Saturday, 17 January 2009

The Saturday Walk - 17th January

Overnight rain has brought the river levels up considerably.

I am getting back into my walking routine again, now I've finally shaken this cold off, and that means that one of the weekend days is a longer walk - 2 hours instead of one, and about 5 miles in distance. Today I went "round the block" cutting across country on a local trackway I used to ride Fahly along. As I expected, it was half under water as in winter it turns into a stream, especially after the rain we had last night.

I soon warmed up - especially after the first steep hill - and first of all gloves, then fleece hat, and finally jacket were removed, but then the clear blue skies clouded over and this afternoon's weather front began to put in an appearance. Now we have 10/10 cloud cover again, my pine tree across the lane, which acts as a weather vane when it comes to wind, is starting to sway about, and the pundits foretell heavy rain this afternoon and night.

No obvious forsaken cottage ruins to note today. A possible end wall of one in about two acres of what is now woodland, but very poor self-sown mainly ash woodland, none of it more than about 60 or 70 years old. A cottage and an acre or two was quite often the size of the smallest holdings hereabouts. Also a probable back wall of a cottage in a dingle beside an abandoned quarry, set against a higher bank and very straight-edged.

Overnight rain had meant that the river had risen a couple of feet and was beginning to quarrel with the boulders mid-stream.

The view from the top of the first hill. Our house is out of sight behind the farm mid-photo.

This cottage smallholding has been on the market recently. Some work has been done on it but no-one is living there yet.

Sunshine for a little while first thing. Here we are looking towards the far side of the Towy Valley.

It is such an inviting old lane, unchanged over the hundreds of years it has been in use between farms.

Above and below: Just after it turns into a stream (we know them as "winterbournes" in Dorset), the trackway ahead narrows and the main path curls off to the right, where there is a new house built.

A barn now, with a blocked-in window, but this was probably the original cottage which has been modifed now that there is a late Victorian farmhouse. It was bigger than most round here, and well built, with the dressed ashlar stone at the corners.

The lane homewards. As I walked along the lane, flurries of Fieldfares clattered from the hedgerows ahead of me, angling away like jet fighter pilots in an air display. Two buzzards were circling overhead, being mobbed by crows, and I saw the first harbingers of spring in the leaves of primroses, dandelions, goosegrass, and in sheltered spots, long shoots of stitchwort, and the almost perennial leaves of wild strawberries and foxgloves.

Looking across the fields of the Towy Valley.

This is little Coedsaithpren nestling amongst the trees. If I remember rightly, a Clog Maker lived here back in the 1881 census, and indeed, the current owner found a wonderful clog above the door of one of her barns.

I couldn't resist this photograph. It lends a whole new meaning to the words "sunken bath" and reminded me of the Titanic going down!

These are someone's tidy ewes, who insisted on walking ever faster in front of me down the lane, heading towards a busier road, but fortunately I managed to skip past them where the lane widened, and turn them back.


Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

--You had good exercise.

--You took lovely photos of your surrounding area, to share with us.

--And you even did a good deed! You turned the ewes around and helped them avert danger.

All in all, quite a marvelous time. Thank you for taking us with you.

Aunt Amelia
"Winter is the time for comfort - it is the time for home." ~ Edith Sitwell

Linda said...

Nice photos! Love the one of the sheep.

Preseli Mags said...

Lovely walk and great photographs. I particularly liked the one of the old bath too. We found an old clog in the cimne fawr here when the house was renovated a few years ago. It seemed to belong there, so the builders put it back with an orange (from one of their lunch boxes) as a gift to the house gods.

The weather is fierce here tonight. Brian's just brought Itsy and the others into the stables. The poor things were too miserable out in the field. Itsy has ripped the leg straps off both of her rugs now! Tonight she'll have to wear a third rug while I ment the other two. (She's very lucky that I've got such a store of rugs and she's much the same size as her predecessors!)

nita x said...

lovely photos jennie, you live in a lovely area :o)

nancy said...

Great post, Jennie. I love the photos. That old bath tub may be a treasure. Ya think?