Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Wander & A Daunder.

No real plans for a route on this cycle, it was just a case of go where I felt like & made route decisions as I came to them, so with more options to the west that was the direction I set off on...




The 'Jubilee Trough' just outside Innerwick village, the trough was to commemorate Queen Victoria's golden jubilee (50 year reign).
The trough was a place for horses to stop for a drink, but now the spring that once fed it is either blocked or dried up & is now a flower planter. Something that I've never noticed before is the bench mark arrow carved into the stone.
The Saracen foundry from Possilpark Glasgow & MacFarlane's was the most important manufacturer of ornamental iron work in Scotland.




Deciding to head off road through one of my most favourite of favourite places the all season beautiful Woodhall Dean & to my surprise there were loads of fungi to be found along the edge pathway which I thought was quite early in the season for fungi & we've had very little rain too.


Great wee track this woodland walk has & there is so much to see along the way like the above tree clinging to the edge of the rock face, amazing how nature can overcome obstacles.



Most of the flora & fauna has done it's job for the season, dying back & going to fruit & seed but the ferns seem to be taking over all the other species of ground plants now.



A real gem in this walk is the old & ancient oak wood.

In a month or two when the wind start howling & the temperature drops, this thick green canopy will give way to bare & skeletal limbs of the oaks.


A good job done rebuilding this wall by the volunteers of the Scottish Wildlife Trust who also do an amazing job looking after the Woodhall Dean from repairing walls, building styles, planting native species trees keeping the pathways clear etc etc.

So it was a hop over the fence into a stubble field to change my heading & there in front of me was this roe deer which never sensed me, so I froze to watch it for a while before it bounded of over the field.


I nipped over to have a look at the Q-site bunker which was pretty much overgrown with weeds but not having a torch it was too dark to go into it for a nose around. If you never read my blog about the Q-site check it out on a post I done in Febuary called 'The Hunt For 'Q Site'


Loving the stubble fields they open up so much access for lots of different views around the countryside but it won't be long & they will be all ploughed up & sewed with a new crop.




Now there's a delicious meal above, red leg partridge with bramble jelly & a wild mushroom sauce.


Brunt Loch where someone has been shooting the ducks, I only wish they left a live cartridge so they could be shot up the arse for leaving this un excusable mess ! Would of took seconds to pick them up !! That's one thing that I can never get my head around, is people who pursue country field sports who obviously have a love of the countryside but yet think that it's acceptable to leave a mess like this behind him ? It's the same when I go fishing, some people will not put their litter in their bags or walk over to a bin to dispose of it, they just throw their rubbish behind them or drop it at their feet ! It does my nut right in, NO NEED !!!




Following the pathway along the trees next to the loch & more fungi, I do know this species of fungi & is called the 'shaggy parasol' which is edible but does contain toxins if eaten raw or undercooked & can cause gastric upsets & some people find that they have an allergic reaction even after cooking.



Clearing the woods it was a battle with the bike over the shoulder through the ferns then into a long marshy grass field before getting back on track  by the pheasant pens, oh the joys & I love it.
The picture at the bottom is a trap for catching grey squirrels which cause lots of damage, but people can't see past the cute bushy tail.
I don't know why but this beech tree always reminds me of Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons :-/





Stubble fields, bales & sunflowers, the fields look totally amazing just now contrasting with the green leaves of the trees & hedgerows.


More sunflowers, these are planted along with other game crops for their seeds as food & protective cover for the pheasants, partridges & other sporting game birds.




From the Brunt it was along the Thurston Glen which at the moment is being prepared for the shooting season as the white marker poles are all in place for the paying guns to stand to shoot their quarry of pheasants & partridges.


And the glen leads into the grounds of the Thurston Manor caravan park, but before I get there I take a wee side route so I don't have to cycle through the park.

Up through this secluded stair way which is steep & goes on & on & on...

...And eventually brings me out at the old Thurston doocot & into the derelict yard of the local blacksmiths who have now moved premises.
The Thurston doocot is the sole survivor of a pair of doocots that were once part of the Thurston estate the mansion house has long gone as has the other larger lectern style doocot.

At this time of year there is an abundance of this foreign intruder called 'Himalayan Balsam' or snap dragons as I remember calling it when we were bairns, called so because if you touch the little green seed pods they explode firing it's content of seeds 7 metres ! My kids love popping them.

Well that's that for another day I hope you had a pleasant ride with me around the beautiful countryside.
Come back for another adventure bye bye for now.