Sunday, 29 June 2014

sat. in the hills


No racing this weekend. A pleasant change and an opportunity to go for a relaxed run in the Lammermuirs. Lucy had been unable to come along last trip with Steve but the idea had taken hold and she went on a solo run a couple of days later. Mary and I have worked out routes there by trial and error; there seems to be very limited info on circuits there, but no shortage of running and it's well worth an exploration. A couple of days after Steve and I, Lucy set out, aiming for a similar route and, recognising landmarks from a Carnethy handicap many moons ago, ended up heading off piste and doing a long loop ending with a few weary miles of tarmac to get back to her car. 

This new sign suggests the landowner is developing his resources.

So we parked up at Blinkbonny Woods and set off away from the hills to loop round Hopes Reservoir before tackling the more gentle gradient into the hills from there. The weather wasn't quite up to the forecast and it was a bit drizzly to start with. I had the good camera and it mostly stayed in a poly bag for the first few miles. 

After something of a hiatus from racing and running Lucy is in recreational mode - running for fun and to be outdoors, rather than rocking the ultra world and setting course records. We began today with different options in mind and when we got to the turn off for the turbines reckoned there and back would be fine. 

This little chap, on the hill up from the cabin, was boldly defending his territory and let us know who was in charge.

I'm sure there are 2 more turbines every time we visit.

Back down towards the cabin and here he is again.
Does anyone know who owns the cabin? It seems to be called Timmy and would be a great venue for a BBQ / party.

My apologies for posting a photo of a stoat in a trap. The traps are all over the hills as part of the grouse farming. The upside is the traps are remarkably unsuccessful - in all the trips there, this is only the second one I have seen occupied, out of the hundreds set. (Last time was with Mary back in August 2012 on the Yak Hunter Blog  here.) There are 2 varieties - the log over the ditch (as above) and the stone slabs impersonating a burrow entrance. I have a theory based on my experiences of setting humane rodent traps that these only work once and afterwards the messages left by the expiring animal warns subsequent visitors, but this is just conjecture. 
It was too upsetting for Lucy who legged it up the hill while I was taking photos...

There were glimpses of sunshine between the clouds but the overcast weather was winning today with low clouds just above the summit of Lammerlaw. Slightly clearer views to the Forth than when I was here with Steve but still a bit misty. I was carrying some food for a small picnic but the weather wasn't really nice enough to hang about, so we ran back to the car before checking out the tearoom in Tyninghame - top spot for walkers and cyclists.

Just above Hopes Reservoir is the path we came along earlier.

Some sunshine to finish off a lovely run.

Some of us prefer trails and hills, while others, roads. 

Map from snake hunt with Steve - we followed the same (clockwise) route today taking the left path up to Lammerlaw summit rather than the usual dotted line back to the start.

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