Monday, 15 September 2014

From Fishing The Sea To Farming The Fields.

A wee bit on the late side with this post as it was a few days ago now, but with this & that, this has been the first chance that I've had to write it up, anyway it was such a lovely warm day my plan was to head down to the coast out to the John Muir Country Park then see where I went from there.

 So from my house in Innerwick it was down & across the A1 dual carriageway onto the old A1 road to get down to Barns Ness. Stopped in my tracks I forgot about the gypsy travellers that have taken up residence on the old A1 but assessing the situation there was only the one car amongst many caravans so I decided to go for it & cycle through the middle of them to get to the field track which took me to Barns Ness where I got to after a few minutes only to discover the above guy swooshing a net around in the long grass. I paused to watch him for a bit out of sheer curiosity & it seemed to be that he was studying entomology (insects).

Moving onward from Barns Ness it was round the corner to Whitesands beach where I don't think I have ever seen the tide so low down here :-/ I cycled along the shore line where the wading birds were enjoying a feast during the low tide.

 Along the edge of the Dunbar golf coarse I noticed this healthy clump of Sea Kale which is an edible plant & is mentioned in some of the earliest references to food. The Romans preserved it in barrels for sea voyages & with it's high content of vitamin C it prevented scurvy.

Sammy the resident Dunbar harbour seal & a boat registered to Kircaldy from across the other side of the  Firth of Forth & entering the harbour, you can tell this by the prefix letters (KY) before the numbers on the boat, Dunbar comes under Leith in Edinburgh & our local boats start with the letters (LH).

One of the local boats the 'Rockhopper of Percuel' returning to harbour with hopefully a good few boxes of lobsters on board.
 Looking over & past the castle ruins is the Alpha Britannia crude oil tanker which has been sitting off-shore for a few weeks now. The ship flies the flag of the Bahamas & has a length & width of  248m X 43m.

A couple of boats leaving the harbour & the Scart rock looking more like a Christmas pudding with the amount of bird poo on it.

 Great looking down onto the rocks at low tide looking at all the gulleys carved out by the sea.

Taking a wee detour to visit an ex work mate for a cup of coffee & a catch up where I found him in his loco shed working on his model railway set, it was good to see him & have a laugh about days past at work.

 The forever photogenic Bridge to Nowhere & the Bass Rock, as you can see the tide is rapidly coming in & will soon totally cut off the bridge hence how it got it's name.

 Over the bridge spanning the Biel burn & along the salt marshes by the John Muir Country Park there were some bird watchers busy twitching away.

When I was a bairn this pond in the John Muir park was more than double the present size & was a real hotspot for us youngsters to collect frog spawn & tadpoles but sadly over the years it has nearly all silted up to a marshy bog. 

A nice shady pedal through the fir trees emerging at the Hedderwick burn locally know as the Skittery burn.

From here I decided to head inland to Hedderwick Hill farm & return home via the hill roads.

 Love these wet feet tunnels up by North Belton farm the first stone tunnel has the east coast main rail line up above & the second tunnel has the recent A1 dual carriageway above it both make for interesting routes to go. Often you'll see dippers which are birds that dive & feed on aquatic insects from the burn.

Grazing horses at North Belton farm & a wee track from there takes me to probably the most pristine & cleanest farm that I've ever known, Hedderwick farm where I spent a lot of my childhood as my dad has a joinery workshop here & who himself also grew up on this farm. One of my friends lived in one of the farm cottages, we used to get up to all sorts of adventures playing in the barns, feeding the pigs playing in the tractors, combine & going into the hen houses to see the thousands & thousands of chicken hatchlings.

 So from Hedderwick it was off up the stunningly beautiful Biel drive, a long straight road with loads of interesting trees & there's always wildlife to be seen from squirrels to deer as you cycle the long steady hill before I venture off road again following a rough track bringing me out to the south entrance of the estate.

 A bit of road work up to Spott Brock woods which is always good for a blast around, the roads to this location have been shut off recently as ground works have been taking place installing pipework & it's amazing how quickly nature has reclaimed the paths around the Brock walk way. 

 Up the steep killer of a hill starvation brae at Spott stopping at the top  for a drink & some energy bars but most importantly to admire the views from this lofty location & re-tracing my route down below.

 Love seeing these sunflowers amongst the game crop fields you can't help but smile as you cycle by.
 Down in the Brunt glen I could hear the banging guns as I neared, at this time of the year the guns are shooting partridges.

A wee meander for a couple of miles by country road where at this time of the year is great to spot lots of birds amongst the hedgerows feeding on the bumper harvest of berries & seeds fattening themselves up for the harsh winter that lies ahead.
Anyway time for me to fill my belly too, thanks for reading come back soon :-) Cheers.