Sunday 31 May 2020

Week 11 and Getting out of Langholm (But not very far)

Another week and as my knee improves so does the miles walked. I started this week with a walk round Jenny Nobles Gill and was able to see the damage done to many beech hedges by the frost of a couple of weeks ago. This one is not as bad as many others around Langholm 
All the trees in the Parish Kirk grounds have been felled and when I went past this on Monday I thought it might be going to be made into a wood sculpture but it has since been cut right down to the stump.
On Tuesday I was back up in the Tarras valley and a most enjoyable walk from this bridge up to Lodgegill  
This is a lovely spot for swimming just next to the holiday cottage at Tarras Lodge
The upper reaches of the Tarras near Lodgegill
My route on Thursday took me to Castle O'er near Eskdalemuir and an early morning walk through the forest. This is just near the spot where the Black and White Esk meet and shows how much has been felled recently. 
The second half of this walk is along the B road to Eskdailmuir and it is very quiet and has lots of interesting places to see.
A natural amphitheatre at Over Rig that was used up to 2000 years ago for gatherings.
After my walk I had my Coffee break at a stone circle on the Prehistoric Trail
My Saturday walk was a 5 mile circuit at Canonbie to take in The Meeting of the Waters where the Esk and Liddel rivers meet.  
There was plenty of wildlife to be seen but only the Heron stays still for long enough to get a photo
During the walk I met the local farmers father and had a most enjoyable chat with him. He was not like most farmers and did not have any moans, except perhaps maybe a little more rain but he was having a good season as you can see by this crop of spring sown Barley. 
The river Liddel on the second half of my walk and perhaps my favourite stretch of both rivers. 
The Liddel railway viaduct in the distance
The Meeting of the Waters and a lovely place to sit for a while
I always sit in the seat put there by Langholm Rotary Club in memory of my good friend Alastair Davies who died far too early and would have gone right to the top in World Rotary. 
Canonbie Kirk
My week finished on Sunday morning with a walk along Lower Tarras. This area is much different from Upper Tarras and is quite marshy in places. It is much more enclosed and therefore there are many more different types of birds present.  
This marshy area near Lower Tarras bridge was earmarked a good number of years ago by Dr. Cat Barlow of the Making the most of the Moorland Project to be made into a pond. There were too many issues regarding planning permission but if the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve comes to fruition if and when we buy The Langholm Moor then this may be resurrected. Its a fabulous project and hopefully we will secure the funding. 
This is a fabulous reed bed and an interesting habitat for Reed Warblers and similar birds.
A fabulous old wooden suspension bridge and an old man
The river Tarras running crystal clear

Sunday 24 May 2020

Week 10 and a Birthday

Last weekend the garden took a bit of a beating from high winds and my Peony Rose took a battering but Gaye managed to get them staked and they are looking beautiful. 
For the first time in 8 weeks I headed out of the town for my morning walk which was from Hollows Bridge round by Canonbie. I love a Beech Hedge and this is a beauty
I came back via the Maverick Bird Hide which is now closed due to all the trees being felled. Hopefully we can re open it sometime again in the future.

Another Beech Hedge and a lovely tree
On Thursday it was my 73rd Birthday so on a beautiful evening we were able to have a glass of Whisky and Wine with Tom, David, and Alix and sat in the garden for an hour at safe distance from each other. 
A most enjoyable hour
David and Alix returned home on their Electric Bikes
On Thursday at 10.00pm The Langholm Monument was Illuminated for an hour in honour of the NHS.
Fiona and family had bought me a 500 piece Jigsaw as a Birthday Present so I have managed to complete it in 3 days doing about 4 hours per day. The last time I did a Jigsaw was in 1992 when we were in Skye for a week with Fraser and it rained all week so we did a huge Jigsaw.

Saturday 16 May 2020

Week 9 and Back Walking Again

At last after over 2 weeks of rest I am back walking again. In the first 6 weeks of the Lockdown I had been walking 6 miles a day and that had caused me to have a sore knee. The 2 weeks of rest have helped but I realise I have to reduce my miles or my arthritic knee will come back again. I now only do 4 miles every second day and walk at a slightly slower pace that more reflects my ageing years. The Bluebell season is at its peak and the area is awash with blue. 
These are both near the North Lodge
The 9 weeks of Lockdown have been unusual in that during this time we have hardly had any rain. The couple of days or nights when it did rain was hardly enough to dampen the dust. The rivers are very low. This is the Ewes from the Sawmill Bridge.

And the Esk and the Ewes at The Meeting of the Waters 
A beautiful Azalea on the Lodge Walks but it would be decimated on Thursday morning when we had a frost of -4C 
The Wild Garlic on Easton's Walk and the smell from them is very strong
This is the Hungry Burn on Easton's Walk and it is dry for the first time I can ever remember

A tree in the garden of the Bungalow at Border Esk being pruned and shown from both sides of the river
More Bluebells or Cratties as we call them in Scotland and these are also on Easton's Walk
The Peonies in our garden which have had to be tied up by Gaye as they were damaged by the strong winds last weekend 
On my Friday walk round Jenny Nobles I was delighted to meet Alix and my 2 favourite dogs Ruger and Bowman. 
At Langholm Old Bowling Green President Karl is working hard to rebuild the wall which was in a dangerous state

And finally after 9 weeks in Lockdown Gaye has finished these two Tapestries given to her by her friend Collette from Newmachar in Aberdeenshire.

Sunday 10 May 2020

Week 8 in Isolation and an Explosive Situation in Saratoga

The week has certainly started with a bang as Fraser discovered this pair of Korean War Hand Grenades buried in his garden (Yard). He was digging channels for his new irrigation system when he found them. He called the local Sheriffs Office and within 30 minutes the Bomb Squad had arrived. Everybody in the area got a text message to stay indoors and they were eventually blown up on piece of waste ground.
Thomas, Eleanor, and Elliot thought it was all very exciting but I hate to think what would have happened if they had found the Grenades as they still had the pins in them and they could have been blown up. It will certainly be a story to tell their friends at school when they eventually go back.
As I still have a sore knee instead of walking I have been spending time on Langholm Moor. The weather has been beautiful and I have had spectacular displays from Male Hen Harriers.
A lovely Orchid on The Langholm Moor
Our garden is looking fairly good but badly needs some rain. Its not the greatest garden but it gives me pleasure keeping it fairly tidy and during this Lockdown Gaye and I have spent many hours in our summer house. Next week I plan to paint the inside of the fence.
Before Lockdown Tom and I used to meet for a glass of Malt Whisky every Thursday evening so we resurrected this on Thursday evening in our garden and at socially acceptable distance apart. It was a very large Isle of Jura and tasted excellent. Hopefully weather permitting this will be a regular Thursday evening event once again.
This week saw the launch of The Langholm Moor Community Buyout Project and it opened with an excellent donation of £100,000 from the John Muir Trust. The on line fund had raised a further £20,000 by Saturday. Photograph courtesy of John Wright. If anybody wishes to give a donation to this worthy cause please go to The Langholm Initiative website and follow the instructions. The website is 

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