What have they done to my park?

2 Comments

One of the parks we visit regularly, especially while we are confined to staying within Glasgow city boundaries, is Pollok Park. During lock-down, it has become very busy, along with all the other parks in Glasgow (and the whole of the UK, I expect).

Pollok House (before covid)

Last year, the Council published new proposals for the park, mainly to remove traffic from its core (as there is a road running through it). Many people welcomed the general idea but not all the details, especially charging Glasgow residents like us for the car park! I’m not as young as I used to be so walking from our house to the park and back again would leave me a bit tired so I wouldn’t have as much time to be off-lead in the woods and fields 😦

I won’t bore you with all the details of what we didn’t like. But, even if flawed, I guess at least there would be a peripheral car park and a bus running from it to the centre of the park.

But now the council has closed the park to traffic at weekends and the entire Easter school break. There is no car park yet, no bus, no bike parking, no exceptions for blue badge holders. Is it any wonder that the local surrounding roads are crammed with parked cars? Including ours!

To add insult to injury, now I’m not s’posed to walk in the woods. It’s to protect the bluebells which are being trampled (even though we’re pretty careful to stick to paths in the woods) and it’s for the whole of April and May. Although we don’t like all the new paths & bike tracks that have appeared over this last year, we reckon the bluebells will recover nicely once the humans are allowed to go to other places like beaches and gyms and cinemas and shops and stuff. Instead, we’re meant to stay on the formal paths which are already very crowded. Truth be told, we use the woods to escape from all the people!

Bluebell woods in better days

I’m not sure if we will be going back. My BH grumped about it all the way round the park yesterday, and has written a letter to the Glasgow papers about it today as she’s still grumpy!

January journeys

1 Comment

We might not be going very far, thanks to this virus thingy, but we do still get out every day* for at least one walk in a park.

*except when I was ill… I had a very poorly tummy at the start of January, and had to go stay at the vet hospital for a couple of days. I wasn’t eating and even threw up all the water I drank. I think my BH was a bit worried, and I definitely didn’t feel well. They did scans and took some of my blood to check. They thought it was something called (checks spelling) “pancreatitis” cos one test said that I did.

Eventually I was better enough to go home, with strict instructions to rest, not go for long walks, and take all my meds.

They shaved my tummy so they could see inside better…
…so I spent my days wrapped up & snoozing
….or just watching the world go by (and barking when they did!)

We did go for some short on-lead walks but, to be honest, I didn’t feel up to much and we quite often just went long enough for me to do the toilet and then I headed back to the car.

I wasn’t getting better, though, and BH was a bit worried. But then the vet rang to say they had the detailed results from my blood, and it wasn’t pancreatitis after all! Turns out I didn’t have enough of something called B12, and that can make tummies very poorly too. Who knew? The sort of good news is that they can give you injections of this B12 to make you better, and I have been going every week for those. I might not much like getting jags but I do like that they are making me feel better.

So actually quite a lot of my January journeys have been to the vet! I’m happy to report that my tummy is now (paws crossed) behaving quite well and I’m back to enjoying my walks in the parks 🙂 I’m back exploring and sniffing and running around, so life is good!

There are fallen tree roots to explore…
…and holes to dig in

The weather in January was an odd mixture of being very cold (brrr, but at least the mud freezes over) or very wet (and very muddy).

A snowy day in Pollok Park
….and in Queens Park

Either way, I manage better with my four paws than my BH who slips & slides on both ice and mud! She prefers the ice because at least she can put gripper things on her boots to stop her sliding. They don’t work in mud though 🙂

Even though we tend to go to the same parks all the time, we do try to find different paths in them. Especially when they are busy, we look for people-free places. We tried a new route at Linn Park, not up by the golf course this time but along the other side of the river. It was okay, I guess, but a bit boring as it was an out-and-back walk rather than a circle. We did get a great view of the falls, though. They were very noisy!

The very noisy Linn Falls

Another park with a noisy waterfall is Rouken Glen park. It’s just outside Glasgow but fortunately we’re allowed to go up to 5 miles away from our council boundary for exercise. We don’t go very often, as we tend to “stay local”, but it’s nice to go for a change.

We had a geography lesson today… My BH was interested to find out more about the burns and rivers we’ve seen so often. The White Cart Water goes through Linn Park and Pollok Park. The Auldhouse Burn runs through Rouken Glen and then, after wandering around the southside for a bit, eventually flows into the White Cart between Linn and Pollok. Later on the White Cart and the Black Cart Waters join forces to create the very short River Cart, which almost immediately flows into the River Clyde.

Personally, I just like sniffing, exploring and the occasional paddle!

Gotcha Day #11

Leave a comment

Woo hoo, today is my Gotcha Day! 11 years ago today, when I was 8 weeks old, my Beloved Human and her sister and daughter collected me from where I was born and drove me all the way to Glasgow (about 300 miles)…

She first met me when I was just 3 weeks old…
…and I behaved very well on the long drive

When I got to my new home, I was introduced to my crate and played a lot, but I eventually just crashed out (as did my BH!).

We’ve come a long way since those days, but I have never ever wished for a different life. You can read about some of our adventures elsewhere on this blog if you feel like it!

In search of space…

1 Comment

With all this virus thingy being easier to catch, it seems, we’ve been looking for places to walk without meeting too many people. Not easy, as all our parks are awash with people! We’ve also been sticking to parks that are closer to home, even though we’re allowed to go a bit further.

At Queens Park, our nearest park, it’s really hard to avoid people, especially when the pond freezes over.

This fur was playing Fetch on the ice!

The pond was way busier than this on previous days (and was even in the papers!), but we decided not to go when it was so busy.

Sadly, not everyone clears up afterwards 😦

At Pollok Park, there are some places where you can escape from people, like in the (very muddy) woods and on the playing fields.

Room in the fog at the fields…

But some of the paths there are just hoaching with people (that’s Scottish for “crowded”), and many of them have no clue about two meters or even single file…

The path more travelled… we stayed off it!

So yesterday we went back to Linn Park, a park that we haven’t visited very often for some reason. We’re getting to know it, though, and yesterday we found LOADS of space…

So I think we might be going back there more often! Which is just fine with me, as I think there are rabbits on the golf course, and they leave tasty treats around for me to find…

Goodbye to 2020!

3 Comments

Nicking an idea from Dexter (@rescuedogdexter), I thought I’d do a round-up of last year to see what I’d be glad to see the back of and maybe some good stuff that came out of it, and look forward to a brighter, healthier and more sociable year in 2021. But the trouble is, quite a lot of the stuff I’d be happy to wave goodbye to has come back again, right at the start of this new year 😦

At least this new lock-down isn’t quite as restrictive as last spring. For example, we can go out for exercise more than once a day here in Scotland (I think it’s different in England, not sure about the other nations). Sadly, I doubt it will stop me getting my annual check-up and “jags” (that’s Scottish for “injections”) from the vet at the end of the month! And it’s easier to get food delivered now, which is VERY important to me 🙂

So instead of worrying about the bad stuff, I thought I’d cheer myself up by remembering some of the good bits of 2020. And paws crossed that we have lots more of the good bits in 2021, even if not yet.

Holidays

We didn’t get away to either of our booked holidays this year. We go to Forest Lodges generally, cos they have loads of lovely walks for me and a hot tub for my BH and her pal. But we couldn’t go, so instead we and BH’s pal, Ally, had a virtual holiday instead. We did loads of the things we would normally do, just at each of our homes (she lives a long way away from us) – so we went for walks, went to gardens, had ice cream, and special meals including one for the humans by Zoom! It wasn’t the same as a real holiday but we made it special.

Chores

Doesn’t sound like a good thing, does it? But during the first lock-down, my BH did get lots of stuff done that she’s been meaning to do forEVER. Like shred all her old business paperwork. You have to keep it for years, but after a while you are allowed to get rid of it. So it is all shredded or recycled. The only snag is that the shreddings are for BH’s sister who uses it as horse bedding. There are LOTS of bags sitting in the spare room, waiting to be taken to her. Thankfully, the restrictions that mean it has to stay there for now are also the restrictions that stop anyone coming to use the spare room – a silver lining!

Another big job was to clear out and tidy up the cellar. It’s a walk-in cellar, not enough to make it into proper rooms, but enough to use it as a giant storage place and garden shed, so there was LOADS of stuff to tidy up. With the local “tip” closed, we had to wait a bit to get rid of some of it, and we created a special place for Stuff That Is Waiting To Go Somewhere:

The waiting room for Stuff…

The bookcase itself is also waiting to go somewhere (it was meant to go to a local charity shop to be made into shelves). We managed to give away a fair amount of things to our neighbours too (some of the Stuff is for them). Which brings me to the next good thing…

Neighbours

Where we live, the neighbours in our immediate streets started something called a WhatsApp group way back in March 2020. It was to help each other if people needed food or medicine but couldn’t go to the shops, or didn’t want to go if they were old or vulnerable for some reason. People did lots of that, as everyone was very helpful. Sometimes they could lend things so the person didn’t have to buy a new one, or they had stuff to give away (because there was a lot of clearing out going on – see Chores!). We managed to give away lots of cleared stuff to neighbours, who sometimes left home baking or herbs or plants as a thank you. We have got to know lots more of our neighbours through this group 🙂

And now it’s doing more than just helping out or sharing or giving away things. Some new groups started as a result, like a parents’ group, an Eco group and event groups when we did some (distanced) events in the streets. Like a Hallowe’en window event. It wasn’t possible to do the normal “guising” (Scottish version of trick or treat) so instead people decorated their windows with a puzzle or joke, and the children could walk round with their mum & dad, complete the quiz, and get treats at home afterwards.

T’internet

Thank goodness for the internet. We’ve learned how to Zoom (not the same as zoomies, I have discovered, nor is it as much fun usually!), and I know to go and hide if I don’t want to be on camera. We’ve been to loads of meetings online, some fun, some more boring. But an unexpected benefit for my BH was being able to go to ones she wouldn’t have travelled to. For example, she “went” to loads of the Edinburgh International Book Festival talks in the summer. She’d never have been able to do that in person, mostly cos of me. She’s hoping lots of events next year will do a blend of online and in-real-life (assuming “in real life” is an option, which is not guaranteed!).

Friends & family

We might not have been able to see as much of each other as we would have liked, but we have stayed in touch. By phone and online. Sometimes we even have meals together by Zoom (like for BH’s birthday). And for local friends, we have been able to go out for walks-at-a-distance. We’ve been to the local parks, mostly with doggy pals.

So I’ll finish with a few photos of our walks and the parks…

There’s been quite a lot of good things to look back on, so we’re hoping there’ll be good things to look forward to in 2021 as well.

Farewell to agility (sort of)

5 Comments

We had always planned that I would go to fewer shows in 2020, as I’m getting older (nearly 11 now!), and that I’d probably run in “veteran” or “anysize” classes so I could jump at a lower height. What we hadn’t planned on was this nasty pandemic. Not a single show was held for months, and they’re only just beginning to run shows again.

So I officially retired this summer.

Made it to Grade 6 (out of 7).

And got my Silver Agility Warrant.

And won lots of rosettes.

There’s actually one missing 😦 I came second in the Scottish Agility League for Small/Grade 6 and we were supposed to collect it this summer at a show, but the show was cancelled. So sometime, maybe, hopefully, I’ll have that final big pink & blue rosette to put on my 2019 banner…

I’m quite proud of how we did, especially as we only started training for fun and to try to tire me out (it didn’t work when I was younger but it does now!). My BH got quite good at making sure I knew where to go in the ring, so she deserves some credit too 🙂

2020 © Julie Broadfoot

I haven’t completely hung up my agility collar & lead though.

I should say that I have a special collar & lead for agility. In case you’re not familiar with the rules, you’re not allowed to have dangly bits on your collar when you are running around a ring in a competition. Some dogs run without collars, but my BH isn’t too keen on that for some reason. So I have a special collar with a different kind of name-tag on it – it’s flat and doesn’t dangle. It’s on a special lead too so, when I see that lead & collar, I know some agility is about to happen!

I’m still going to training classes, when lock-down restrictions permit, because I do still love all that running and jumping and weaving and the seesaws and especially tunnels (I am a terrier, after all – just love going into dark holes!). So I haven’t completely given up agility, just the competing. And I do jump at a lower height (it’s called “micro”) to protect my legs from being sore.

A couple of weeks ago, we went for a different sort of training session though. My good friend @JulieBee is a very good photographer (humans AND anipals), and my BH wanted one last set of agility photos. So I had to run and jump and sit nicely for the camera, and I think the results are pretty good, if I say so myself!

We had great fun 🙂

It’d wouldn’t be the full story, though, if I didn’t say a HUUUUGE Thank You to @RossAllanVet at the Roundhouse here in Glasgow. When I was a pupster, my knee kept slipping and I couldn’t run around at all. Ross-the-Vet operated on my knee & reshaped it. It wasn’t much fun, it was sore and I was in my crate for DAYS and DAYS afterwards, but it was worth it. Without that op, I’d never have been able to do agility – so thanks, Ross-the-Vet.

PS If anyone wants great photos taken (subject to travel restrictions & distancing just now, but hopefully not forever), you can find @JulieBee here and you’ll find me on this page!

Outings in October

Leave a comment

Well, sadly, our planned-for holiday at the end of September and beginning of October didn’t happen, just like our planned holiday in May didn’t happen. We didn’t do another virtual holiday, though we did have a virtual dinner with our friend Carolyn who was meant to be with us.

Instead of heading to Ardgartan near Arrochar, we were going back to more familiar haunts. We couldn’t go to all of them because, under October COVID restrictions, we were limited to our health board area. I’m not exactly sure what a health board is, but happily ours (BH says it is NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde) turned out to be HUGE!

Our health board area – big, isn’t it?!

We normally go to Mugdock Country Park once a week, but most of that was outside the border. But we spotted that the Drumclog Moor area was just inside it, so off we went to explore that a bit more, helped by a park map to find some new paths.

We headed out from the car park across some very boggy ground (lovely!) then some bracken-y bits, and soon found ourselves in the woods. That’s my very favourite kind of walking and I felt like a puppy again, running around and sniffing everywhere.

One reason I like the Drumclog walks is that, one way or another, we end up down by the river and I get to chase sticks. The only time my BH ever throws me a stick is into water… so a stick is tossed into the water and I dash in to nab it and bring it back. It’s brilliant!

Then I have to dry myself off on the grass!

We were also able to go visit Lang Craigs at Overtoun again, on another lovely day. It was VERY busy because the Woodland Trust had something on that day but we eventually got parked and headed off to the peace and quiet of the woodland and moorland walks.

It was also quite windy that day though!

One ear flapping in the wind…

And then it was back to the sculptures, the big house and the car park…

We didn’t ignore our most local park though. Queens Park is at the bottom of our road, and we go there most days for my first-thing-in-the-morning walk. Although, with the colder & wetter weather, I confess it is not always first thing nowadays.

One morning, we had a lovely rainbow over our road and at the park…

But my favourite view in the park is not of rainbows or autumn leaves…

Spot the squirrel!

The last walk to write about was another one we’d never done before. Once again, it was our friends Bella & her human (@aitchbea1) who introduced us to it.

We went to a place by the River Clyde called Boden Boo, which is a very odd name, I think.

It is right by a HUGE bridge called the Erskine Bridge.

Me and Bella get on pretty well by ignoring each other 🙂

It was another sunny day, with lovely colours…

Just like at Overtoun, there are some interesting sights along the way. The walk is right by the Erskine Village, which looks after veterans, which may explain one of the sights.

That building looked very interesting and I wanted to explore it, but I wasn’t allowed. It’s a “piggery”, I was told, but I couldn’t spot any pigs-in-residence.

Anyway, Boden Boo rounded off our collection of great walks in October. Sadly, the more recent restrictions in Glasgow limit us to the city council area (much smaller) so we won’t be visiting some of these places again for a while 😦

‘Til the next time, ke-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ep walking!

PS in case you are wondering, it’s not always lovely weather on our walks, but my BH doesn’t like getting her phone or camera wet when the weather’s miserable!

Lock-down outings

Leave a comment

Well, it’s been a funny old year so far, hasn’t it? We were confined to the house for weeks, only allowed out for one exercise walk a day (didn’t like that) and BH has been stressed and alternately busy with projects around the house or fed-up and lazy! Our holiday was cancelled so we had a virtual one instead. And I had colitis more often under early lock-down than in the whole of the two years before it 😦

But things have improved now that we can get out and about a bit more. My BH is still not going to shops, let alone restaurants or pubs, but we have been out more often and been able to go further afield for our walks this past few weeks.

During the first part of lock-down, we only went to our two local parks (Queen’s Park & Pollok Park).

I usually have to be on the lead in Queen’s Park. It’s a shame cos there’s quite often food left lying around by careless humans, and there’s lots of squirrels, and even the rabbits have started coming back (lots died off due to a rabbit illness the last couple of years). But it’s surrounded by busy roads and the gates are all left open, so it’s not safe or so BH says. Personally, I think it’s cos she doesn’t like me tidying up the tasty mess left behind by other humans. I think I’m performing a public service, but she’s not convinced.

Sometimes, though, for a great treat I’m allowed off the lead to chase a squirrel or three:

Ooooh, squirrels!

Pollok Park is great (when it’s not too busy – avoiding the crowds during lock-down was a real problem, especially in the first phases). We like to head into the woods best of all.

Of course, there were some days when I preferred NOT to go for a walk at all!

No thanks, it’s too wet for a walk…

When we were allowed to go a bit further, up to 5 miles from home, that meant we could go back to Rouken Glen, one of my favourite parks.

Rouken Glen has a river running through it where I can drink and paddle when it’s hot, and some waterfalls for the humans to admire. It was so hot in spring, though, that the falls didn’t have much water.

Not much water coming over those falls on our first visit back…

One of the things all the parks had in common in early summer was ducks and ducklings. Sadly I wasn’t allowed to chase any of them!

In June, I got a new bionic eye (well, I had a cataract removed) and that restricted my walking for a couple of weeks. Not only on-lead but in-harness too, as I wasn’t allowed to pull. We went to another local park for that, Maxwell Park. Not much fun with a doughnut round my neck for the first week!

The op also meant we had to go on several visits to the Small Animal Hospital. It’s quite a large hospital, so I don’t know why they call it that! Anyway, once I was allowed proper walks again, we took the chance to meet up with our friend Bella and her human (@aitchbea1). She took us to a new walk in the woods at Cairnhill Woods, pretty much just across the road from the hospital. They’re lovely woods, but there were a few unexpected anipals in there…

Once we could go more than 5 miles, we were able to go back to Mugdock Park on the north side of Glasgow. We’ve been back a few times now.

It’s a great park cos it’s got a big moor for chasing balls, a loch to paddle in, a pond that used to have penguins, a castle to explore, and lots of shady paths among trees. It’s also got gun emplacements from a war, but we don’t go there much – there’s a lovely view but I have to be on the lead cos they’re in a field with cows and sheep.

One time we went there with our pals Morna and Bertie – in different cars and distancing as we walked (not easy for us dogs!). We four go for a walk in Queen’s Park each Monday morning but Mugdock is a special treat.

One other trip we did was to a beach in Ardrossan, on the west coast. Normally we only go there to get the ferry over to Arran. But my BH’s sister and her family came up for a few days to live on their motorboat – no idea why – it’s even smaller than our old motorhome! We went to visit for an afternoon, keeping outside and distanced as best we could. We had a lovely walk on the beach there:

So that’s been a few of my walks during this very different year… We’re hoping to get away for a few days in a Forest Lodge next month – paws crossed!

Our virtual holiday – lockdown style

6 Comments

We had a return trip booked to Strathyre for this week, but we’ve had to postpone that – to NEXT YEAR!! 😦

Instead, my Beloved Human (BH, for short) and her pal, Ally, decided to have a virtual holiday instead. They even did a Facebook page about it, so I thought I’d capture the holiday-that-wasn’t as my “holiday” post this year. It’s a mix of what we have done this year, and what we did last year.

So here’s where we would have been staying…

On the plus side, NOT going away meant that there was no packing or driving to be done. I’m okay with driving, as I just snuggle down on the back seat and look forward to our adventures, but for some reason I hate being there when BH is packing and get very stressed by it.

On the other hand, instead of packing, it looked like the BH was wrapping up our living room…

‘parently, the windows were taped to stop dust coming in

I love my food, as most dogs do and as my friends know well, but the humans do too, and they like to make tasty meals when they’re on holiday. So there were quite a few photos of food being posted on Facebook by them…

My meals weren’t quite so varied! And no-one took a picture of any of them, for some reason.

One of the things we like to do when we go away is visit gardens (as long as they are dog-friendly) but we’ve been a bit restricted this year. We did find this wonderful wheelbarrow in our local park’s more formal garden:

But mostly we were restricted to admiring our own garden. Which is looking quite nice, I have to say.

I try to get my BH to throw a ball for me when we’re out in the garden but she mostly ignores me when I drop it at her feet when she’s weeding. You’d think she’d appreciate the distraction!

To begin with, the humans were quite happy that the weather wasn’t as good as last year, but then it improved and they missed being in Strathyre a bit more.

The sun came out by halfway through the week…

Last year, when it was a hot day, we stopped for some ice cream after our walk, so I reminded BH about that. This year I got bits of the ice cream lolly (the last one in the freezer). Last year was better as I got to lick two tubs clean!

this year … and … last year

Our walks this year were all in Pollok Park, the nearest park where I’m allowed off the lead. The bluebells were lovely reminding us of the ones we saw in Strathyre last year.

top: Pollok Park
bottom: by Loch Venachar (I think!)

We had some lovely walks during our holiday week, especially once the sun came out! So here are some comparisons with last year:

You can work out which is where fairly easily!
left & top: Pollok
bottom: Strathyre

One thing we noticed in Pollok is that lots of people seem to have built shelters during this period, some much more robust than others:

At home, lots of things kept arriving in the post. We have a quarantine system, so that things aren’t generally handled or opened for a couple of days. Instead they sit in a queue waiting to be opened. I wouldn’t mind usually, but one of these has lots of my chewy duck and chicken twists in it!

See the large brown packet…….

On what would have been the last night of the holiday, my BH and her friend Ally (and partner Tony) had a virtual dinner. It went very well for them, though I was ignored for the best part of 2 hours 😦

Last-night-of-the-holiday meal

And with that, the virtual holiday was over and we went back to normal “lockdown life”. Not very different, to be honest!

Sunshine in Strathyre – May 2019

4 Comments

We enjoyed our holiday at Ardgartan last year, so we decided to go to another Forest Holiday site at Strathyre this year. It wasn’t a difficult decision as these places are VERY fur friendly and, sure enough, there were lots of furry friends staying the same week as us. As well as our friend, Ally, of course, who came to Ardgartan with us last year.

strathyre map
Here’s where we were staying

There are lots of Forest Holiday places to stay – this signpost points to all the others!

strathyre 2019 0-2

The cabin looks a bit different to last year. This year, our bedroom was up some stairs, which was fine, but the bathroom smelled of pee and the man who came to spray it said it was “pet pee”, looking at me!! How rude…

cabin
Our deck got the morning sun…
hot tub
…and had the obligatory hot tub for the humans

The other thing we noticed was that there were no hooks for coats or dog towels. Not one! And the place for boots and shoes was nowhere near the door but in the living room. It was fine for us because we had a nice sunny dry week, but I’m not sure what it would be like if it was wet (this is Scotland, after all!).

They did have some hooks at a special place for dogs outside the main building though…

dog parking sign and hooks
Not so sure about being “parked” outside!

The cabin information said dogs weren’t allowed in the shop, but they seemed to be okay with me being at the reception desk and they even had a big jar of cookies for their doggy visitors 🙂

Once we’d settled in, me and @HeatherAlex went for a walk. We did part of the walk on the map above, setting off up the side of Loch Lubnaig.

strathyre 2019 4
Lots of new sniffs…
strathyre 2019 5
…just right for a spot of woogling 🙂

Some of the track was quite rough with new stones put down and it was a bit sore on my paws so I dawdled a bit, I confess, but it got better once we were up higher and I enjoyed it more then.

view across the loch
Nice views…
Ben Ledi
…with Ben Ledi in sight

We decided to take the short cut back to the site as we were getting hungry, and that turned out to be a much nicer path for my paws.

shortcut to cabins sign
A helpful signpost when you’re hungry…
tennis ball
I even found a ball to play with!
path to cabins
It’s a much nicer path (and it’s downhill!)

The next day we went for a walk in the village of Strathyre itself, which is up a bit further beyond the loch. We followed the walk described on the WalkHighlands site (we use that site a lot to find our walks in Scotland), which is a bit longer than the one shown on the trail sign.

path guide
We came down on the blue trail

This walk has a little bit of everything…

wood carving - eagle
…sculptures…
strathyre 2019 13
…history…

That’s part of a “broch”, an ancient type of building which only seems to be found in Scotland.

metal highland coo
…more sculptures…
war memorial
…memorials…
path by stream
…and a lovely path through the woods
silhouette pic
Sometimes I do wonder about the humans…

After the woods, we ended up on a forest road for a little while. The humans played spot-the-butterfly for a while, which I found very boring. Apparently they were “orange-tips“, as the boy butterflies have (you guessed it) orange tips on their wings. They are, I admit, quite pretty but once you’ve spotted one or two, they do all look the same and I wasn’t sure why we had to keep looking for them…

forest track
Lots of orange-tips were spotted along here…

The way back to the village was down a very different kind of forest track. It’s named after Don MacCaskill, a forester and naturalist who helped change the way the Forestry Commission looks after its forests.

strathyre 2019 21

This path was among less dense forest, with native trees, shrubs and berries – all  advocated by Don. It leads to a memorial to him and his work, and is a really lovely path.

Another REALLY good thing about this walk is that it ends up at The Broch. Not the ancient building but a fur-friendly cafe with outside and inside seating. And ice cream!!

metal/wood bikes as seats
Sitting patiently by the seats/sculpture…
licking ice cream tub
…earns me my reward!

That afternoon, me and @HeatherAlex went on our now-regular walk along the lochside, not least because there are some great spots for playing Fetch with a stick in the water (the only time I ever get to fetch a stick is from water, no idea why). And when it’s warm, like it was for our holiday, a wee black dog like me just loves splashing about in some nice cool water.

But when we went back to the swim-for-a-stick spot, there’s was all this gunk along the shore. And we’d passed a large truck saying “Drainage” on it at one of the cabins by the lochside, so she was a bit nervous about me swimming in it 😦

But when we checked back at the Forest Retreat, they said it was just pollen and we shouldn’t worry about it. I refrained from saying “I told you it’d be fine”. So we went back for a swim 🙂

When I get out of the water, I just have to rub myself down on the grass…

strathyre 2019 35
…and then a good shake!

We did that walk at least once a day and it was lovely, with gorgeous bluebells much of the way along it.

strathyre 2019 33
Beautiful place for an afternoon stroll…
strathyre 2019 34

We met all sorts of folk – children, cyclists, dogs – enjoying it, and I was VERY well-behaved. I sat down at the side out of the way when cyclists came and I was nice to the other dogs, for a change 😉

The next day, we went with Ally to walk by another loch, Loch Venachar. More great views, more bluebells and a small lochan (that’s like a baby loch) to explore.

loch venachar
Another day, another loch…

…and a lochan. Nice place for a picnic in the sunshine, complete with a treat for me 🙂

And the walk back to the car was equally beautiful.

The next day, Ally decided to go look for evidence of beavers further north, so we headed off to a nearby walk: the Bracklinn Falls.

strathyre 2019 47

It’s quite a popular walk, and one we’ve done before, but it wasn’t too busy when we set out in the morning.

There are better views these days as you head out on the path to the falls, as quite a lot of the trees have been cut down.

view from path
You can see much further nowadays…
dog on stump
A new addition to my #StumpClub collection!

There’s lots of information about the falls and the new bridge, but I was keen to explore.

strathyre 2019 52

For a long time after the floods, there was no bridge at all but then they built a new one. It’s quite impressive.

strathyre 2019 54

We hadn’t had a lot of rain so the falls didn’t have as much water as last time, but they were still good to look at.

We crossed to the other side to walk through the woods. There was one quite steep bit, and someone (naming no names) was definitely slower and out of breath.

strathyre 2019 57
Even the zig zags didn’t help…
dog on path
…and I had to wait for her at the top

We followed the track through the trees till we got to a good viewpoint.

view to north
At the highest point…

We’d planned to walk the route as described but when we got to this point, we could see just how much of it was back along a road. A quiet country road, but still a road. And I would have to be on the lead for all of that. So in the end we turned round and went back the way we’d come, enjoying all the views again on the way back (which was much busier by then).

That afternoon, we went back along “our” loch (Loch Lubnaig) and I went for yet another swim.

strathyre 2019 63
dog on stones
Complete with a woogle on the beach to dry off…

On our last day, we went back to do the Strathyre village walk again, but this time just following the blue trail. Truth be told, the humans just wanted an excuse to go to The Broch for lunch before heading home! I wasn’t going to disagree, because I did get some of their extremely delicious chips 🙂

As you can probably tell, we all enjoyed ourselves again this year. The cabin wasn’t quite as good as last year but the walks in the area were much easier to get to, so we’ve booked to go back next year already! It helped that there was a nice juicy discount for booking ahead while we were there – and I got a tasty biscuit while @HeatherAlex did the paperwork.

We also got to pick our cabin (which normally costs extra) and that was really handy. As I said, we had lots of dogs as neighbours and they walked past our cabin quite a lot and I was a bit barky whenever that happened. So for next year we have a cabin that doesn’t have so much of a path running across in front of the deck. She thinks that means I will be a bit quieter! 😉

I’m already looking forward to my next holiday 🙂

Older Entries