Friday, May 28, 2010

A Morning Stroll

This morning I took a walk up into the hills behind the house. It was a fine sunny morning but the air was decidedly cool; a gusty moderate to strong breeze did not help to make it feel any warmer. Consistent uphill strolling however, even at the leisurely pace I prefer to take, is good for keeping the body comfortably warm. I walked largely on good Forestry Commission tracks through conifer plantations the interiors of which are dark and apparently barren of any plant life. The tracks are bordered on both sides by wide verges on which a good variety of wild flowers and grasses prosper and there is plenty of evidence that these cuttings through the monoculture of softwood trees provide suitable environments for many mammals, birds and invertebrates. In an area that had been cleared and replanted recently I met a forester who was inspecting young trees for beetle damage. He told me how, increasingly over recent years, young trees are being attacked by a species of beetle that kills saplings by ring-barking them.
I came across a stone, about a metre long, that had markings on it that looked as though they may have been deliberately inscribed at some time.

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