Monday 25 July 2011

Hay, hay, my, my...........

Typically, the first decent weather since November finds your correspondent somewhat hors de wotsit. Today, however, despite indifferent status reports from the feet department, I just had to get out of the house. (god, these sheriff's officers are persistent !)

My chosen route was a circuit of the Carse of Lecropt. That's

for those of you who can't read.

For latitudinally challenged readers, a carse is a flat river valley which has relatively recently been covered by the sea. The Carse of Lecropt is separated by a link of the Forth from the much bigger Carse of Stirling.

This is a local walk ( for local people) so it was out the back door and over the White Bridge, star of many a previous post.

The major local employer makes bottle tops. Now called, as a result of various corporate restructurings, UCP, it will always be known locally by the strangely 50'ish title of the Kork 'n Seal.

Down on the carse and looking back at Bridge of Allan. The tree line in the middle of the picture is roughly where the beach used to be.

Crossing the M9. The "crag and tail" in the centre is Craigforth, and hidden in the trees is the Scottish HQ of "The Pru".

The familiar Southern Highlands panorama. Bens Lomond, Venue, Aan, Ledi and Stuc a Chroin.

A field of Phacaelia. I know it has several agricultural uses such as green manure and game cover, but I can't quite work out what its doing here. Perhaps being grown for seed ?

The heavy clay soils of the carse are ideal for hay and oats. The area is famous for the quality of it's hay, and Timothy seed crops used to be very profitable. As a youth, I remember lugging hay seed in 1 1/2 cwt sacks.
Men were men in those days, and women were glad of it. Nowadays they probably pack it in 500gm cuben fibre bags.

A couple of big fields of oats. Fewer horses these days, but more muesli eaters.

Estate cottages.

Lecropt Kirk. The original 1400s version was too close to Keir House, so the landowner knocked it down and moved the church and the congregation outside the estate walls. None of the gravestones are later than the 1820s. Real charmers the Stirlings.

An unusual gravestone ! And not just for the pigeon ! The crumbling stone is encased in a cast frame.

A bad case of Oak Powdery Mildew

Had intended to continue to Doune, but discretion, what? Perhaps I'll finish tomorrow. Don't go away, now.

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