Wednesday 28 February 2018

The Beast From the East and its Not Tom

This storm has been forecast for over a week and my goodness the forecasters were right. We were on the fringe of the storm yesterday and managed to get away with just a few centimetres but today is different and it snowed most of the morning and is now followed by regular fierce showers with a wind chill factor that makes it feel like Siberia. We postponed our walk until 2.00pm and I was delighted that I could make it as I had planned to be involved in Langholm Initiative interviews for a Wild Eskdale Project Manager but wide cancelled these at 7.00am before the 2 candidates attempted to travel. 
Tom and Peter on the Duchess Bridge in a snowstorm 
Round by the Pheasant pens

The bottom 2 photographs were taken with my I Phone and to be honest they are better than the ones with my small Sony camera as the I Phone seems to make better use of the light available, although the light was probably slightly better when I took these ones. 

Wednesday 21 February 2018

From Claygate to Langholm via Howgillcleuch

We had a later start today but the weather was perfect for our 8 mile walk from Claygate back to Langholm via Howgillcleuch. This used to be a very popular walk at The Walking Festival but it was 2 miles longer then and started in Canonbie.This photo was taken at Orchard Farm and you can just see Langholm Monument above Tom's shoulder
This is one of the fields before Howgillcleuch where they appear to be cutting the rushes. It certainly gives it an interesting affect
White hill and the Monument in the distance 
This is the cottage at Howgillcleuch which has been empty for many years but we spoke to a family who are in the process of doing it up and they plan to move in this year. It is one of the remotest cottages in the area but a beautiful place to live if you like isolation.
From the cottage we move down into the Tarras valley where Tom decided we should stop for a refreshment.
We soon had a stream to cross and this always causes problems for old men but because we are now classed as Middle Aged until we reach 79 then it presented no problems to us. 
In the Tarras valley we come to this bridge which bans Bungee jumpers which was a big disappointment to us Middle Aged men.
Will it hold them both 
Near Cronksbank bridge there is this area of long grasses of the type used in thatching and also a wonderful place for wild life. The Tarras valley and the Langholm Moor is probably the best place in mainland Britain to watch Hen Harriers and right on cue a Female Hen Harrier flew past us as we neared the edge of Langholm Moor. We finished our walk at Whitshiels Cafe and arrived just 15 minutes before closing time but the soon had us looked after with a lovely meal and we were back out in 30 minutes. Great service and with a smile as well.

Thursday 15 February 2018

Bentpath to Potholm in a Blizzard

We always walk from Bentpath through Westerhall estate to see the Snowdrops at this time of year but this week it was not just Snowdrops but snowflakes we had to put up with. Because the weather was due to get worse we parked my car at Potholm and took Tom's to the start at Bentpath Hall. It was only just after we started walking that the snow started and got gradually worse during the 2 hours of our walk. This is the entrance to Westerhall estate. 
The Snowdrops we had come to see so we will have to come back in better weather to get a better photograph 
On the Sorbie road when the blizzard was at its worst 
View from the car on the road to Bentpath. We ended our walk with a pancake lunch at The Buccleuch Centre.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

A Visit to Eskrigg

As it was half term school holidays I had arranged with Rick Taylor to take Hannah onto the Langholm Moor. Unfortunately the weather was not suitable for going up onto the Moor but we did visit the Moorland Feeding Station. There was loads of birds about including 2 Woodpeckers and Hannah was given a lesson in identifying them. We then headed to Eskrigg at Lockerbie to see Red Squirrels 
We knew there were Red Squirrels about as we soon came upon footprints in the snow. The footprints at the bottom of the picture are actually the Squirrels front feet 
We had a load of peanuts to give them and they soon came to us from all directions 
Despite the weather it was much better outside the hide and we watched them for about an hour.
Rick took the following three photographs 

A most enjoyable morning and we finished it off in style with pancakes back at Birkwood

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Wilton Park in Hawick and a New Cafe

After our long cold walk last week we headed to Wilton Park in Hawick today for a walk through the park and along the Teviot. The idea was to visit the new cafe for a coffee at the end of our walk but it was the official opening of it and the new bridge called the McLaren Bridge after the famous Bill McLaren
This is Martin's Bridge over the Teviot at the south end of the town
The Slitrig from the bridge at the end of Hawick High Street
Tom with the statue of James Wilson the founder of The Economist magazine. Tom was actually visiting the Border Brides shop just in case he ever decides to get married. He tells made he is still looking. 
Another pedestrian bridge over the river Teviot. Hawick has as many bridges as Langholm has and maybe even slightly more as I counted 14 on a map.
The new cafe which was officially opened today
Wilton Museum in the centre of the park and well worth a visit.

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