Sunday, March 27, 2016

Ettrick Head

On Friday I decided that another walk along a short stretch of the Southern Upland Way was in order. I'm at the road end, west of Ettrick, car parked ... and what greets me are sounds and sights of considerable activity. Clear felling in the distance, for example.

A substantial new forestry road runs past Potburn farm, all to facilitate the timber extraction.

So often on walks through forestry plantations one comes across little quarries which have supplied stone to make the access roads. It was interesting to see one such still in use.

Tipper lorries were carrying rock from the quarry to the ends of the new roads.

Something of a 'boys' toy' awaiting its turn.

Money has been spent in putting in substantial bridges!

The bothy at Over Phawhope.

I found the MBA bothy in great condition, and well maintained. It was interesting to read of the shepherds and their familiies who had lived there, gleaned from census records from 1841 onwards.

This little plaque says it all, really. Have I said before that the Mountain Bothies Association does a great job?

Soon though I was looking back down the valley, and was on an older forest track, heading west.

The Southern Upland Way is well signed.

Crossing over to Dumfries and Galloway!

This was as far as I was headed - the watershed at Ettrick Head. This view is looking west. The area hereabouts is a splendidly isolated part of the Southern Upland Way. It was fine to be here on Friday, although the weather was beginning to change. It would be challenging in bad weather, for sure.

This little pool on the Ettrick Water was an idyllic place to stop for lunch. The burn is joined by the Black Burn, the Little Black Burn, the Rashie Grain, the Midden Sike, the Smid Hope, the Little Smid Hope, and the wonderfully named Entertrona Burn, all before reaching Over Phawhope. Don't you just love maps! The Ettrick Water joins with the Yarrow and then feeds into the River Tweed.

The forecasted change in the weather was becoming apparent as I headed back towards the car.

I said I was looking for the Ettrick Shepherd, but they took no notice!

What a great day out!

Pix © Skip Cottage

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New neighbours

My favourite tree, just waiting to burst into life in 2016.

It would seem to be appropriate that the first photo I took with my new camera should be an old friend! 

The sky looked a bit threatening this afternoon!

It is such a lovely sight to see these new arrivals.

Haud up ... I only want a photo!

The leaves may have been nibbled but this crocus seemed to be saying that spring cannot be far away!

Photos © Skip Cottage