We have just had the most lovely (almost relaxing which doesn’t happen often!) weekend. On Saturday we set off for a walk at our new favourite spot (see here for info) – the dead animal walk. It was christened the dead shrew walk after out first visit but having spotted a dead bumble bee this time Finn has renamed it!
Don’t be put off by the title. It is the most beautiful peaceful little glen – trees, wildflowers, tinkling burn and bridges to cross. If you look back at the photos from our first visit in March the vegetation has changed so much. The trees are now fully out, so much so that the views are actually less spectacular, and the ground vegetation is waist high in places. For me, as a forester, it is just heaven – its an ancient woodland meaning that there has been continuous woodland cover here for thousands of years (probably because it’s in a gully so hasn’t been cleared for farming or commercial forestry unlike most of the rest of the UK) so the species found here are just wonderful (many plants disappear if the original woodland is removed so just by looking at the mix of plant species here you can tell it is a remnant oak forest).
We walked up to the bridge near the top of the glen and then made our way back down to a little pebbly beach by the burn. After a picnic lunch the kids changed into their water shoes (little neoprene slip-on shoes which we were given as hand-me-downs) – I almost feel as if they shouldn’t wear them as it makes life far too easy compared to my watery childhood playing – no stubbed toes and scraped feet on rocks! They had a brilliant time splashing around. Islay made a muddy puddle which she jumped up and down in and the boys waded here and there and explored all around.
Needless to say Angus fell in and was the wettest. Dry clothes and a chittery-bite (biscuit snack to stop the cold chitters) later we headed back down the glen. Angus completed his adventure by tumbling off the path straight into a huge patch of nettles. He ended up being really badly stung on one arm and leg and was very miserable for the rest of the day – once he’d stopped howling hysterically, poor soul.
Yesterday both boys were with friends for the afternoon, normally we keep weekends for family time but this made a nice change, so John and I had some ‘speschal’ time with Islay including a walk along the river for an ice cream. The house felt so odd without the boys – extremely quiet and much less frenetic….we were twiddling our thumbs and missing them lots by the time they came home.
Mum popped round earlier today with these wonderful flowers courtesy of one of her neighbours whose daughter was married at the weekend. Aren’t they wonderful? I’m sadly short of large vases so had to split them up. The scent from the stocks is so sweet. They are such a pretty flower and one of my favourites. And the delphiniums are just so dramatic.
I wonder what your favourite flower is? I think stocks are one of mine, along with sweetpeas and I also love wild flowers such as forget-me-nots, cow parsley and foxglove. I’d love to hear what other people like.
Angus is off school today with a sickness bug. He managed to be sick just as we were setting off for school – I didn’t have time to clean it up until we got back, not fun! He seems a bit brighter now and hasn’t been sick for a couple of hours so I hope he’s on the mend.
Sewing-wise I’m getting on well with the picnic blanket for Al. I need to work on a border for the blocks and then get it basted and quilted – which I’m a bit scared about.