudden heavy rain showers interrupted the better weather….

clouds

The next shower lining up

…..and the gardening was a very on and off business.  In spite of quite a lot of sunshine, the rain was heavy enough when it came to make the garden soggier at the end of the day than it had been at the start.

Even so, the nerines round the chimney pot are doing very well.

nerines

We managed to repair the wires on the espalier apples and turn all the compost from Bin B into Bin C and then from Bin A into Bin B so we are ready to start the whole composting cycle again.

The wet roads and the constant threat of a shower put me off proper cycling but I did go out on the slow bike later in the day to see if I could see a dipper by the river.

I could.

dipper

It was on the same rock as last time.

I saw another even more patient bird while I was out.

carved owl

As the rain was holding off, I cycled along to Pool Corner and watched the Wauchope flowing over the caul there.

Pool Corner

It is very soothing watching running water but the road out of the town…..

Pool Corner

…looked inviting so I pedalled up the Manse Brae and along the road at the top….

Springhill

…just far enough to be able to turn off and get a good view of Warbla and the Auld Stane Brig.

Warbla

Those are grey clouds and not blue skies behind the hill so I didn’t push my luck and turned and pedalled back down the hill while it was still sunny.  I was not best pleased therefore when it started to rain quite hard out of a blue sky and I scuttled back home as fast as I could.

But……every cloud has a silver lining they say and this rain had a multicoloured bonus for me.

rainbow over Henry Street

I was happy.

After tea, I went off to the first meeting of the new season of the Langholm Community Choir.  There was quite a good turnout and some new music that I liked so it was an enjoyable evening and a good start to the new session.

Instead of a flying bird of the day, I am showing two pictures of butterflies.  There were plenty of them about today between showers.  I don’t know where they go in the rain but it can’t be far away because they appeared almost immediately after the sun came out. It was  day for red admirals.

This one may have been drying its wings after a shower.  The symmetry is astonishing (to me at least).

red admiral

This one was getting stuck in.

red admiral butterfly

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Today’s guest picture was sent by our daughter Annie and shows the ‘fruits’ of her labours in her allotment.  She benefits from being 300 miles south of us so she is well ahead in her growing season.

annies veg

After two days of rain, as recorded by our scientific rain gauge….

rain gauge

…we were treated to a pleasantly sunny day today which was very welcome.  Somewhat less welcome was the boisterous wind that came with the sunshine.

As I haven’t cycled at all in June so far, I would have liked to have made use of the sunshine to put a few miles in but just as I am not supposed to cycle up steep hills with my new knee, it is probably not a good idea to cycle long distances into a very strong wind.  I made the sensible choice and cycled up and down the four miles to Cleuchfoot three times so that I got a break from the wind every four miles.

The wind was gusting at well over 30 mph and I was grateful for the shelter offered by the Wauchope valley but I still had to pay attention, as once or twice I was buffeted by an unexpected gust that threatened to tip me into the gutter.  All the same, it was good to be out on the bike and there were plenty of excuses to stop and take a picture.

Wauchope Water cascade

The Wauchope was in an ebullient mood

Logan water

Its tributary, the Logan Water, was more peaceful

I saw a crop of fungus by a rotten tree branch…

fungus

…and the first signs of wild irises and hedge roses.  There are a lot of thistles around.

iris, rose and thistles

An old friend was once again standing on the sluice for the dam at Pool Corner.

heron

The road to Cleuchfoot is a picture on a day like today.

road to Cleuchfoot

Mrs Tootlepedal was at work in the garden when I got back and I walked around to see what there was to see.  The rain and wind had done remarkably little damage but I was grateful for a lost petal on a poppy that gave me a good view of the internal workings of the flower.

poppy

There were quite a lot more bees and hoverflies about today and I spent some time chasing them but the strong wind blowing the flowers about made finding a bee still enough to photograph almost impossible.

There were several tree bumble bees about and I think this is the first year that we have seen them in our garden so I have put them in in spite of being a bit fuzzy.

tree bumble bees

Tree bumble bees in the centre and right hand pictures

I had more luck after lunch with a frog in the pond. (With apologies to my Blackpool reader who really doesn’t like frogs at all.)

frog

I mowed the front and middle lawns and then enjoyed the sight of the orange hawkweeds turning their faces to the sun…

orange hawkweed

…before waving Mrs Tootlepedal goodbye as she went off with an armful of books to visit a friend recovering from  a badly broken leg.

Once she had gone, I got my walking poles out and headed off for a walk to summit of Warbla (275m).

I was walking up the track through the fields at the Stubholm when I was confronted by a small animal standing firmly in the middle of the road giving me  a hard stare.  I got my camera out, fully expecting that it would run away before I could focus and was greatly surprised when it headed straight towards me.

brown hare

It paused for a moment a few yards in front of me to get a proper picture taken and then plopped gently into the bushes beside the track.  I am not an expert on wildlife but I think it was  a young brown hare.

I passed a number of hawthorn bushes on my way to the open hill.  The glorious blossom of a week or so ago has gone but they are still interesting to look at….

hawthorn

…to me at any rate.

I plodded on up the track, greatly aided by my walking poles, and was soon able to look back on some splendid views.  I took a panorama from the summit and those who wish can click on the picture to get a better view.

Warbla panorama

I had a bit of difficulty using the camera as the wind was so brisk that my eyes were perpetually full of tears but I took a more conventional shot as well.

Langholm from Warbla

(I  might have used a filter on that picture.)

I could also make out the oldest graveyard in the town, lying beside the Kirk Wynd (up which the horsemen gallop on Common Riding day).

Auld Kirk Yard

The church (now demolished)  that stood beside the graveyard had no flooring and parishioners who wanted to keep their feet dry on muddy days had to bring their own plank to rest their feet on.

I couldn’t get a very sharp picture of it because although the churchyard wasn’t moving, the strong wind meant that the slightly tottery photographer on the top of the hill was waving about a lot.

The ridge leading from the summit to the west was covered in bog cotton to the extent that it almost looked as though it had snowed.

bog cotton

On my way down, I took a view of the monument on Whita Hill where I had walked last week.

Monument from Warbla

I have ‘disappeared’ the unsightly police mast further along the summit.

I got back just after Mrs Tootlepedal had returned from her sick visit so we had a cup of tea and I finished the crossword.

After our evening meal, we went up to the town to sing with a small choir that has been formed to sing three songs in the Common Riding concert.  Various commitments meant that many prospective members weren’t there but there were enough of us there to have a go and I had the pleasure of singing the bass line for change, as there were no other basses present.  Luckily, it was quite an easy line and didn’t go too low.

The flying bird of the day is a bee leaving a philadelphus.

bee

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Today’s guest picture is from the files and shows the Rotunda Geological Museum in Scarborough.  It was taken by my sister Mary during my siblings visit to the town back in December.The Rotunda Geological Museum

The new year continued in excellent form today with another bright and sunny day, cold but not freezing, and with a light breeze.

This made the job of acting as substitute feeder filler at the Moorland Feeders a great pleasure.  Mrs Tootlepedal came up with me and sat in the car looking over the moorland in the vain hope of seeing interesting raptors while I filled the feeders and then sat in the hide.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s raptor viewing chances may have been severely handicapped by the loud banging of guns nearby as shooters popped away at the poor pheasants.  Inside the feeder area, the pheasants were more secure…

Pheasant

…with a different sort of shooting being the order of the day.

I saw a jay and one or two woodpeckers….

jay and woodepeckers

…at a good distance from the hide and several smaller birds rather closer.

great tit, siskin and coal tit

Unlike my garden feeders, the moorland site was very busy and I had a lot of fun watching hordes of chaffinches.

chaffinch

It was time for coffee when we got back and then, since it was still a really fine day, I popped down to the river in search of a dipper in some good light.  When I got to the suspension bridge, I was nearly deafened by two robins in neighbouring trees belting out their songs at full volume.

riverside robins

I didn’t see a dipper though so I walked along to Mary Street and had a look at the river there.  Mr Grumpy and gulls were both in evidence….

heron and balck headed gull

…but I was reconciled to the lack of dippers by the presence of a goosander, standing on a rock giving itself a good wash and brush up.  After a while it was satisfied…

Goosander

A good hair day

…and left its rock and swam off upstream.

Goosander

I got home in time for a look at the garden feeder….

goldfinch and greenfinch

Goldfinch and greenfinch. It was the first time that I had seen a goldfinch venture into the fat ball cage

…and a light lunch.

After lunch, I set out again to make good use of the fine day, this time with Sandy for a walk to the top of Warbla to take in some more rays.

We passed horses well wrapped up against the chilly wind….

Stubholm horses

…interesting fungus and lichen…

fungus and lichen

…and made it out onto the open hillside and enjoyed the views.

We looked across the Wauchope….

Craig windmills

…up towards the mast, our destination…

Warbla summit

…and back down on the town below when we got there.

Langholm from Warbla

Looking around from the summit, Sandy remarked that we live in undulating country.  I don’t think anyone could argue with that.

Castle Hill and Ewes valley

We took a direct route down from the summit passing some mountaineering sheep on our way…

Sheep on warbla

…as well as a decorative bare tree…

Warbla tree

…and some unintentionally arty catkins.

catkins

We got home after our two and a half miles quite ready for a cup of tea and a biscuit and we were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal who had been busy stripping wallpaper while we were out.

I had taken a tremendous number of photographs on all these outings so I had to spend quite a lot of time after our tea making testing decisions, trying to decide for example which of thirteen goosander shots was the least worst.  This sort of thing makes your head hurt so I broke up the task by taking a moment or two to practise some songs for our Carlisle choir which starts again this Sunday.

This is always a bit of a gamble because you can never tell whether the conductor is going to settle on the song that you are practising or not.  Just because it is in our music poke, it doesn’t mean that it is  going to make the cut.  However, it must be a good thing to practise any song so it is probably not time wasted whatever happens.

The flying bird of the day is a garden chaffinch.

Flying chaffinch

I can recommend a visit to Sandy’s blog.  He got some much better hair ice pictures yesterday than me and there are some very good pictures from his recent trip to Mexico there too.

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Today’s guest picture was sent to me by my Friday orchestra, Alison and comes from her recent trip to NZ.  It shows the dawn over Nelson.

nelson

We certainly had a brighter dawn here than we had yesterday and as a result, I was much cheerier all day.  Sandy came round for coffee and while we were sipping and nibbling tasty biscuits, chaffinches flitted to and fro outside.

chaffinches

There were moments when the sun even threatened to come out.

A look at the weather forecast gave grounds for more optimism in the afternoon so after Sandy left, I pedalled down to the Co-op to do a little shopping, made a light lunch and occasionally looked out of the window at visitors while I waited for the sun to come out.

starling

A starling was easily spotted

dove

There was a dove from above

greenfinch

And a lone greenfinch put in an appearance

A sparrow showed off a nonchalant one handed landing technique….

sparrow

…and a goldfinch flew in…..

goldfinch flying

…to a most unfriendly reception.

goldfinches

The sparrow did a very passable imitation of Fred Astaire.

sparrow

The cheerful forecast proved to be a bit of a swindle and if anything, the afternoon became duller rather than brighter.  Still, it was very warm for the time of year at 9°C so I went out for a walk up a hill.

I chose Warbla as my target and my first steps took me along the wall beside the park.

Park Wall

I like this wall a lot as it is always bursting with things to look at.

A single stone may have a whole world of interest on it.

lichen on park wall

There were some surprises as I went up the hill.

December plants

A sign of spring, a reminder of autumn and a very hardy clump of fungus

Why that one tree should have retained its berries when all around were bare is a mystery.  Why a fungus halfway up a tree stump should be thriving after several frosts is another.

I followed the track up the hill as far as this tree….

Warbla track

…and then cut straight up the hill to the left until I came to the summit.  The going underfoot was very good which was lucky as I was only wearing a pair of slip on shoes.

The view from the top however was not very exciting….

View from Warbla

…as the cloud was creeping down onto the surrounding hills.

With no views to capture, I took the opportunity of testing the abilty of my mobile phone to remotely operate the camera.  I connected the camera and phone wirelessly,  put the camera on the trig point, walked away and used my phone to trigger the shutter.

remote camera operation Warbla

It worked.  I shall have to try to find a more productive use for this function.

You can see how warm it was for December.  It won’t be often that you could stand up there with no hat or gloves in a steady breeze at this time of year and not feel the cold.

I took the same route back down to the track and then left the track again after a while and went straight down to the the gate onto the road at the Auld Stane Brig.

gate at Gaskells

I sometimes wonder if the whole world would fall apart if it wasn’t for binder twine.

I took the chance to admire the wonderful complexity of the branch system of a tree on the hill just before the gate as I came down to it.

Tree on Warbla

I was standing on the bridge, trying in vain to spot a very vocal bird when I was joined by an ex work colleague of Mrs Tootlepedal and we walked back along the road together which made a very pleasant end to an enjoyable walk.

It had got quite dark by the time that I got home so I had a cup of tea and then settled down to go through the eleven songs that I will be singing in the Carlisle Community Choir end of term concert tomorrow.    It has been a busy time for song practice lately.

The garden picture of the day is neither flower nor leaf but it does have a bit of colour about it.

Elder lichen

And the flying bird of the day is one of the reliable hovering chaffinches.

flying chaffinch

 

 

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Today’s guest picture come all the way from Las Vegas  where Sandy is on holiday.  The architects there seemingly need a little more practice.

Las Vegas

It was a day of this and that today.  This was beautiful blue skies and sunshine and that was sub zero temperatures in the morning.  The prospect in the garden was chilly…

Frosty lawn

…and the flowers had taken a battering.

special grandma

Iced rose

It was a very still day and as I walked through the garden, I could hear the plink plonk as individual leaves fell off the walnut tree.  There was still beauty to be seen….

azalea leaf

…but most of the flowers may be gone beyond repair.

The birds must have got cold feet on the frosty feeder…

goldfinch

…and on the frosty bench….

dunnock

The dunnock had picked up some of the extra food that I had put out.

great tit

The great tit was making its mind up between fat balls and sunflower seeds

The cold weather had brought a large number of blackbirds back into the garden.

blackbird

I easily resisted any temptation to go out cycling at 3°C, even though the sun was shining brightly and wisely stayed inside until coffee time when Dropscone arrived bearing scones.  After tasting, the scones were graded A1 and soon disappeared.  Dropscone had had a very busy Sunday driving up to Glasgow and back to deliver some spare keys to his younger daughter who had locked herself out of her flat.  He took it well.

Apart from sweeping up some of the leaves in the garden after Dropscone had gone on his way, the only other activity of note was a trip to our corner shop to get some milk.  Even in the sun, a very short trip on a bike felt too cold for fun.

A robin was waiting for me when I got home.

robin

It was a grand day for a walk though and after lunch, with the thermometer showing a heady 5°C, Mrs Tootlepedal and I set out to get a view.

I was momentarily detained by a chaffinch before we left…

chaffinch dropping seed

Small birds are very messy eaters.

…and then by a huge amount of fungus shortly after we crossed the Park Bridge.

fungus

Although the fungus was quite widespread, it might all have stemmed from this old tree stump’s roots.

tree stump with fungus

The stump has the biggest bracket fungus on it that I have ever seen.

We left the park and climbed up the track to the Stubholm.  It was so covered with fallen leaves…

fallen leaves

…that we were amazed to find so many still on the trees when we got to the road at the top.

Stubholm road

After one more stop to admire more fungus on a dead tree….

Stubholm fungus

…we finally got among the views.

View from Warbla

We walked up the grassy track, peering into the sun…

Warbla track

…until we came to the final gate and stile…

Warbla stile

The stile was built before it was felt necessary to put easier access gates on our local walks.

…and rested at the summit.

Mrs Tootlepedal on Warbla

Mrs Tootlepedal contemplates the view of England

I looked down to the town bridge a mile below us…

Langholm Bridge from Warbla

…and admired the view up the valley beyond the town.

Ewes valley

Warbla gives the walker an excellent 360 degree view but the bright sun meant that only 180° of it was available to the camera today.

On one side I could see this charming cameo…

View from warbla

…and on the other, the two new windmills on the Craig wind farm which were now both up (but not running yet).

Craig windfarm

Even though it was a very calm day, there was still enough wind to keep the old turbines turning.

The top of Warbla is home to a fine array of communication devices…

warbla mast

…which I thought might look good in monochrome…

…and I still had the camera on that setting when I had another look at the view on our way back down the hill.

The esk valley

If I hadn’t already put in too many pictures from the walk, I might have shown you this  sunlit horse….

stubholm horse

…and a fine selection of more fungi and lichen…

fungus and lichen

The two bottom frames show a tree stump in front of the church  surrounded by a sea of fungus.

…but as I haven’t got room, I’ll leave them out.

For a three mile walk on an easy track with about 700ft of climbing, the walk to the top of Warbla and back is great value on a day like today when the sun is shining.

We certainly enjoyed every minute of it.

After tea, I went off to sing with Langholm Sings, our local choir.  Although we haven’t got a lot of members this year, those that come do work very hard and the choir generally makes a good sound so it was another enjoyable evening.

We have a cold and wet day forecast for tomorrow so patient readers may finally get a break from the seemingly endless autumn colour at last.  From my point of view, it has been very good while it lasted and it has lasted a long time since we last had rain.

The flower of the day is a nasturtium, tucked against the wall of the house, which survived the frost very well…

nasturtium

…and the flying bird is a chaffinch wondering just how cold his feet are going to feel when he lands on the feeder.

flying chaffinch

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Today’s guest pictures shows seven local saints above the main doorway of Leicester Cathedral.  They caught the eye of my brother Andrew who was visiting the town.

Leicester saints

I am still taking things easily in an effort to clear the last remnants of the cold out of my system and a grey and windy morning helped me to decide to sit quietly indoors until lunch.

For one reason or another (wind? dratted cats in the garden? boredom?) there were very, very few birds to be seen at all today so I didn’t spend much time looking out of the window.  I took a token shot of a chaffinch in the plum tree just to show that it wasn’t a complete bird desert…

chaffinch

…but that was it.

Mrs Tootlepedal made parsnip soup for lunch.  The recipe called for chilli flakes and she may have put a few more in than she should because it was delicious but very hot.

Fired up by the soup, I went out for a walk after lunch to cool down.  It was really too gloomy to take pictures but I put a camera in my pocket anyway.  After yesterday’s symphony of running water, it was much calmer and drier today as I walked along the track on one side of the Wauchope Water, crossed the Becks Burn and headed down to the Auld Stane Brig.

There was no shortage of horses to greet on the way.

Hallcrofts horse

Barry with horse

Although it was very gloomy, it was also very warm for the time of year so instead of going straight home along the road, I climbed up the lower slopes of Warbla and looked at the view.

There wasn’t much to look at.

Misty view

I looked across the river and could see the track that I had taken on the other side of the valley.  It runs along the top of the big green field and below the set of little strip fields leading to the open hill.

Becks track

I walked along the top of the Kernigal wood for a bit…

Warbla

..and then dropped into the wood and onto the track towards Skippers Cleuch.

Kernigal

For any locals worried about my sense of direction, this shot was taken looking back on the way that I had come.

There was occasional fungus and lichen to be seen as I went along…

fungus and lichen

…but I wasn’t looking too hard, being more interested in having a good walk rather than stopping a lot.

I looked up at Warbla as I went along the track…..

Warbla

…and the grey day made a stark contrast to last Sunday when I was standing on the summit beside the mast in four inches of snow and cheerful sunshine.

I stopped just before the cottage  as I like this little corner at the gate.

Skippers Cleuch

When I got to the main road, I took a picture of a road closure sign.  They are going to do some temporary work to protect the damaged bridge….

Skippers repairs

…before it gets any worse and they need to put a crane on the bridge to help.

I walked back along the Murtholm track, stopping to talk to friends who were also taking advantage of the dry, warm day to stretch their legs and dodging out of the way of passing cyclists.

cyclists

I was pleased to find when I checked a map that I had walked four miles.  If it hadn’t noticeably improved my cough, it certainly hadn’t made it any worse.  The test will come when we go to sing with our choir in Carlisle tomorrow.

After this burst of (very gently paced) activity, I thought it would be wise to go back to taking things easily again and I managed to keep this resolution for the rest of the day.

Watching the snow storms hitting the east coast of America made me even more grateful for having had the chance to have a pleasant walk here today.

I really hope that my cold clears up and we have a good spell of sunny, calm weather soon or I will be too fat to get on my bike, let alone ride it anywhere.  Three poor months of cycling weather are beginning to take their toll.  It says in Burns’ Address to the Haggis regarding the diners at the table:

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

That sums up my stomach at the moment.

There being no flying bird of the day to be had, I have put in a sneering bird instead.

chaffinch

Who are you looking at, pal?

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows the fine crop which our daughter, Annie picked from her allotment in London yesterday.  Not bad to get potatoes in January.

Annie's veg

ALERT: There are far too many pictures in today’s post.  If you are a busy person, look away now.

I was feeling a little worse for wear when I woke up but the sun was coming up and the snow was hanging around so I took a little walk to see if some fresh air would brighten me up.  It did.

I was hoping for some snow and sunshine pictures but I was too early for the sun to have hit the town when I looked back down from Scott’s Knowe…

Snow from Scott's Knowe

…and there was only a hint of it as I walked on.

Becks track

The Wauchope valley was deep in shade…

Wauchope trees

…but there was a glimpse of the sun reflected at Pool Corner.

Pool Corner in snow

But when I walked on down to the park, I finally got my sun and snow snapshot.

snowy tree in park

In fact, I got two.

snowy tree in park

It was a beautiful morning to be out and as you can see from the tracks in the snow, I was not the only one who was enjoying the conditions.

I walked down to the suspension bridge and looked back at the church…

church

…and then went back home for breakfast.

Mrs Tootlepedal was up and about, feeling quite a bit better but not well enough to go and sing in the church choir.  I had been perked up by my walk but I wasn’t able to persuade Mrs Tootlepedal to join me for another quick excursion so I went off for another short walk by myself, this time to the Castleholm by way of the Langholm Bridge and the Kilngreen.

The view from the bridge was a marked contrast to yesterday’s frosty scene.

Meeting of the waters in snow

I looked back at the bridge from the Kilngreen.

Langholm Bridge in snow

On the Lodge Walks, I met an ex colleague with a friend who were just as pleased with the views as I was.

Ada on the Lodge walks

We thought that the old church was looking very elegant in the snow.

Episcopalian Church

I walked on….

Lodge walks

…and crossed the Castleholm at the cricket club.   I stopped for a breather and took a picture or two.

Timpen

snowy tree castleholm

And made my way home across the Jubilee Bridge.

It was such a fine walking day that I would have liked to have been out all day but Mrs Tootlepedal, having nearly finished with her cold, has kindly passed it on to me so I was rationing myself to short spells outside.

Once home, I had a chance to look out of the window at our new winter visitors….

redpoll and brambling

…and then go off to do a bit of shopping in the car.

After lunch we had to make a decision about going to the Carlisle choir practice.  Mrs Tootlepedal was definitely not fit to sing yet and my throat was croaky enough to make me think that singing was not a good idea and probably spreading colds about among the tenors would not be a good idea either so I did a crossword instead.

It was too easy though and I was soon finished and bored and leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to prepare a stew for our evening meal, I went out for the third short walk of the day.

I had done trees and rivers so this time, I headed for the hills or at least a hill, Warbla, the easiest of our hills to walk up as there is a good track all the way to the top.

I was not the only one to have this idea…

Warbla track in snow

…and you can see why.

Warbla panorama

I pottered slowly up to the summit and had a look around.

view from warbla snow

Looking up the Ewes valley. The dark hill in the background is covered with trees.

It is a great spot to look around from  (or perhaps, from which around to look).  I took two contrasting looks at the town tucked away below me.  I used the panorama function of NewCam…

warbla panorama  snow

…and a zoom on my Nikon.

Langholm in snow from Warbla

It was snowy all round but the low sun stopped me from taking pictures to the south.

warbla

The light wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be as a reward for climbing up the hill because there was low cloud and haze on the horizon and the sun was already dropping down towards this.

After a little rest, I also dropped back down the hill.  I had thought of coming home over the rough ground but it seemed like a step too far in my rather rackety condition so I stuck to the track.

warbla tussock in snow

The rough ground really is quite rough for an old man.

It was just as pretty going down it as it had been coming up it.

Warbla Track

As I got near the gate at the end of the open hill, my attention was caught by the sound of merry cries.  It turned out to be our friend Jeremy and his family enjoying a bit of sledging on the hill.

Jeremy sledging

The sledge in the middle frame is 70 years old and was doing a very good job of holding Jeremy up.

I had had quite enough walking by the time I got home and I sank down into a chair  and watched  telly for the rest of the afternoon and early evening.  Although the walks made me feel good while I was doing them, this good effect didn’t last long and I am back to feeling rather scratchy as I write this.  I am hoping that it will have passed by tomorrow.

A mallard at the Kilngreen makes a change from all the chaffinches as flying bird of the day.

flying duck

 

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