Driving north at the beginning of winter

The endless summer has ended. The clocks went back last weekend, the temperature has dropped and we had our first frost a few days ago. Fortunately, I had put my pelargoniums into the greenhouse the day before. The autumn colours are still fabulous but high winds are forecast so most of the leaves will soon be on the ground. It is unusual to get to November before the heating is switched on, the warm coat comes out and I am hunting for gloves. In Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago I was cursing because I had not brought my sunglasses as they are not usually needed in October. This afternoon’s drive was punctuated by large black clouds and showers for most of the way. The sun was trying to emerge from behind the clouds in places and we saw four rainbows before we had got as far as Carlisle. On the M74, we passed Stevens Croft, a power station fuelled with biomass: off-cuts from the forestry industry. Many of the hills around here have wind farms and with the addition of hydro-electricity, Scotland is further ahead than the rest of the UK in renewable energy production.

We left the motorway near Moffat and there was yet another rainbow above the golden foliage around the town. It was fading a bit before I could find a place to stop and take a photograph.
a701-north-of-moffat-4-nov-2016-1
We continued on the A701 and as we ascended, were surrounded by cloud and rain. At Tweedsmuir, there is what looks like a stone monument on the hillside. It might be The Postman’s Stone. This marks the position where the body of stagecoach guard James McGeorge was found, after an unsuccessful attempt to get the mail bags through a blizzard in February 1831. It is inscribed “J McG 1831”. He is apparently buried in Moffat old graveyard. I am looking forward to us both being finally retired in a few months’ time, we will have more time to explore the area we are driving through. Today we needed to get to Edinburgh for a quick meal with a friend before he and James headed off to Murrayfield for a rugby match. I was looking forward to a quiet evening. Just before we descended into the city there was a lovely sunset.
sunset-2-4-nov-2016-1

3 thoughts on “Driving north at the beginning of winter

  1. What spectacular photos of the sunset & rainbow! I didn’t know how progressive Scotland is regarding renewable energy production.

    It must be a bit surreal for you both to be retiring, but I know how hard you’ve worked for years (and I imagine the same thing can be said for James) and you’ve certainly “earned” it – that sounds so obnoxiously American, but it comes from a good place! 🙂 I’m hoping for more posts from you about your explorations!

    It’s cold here and while we won’t get snow in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the plummeting temperature gauges will be vastly different than what I grew up with in mild L.A. I’ve started wearing my knit hat, scarf and gloves in the morning. Brrrrrrrrrrr.

    Like

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