December Walks, Sacred Ways

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Yesterday Daughter and I took the hounds by train (for the first time) to Freshfields Beach.

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We deserved this rainbow after walking in hail,

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and rain,

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And being sandblasted by the sand in the wind.

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In the shelter of the woods was this statue made from carved wood.

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Click to read about  Jimmy Lowe, Asparagus King. He is holding a sheaf of asparagus in the statue.

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This land was once part of that farm before becoming part of the National Trust.

We found a bench for a picnic. The hounds of course had to share:… they had been so brave in all that terrible weather… and they were oh so hungry, and had been oh so good… then they turned the brown eyes on us.

We were weak. Very weak.

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Inland further is the Red Squirrel walk in the pine forest.

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As we have had Hunca Munca mouse in the garden and the rescue of Mrs Tiggywinkle, this chap ought to be Squirrel Nutkin.

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Beautiful tufted ears on another red squirrel. These are the indigenous squirrels for the UK.

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They have gone from a lot of their habitats as the grey squirrels moved in. We are so lucky to have this area close to us.

Then today Lovely Husband and I walked to Heaton’s Bridge along the canal.

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Instead of the neutral colours of the beach, there was the greens of holly and ivy and the red of young sycamore.

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Dark grey skies promised more rain on the already wet fields.

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Hawthorn berries fed  flocks of finch like birds. Sorry tilt head left- wordpress wont process this image properly.

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The Garlic Woods look almost bare with no leaves and bramble dying down.

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I think these mushrooms are the common ink cap. You can eat them ok but if you’ve  had alcohol then they are poisonous.

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Scarisbrick Medieval Cross

“Medieval wayside cross situated within the grounds of Scarisbrick Hall, in situ. The  cross-shaft is 1.7 metres high, the overall length across the arms, both of which are broken short, is 0.55 metres. The cross measures 0.35 metres and is square in cross-section. The socket is the same size, and the base stone 0.8 metres square,  standing 0.5 metres above ground-level. It was erected as part of two lines of wayside crosses which led from Scarisbrick Hall. One line  led to Burscough Priory; the other, of which Scarisbrick Park cross is one, led to the market town of Ormskirk. The cross would  have served the dual purpose of a wayside shrine and a route marker across what was then treacherous marshy ground.”

There is a yew tree grove (sacred to druids thousands of years ago) in the woods behind the cross. I wonder if this Christian road marker  is showing a pathway across the bog which was once a much older sacred way.  Southport didn’t exist then as a town- it was only developed in Victorian times.

I wonder of the holes in the stone were for a wooden carving of the crucifixion to be held in place.

We got back home only to discover this!

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The Sober Fairy seems to have discovered Gabriella the Gin Fairy’s hidden stash.

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Yet when you see her it looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

Very suspicious!

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you enjoyed the walks without getting too cold.


Posted in Travels by with 6 comments.

Comments

  • Deb says:

    Obviously they allow the dogs on the trains. Great walks, shame about the weather still the fresh air would have been great. Live Squirrel Nutkin.
    Merry Christmss to you also Melanie.

  • This is my favorite kind of exercise! Love the walks with you and yours. And then it is all so interesting, historical and landscape-wise, but then you bump it up with links, too. Very educational! You rock!
    Hugs

  • Yvonne says:

    What 2 lovely walks you went on– even in the hail and rain. The red squirrel is beautiful– but I did not see one on our trip to the UK in 2013– but saw lots of grey ones instead.
    Have a lovely Christmas and Best wishes for 2015.

  • Anne-Lise says:

    Lovely country walks – thanks for sharing. I really enjoy the info.
    The countryside here is very white/grey at the moment. We have red squirrels, too.
    I wish you a merr Christmas – and hugs to the hounds 🙂

  • Ulla says:

    Lovely walks, luckily I was dressed warmly and had my comfortable shoes on. To all my questions “I wonder what…” you already gave the answers. The red squirrels are what we have here too.
    The Sober Fairy has such a lovely wide dress, have you checked it for hidden hip flasks?

  • Sylvia says:

    Dear Melanie,
    great pictures from your walks, how nice to be able to enjoy the scenery.
    Hugs,
    Sylvia