Monday, 30 April 2012

Glen Finglas and the Compass of Past Present and Future

Last Friday was one of those lovely mornings where the early moring sun came shining through my bedroom window. It gently woke me filling me full of the joys of spring, at 6 am. I was still hoping to see forests full of bluebells and cuckoos hollering in the trees so by 7 am I was on my way to Glen Finglas in the heart of the Trossachs.

I parked at Little Drum Woods and started my wander in the ancient trees where former kings of Scotland hunted. It really was a joy wandering among the ancient woods and my imagination wondered what stories the trees could tell of our past.

As I wandered I also wondered where the bluebells had gone ?

At a small clearing I looked across to the steep slopes of Landrick hill and low and behold, I was delighted to hear my first cuckoo of the year. I wouldn't have been so happy if I knew that a couple of hours later, I would be carrying a heavy Holly down that same slope... but more of that later.

I then set off along the track that heads into the heart of Glen Finglas. There are not many ancient trees left but it is still a very scenic area. The woodland Trust have planted thousands of new trees. They looked very fresh with their light green buds about to burst into full leaf.

As the path gained height I stopped to take in the views at the remains of an old croft. It must have been lovely waking to these views every morning but I also realise it was a hard life living in such remote places before the days of electricity and the internet

I mused at the knarled trees in the older parts of the woods. I guess my knarled ageing body looked something similar to their twisted trunks

The view across to Ben Venue dominates this part of the walk. I may have felt as old as the trees but I still managed to climb that hill twice last month. Yup..there are a few springs left in my step as yet :-D

The path then turned northwards and I stopped to listen to a noise I had never heard before ? It sounded like a sudden burst of compressed air followed by the cackle of some baby chicks ? At first I wondered if it was the hiss of an adder attacking some new born birds, or perhaps a stoat or weasel attacking a baby rabbit.

Even Holly started to move forward very carefully, ears pricked up and four feet ready to run. Then the source of the noise displayed itself with a fast flurry of wings. A black grouse burst out the undergrowth and flapped skywards. The dog and myself breathed a sigh of relief as it was not some fearsome monster waiting to ambush us.

Soon after, I could see the reservoir start to appear through gaps in the trees. I was now in the very heart of Glen Finglas

The sun dappled on the waves on the water and shimmered between the ancient silver birch tree trunks on the bank

Although I didn't see a single bluebell..there were plenty primrose.

I strolled along the loch shore for a while before returning to the path.

When I arrived at the Glen Finglas compass, I stopped for some lunch. The views were fantastic and it was such a lovely morning, I was glad to be alive and well.

I read the inscriptions on the compass. I was certainly enjoying the present and had reflected on the past during my walk. I was a little unprepared for the future ...

After lunch, Holly and I headed towards Stuc Odhar .. a very craggy hill to the south east .. between the future and the past ...

To be continued ....

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