Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Two good walks

The plan for today, Wednesday, was to join a walking group for the first time, on a walk from Eyemouth, along the coastal path to Coldingham.  They are seasoned walkers, and I'm not!  So yesterday I thought I would limber up a bit and walk up Traprain Law, since Tilly and I haven't been there for a while.

The early mornings have been very grey lately.  The visibility from the Law wasn't great, but, as always, I enjoyed the lines within the landscape.
These are the ruins of Hailes Castle, a 14th century castle which sits above the River Tyne.  From where I am standing, its backdrop is a cabbage field.
There was a hill fort on Traprain Law during the Iron Age, occupied by a Celtic tribe, the Votadini. As I walked back down, off the Law, I stood and pondered some groups of rocks, and it occurred to me that this place would not have changed over all the intervening centuries, since the days of the Votadini.  Their young children will have played and scrambled over these rocks, crushing the wild thyme beneath their bare feet.

The soft velvety cushions of moss would have been a luxurious texture for Votadini youngsters, who would know nothing of fine materials.
Present day inhabitants of Traprain Law are thirteen Exmoor ponies, who are part of the grazing project.  They are twenty four/seven conservation volunteers, munching their way over the Law, helping to improve the bio-diversity of the area, as they go!
 "The wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears".
On the way home, I passed some wonderful groups of plants which are growing alongside a small, new-ish road, just outside the village.  Marjoram, lady's bedstraw, honeysuckle, scabious and ox eye daisies,
giant bellflower, viper's bugloss, knapweed and rosebay willow herb covered the stone slopes.
And at home, in the wood, there are still lots of wild raspberries.
Today, we drove to Coldingham, and caught the bus to Eyemouth to begin our walk.  The little training session on the Law yesterday, served me quite well on the steep slopes of the coastal path, as it wound its way along the top of the cliffs, down on to the beaches and then back up again.
This garden tiger moth was on the path.  It had got a bit stuck in the mud.  We moved it to a large hogweed leaf, and hopefully it recovered enough to fly away.  I have never seen one before.  It's a very handsome beast.
The path came down from the top of the cliff to a stony beach, through a sweep of meadow sweet and great willow herb (which I have always called cherry pie, but it is also called codlins and cream).
On we went until we came to Coldingham Bay, and its string of beach huts.  I can never resist a shed of any sort, so will probably go back and have another look at these!
Arriving back in Coldingham, it was time for a drink!  This isn't ,Tilly by the way!  She had to stay at home, unimpressed.

1 comment:

  1. Very envious of that walk!
    Cape crusader tiger moth - very handsome! His colour combination is a fashion masterpiece!
    Pretty hut and those steps coming down the hillside are amazing ... A real treat and great photo of them!
    The Exmoor ponies look like they are rounding out nicely on all that natural take away! Good job guys!
    Beautiful photos as always! Wish I was walking with you! Happy days! Xx