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!