Thinking Time

The weather is still pretty cold but there was very little snow left after our recent shower. So I got out for a fairly normal lunchtime walk on my own. I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to my surroundings or bother too much with the camera as I was using the walk as thinking time.


I took the shorter loop as I was a little late getting started but at least I got out of the house.


Flurries of Snow

It’s been snowing on-and-off for most of the morning but nothing has been sticking as it’s a bit warm. So we had a crisp day for the walk – the usual lunchtime loop.


Not a lot has changed since my last lap, there still isn’t much sign of life about the place. As the bottom part of the loop is under heavy forest cover, we had quite the surprise when we emerged into our bottom field in blizzard conditions – even if it doesn’t really show up in the picture.


So it was a pleasant walk, even it was a bit cold and I’ve even managed to complete my target for the month a few days early.


Misty Sunday Morning

We got ourselves sorted after a late Sunday breakfast and went for a walk despite drizzly misty conditions. Everybody was in a reasonably good mood for once and we had a grand time of it. Conditions weren’t the best for photography but I managed a few shots anyway.


The harsh weather of the past few has passed and it is now a lot milder even if it is a bit wet. This is kind of the pattern at this time of year – you can be either cold and dry or warm and wet.


The place looks quite bare at the moment but the moss is doing very well. This part of the forest looks entirely unmanaged and it is hard to see why it isn’t organised in a more productive manner. Still, it is a nice place to walk since it is so wild.


The moss always looks brilliant at a macro scale. The spore things are called devil’s matchsticks due to the fact that they develop a bright red tip for a few days of the year. Last year I managed to get a shot of them on one walk.


Derrycassan Woods

As a bit of a change, we felt like driving up the other end of the county for a stroll around Derrycassan woods. This is a state forestry establish on the grounds of the ruins of the seat of Dopping-Hempingstalls. It is a nice amenity forest with plenty of trails and circular walks varying from about 3 to 6km or so. We took the longer option.


It is quite a mature forest mostly pretty much all conifer but it makes for pleasant walking and there are plenty of well-made gravel tracks.


This is the remains of a boathouse from the old estate. The main house was demolished in the 1930s for building materials after it was bought by a timber merchant. All that remains now are some concrete remains of the boathouse and an unusual curved section of the garden wall. As the whole site is quite hilly, the walled garden was constructed to follow the contours rather than the usual rectangular arrangement.


One of the remaining entrances into the garden is remarkable well-preserved. I always think it looks for forlorn in the middle of the woods.


This was a pleasant dry and non-mucky walk and we managed 6km.


Brisk Lunchtime Loop

The cold weather remains and there is still some lingering snow from the fall on Monday night. It really only remains in the shade but with the sun so low in the sky there is a lot of shade.


It was dry though, so I had a pleasant walk being well wrapped up against the cold. It is very quiet up the Mountain at this time of year – there are very few birds about apart from the odd wood-pigeon making its presence felt. One species of gorse seems to be having a bit of a think about flowering despite the recent cold weather.


It was very pleasant to get out for a loop in such fine weather. I ended up taking the longer of the two loops. I didn’t see very much of the dogs after letting them off the lead but they must have come across something along the paved bit of the lane as they both came running back to me and were reluctant to continue on alone.



Walking off the Breakfast

After a relatively early hearty breakfast, the girls and I got out for a quick loop of the forest.


It was a brisk morning but most of the ice had burned off in the wintry sunshine by the time we got up to the top. There is still quite a bit in the more shaded parts of forest though.


Further on at one of the wall crossings, a rotten branch with rather fabulous bracket fungii had come down in the last few days. I guess Thursday’s storm must have weakened it somewhat.


We had a grand walk with relatively little moaning. All-in-all not a bad weekend’s walking for everybody although I will need to pick up the pace a little bit next weekend if I am to make my 85 km target for the month.


Stroll to Bog Bridge

We needed to all get out for a family walk with the days and rather than doing the forest loop, we set off for Bog Bridge from Abbeyshrule. I’ve written about this place a couple of times before as it is a very strange and imposing structure in the middle of nowhere.



Once we got past the airfield we pretty much had the place to ourselves so we let the older of our dogs off for a run. The ground was pretty frozen and everyone had a great time crashing through frozen puddles.


We had a grand brisk walk in the cold and managed to reach our objective. Not a bad little walk at 6km.


Another dusting of snow

Since the previous walk, we had a thaw, a storm and then more snow to replace the previous lot. Although there wasn’t much, we have a forecast for cold weather and more snow over the next couple of days. So it was a nice crisp day for a walk.


I was on my own and ended up taking the shorter of the two routes due to being a bit lazy. Still I got out for the third time this week which isn’t too bad.



Proper Snow

We actually got some decent levels of snow overnight and it held out until lunchtime. By decent levels, I mean about 3 cm but it was enough to make for a very different walk.DSCN2209

It was quite refreshing to see the place under a blanket of white and very unusual. I think that this is the heaviest covering of snow I’ve ever walked through up the mountain.


Everything looks very different. The wind was beginning to pick up for the approaching storm Rachel which is shaping up to be a good blow. So it made for quite a severe wind-chill factor.


The poor old gorse bushes got a bit of a shock.


It was quite bleak up the top but not half as bleak as it will be tonight I should think. There is more snow expected over the next few days so I might get some better shots then.