Tuesday, October 21, 2008

22 October: Wednesday Walk 1

An overcast day. The clouds were clinging to the Pennines, and the wind was coming from the South West. (It normally comes from the West, but this year has not been normal - the wind has blown from the East for days at a time, and from the North too.)

Chilly in the wind, where we were glad of our woolly hats, but warmer in the shelter of the trees further on.

This field was harvested only last week. The wheat didn't look too good to the non-farming eye, but the grain-dryers are going full blast in the local farmyards, so the crop must be worth at least the cost of the diesel for the machines.

After the agricultural section of the walk is the "industrial heritage" part.

Dr. Beeching and his pruning of the railway network have been topical recently; as there were hundreds of mines in County Durham, there were hundreds of railways and little wagon ways to move the coal on its journey to the fires and furnaces of homes and industry. As a result, we are now blessed with lots of "dismtd rly" on our local maps. Even when the tracks are no longer marked as old railway lines, the cuttings and embankments tell their tale.

There is a chance of fruit on this walk, as there are sloe and hazel trees along the lane, and brambles galore in the hedges. At one particularly good spot by the old railway track, within 10 yards you can pick as many blackberries as you can carry home. In a good year - which this wasn't.

A variety of trees are maturing on each side of the track. The ash tree has already shed nearly all its leaves -


while the oak is only just beginning to change colour. Next year's buds are ready and waiting -

And then we come to the birches - beautiful at any time of the year -

That walk is a regular favourite. Where will next week's walk go?

1 comment:

Murph said...

You can't beat a sloe walk with hazel.

Birch Avenues are very nice.