Monday dawned with a perfect blue sky, and no wind. Just perfect for a walk, to rid the body of two weeks of Winter Olympics watching on television!
The question is always where to go. This is where Geograph Great Britain and Ireland can help. Where's the nearest square to Skip that no-one has yet photographed? I had had my eye on one for a while, in the Forest of Ae. That's the great thing about the website. For someone like me who always needs an aim, rather than just a wander with the camera, it provides just an incentive to get out there.
My walk started at the ruins of the Garvald Church, just off the A701, the Dumfries-Moffat road.
The old graveyard can be an eerie place, depending on just when you visit. Some graves go back to the eighteenth century. On Monday though, there were some sights which just lifted the spirits!
What a lovely day for a walk!
Looking towards Minnygap Height, over an area recently felled and replanted. The Forest of Ae is one of Scotland's largest, the first trees being planted in the 1920s. It is well known these days as one of the 7Stanes mountain biking venues (see here), although this side of the forest is less well trodden.
This was my goal, the ruins of Donkens Cottage, in the heart of the Forest of Ae. Not much left as you can see. It will be interesting to see if I can find out any more about Donkens, such as who lived there and when it was abandoned. More photos are here.
This is on the walk out. The white dot, barely visible in the distant centre, is E.ON's Biomass Power Station at Steven's Croft, Lockerbie, which burns lots of trees.
I don't know what to make of this picnic table for dwarves which I encountered just off one of the forestry roads!
Despite the snow, it's been fairly dry this past month. Not a lot was running down the Black Linn on Monday.
This whole area will be covered by wind turbines soon. Planning permission has been granted for Scottish Power's 71-turbine Harestane's windfarm within the Forest of Ae. Press reports did indicate that the first turbine would be going up this spring. But there is little sign of this as yet.
Photos © Skip Cottage