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Monday

The Dog Rambler E-diary

top 28
November 2011
Walk

Spring like in Saltoun Forest

Length

6.3 miles

Dogs on walk

Dylan, Jolie, Lucas, Maggie, Otis, Solo, Tim

After Friday’s very soggy forest walk it was into a forest with much drier tracks today. Despite the wet start it gave itself up as we began the ramble. With the rain gone it got unseasonably warm once again. By now we were tramping through snow this time last year. Having today kitted myself out in full waterproofs I was soon getting hot and my waterproof jacket had to come off. Otis was a different dog today. Right in the thick of things and very much following Jolie about. Solo too was full of energy. So much so that when Jolie, Lucas and Tim went running off along the track, unbelievably they were in pursuit. Even Dylan stayed about and Maggie was up for as much fun as she could have. All in all they stayed pretty much together as a group, except for the odd foray off. Dylan on one his many fruitless hunting trips. Solo to seek out some nice brown water to have a splash in. Maggie with a stick that attracted plenty of attention, as was her intention. So unseasonable has the weather been that confusion seems to be rife in the plant world.

Gorse bushes are flowering, their bright yellow flowers holding fast in defiance of the season. New leaf growth is pushing out of the supposedly dormant stems of rhododendrons and snowflake like circular whorls of bracken are just piercing the damp earth. Despite this all around us the evidence of autumn was clear. Bare bones trees, stark and thin mingled in amongst the glistening green of the fir trees. Golden leafs blew across the path, the discarded coats of the beech and birch. The forest opening a closing in its denseness until it enveloped us as we dropped down to the river nestling in its small dell, almost a boundary line for the forest. Maggie, Otis, Solo and Tim straight into the water. Jolie hanging over the bank looking at them but definitely not going in. Dylan and Lucas leaving the rest for a while, to explore higher up the bank in amongst the trees which have dug themselves into the earth defying the slope. We wound around with the river on a narrow somewhat precarious path. Trying to outwit us by almost disappearing but the dogs kept finding it again. Until in eventually ran out and we climbed back out of the dell and back into the thick of the forest. After a loop along which Jolie, Lucas, Maggie and Tim chased, still pursued at a safe distance by Otis and Solo, we left the trees to walk beside open farmland. The edge of the Lammermuir Hills rising in the distance with a sea of brown, green and yellow fields in between. The dogs doing very well and keeping to the grassy track and off the new planting. Spidery green shoots in an ocean of brown earth. By now the sun was trying to join us, its low light giving a warm spring like sense to the rejuvenating fields. In need of no rejuvenation Dylan led us all back into the trees, followed by a close knit group. Then in some mischievous mood Tim and Maggie fell far behind. Each time I looked back they looked toward me all innocently. I do not know what they were up to. Lucas was seeking shelter from Jolie just behind me, but it did not deter her as she leapt toward him. Solo and Otis strode meaningfully along between Jolie and Lucas sometimes drifting behind as something caught their attention. As I saw the car through the trees only as few hundred yards away the dogs turned onto a path we had previously taken. Obviously ready to go around again. Dylan and Tim stood their ground for the longest before relenting and following me back to the car.

Nick

Photo slideshow from the walk
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