A relatively short walk but with quite a bit of ascent for a Mabie stroll. Our usual route has about 100m less of ascent and most of that is concentrated in the first mile and half as we walk up the Dalshinnie Glen. Indeed I remember a particularly unpleasant day toiling up that section in the rain with a cold wet wind blowing in my face, about three years ago. But then I remember that Nietzsche said that worthwhile achievements are only attained by overcoming hardships (or something like that.)
Before the others arrived I had been chasing a butterfly about at the car-park, trying to get a photo, albeit unsuccessfully. On the Lochaber walk there were information posts about the local butterflies and I would guess this was a small copper, but I’m far from sure. We came across quite a few more butterflies on the walk but they were mostly white. The predominant insect life seemed to be the flies circling our heads and these were particularly numerous if we stopped. I had thought it was my scent, or shampoo products that was attracting them, but was pleased to see that the others had the same problem.
We took a different route to our usual, following the yellow route markers of the Nith View route over Mabie Burn, including some of the poetry walk, passing the old sawmill and a woodland pond. The path slowly climbed through woodland smelling strongly of onions and I wonder if this was from wild garlic?
The section before the Orange Link path seems to have changed in the last few months. The paths look to have been resurfaced and some of the surrounding forest felled. The area near a small pond (into which I have seen many a dog jump) looks quite different now. We then took the orange route which slowly climbed around Marthrown Hill to the brown, Lochaber path, passing the wooden Butterfly statue. Once over Craigbill Hill we had a slight detour by joining the Phoenix MTB track, along a wooden walway at first, to take us back to Dalshinnie Glen.
I got a closer snap of the Ghost Stane (see above), which is one of the seven Stanes. Perhaps future walks will take us to the others? I was looking out for the sensory garden at Mabie but didn’t spot it. It will have to wait for another day.
The alternative distance for this walk (from a Garmin watch thingy) was 6.47 miles. Take your pick.