A walk up the Averon

(Saturday 12th September 2015)

Today was a Saturday with nothing planned and a poor forecast. In the last four weeks my motor-bike, my Mini and Anne’s Fusion have just passed their MOTs; Anne’s Fusion just yesterday. A lot of work. I thought I would be struggling with a steering joint, or a brake pipe, or a CV boot today. I have no services to take on my calendar. I can’t be bothered doing school work. Anne and Mairi were out. So I went for a walk.

I walked up the Boath Road, a nice dry morning as I set off. Here is looking out to the Soutars of Cromarty up the Firth. The fields are “white unto harvest”.

IMG00562-20150911-2233 What spoils so much are the pylons. They have been there a long time now. Now wind turbines are becoming the problem. I am no nationalist but I love my country and am proud of my Scottish roots. To parallel Billy Connoly talking of Donald Trump – the SNP are determined to convert Scotland into a public toilet:

1. Visually – by allowing all these wind farms to be built. You can hardly take a photo in the Highlands now without a wind farm or pylon popping into the picture. Surely tourism will be affected.

2. Educationally – CFE is a disaster. Third year is now an utter waste of time. A supposedly skills based course. The greatest skill is retaining and using knowledge, not an ethereal skill sitting on its own.  Things are so bad numeracy and literacy is smeared across the curriculum. This should be dealt with in primary. A diluted Chemistry curriculum – good Chemistry replaced by assessments obsessed with minutiae.

3. Morally – the allowing “gay” marriage. It is not marriage. Marriage by definition is between a man and woman and is for the good of relationships and families. It is a puny insult to God.

4. Politically – by becoming independent we will become a super nation something like Iceland or Belgium.

IMG00563-20150911-2234 IMG00565-20150911-2235 Above Moultavie there are cattle in the fields. A change from so many crop fields.

IMG00567-20150911-2243 IMG00568-20150911-2243 IMG00569-20150911-2245 And on to the Jubilee Car Park for those going up Fyrish. Most people go up Fyrish and leave the other walks clear. There were autumn tints in this tree but they are not showing up on my Blackberry’s picture.

At the mile point from the house is a tree root that Charlie always touched and I’m afraid I always do the same. This is it.

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Here is heather and bell heather both together. There has been a super show this year.

IMG00578-20150911-2256 And a little further on is rubbish fly tipped from someone’s car. Probably SNP voters to give that nice cosy feeling to Scotland.

Mairi loved the walk up our road. The wee tree silhouetted on the right of the hill she always referred to as the “perfect tree”.

IMG00582-20150911-2300 The wood up here was harvested earlier this year after being destroyed by winter storms.

IMG00583-20150911-2301 The walk now turns off the tarred road and heads down to the Averon. We could take a pram easily down here 28 years ago. It is a lot rougher now.

IMG00584-20150911-2303 Here is the result of the tree harvesting.

IMG00585-20150911-2303 IMG00586-20150911-2304 The old road is disintegrating.

I could head back by this track. It goes to below where the archery was.

IMG00589-20150911-2310 Or a bit further on, here. This will come out on the track I will come back on later.

IMG00590-20150911-2313 But at this fork I went left. I could go straight on and it would take me the same way but leaving out the old house and field.

IMG00592-20150911-2314 IMG00593-20150911-2318 Here is the old cottage at Dalreoch. It was destroyed by fire and I think people lost their lives in it. It is a very sad spot and so beautiful.

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It started to drizzle. That was the forecast. I hoped it would stay off a bit longer. No wonder I’m looking so glum. Never took a selfie on my phone! This is the furthest out from home today. I passed two fisherman and a gillie. The rich people. But they were very pleasant.

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I then headed down the Averon.

IMG00599-20150911-2325 This field just comes as a surprise, surrounded by the forest and river.

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I usually stop and have a wee rest in this fishing hut. The fishermen I had just seen had left there car here and I didn’t want to interfere. It would have been nice to sit a wee while out of the drizzle.

IMG00603-20150911-2330 Just before the track starts climbing is a bridge across the Averon. It has been repared. The winter floods can take it away in seconds.

This is where I could have come down.

IMG00604-20150911-2336 At one time vehicles did use it but it is pretty bad now.

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Even fallen trees stop vehicles.

IMG00607-20150911-2343 This is the other way to come down for a lot shorter walk.

IMG00608-20150911-2345 IMG00609-20150911-2345 Here is a view back to another bridge over the Averon, again for fishing.

This is the end of the track along the Averon. The track seen going ahead takes you to a huge curve of the river. Mairi and I cycled here often. One day she lost her necklace. We never found it.

IMG00611-20150911-2349 IMG00612-20150911-2349 Curving to the left here would take me to Aggie’s Bridge but I went straight on up the hill.

IMG00613-20150911-2351 More pylons. This is the route to below the archery.

IMG00614-20150911-2356 Here is where I left the track going up the bracken covered slope to the right. The cut tree is again a result of the fearful winter storms we had.

It goes up here to a field.

This field has been planted with trees some years ago. It seems a waste of good arable land.

IMG00617-20150912-0002 IMG00618-20150912-0006 This is getting near home. These blue bins are for feeding pheasants.

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Pheasants are reared here and then released for the rich people to shoot. Seems like “sport”.

IMG00621-20150912-0007 Here’e a sign that autumn is coming. The rowans are ready.

IMG00622-20150912-0009 IMG00623-20150912-0009 IMG00624-20150912-0009 At this point 6 pheasants took off in flight with the usual pheasant noise. You can see one in the photo. It is very dreich now.

IMG00626-20150912-0010 The farm has planted wheat just above us. It’s an unusual crop for so far north and for so high up. It seems to be ripe. I hope they can get it in.

IMG00627-20150912-0014 IMG00628-20150912-0014 The way I came. Note all the pylons!

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I got back onto the Boath Road and took a picture of the wild flowers.

IMG00631-20150912-0016 Just above the house. Almost home.

IMG00632-20150912-0017 Home after 5.31 miles. Just a bit wet. But a lovely walk.