Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Life in the Old Dog Yet!

On a beautiful early Autumn morning I thought I would see whether Bilbo Baggins could still do the walk up to Piper House Gate, across the top to Devil's Elbow and back down to Short' s Lane. On Wednesday it will be a year since his leg was amputated and he's twelve and a half years old now but he's still fit and enjoys life. We always park opposite this field on our walks on Blackamoor.

The first part down the lane and along the river is either slightly downhill or flat as far as the stepping stones where we make the decision about whether to cross the river and go up Lenny Hill or to continue up to Piper House Gate. This is a long steep uphill climb and the path is quite narrow in parts. We passed this burdock plant which has finished flowering and is now producing its sticky hooked seed heads which are dispersed by attaching themselves to the fur of passing animals. We always called them sticky bobs. If you click on the photo to enlarge it you should be able to see the little hooks.

As we climbed above the tree line we started to see clumps of heather growing by the side of the path, the moors are beautiful at this time of the year with huge sheets of purple in many areas around here.

Almost at the top now, you can see for miles from up here and B Baggins is doing fine so far.

There are masses of bilberry bushes up on the moors but tucked in among them is the lovely bright red cowberry or lingonberry which is just as edible as the bilberry though nothing like as prolific - at least not round here.

The rowans are wonderful in the autumn with their huge, generous clusters of berries, they will grow in the most inhospitable of places - another of its names is Lady of the Mountains.

We are back in the woodland now on our way across to Devil's Elbow. As you can see B Baggins is still going strong and looking back to see why I'm lagging behind:)

Here we are on the third leg of the walk, the bracken is everywhere and grows shoulder high in many places - at least it's shoulder high to me but at five feet two and a half I don't present a huge challenge really:) My husband has just read the first bit of this and burst out laughing when he saw 'the third leg of the walk' under a photo of B Baggins with his three legs. This was entirely unintentional on my part:):)

Back on Shorts Lane with the hawthorn berries ripening against the background of a beautiful blue sky. B Baggins made it without any problem at all - just as well since at 30 kilos I certainly couldn't have carried him if he'd given up half way!


Granny Sue said...

How very beautiful, Rowan. And your old dog--these old companions are the friends of our hearts, aren't they?

Mary said...

What an amazing dog B. Baggins is - I hope so much he will continue to accompany you on these beautiful walks through the English countryside. The heather on the moor is really lovely Rowan - I would love to walk there with you!

Hugs - Mary

Lynda (Granny K) said...

B. Baggins looks to be enjoying every minute! What a glorious day to be outside. I saw a Burdock plant at Brock and recognised the 'sticky bobs' which we used to throw at each other, but I never knew what plant it was. Thank you.
I'm exactly 5ft 2 and a half too!

The History Anorak said...

Good for B Baggins! I'm not sure I could have done that walk.

Bovey Belle said...

What a lovely walk, and glad that Mr Baggins was up for it. He's looking very fit despite his years and shortage of one leg.

WOL said...

What an inspiration Mr. Baggins is. I'm sure it's all the nice long walks he's had in this beautiful countryside in the fresh air that have provided the fit and healthy foundation on which his recovery has been built. Bravo, B. Baggins!

Barb @ Bella Vista said...

What an inspiring and beautiful post this is.

Thanks for such lovely images and for the courage of Mr. Baggins.


Rosie said...

So glad Mr Baggins made it round - it looks a super walk. Had to smile of the unintended 'third-leg' joke. I bet Mr B Baggins was so pleased he'd completed the walk too:)

Roy Norris said...

Good to see that BB still gets about.
Many a good tune played on an old fiddle D.{:))

Louise said...

It's good to see BB looking good and enjoying a walk! Beautiful photos.