Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lucy meets 'bog monsters'....

Did yesterdays visit to the trails manage to dispel my melancholy mood I here you ask? Well if you have little time upon your hands and you just require the summary then the short answer is yes, indeed a hundred times yes! For those of you who have the leisure of not caring about time passing by, then you are more than welcome to read on.

As soon as I abandoned the keyboard we threw our selves into the fun cruiser which, apart from fresh water, generally has everything now permanently loaded that we require for going walking upon impulse. I wasn’t expecting to do more than a couple of miles as the air was humid and oppressive, walking in this heavy atmosphere was unlikely to lift my mood a great deal or endear me to the bog monster for that matter, who was likely to spend any distance further than a mile panting and looking generally morose! We headed up to the woods at Nercwys, driving through a cloud burst of a shower. Result, the downpour had freshened the air no end and as we tumbled from the car, eager to be on our way, birdsong rose to a crescendo all around us as the birds welcomed the suns rays spearing through thinning cloud.

As we delved deeper into the woods I was awestruck by the recent growth that the past warm and wet spell had induced in the local flora. The vegetation was now rapidly encroaching upon the trails covering everything with a bright green carpet. And the smells, only in the woods can odours like this after a flash downpour fill your senses and lift you spiritually and almost bodily so that you feel as if your floating instead of my usual heavy footed tramping, wondrous indeed.

Our route would shortly take us alongside and then beyond a recently reconstructed garden wall. The garden belonged to a solitary cottage (of which now even the footings are not really visible in the undergrowth) that existed here when the land was moorland, before managed woods took over. In recent months the walls have been reconstructed by a group of volunteers under the direction of the forestry commission and now produce what initially looks like a coral in the middle of the woods. I had thought that this was to be the last of the work done here but as we approached the gateway of the ‘coral’ Lucy started showing much more than a passing interest to whatever was within the dry stone wall enclosed space. I approached carefully hoping to observe some wildlife that had piqued Lucy’s interest. Well there was certainly an animal within, but not what I’d expected.

I counted eight of the little tykes and oh boy were they cute (although for some reason I couldn’t help but think of apple sauce at the time). I’m at a loss as to the reason that they have been placed here, time allowing I’ll have a scan on the commission’s web site and see if there is any information about them. I think that they are Tamworth pigs although there may well be a little Gloucester Old Spot in them. With a sense of well being we headed around the final few miles of our track, Lucy using the puddles as cooling posts at every opportunity.

As we approached the car park we came across a clump of welsh poppies, ablaze against the back drop of the stone wall.

Had the walk done the trick, well apart from my legs aching like the devil, yes I was able to survive last night’s shift, the ache serving to remind me of where my footfalls had been, and where they may well take me in the future. It is certainly better to get ‘out there’ instead of just wishing for a change in fortune. Well it's off to bed for me now, one more twelve hour night to go and then off for a week catching up on quality time with Clare.

Thank you for reading, take care,



Le Loup said...

Perhaps they are there to dig the area up. Wild boar have dug up our creek flats again and made a right mess of it!

Murphyfish said...

Hi Le Loup,
you could well be right, the ground within the dry stone walling has not been cultivated for some decades.

Little Messy Missy said...

Beautiful pics!!!What a lovely place to go hiking.

Bob Mc said...

I’ve known the Forest Service here about to use goats to eat down grass and weeds from around newly planted pine trees without damage to the trees. I think Le Loup may have the answer in your case. Pigs would certainly tear up the ground within that walled area; but to what purpose?

Shoreman said...

Hey John. They certainly are cute, but Lucy still tops the list.


Bill said...

Well it looks and sounds like both you and Lucy enjoyed yourselves. Very nice pictures as well! Be sure and let us know what the hogs are there for if you find out. I've never seen or heard of anything like that. I'm not sure what I'd think if I came up on something like that in the woods. lol

Anonymous said...

I have a little experience with Old Spots! If you count watching an episode of Two Fat Ladies that had some in it...

Thanks for sharing John, and I really like the picture of the poppies against that wall. And it looks like you have lots of evergreens in your area. Love it.

Anonymous said...

I have "no' good reasonable response to why they are there, but, will be interested in reading what you come up with after pondering on it a bit.
You and Lucy have a great day!

Leigh said...

Great pics and what an amazing surprise! I will be very interested in your findings as why they were there. Very neat! I am wondering... Why Apple Sauce? :)

Murphyfish said...

Messy Missy,
Thank you, and yes I’m blessed and spoilt by the local country side.

I too agree with Le Loup’s theory upon this matter, but as to the purpose?

Now you’re making Lucy a little bashful….

Cheers for the comment, as soon as I find out anything I’ll post the info.

Hey Casey,
Mmmmm, I do believe that these little porkers get me and you thinking upon the same lines…
Thanks for dropping by.

Hey Mel,
Thank you for dropping by my good man, as soon as I know, you’ll know.

Hi Leigh,
If you could have seen Lucy’s reaction when she first spotted them then that indeed was the very meaning of surprise, like a jack rabbit bouncing back n forth!
Have you never had a joint of pork, crackling just right, rich gravy with a dollop of home made apple sauce washed done with a pint (or two) of cloudy cider? oh happy days indeed…..

Take care all, your friend,

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

I giggled when I read Leigh's comment. Applesauce is her cat's name! LOL

Murphyfish said...

Hi Karen,
Oops I'd forgot that bit!! Thanks for dropping by (and pointing that out LOL)

Wolfy said...


I am suffering from the effects of "not enough time disease", also known as Non-Posting -itis. As guilty as I feel for not posting my own pieces, I think I feel worse about not commenting on my friends blogs. Like yours.

(At what point did our Blogs go from being a "slice of our lives" and beginning owning us???)

Anyway, I'm back, and as usual, love your new piece, especially the newly found Oinkers. The only fear I have is that ethy getout ofthe remote penned area - they are among the most destructive creatures on earth when they go from domestic to feral.

But they ALWAYS tast e good!

Murphyfish said...

Hello Wolfy,
Yes your right, there is definitely something about this blogging which takes on an importance of its own. The feeling of not having that interaction, whether writing, commenting on or being commented upon with folks such as your good self, Casey (owl), Keith (Le Loup) to name but a few does seem to leave a slight void, almost as if one is letting folks down in a strange way. But we all have lives to lead, and if we didn't live them to the full, what an earth would there be to write about?
One thing that I do find though, my life is certainly far the richer for the meeting (if only electronically)of your self and the others, it would certainly be an achievement if that someday I could meet some of you in the flesh to swap our tales around a fire over a brew, another one for the Bucket list?
Keep well,

Damn The Broccoli said...

Distructive as the porkers are they won't destroy a full forest, in fact some of the old breeds do particularly well. Is there a possible plan to release them back into the wild afoot? I believe they have restored wild boar to some parts of scotland.

I'm not sure they are tamworths, I'm no expert but all the tamworths I have ever seen have been pure, not a single bit of black on them, I reckon they might just be Oxford Sandy and Blacks.

An excellent find though, I look forward to reading more about them.