Thursday, 11 April 2019

A Grand Tour

It was a lovely and sunny when I woke this morning, the remnants of some frost still lingered on the ground but was soon thawed by the morning sunshine. After breakfast I went and took my turn at the moorland feeder station. The feeders have been all set as near to the hide as possible to give watchers a better view and hopefully some good photo opportunities. Last week when I was up the small pond that has been created next to the hide was looking fresh and was host to some frog spawn, but this week it had an oily substance across the surface and I could see no sign of the frog spawn. After a short stay I left the birds to enjoy their breakfast and headed home for mine.

Later I joined Mr & Mrs Tootlepedal for morning coffee at Wauchope Cottage where it was suggested by Mrs Tootlepedal that maybe we should all go for a run out somewhere, after some deliberation it was decided we would head up the Eskdalemuir valley and on towards St Mary's Loch and then on to Moffat.

When they come to pick me up Mrs Tootlepedal was keen to come in and see my recently refurbished bungalow and was very kind with her comments, hopefully I can rely on her gardening skills to give me suggestions on improvement. 

We set off with Tootlepedal kindly driving and skillfully avoiding the many potholes along the way. We stopped off at the Eskdalemuir Community Hub for  lunch that consisted of red pepper and tomato soup, which was very tasty. We also took the opportunity to arrange a camera club exhibition at the hub come September.

I took this shot looking down the valley from the hub car park.

Luckily enough we had pulled in to a passing place to take a photo when this wood wagon came along and as you can see there's not much room. 

We arrived at the loch and parked up and set off for a short stroll along the lochside. 
I particularly  like the reflection of the bridge in this shot.


Tushielaw Inn

A rather amusing form of weather forecasting. 

We set off up the loch shore which was also part of the Southern Upland Way.

We passed the rather grand yacht club.

Mrs Tootlepedal stops to admire the view across the loch.

She was intrigued by the bubbles that were forming on the stones along the shore, we could only surmise they were being produced by algae. 

The oyster catchers were enjoying lunch with a flock of sheep.

 A rather grand house on the far shore.

We were passed by these rather speedy canoeists.

 father and son fishing.

Mrs Tootlepedal closely inspects the Ettrick Shepherd, James Hogg

We then made our way to Moffat, stopping off to take the odd shot along the way.

We finally arrived at Moffat and I was treated to a cup of tea and toasted teacake at the Rumbling Tum cafe.

Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to visit the local garden centre where there was plenty of healthy plants.......
.......and gifts to be had.

We finally arrived home, all very tired but quite jolly. 
To see Tootlepedal's day click here

Monday, 25 March 2019

Watching at Watchtree

I woke to a lovely sunny morning and spring was certainly in the air today, as I had woke rather early I got up and put a week into the E & L database as I ate my breakfast. It's quite a nice feeling watching people gong to work and children going to school and I think, "I've done all that and now I have time o myself. 

Just after 9:00pm I received a phone call from Tootlepedal inquiring if I was interested in a trip to Watchtree Nature Reserve in Cumbria After a cup of coffee at Wauchope Cottage. After a light chat I returned home to get my camera gear together and wait for Tootlepedal to come and pick me up as he kindly volunteered to drive, unfortunately Mrs Tootlepedal was feeling a bit under the weather and decided to stay at home.

After a pleasant drive we arrived at the nature reserve and had a nice bacon roll with some orange juice to wash it down with in the visitor centre. We were served with very pleasant staff and the bacon roll was very enjoyable.

Watchtree is based on a World War II disused airfield and the reserve came about on the devastating foot and mouth disease that swept the country in 2001, and was the burial place of thousands of infected sheep carcasses. Looking back on my posts the last time I was here was in 2013.

The following images are a random account of our day and I'll leave the narrative to Tootlepedal. click here for more interesting and superior photos, and  a better report of our day.

It was nice to get out with Tootlepedal again after a lengthy absence due to my foot, unfortunately as mine is starting to improving slightly Tootlepedal is having problems with his, so we are very sympathetic towards each other.

 After I got home and had a cup of tea I swithered whether to cut the grass for the first time or fill the herb box I have made.....
....the herb box won, I'll endeavor to cut the grass tomorrow, weather permitting.