A walk at the wind “farm”

3 Comments

Back in April, we went (with our friends Morna & Finzi) to visit our nearest wind farm as there are lots of tracks there to walk on in between the windmills.

Now I have to be honest and say that @HeatherAlex is not a huge fan of so-called wind farms. In fact, she prefers to call them “wind factories” as she says they are more industrial than pastoral (I’m not sure about all these long words so I hope I’ve spelled them properly!). And that they are not always good for wild land or for wild birds, even if they do provide electricity for all sorts of things. So I have decided not to worry about all that*, but just to tell you about our walk instead.

It’s called Whitelee Windfarm and it’s south of Glasgow with views over the Clyde.

wind blade

A gen-yoo-ine windmill blade…it’s HUGE!

There are loads and LOADS of windmills everywhere you look…

2017-04 whitelee windfarm 1

There are lots of tracks between them too

These windmills are very tall. And they are very noisy too – I wasn’t expecting that.

2017-04 whitelee windfarm 9

You can see some of the tracks from the highest point, Blackwood Hill:

2017-04 whitelee windfarm 7

And there’s a nice view of Arran too:

2017-04 whitelee windfarm 3

After we’d been for our walk, we went for tea and cake at the cafe. We dogs are allowed in the outside seating area – good job it wasn’t raining (although it was a wee bit chilly, it has to be said).

There’s a picture frame for the windmills there too, which seemed a bit odd:

2017-04 whitelee windfarm 4

Not sure why you need a picture frame??

Overall, it was good to go and explore it, but it wasn’t the best walk we’ve been on. The tracks are quite hard and not great for playing Fetch with my ball. And the ground in between the tracks is very rough and bumpy, and definitely not very suitable for smaller dogs like me to run around in. And when we went up the hill, I had to be on the lead in case I chased after the sheep there. So – all in all – I’m glad I got to see the big windmills (and have some crisps that fell on the ground at the cafe) but I’m not sure I’ll be barking to go back there any time soon. I prefer forests and rivers!

* If you are interested in what people think about wind factories, there’s lots on the internet (for example, from the John Muir Trust which argues for keeping them out of wild land so that it stays wild).

Advertisements

Summer strolls in 2017

3 Comments

Time to catch up on some of my walks this past few months. I keep meaning to write about them as soon as I get home, but I usually end up zzzz’ing on the bed!

We’ve not been away for a proper holiday this year. Now that we’ve got Poggle, we’ve been to more agility shows with her and heading off again seems like a bit too much hard work. Maybe in the off-season…

But of course we have still been going for walks, visiting our local parks and some favourite spots. So here are some moments from the last few months.

We were at Mugdock recently and discovered that there’s a new village or two being built there. One of them is right by the castle…

film set - hut

Not quite finished yet…

film set 2

Still needs a roof…

And there were some more going to be built, it seems…

film set parts

Bits for building

Seems it is all to do with building a set for a film about Robert the Bruce, including two villages and stables and stuff. It’s quite exciting to see it being built, even if they have closed off some of our paths. (They were not supposed to close them so we’ve written to the council about that, but so far they haven’t replied!)

Sad news from Pollok Park though. Some vandals set fire to the Pollok Beech and it has been very badly damaged. The park rangers aren’t sure that they will be able to save it 😦 I’d like to bite the ankles of those stupid vandals! #grrrrrr

fire damage

The remains of the Pollok Beech 😦

We go to Pollok several times a week, and we did (amazingly) have the occasional sunny day πŸ™‚

panting Twiglet

Phew, it’s hot work chasing my ball!

I go for walks with my pals Murphy (round the corner) and Finzi (round a different corner). Me ‘n’ Murphy mostly go to Pollok Park cos he really really doesn’t like being driven in a car. He makes a LOT of noise! But Finzi doesn’t mind the car so we go to further away places, like the Loch Ard forest.

loch ard forest walk

There are a lots of steps on that hill!

In September, we took Poggle down south to visit @HeatherAlex’s family, partly because we needed to stay at a campsite for her sister’s Big Birthday (I’m not allowed to say how old she is, but it rhymes with “mixty” πŸ˜‰ )

One small snag with driving a motorhome is finding places where you can take her. Lots of our usual walking spots in Berkshire & Surrey have height restrictions at the parking entrances and so we couldn’t go there 😦  But I’m happy to say that The Lookout near Bracknell takes coaches so we fitted nicely in the coach parking area! The Lookout is set in Swinley Forest which is part of the Crown Estate.

van parked

Poggle at the Lookout

forest tracks

Walking the forest tracks

Our morning walks were on the nearby golf course and we didn’t have to drive there, which is nice. There are squirrels and deer there but no ducks, sadly.

golf course deer

That deer needed to be chased, right?

gold course pond

No ducks to bark at 😦

At the weekend, we headed a bit north for the birthday dinner and we stayed at a nice campsite, the Fir Tree Caravan Site near Banbury. They have a big field for walking us dogs and you can also head out into bigger walks, but we were only there one night so I didn’t get much chance to explore.

fir tree campsite

Lovely evening – Poggle is the small grey blob behind the lake…

And – coming up to date – last week me ‘n’ Finzi headed over Stirling way to climb Lewis Hill at North Third reservoir. We had a lovely walk – I love walking through woods, and there’s a great view from the top of the hill. We were lucky to get there before the rain set in. Which it did. Very heavily!

rainbow

Shame you have to have rain to have a rainbow!

We did get very wet! But then it all cleared up and the sun came out, and we all dried off nicely.

North 3rd

We were up there!

Well, we were drying off till us dogs decided to go for a paddle (me) and a swim (Finzi). Still, it was a lovely walk and we both slept all the way home!

That’s it for just now, hopefully I’ll persuade my typist to do a few more posts soon.

UPDATE: We went back to Mugdock today and the Castle Village is definitely taking shape:

Mind you, not all of them have back walls, just the front! And over the hill, there are more huts now:

village huts

More huts and an enclosure…

UPDATE 2:

They’ve been busy at the Castle Village in Mugdock – filming starts soon!

Collage 2017-10-23 16_24_30

First forays in the van

3 Comments

To be honest, the first time I was in the new van wasn’t exactly a foray as we didn’t move from the driveway. It was more a getting-to-know-you sort of a visit with Poggle.

The people had bubbly drinks and some crisps, and I had one of my favourite chews and some of their crisps. But it was bloomin’ cold, cos someone (naming no names) hadn’t managed to get the heating working*. So cold that everyone had their hats and coats on, and it wasn’t long before we came inside to the warm πŸ™‚

back in the house

Time to give up and head indoors!

But then we went for a proper day trip with Poggle to visit Aberfoyle. We picked it because it has a HUGE car park which meant we might not bump into anything πŸ™‚

We went with our friends Morna and Finzi, and we all behaved very well in the van. Finzi was on a rug on the floor and I was with Morna on the front passenger seat, watching the world from much higher than normal – I could see over hedges and everything!

The walk was fine, quite a lot of it on a track so I had to be on the lead and then we got to a loch and it got more interesting. For a start, I love sniffing around picnic tables in case people have dropped any food…

Not much to eat at this picnic table 😦

And then we found some metal wildlife! It’s all part of the Sculpture Trail (I’ve described the Loch Ard sculptures in some of my Big Walk posts) but we’d never been to this bit of it.

pike sculpture

There’s a big fish jumping out of the water!

 

dragonfly sculpture

…and a giant dragonfly hovering about the loch…

 

eagle sculpture

…and a massive bird on a pole

It was a very nice walk, we had some treats and then it was back to Poggle for the drive home. All in all, I quite liked my day out in Pog, so maybe I’ll enjoy her a bit more now.

Next, we’re going to try staying overnight in Poggle – wonder if I will like that?!? I very much hope the heating will be working!

 

* In fact, she spent the next 2 days worrying that she’d broken it until she realised she’d just done things in the wrong order (apparently there’s a lot you have to do EXACTLY right or it doesn’t work!)

At the Falls of Clyde

2 Comments

A couple of weekends ago, we went to do some agility training at a farm near Biggar (which isn’t very big, as it turns out).

I really enjoyed the training in the morning, practicing things that @HeatherAlex finds difficult (like running fast and right-handed weaves and things called “Ketschker turns”). By the end of the 2 hours, she was not bad at most of that. Well, not the running fast bit, but the rest of it πŸ˜‰

It was a bit of a drive to Biggar, so she decided we’d do a walk on the way home rather than go to one of our usual places. A wee detour off the route took us to the Falls of Clyde, a nature reserve on the River Clyde. With woods and a river, we thought it’d suit us perfectly.

We combined two of the waymarked trails for our walk (turns out we pretty much did the walk described on the WalkHighlands website). We missed the main car park and ended up in historic New Lanark by mistake but, as it wasn’t very busy, we were able to park there after all.

looking back to New Lanark

New Lanark

So….off we set.

hole in the wall

Why am I going the wrong way? We’re practicing “recall” πŸ™‚

The reserve is looked after by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, and they have done lots to make anipals feel more at home here. There are bats, badgers, peregrine falcons and otters, it seems, but I didn’t see any of them 😦

img_6121-768x1024

Checking out the start of our walk…

There was a big notice board with lots of warnings and instructions on it…

instruction board

Do I have to be on the lead?

It says I have to be under “close control”, mostly because there are some very steep sides where I could fall a long way down into rocks or the river. In those places, I was on the lead, but the rest of the time, I could run around and explore everything. That’s why we were practicing our recall, to make sure I remembered about being under close control πŸ™‚

path thru woods

The paths were good, with lots of sniffs…

boardwalk thru woods

…but I prefer being off the boardwalk…

Twiglet by the river

…and by the river is best!

I said I didn’t see any badgers, but I did, sort of. It was on the side of a building and it was HUGE!

badger painted

If I ignore it, maybe it won’t eat me…

The views were great as we walked up past the various falls (or “linns” as they call them), so here are a few pics of the river gorge and the linns.

view of gorge

Aren’t the colours lovely?

Corra Linn

Believe it or not…

img_6142-768x1024

…the falls are not as huge as they were…

img_6144-768x1024

…because lots of the water goes to the power station

Mind you, some of the water is kept for a water fountain, just for us anipals πŸ™‚

carved fountain

Perfect (slurp)…just what you need on a long walk πŸ™‚

Further along the river, there were – yes, you guessed it – more views of the river and linns…

river clyde

Can’t beat a colourful pic of a river and trees…

Bonnington Linn

…and more waterfalls…

On the way back, we took the Woodland trail, which looped up away from the river. It was surprising how quickly the trees shut out the noise of the river, which had been pretty loud when we were near it.

woodland trail

There’s a pinecone there, ready to be kicked…

In one place, they’d chopped down some trees, but they also planted some baby ones to take their place…

new plantings

Some of those baby trees look a bit crooked!

Finally, we came back to the river and walked back to New Lanark, in time for me to have my tea in the car and a snooze on the way home.

river view

A last look at the River Clyde before heading back to the car….

It was a great day. I think we’re going back to Biggar for more training, so maybe we’ll go back to the river as well.

A new path at Rouken Glen

2 Comments

They’ve been working on improvement projects at one of my favourite parks: Rouken Glen. There are new trees and a new fence (I can still get through it, phew!), but they have just opened the biggest project – a new path. Actually, I think it may be an old path as well, but in any case this week we went to explore it.

At one end of the glen walks, the end we usually go to, there are some steps. They’ve been there a long time, but they have had a makeover:

steps at Rooken Glen

Yes, those steps ARE squinty!

They go down at a funny angle, so the people going down find it a bit odd, but I just skip down them or run down the bank at the other side of the fence. Anyway, at the bottom, there’s now a new path going off to the right. We usually go left and down to the bridge over the water, but this time we decided to explore the new path.

new path at Rouken Glen

A new path to explore!

It all looks very new but there are some old foundations, metal rails, running under the new wooden path, so we think that maybe there was an old path there long ago. The new path has new foundations, but if you look back alongside it, you can see the old rails.

new path at Rouken Glen

Can you see the old path’s foundation?

After that section, we thought it was just going to be a normal path, but it looks like it would be very muddy walking, so they have built a brand-new boardwalk that goes for quite a way across to the bridge over the water.

new path at Rouken Glen

It’s all very new…

I quite liked the idea of exploring the muddy bits but I was asked not to, and as you know I’m very obedient (!) and decided I’d rather have the treats this time. Next time, who knows…? πŸ™‚

new path at Rouken Glen

There’s a bridge over the water too

There’s a mini waterfall here (there’s a much bigger one at the other end of the glen) but I couldn’t get down to the water.

The new path runs out just after this, but there’s still a track through the woods so we decided to see where it went. It turns out it goes to meet the paved track that runs alongside the golf course. There can be cars along there, and the golf course has no fence, so I was on the lead for a bit. Not so keen on that, to be honest, but it’s safer for me and the golf balls, I suppose. After a short walk, there was a signpost to go back into the park and the woods, so we did that and found ourselves at the bottom of the “puppy field” where we play Fetch. So I chased my ball lots and got very warm. For some reason, they’ve dug some big holes at the high part of the field, which was perfect for a nice muddy cooling dip.

puddle at Rouken Glen

Ahhh, a nice dip after all that walking!

@HeatherAlex wasn’t too happy with that, so I cheered her up by splashing around in the river later on and got rid of most of the mud πŸ™‚

I like the new walk but… with so much wood, there’s not a huge amount to sniff, and I don’t like having to be on the lead along the road, so I’m not sure if we’ll make it a regular part of our walks. It’s a nice path for people though, so I hope lots of them will find it and use it!

Queens Park through the year

3 Comments

Most mornings, me ‘n’ @HeatherAlex walk in our nearest park, Queens Park in Glasgow. It’s not quite like the open countryside or woods, but it’s VERY handy and can be very beautiful, especially in the morning.

sun thru trees

Lovely sunshine! … and lovely me as well, hiding in those shadows πŸ˜‰

Sun through the trees

In the autumn, you get lovely low light – just perfect for sneaking up on squirrels…

Anyway, last year, we thought we’d record a year in the park, mostly taken from one spot – the highest point, where the flag-pole stands – and looking over the city to the Campsies and even beyond (on a good day, you can see Ben Lomond!).

We had lots and lots of photos to choose from as we took one almost every weekend, and during the week too if there was some special weather. But I’ve chewed up the ones that were too much the same so you don’t get too bored πŸ™‚

Here we go…

View from the flagpole

Our first photo – mid January and the sun is just emerging πŸ™‚

Across a month, the weather can be very different. In March, for example…

View from the flagpole

A lovely crisp morning in March, perfect for snootering through the fence!

View from the flagpole

But on this March morning, we’d lost the hills completely…

And then in April…

view from QP flagpole

…it could be grey, with the hills hiding in the clouds…

View from the flagpole

…or it could be a lovely sunny morning, with the leaves starting to come on the trees

And again in May…

QP flagpole

After our May holiday, the park was looking lovely…

View from the flagpole

…but by the end of May, where were the hills??

June is usually lovely in Scotland, so I was hoping for lots of sunshine every morning πŸ™‚

View from the flagpole

If you peer closely, Ben Lomond might just be in sight (so I am told)

But it wasn’t like that every day, sadly…

View from the flagpole

It’s not exactly “flaming June”, more like “foggy June” 😦

In fact, pretty much every month had some lovely days and some not-so-lovely days…

view from QP flagpole

This is early July, the grass has been cut and it’s a lovely day…

View from the flagpole

But by mid-July, it’s gloomy skies again. Still, at least it’s not raining (yet!)…

August was mixed too…

View from the flagpole

Streaky sunny skies on an August morning

View from the flagpole

Mid-August and everything is very green – because it just kept raining! (which is why the hills have disappeared!)

View from the flagpole

I just love walks in September sunshine!

View from the flagpole

Late September and the leaves are starting to change colour…

View from the flagpole

Not much of a view on a foggy October morning…

View from the flagpole

But here’s a glorious October day, perfect for morning snootering!

By November, it started getting a wee bit darker in the mornings, but we still had some nice days…

View from the flagpole

November sees trees undressing and putting their leaves on the ground #brrrr

View from the flagpole

A cold’n’clear November morning….

View from the flagpole

Brrrr, it’s freezing fog in December….

This was our last photo of the year, before we headed south for the Christmas holidays…

View from the flagpole

December mornings are dark in Scotland…why are we out this early??!?

One last thing… you’ll have seen that there are lots of trees in the park, and we even saved one of them last year! It was looking very poorly…

Toppled sapling

This poor tree had fallen over so we told the nice man at the park about it…

sapling staked

…and they made it all better and gave it a stake to hold it up (so we can leave pee-mail again!)

So that’s a skip through my morning walks in 2015 – hope you enjoyed seeing my park in all its different colours and weathers! πŸ™‚

 

December walkies

2 Comments

My New Year resolution for 2016 is to blog a bit more than I did last year, so here’s a round-up of some of the walks I did in December.

There are quite a few walks I can’t show you because some of them were VERY wet and @heatheralex didn’t have her waterproof camera with her. Truth be told, I didn’t want to hang about for pictures then either! December was a very wet month and I ended up with very wet fur quite a few times! #shakingallover

We finally went back to one of my favourite country parks, Mugdock, which is to the north of Glasgow. It’s not our nearest park so it’s a bit of a drive to go there but it’s worth it. Mugdock has a river and woods and a loch and an old penguin pond and a boardwalk and sheep and barbecue pits and TWO castles and a moor which is just perfect for chasing balls, so it is quite a special place.

Twiglet on boardwalk

Look how big my shadow is on the boardwalk!

The next day, me and my pal Finzi went to visit Loch Ard near Aberfoyle. It has a sculpture trail (with squirrel sculptures too!). The sculptures aren’t doing too well these days, though – the silvery eagle seems to have flown away… You can see what it used to look like in one of my Big Walk posts.

Locah Ard sculpture trail

The eagle has flown from its pole 😦

It was a winter’s day, so me ‘n’ Finzi had a fine walk.

Twiglet & Finzi

Me & my pal Finzi, just pootling along and enjoying the sniffs…

Another great park is Rouken Glen. That’s a bit nearer so we go a bit more often. It has a nice river, which makes it really good in the summer when it’s hot, but I like it at any time.

Rouken Glen waterfall

All that rain means the waterfalls are very splashy!

It also has LOADS of squirrels…

Twiglet looking for squirrel

Drat, it just went up that tree…

Over the holidays, we headed south to visit @HeatherAlex’s mum, and various friends and family. When we’re there, we like to go to Chobham Common:

Monument @ CHobham

A lovely sunny day in the Far South!

There are lots of watery bits…

Twiglet at pond

Admiring my reflection – looking pretty good, I think! πŸ˜‰

Twiglet at hill pond

You can just see me…

Our last park walk for the year was at Pollok Country Park, my regular park. It was VERY wet, and there were loads of bits where I’d have had to swim where normally I could walk!

Floods at Pollok

Errm, we can’t get through this way today – I’m not swimming!

And now it’s a brand new year and we’ll be off on our walks again later today. I hope y’all have a fantastic year in 2016!

 

Older Entries