The blue skies continued for another day and I managed a local walk along the River Brock and up onto Beacon Fell. A rather haphazard sort of ramble as you will see from my map. All very familiar but resplendent in the Autumn colours. There was a lot of flood water on the country roads getting there and in then in the River Brock, even the side streams were raging.
In my new found fungal mode I kept veering off the path into the mixed deciduous trees looking for specimens. Rotten tree stumps were a fertile hunting ground. Isn’t it great when your photographic objects don’t fly away. Most I could not identify until I was home and using an on line search site. I’m still not that confident on labelling most of my photos but I’m beginning to narrow them down.
I spent a bit of time exploring the old mill site at Brock Bottoms which is slowly disappearing into the vegetation. The mill was once a thriving water-driven cotton spinning mill with up to twenty cottages in the valley for the workers. The mill was probably built in the 1790s. After a chequered history and two reincarnations as a roller making factory, and then a file making factory the mill finally closed in the 1930s. For some time the ground floor of the mill operated as a café, whilst the top floor was used for dancing on Saturday nights!
After the short trip south along the Brock and back again I took the footpath following the river upstream. Before I had gone far, there right alongside the path was a large funnel mushroom, 6 inches across, and while I was clinging to a tree I spotted these tiny capped fungi, barely an inch high.
The surrounding trees were putting on a good display.
I followed the river often on board walks which are deteriorating and becoming very slippy. In parts they have been washed away as the bank becomes eroded. A new raised section has been installed – an expensive path to maintain.
I went as far as the old ford and than climbed up the rough lane into mixed birch and beech woods. A good spot for bracket fungi.
On reaching the road there seemed to be traffic chaos. There had been a Scouting navigation event on at the nearby Waddecar camp and literally hundreds of cars were coming to pick up the youths. The lanes here are so narrow and had soon become gridlocked. Something the organisers need to sort out before next years event.
I climbed steeply up into the heights of Beacon Fell, the header photograph showing the light on the way. I was then in the more sterile coniferous trees, but to my delight there were many different fungi hidden away in the depths. One only has to look. I bypassed all the usual paths as I scavenged deep into the trees. I did however eventually reach the obligatory trig point.
Coming down a different way I took a path I had never used before. It passed hidden Lower Lickhurst, a surprisingly large mansion. I was wary of my right of way through their grounds but good signage and stiles led me out and across fields. I still find these modern gates a little incongruous in the countryside no matter their practicality – probably designed by committee or even AI. An old sunken way dropped me back to the Brock car park to complete an interest filled 6 miles.
I took care to avoid those narrow gridlocked lanes on the way home.