Thursday, 31 March 2016

Hello Mr. Blue Sky

28th February & another slow blog upload..!
The morning of the 28th turned out to be a real cracker to start off the day, a bright blue sky, cold & with frost still lying in the shaded areas for me it was the perfect cycling weather so off I went out & about.

Heading up the Woodhall road with only the howl from the bike tyres on the tarmac & the song from the hedgerow birds making a nice start to the day but I was eager to get off the tarmac & onto some dirt.

Descending down to the Brunt then veering off into the woodland walking route of Woodhall Dean nature reserve. Parts of the trail path were still hard with frost as the sun was still low in the sky & many parts of the trail were still shaded.

Always find time for bike pics !

Not long now & the skeletal oak trees will grow a thick green canopy shrouding the woodland in shade, much welcomed during the hot summer months.

Passing by the old Woodhall to Hartside bridge which is an old road way linking up farms etc from yesteryear. I have to have a giggle when the local towns people call it the 'Roman bridge', it has nothing to do with the Romans what so ever :-/

Continuing up the road which is now just a pathway & part of the circular walk of Woodhall Dean.

A nice bit of heat from the sun when I arrived at a clearing following a fence line next to the woods & a livestock field but not for long as the path soon creeps back into the cold sessile oak woods.

After crossing the bridge with the Woodhall Burn flowing under it I was back into a clearing of dead bracken & gorse bushes for a short time...

...and then over a fence into an empty livestock field leaving Woodhall Dean behind me. I love this route but it's a seasonal route for me as normally the field has a herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle & for regular readers you will know my love affair with coo's is not that great.
Through the field I went & all the north facing hill faces were covered in frost.

Onwards I go with the Meikle Hag Wood on my right & Birkie Brae on my left with a pond in the middle which I'm not aware even has a name, being a seasonal lochan that dries up during the dry months, but today it's covered in a thin layer of ice.

Through between the old oak trees I was thinking how this would be an amazing wildcamp site in the summer but I don't think I'd enjoy it much when the summer bovine occupants were here too.

Arriving at Hartside where I for now link up with the Herring Road for a short distance as it comes down off the Lammermuirs & a bit further along I saw a very unusual sight here with all these cars parked up, as I was passing there was a women in a hi-viz vest hovering about so with my nose getting the better of me I asked what was happening of which she told me that it was an orienteering club, so that solved that puzzle.

Before heading downhill to the Halls farm I stopped for a moment to firstly think where I was going to head for, quickly making the decision to go along the Black Loch (top picture) I then admired the magical view down below me & looking past the Bass Rock, the Firth of Forth & beyond I could just make out the southern edge & snow capped mountain range of the Cairngorms National Park with the Sidlaw Hills of Tayside dwarfed before them.

I'm always impressed when I pass through the Halls farm it's one of the if cleanest, tidiest & well kept farms that I know off even the derelict farm cottages are kept in good order.

Arriving at the Black Loch I soon realised that I couldn't get past on it's southern shores like I normally can due to the water level of the loch being so high & the jaggy gorse bushes blocking my way... up the hill it was to avoid getting my feet wet.

Once past the worst I found a gap back down the hill between the gorse to the farm track below which I then came to another seasonal hill loch which also dries up in summer but today covered in thick ice as this lochan never sees much sunlight at this time of year.
I love to see the buzzards soaring above.

Out from the wilderness of hill farmland into the arable land belonging to Spott farm, climbing upwards up the above long stoney track to Brunt Hill.

Once at the top I again stopped to soak up some of the views below, there was hardly a cloud to be seen in the sky apart from the ones being made by the cement works.

I love this ruined cottage, I'd love to come into money & restore it as it's in an amazing location, on one side looking out to sea & on the other looking up into the Lammermuir Hills.

Spring is on it's way.

As I rode along a hedge line I startled a fox who took off & vanished down a hill only for me to startle another a few yards further along, this one took off into the next field & once he felt safe he stopped running & casually strolled through the field passing by a hare not even batting an eyelid to attempt to catch it for a meal, there was also a pheasant to his other side next to the trees on the field edge.

From here I had a great view along the hill to my home village of Innerwick & to Thurston Manor caravan holiday park which is more like the size of a small town.
Riding down the hill I bumped into my little fox friend again, he didn't seem to bothered & just wandered off.

Cresting a hill as I followed the farm track which opened up views across the sea & down to my local town of Dunbar passing some new born lambs along the way.

A quick descent down to Meikle Pinkerton farm where I had my first & only encounter with cows, not long now & once the grass starts to grow they'll be out in the fields chewing the cud.

Along my little rat run as I call it which runs parallel with the A1 dual carriageway & a wee climb back home to the village.

Thanks for looking & come back soon for my next 'late' post called "Rippin Up The Red, Innerleithen"
where I cycled the red route of the Innerleithen mountain bike trail centre.