Heading south again

Leaving Edinburgh this morning we varied our route slightly by taking the A701 down to the motorway. The hills, forests (both coniferous and deciduous), the river and various places and footpaths to stop and explore mean that this is a road to come back to in a good light for photography.
A701 28 Mar 2016-1
There was snow on the highest hills and on farms with lowland fields, the first lambs enjoying the break in the weather. Coming into Dumfries & Galloway, James commented that the sun on the tussocks of last year’s grass which were glowing yellow, resembled Donald Trump’s hair. They were certainly not scruffy enough to look like Boris Johnson’s. North of Moffat we passed the source of the River Tweed and a path up the flank of a hill to a ridge which promised good views and which we must do on a dry day. There are a variety of bridges over the river, some in use, some not. This one is almost camouflaged by the surrounding foliage.Bridge on A701 28 Mar 2016-1

Moffat provided a good coffee stop before hitting the M74. The first few miles were fairly quiet and we braved the crowds at Gretna outlet village to get some outdoor kit we needed and which we had not found in Edinburgh. Having escaped from there, it was a reasonably easy run with everybody else returning from their Easter break and HGVs. There was predictable slow traffic through the roadworks near Lancaster and nearer home. The two examples of bad driving seen were both provided by BMW drivers. Now I must check that the holiday rail works have not overrun or been delayed by the storms and hope I can get to work on time tomorrow.

To a meadow in Cambridgeshire

An early start yesterday morning saw us on the cross-country route towards Houghton Mill in Cambridgeshire. This was where my mother had requested her ashes be scattered, as it was one of her favourite places. The 141 miles took longer than expected, due to numerous road works with speed limits. As we approached Kettering, we passed what looked like the National Collection of Portacabins. I had never seen so many in one place. It was a building firm’s depot. Across the M1 and in East Anglia, the lowland lambs were much bigger than those seen the previous week in the uplands and the oilseed rape flowers more advanced than those seen further north. The fields are huge and one advertised the fact that it was growing cereals for Weetabix. Once we got to Houghton and found our way through the narrow streets of the medieval village we parked by the mill and found the rest of the family. It was easy to see why this was a much-loved spot with the picturesque mill (still working and producing flour), the river Ouse with nesting swans

Swan guarding her nest (1 of 1)

The swan nest (1 of 1)

many trees in full blossom

Blossom at Houghton Mill (1 of 1)

and even the remains of an old railway to keep my railway enthusiast uncle happy. It dates back to 1847 and ran from Huntingdon to St Ives.

Remains of 1847 railway 1 (1 of 1)

Houghton Mill (1 of 1)