We did a figure of eight walk today. Apart from being with me of course, Hubby would know our route exactly, purely from my narrative.
We parked in the top lay-by and walked down the path turning right to go along the ‘humpy pumpy’.
At the fence, we turned left, walking past the ‘Elf Door’ to join the ‘mudpond track’, and turning right.
We followed the path, turning left at the broken fence, and made our way towards ‘Humphrey’s Stump’. Turning left at these crossroads, we negotiated a fallen tree and the ‘mud flats’ before turning right into ‘the bunny route’.
Just past ‘the new burrow’ I noticed an owl pellet in the sand
Coming out at the top, we turned left back down the path and instead of turning into the bunny route again, we turned right into ‘Maggie’s Wood’. Following the trail, we turned right at ‘the weaver’s basket’, right again at ‘the cactus’ and then left at ‘the white stone’.
Passing over ‘bunny central’, our steps took us past the remnants of squirrel feasts, where the moss had been churned up by scrabbling claws looking for their hides, and the cone husks lay discarded on the ground.
Something small, grey and fast shot out from our right, and Maggie was after it. The nose was down on the ground, her tail doing the helicopter impression as she scoured the area in the direction this creature had gone. One whistle, and she was back with us, laughing and happy having enjoyed the chase, even though she had ‘let it get away’.
Emerging from the trees, Hubby went first to beat the undergrowth in case of snakes lurking within enjoying the heat of the day. With the recent warm weather, we are surprised not to have seen any early sleepy adders basking in the sunshine.
We are always alert as these are poisonous and one bite could result in death for a dog.
Walking along by the ‘top fence’, we got back to the car having been walking for about an hour.
Humpy pumpy: a pathway that undulates up, down and across with little ‘ravines’ which makes the going a little difficult at times, especially if tired, your feet/legs ache, or it’s been raining.
Elf Door: purely by chance a year or so ago I noticed someone had painted a ‘door’ in a root knot at the bottom of a tree trunk.
Mudpond track: this pathway joins two main ones but if it’s been raining, a pond forms which is impossible to pass until it dries out completely. As the trees there are quite dense, it is usually always muddy.
Humphrey’s Stump: so named because a dog was trained to sit on this tree stump (about hip high to us) before getting his reward.
Mud Flats: another area on a main path that takes a lot to dry out. Lately trees have fallen across the path, and rather than remove them completely, the forestry commission guys have just cut through the trunk in two places and moved the ‘centre piece’ to one side.
The Bunny Route: so called because along the fence line it is a mass of rabbit burrows. Maggie led us down this track one day, and it is now one of our preferred routes. Inside the copse itself is another rabbit haven where we have also seen deer, foxes and a variety of birds. We also believe there is a badger sett nearby though we have only heard them, not seen.
The New Burrow: Literally that. It has just been started (well, in the last couple of weeks) and we are keeping abreast of its progress.
Maggie’s Wood: another exploration trail found by her ladyship. Nothing more than a slight indentation in the undergrowth, we followed it one day and it has become another favourite.
The Weaver’s Basket and Cactus are broken tree branches that have rotted down, the cactus being upright and has ‘three fingers’ pointing upwards.
The White Stone: exactly that just sitting in the middle of a moss hill.
Bunny Central: a huge junction where about 8 burrows meet and inter-twine.
Top Fence: the wire fencing that separates the nature reserve (no dogs allowed) from the woods themselves, but leads back to the lay-by where we park.