So yesterday Gail took me for a walk in Clochandighter Wood, a patch of Forestry Commission land on the outskirts of Aberdeen. For much of the current pandemic, the small parking area had been barricaded off, but I'm pleased to report that the aggressively worded 'GO HOME' sign has now been removed and so we proceeded unhindered up the pleasant grassy path on the edge of the pine plantation.
Parts of this track are always boggy, even in the height of summer, and I want you to notice how, in the next two pictures, I do really try hard to keen my paws clean, if at all possible.
Further up the hill, Gail led me down a 'path less trodden'. With the forest closed off for much of the summer, and with Aberdeen's weather conditions in 2020 having been perfect for photosynthesis, the route through the thistles, spiky gorse bushes, stinging nettles and wild raspberry was even less trodden and more overgrown than usual. All but impassable in fact.
As we extricated ourselves from the tangle of prickly vegetation I observed Gail was treading unusually carefully across the uneven ground. Later she explained she'd had a flashback to 2001, the year of the foot and mouth disease epidemic in the UK.
That year too, the countryside around Aberdeen was mostly out of bounds for several months. Shortly after things had opened up again, Gail took my predecessor Hamish the Westie on an evening walk up Brimmond Hill. Another overgrown path (gorse bushes mostly), also uneven underfoot. On the way back to the car, but still with half a mile to go, Hamish had had enough and refused to budge. He could be very stubborn, I'm told. The light was fading fast, so Gail picked Hamish up and tried to force her way back through the gorse bushes, carrying him under her right arm. She stumbled awkwardly, her ankle made a distinct cracking noise, in shock she dropped Hamish and started hopping around in agony, convinced a bone had been broken. With no-one else in sight, and no mobile phone in those days, she somehow made it back to the car, by which time her ankle was the size of a generous water melon. She drove the five miles home in second gear, dropped Hamish off, called a cab to the hospital and spent a couple of hours waiting in A&E, where eventually an x-ray showed that the ankle was 'only' badly sprained, not broken.
I am relieved to say that yesterday there were no such mishaps.
oh my what a scary day for your Gail and Hamish... we remember that time as we dreamed not even about smart phones... I really wonder how we survived it ...ReplyDelete
Oh Bertie I CAN SEE how carefully you tried to keep at least 2 of your paws clean. BOL BOL BOL You are such a boy with mud and puddles...ReplyDelete
After last night's monsoons I wonder what this area looks like today?!
Hamish, Hamish, Hamish...what a true Westie
I have to say here I wonder if Gail had offered Hamish a bit of scone (like from HGM's table) he might have budged? Oh I cringed at the ankle story..I too have very weak ankles that can roll w/o warning. I'm off to check out the link to the original story.
Silly me as I scrolled back I saw the link was about foot and mouth disease..Delete
Oh my goodness what an awful thing to have happen and so painful! Thankfully, there wasn't the same repeat performance with you, Bertie.ReplyDelete
Poor Gail - and poor Hamish too, I don't suppose she will ever forget that!ReplyDelete
You were a very good boy, Bertie, and we can see you really did do your best to avoid the mud. Lovely photos of you - I love the one where you're peeping out from under the brambles!
We're glad there was only a flash back and not a repeat of the incident with Hamish.ReplyDelete
Yikes... that's not the sort of memory one wants returning too often, is it?! So glad the pair of you got round this walk with no such mishap. Hugs and wags, YAM-aunty xxx
That prickly path would have been more than enough to get the Momster here to just turn around:)ReplyDelete
Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber
Whew, we are glad to hear that this hike was much more enjoyable for Gail!ReplyDelete
We are also glad Gail didn't get hurt! Be safe!ReplyDelete
Oh, that memory of the trail and Hammish is fursure not a fun one, so I am glads you and Gail made a new FABulous memory Bertie! Good job my furiend!ReplyDelete
Sometimes our stubborness is a bad thing. I am sure Hamish didn't mean it.ReplyDelete
Did Gail manage to pick some blackberries along the way to make a sweet desert from? No Cloudberries this year?ReplyDelete
Sweet William The Scot
That is dessert ~ Lee's excuse is a shot to the bone at the base of her middle finger left hand that has numbed two fingers. Lee says that middle finger seems to be of great importance these days with the number of people flipping other people off. Lee has what they call a trigger finger and before you ask it is not from firing a weapon.Delete
We did pick some cloudberries on Morven this year - they just didn't make it onto the blog. Blackberries not quite ripe yet in this part of the world - but you can see a couple of raspberries, rather past their peak, in picture #4.Delete
It was a splendid walk anyway. We're happy there were no injuries.ReplyDelete
Oh my, we are glad that story had a somewhat OK ending! It looks like a lovely walk, even with the scary memories!ReplyDelete
Kiki and Rosie