Tag Archives: ardaghwoods

Just Me and the Dogs

Normally I’ll have company on the weekend but as it was a bit wet, nobody else wanted to come so it was just me and my regular companions. We don’t mind a bit of rain.

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We had a nice walk – it was quite peaceful aside from the distance sound of a chainsaw for the last kilometre or so of the walk.

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88 km

Back to the Routine

This was my usual lunchtime walk but as I had company I took the slightly longer route. It was real luxury as it was the first walk with a new pair of boots so I had dry feet. This feeling should last for a couple of months – or if I’m really lucky into the summer when the ground dries up reasonably well.

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I tend to save my good hiking boots for day-long walks as the regular walks tends to ruin even the  best of boots. With the best will in the world, it isn’t really feasible to look after boots properly if you’re wearing them every day. So I buy the cheapest I can get and discard them after three or four months.

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Due to the exceptionally mild winter, we still have holly berries. The same happened last year and it is very strange as they are usually gone by early December.

84 km

And Back to Winter

After the brief interlude of spring, we had a morning of heavy snowfall and it finally began to stick around 12. But by the time I got out, it had turned to sleet and rapidly disappeared

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It was actually quite a miserable walk as my boots really are past it at this stage so I had soaking feet within seconds due to the slush on the roads. Hopefully I’ll be able to sort myself out with some Lidls boots in the next couple of weeks.

By the time we emerged from the forest at the bottom, the snow was mostly gone and a couple of hours later, there was no sign of it at all.

79 km

Signs of Spring

We got out fairly early this morning ahead of the band of rain that was looming in the form of dark clouds overhead. It was just the children, the dogs and myself for the loop today. The main feature of this week is the start of frog-spawn season. They were actually spawning on Friday but I didn’t have the camera with me, so I’ll have to content myself with a picture of the resulting product.

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The other sign of spring is that the early gorse-flower is firmly in bloom. There are a varieties of gorse up on the mountain, so there is generally some of it in bloom for all but a couple of months of the year. Anyway, it is back and nice to see again.

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The rain was just starting by the time we got back so it was a bit of a lucky escape.

75 km

Several Weeks’ Walking

The weather over the last few weeks has been somewhat mixed so I’ve not got out for a long walk. However, the local walks have been going on and I’ve managed 12 since my last long walk.

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Anyway, it’s been good walking in the forest and the weather for the most part has been holding out so it is quite dry up there.

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However, autumn is really upon us now and the leaves are well and truly turned. One good autumn storm and that will be the end of them.

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This set of walks puts me near the 850 km mark so it looks like I won’t have too many difficulties reaching my goal for the year.

840 km

Autumn Walking

So the autumn continues on and I’ve got a few more walks in. We’re still waiting for proper autumn storms but the weather still seems to be holding. Although it wasn’t a great summer the outstanding feature of the forest this autumn is fabulous colourful heather.

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One thing that has been sadly lacking this summer is the foxgloves. While we do have the occasional sad specimen most of them didn’t flower at all this year.

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Anyway, we are well into mushroom season by now and the variety is fantastic as normal.

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765 km

Sunday Walking

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We all went for a family walk up on the shorter of the two loops and had a nice day of it. It was quite an interesting walk. The heather is quite spectacular this year and there is loads of it in flower at the moment.

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After the wet August, it has been a few days since there was any rain and longer since there was a significant downpour. It is quite amazing at this time of year how quickly the place dries out and there is very little water about.

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As we got towards the end of our walk we came across an interesting sight – a wasp’s nest on the ground. Further along there was what looked like some bits of a wild bee hive. Perhaps we have a badger about.

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We did the shorter of the two loops today.

743 km

Mushroom season again

I’ve not been doing a huge amount of walking over the last couple of weeks – just the usual lunchtime and weekend efforts but the mushrooms are back out in force again. These few pictures cover four walks over the last couple of weeks.

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The weather has been reasonably dry over the last couple of weeks so the going is relatively easy at the moment.

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It won’t be long until we’re into winter weather at this point, the mushrooms normally mean it’s time to dig out the fleece again.

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The fly agarics are making their presence felt.

739 km

A few forest loops

I’ve stopped feeling the need to blog about every one of my local forest walks, so this is really just a quick note to record that I did 4 walks in the forest over a two week period.

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The weather has been fairly mixed. We’ve had a couple of really nice days for walking and the usual run of wet weather mixed in with that. The mushrooms are back so I’ll have to get posting a few pics of them over the next few weeks.

684 km

A couple more forest loops

With the start of August, and most of my home projects finished, I’m hoping to get back into walking a bit more. I managed to get two weekend walks in a row to start the month off which is a promising walk.

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On the first of these, I was on my own the the dogs and spotted two foxes right in the middle of the forest path. I very quickly fired off a picture but the dogs spooked them before I could manage to get a proper picture so this is the best I could manage.

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We’re back into mushroom season again, and this is an interesting specimen that I hadn’t noticed yet. No sign of the Fly Agarics yet but they seem to wait until a little later in August normally. The mushrooms don’t terribly seem to have been affected by the lateness of everything else.

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The birds have had most of bilberries by now but there are still a few about. These two were very tasty after I finished taking the picture. Bilberries were held in very high regard in ancient times – I can imagine their sweetness must have been a very intense flavour in the days before refined sugar.

668 km