The weather forecast was good. There had been snow overnight on high ground, although not at Skip itself, and it seemed a good opportunity for the first walk of the year.
So, the question was, "Where to go?" I decided that it had to be somewhere that offered a simple walk, with some snow on the ground, that was not too far away, and was easy to get to.
I decided to visit the Black Esk Reservoir again. Last time I was there, more than five years ago, it was in the middle of a drought, see here, but this time I knew the reservoir would be full!
The day didn't start out perfectly, because I didn't pay enough attention to the 'easy to get to' part of the plan. You see the shortest way to get where I wanted to go is to take the little road from Wamphray that goes over to Boreland and there joins the main Lockerbie - Eskdalemuir road. Ice, hard packed snow, and various gradients made the back road quite exciting! But soon enough I was parked at the small community at Sandyford, between Boreland and Eskdalemuir, and ready to get walking!
I found myself somewhat out of practice though as far as longish walks are concerned, and I did wonder on a couple of occasions if perhaps I had been too optimistic with my plan to circumvent the reservoir. Slow and steady was the way to go. And the circuit of the Black Esk Reservoir is a straightforward walk.
I didn't see much actual wildlife - some great tits paid little attention to me. But the snow is great for seeing what has passed by. One type of prints I can identify are those made by human walking boots, and, somewhat surprisingly, it seems I had the reservoir walk all to myself today!
see here. Since then, the height of the dam has been raised, and the spillway rebuilt. See how it was done here. The reservoir can now store more water than before. But I'm thinking that we won't be running short of water this year, not like 2010!
Photos © Skip Cottage, and taken with my new wee Rollei camera, on its first big outing! It was a little frustrating not having all the controls I'm used to (must read the manual) and it was 'automatic' throughout, but I think I captured some memories of the day with it successfully. Here's hoping for more days like this in 2016!