2012: Friday Walks, Hedgerows and Broomsticks

Sarah was a bit tired today so we didn’t plan a long walk. In fact we went on our ‘home’ walk, The Shining Shore, as we have so often this year. As much a meditation as a walk and one of Sarah’s favourite places.

It begins with a very long hedge.

Where the brambles are having a second flowering.

And the hawthorne is full of berries.

And the hedge is full of species, not all of which even Sarah recognises.

Any ideas?

In fact this got us thinking how old this hedge might be. And we remembered something about Hooper’s Hypothesis:

“Hedges that have existed for hundreds of years are colonised by additional species. This may be useful to determine the age of the hedge. Hooper’s hypothesis suggests that the age of the hedge is equal to the number of woody species counted in a thirty yard distance multiplied by 110 years.”

This is Dr Max Hooper from 1974, and he was careful to say it’s only a rule of thumb and can be out by a couple of centuries.

And anyway we couldn’t remember the figures when we were by the hedge to do the calculation. So that will have to wait for next time.

But we’re pretty certain that in looking back along this mile of hedge, we’re looking back through centuries.

Soon we get to lovely St Bartholomews.

The view from the porch.

In the churchyard, trouble with moles.

And Sarah finds another Horton Hole?

Then it’s up the hill into the lanes.

Still lush in parts.

But hedgerows definitely thinning now.

First view of the estuary today.

Down into the dungeon.

And I now know why this is called what it’s called, thanks to Gerry, a new reader who explained on his own lovely blog ‘That’s How The Light Gets In’

“The name ‘Dungeon’ derives from the Anglo-Saxon ‘dunge’ or ‘denge’, meaning marshland, or land that adjoins a marsh (think of Dungeness in Kent), rather than having any association with castles or imprisonment.”

Next, soon to come Halloween makes its first appearance on our walk.

One of these people is a pumpkin.

Tree identification in autumn. ‘This one’s some sort of cherry.’

‘And this Ronnie is a beech leaf. Get it?’

Just along the path we reach a tree with a bough that gets lower each time we come here.

And now I have to duck to get past.

Up on the Wirral Way, this Friday Walks thing seems to be catching on.

Down on to the Shining Shore. Not particularly shining and suddenly cold today.

The samphire’s gone all woody now.

Severe erosion of the cliffs from recent high tides.

And Sarah finds a piece of broken drain that’s been inside the cliff.

Briefly the sun comes back out as we finish our walk.

And next we go along the coast to West Kirby:

Where Sarah gets her witch kit, ready for Halloween on Plot 44.

In fact as I write this she’s still wearing it!

And so the Shining Shore walk does what it always does. Fills us with energy, peace and happiness.

3 thoughts on “2012: Friday Walks, Hedgerows and Broomsticks

  1. Nancy's Point (@NancysPoint)

    Well, having a route to walk which consistently fills you with energy, peace and happiness is a very good thing. Love the photos of my “witchy” friend! And it does appear as if you’ve picked up a few additional Friday walkers. Due to your blog perhaps?

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Could be, Nancy. While I was doing the photographs for Saturday’s post someone I didn’t previously know stopped me and said she was doing some of the same walks now (Hi Lisa!).

      And your witchy friend had a great time at the lanterns last night in her hat, being recognized by one child as ‘a real witch!’ Doesn’t realise how right he is!


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