Before the trail was built in the forest, I used to regularly walk out the road quite a bit further and my turning point was where I’d get a view of a ruined tower house from the road. I rarely go that far any more since I get my kilometres done in the forest, but it’s nice to go a little further sometimes.
It was really quite a horrible day for walking. We had that nasty midlands mist that isn’t quite rain and is invisible to both Apple Weather and Met Eireann’s radar. It still gives you a good soaking though. Still we got our walk done and clocked up another 12km for the years’s total.
Unusually we managed to all get out for a walk today on the last weekday of the school holidays. The route was the usual up and down through the forest on Ardagh mountain. I left everyone at the cross and did my few extra kilometres
I snapped a quick shot of this holly bush as amazingly it is still in berry this late in the season. In some cold autumns the berries will be all gone by late November but this year has been so incredibly mild that these berries have survived the onslaught of both birds and people collecting Christmas decorations.
I did my normal lunchtime walk in the forest today but that’s not what I’m going to dwell on since I’ve done something I never did before. I’ve got a bit bored or running laps of the well-lit local football field at night so I decided for a change to strap on a head-torch and run the forest trail.
The route is about 2.4km each way so by adding a 200m road run to the route, I managed to get in a quick 5 run on top of my regular daily 10km walk.
The feeling of running in the dark with the head-torch projecting through the drizzle was quite eerie but really enjoyable as a change from the usual run. I’ll be adding this to my weekly exercise mix in future.
With unseasonably warm weather continuing, it was a lovely day to get out for the first walk of the new year. As is the pattern for the school holidays, I started out on the track with my daughter along with me and did the first 5km or so with company.
Once we got back to this cross, we parted company and I continued on with the dogs to get a bit more distance one. I’ve recently started listening to podcasts when I’m walking on my own and so I walked on with Neil deGrasse Tyson as somewhat esoteric company.
On my trip back down, I noticed that the whin bushes have started to flower already which is a couple of weeks early. I’m not surprised given that it’s been over 10 degrees celcius at night recently. It’s nice to see the very early signs of spring but we’ve still got a lot of winter to go.
I ended up getting a good walk in with my first 11km or so done fo the year.
It was a pretty normal lunchtime walk on a grey overcast Wednesday. My legs were still a bit tired after the weekend’s exertions but it was good to get out. There was a bit of excitement today as I came across a pony almost as soon as I entered the forest. The dogs were very excited about this and they whined and barked the whole way round which didn’t help as they just drove it further along the path. It finally managed to get past us just before we rejoined the road.
I’ve got a few days off in a row again due to the St. Patrick’s day weekend and so have managed to do quite a few walks while the fine weather continues
It gets so much easier up in the forest after a dry week since the job of negotiating the soft bits isn’t quite so difficult.
There is still not much sign of buds or willow catkins but there are a few daises appearing. Not a lot else has developed since.
I’ll be breaking my run of forest walks tomorrow since I’ve got a long walk planned. It hasn’t been a bad run of walks with five walks in the last 7 days. It is getting quite rare that I actually have a day where I don’t go to Dublin and don’t go for a walk.
I’ve managed three walks in three days which is pretty good going. At the rate I’ve been going this year, I’ll manage my hundred walks by the end of September. Anyway, we’ve had a couple of dry weeks and the difference up the forest is amazing. Quite a bit of it is drying out nicely and it is a pleasure to finish every walk with dry feet.
There even seem to be a few more people around there. There was a car parked up this morning and I am pretty sure I heard a dog barking in the forest yesterday so it is nice to see the place being used.
That’s really about it. Amazingly we still have holly berries on a few bushes which is really very strange at this time of year. But spring certainly seems a bit late – there is very little budding activity so far.
It was a fine sunny morning so we all got changed and out for a walk immediately after breakfast. It was a really beautiful spring morning which made for a change after all of the stormy wintry weather we’d had during the week. The frogs have certainly been busy – the whole path was covered in frogspawn in one spot.
The gorse is also getting going into full flower after its brief couple of months of partial dormancy. It seems none the worse for wear after the last couple of weeks of cold weather.
We came around to the fallen tree which is quite awkward having fallen right across the path but we can manage.
Anyway, it was nice for a change to have a walk where we weren’t battling rain and wind.
Wednesday morning arrived along with storm Jake – our 10th named storm of the season so it was quite a nasty wet morning with flurries of snow. However, by lunchtime it had dried up quite a bit even if it was still quite windy and cold.
So we donned our boots and braved a quick look in the midst of the storm. This proved to have been somewhat unwise as in one spot we came across a fallen tree that couldn’t have been down for more than an hour. Quite spectacular really – you could smell the roots in the air.
After this, we beat quite a hasty retreat and didn’t hang about since it was quite likely that another might come down after it.
Walking forests and trails in the midlands of Ireland