With autumn in full swing I thought I’d spend a day low down, deep in woodlands, poking about for mushrooms and maybe some off-path exploration. I mentioned it to some others, and before long a group of 6 were on-board. I’d have to temper my “rough terrain” impulsive off-shoots and limit distance and ascent to suit the overall group capability, but the weather was great for a sociable ramble.
Starting at Dinnet, with some of the group unaware of the wetland boardwalk we headed around the south side of Loch Davan rather than the “celtic cross” north side.
I’d hoped for some more porcini (a recent local trip having provided a glut) but it looked like most specimens were well past their best; but a clump of chanterelles were found.
At the boardwalk some bushes of bog myrtle were within handy reach to get some leaves to crush and savour the fine aroma.
Brunch was taken at the very busy visitor centre, the orange peel fungus patch near the toilets revisited, then into the vat: one of the group had never seen it: always a pleasure to introduce somebody to it’s unexpected wonder. The rest had never been up beyond the waterfall to the gorge where we headed next into the lushly ferned and rock-edged spaces.
Passing some climbers on the crags above, we’d fortunately not been too troubled by obstacles ourselves, the glen mostly escaping major damage and blockage from the storms.
Back onto good tracks we headed west: most of the group had evening events they need back to prepare for, so their furthest point was at the quarries near Braehead of Tullich, and after they returned east, myself and one other continued on. I’d noticed some other paths around the area of the end of “final destination” that will require some future exploration.
At the Culsten burn I headed north: I’d seen a cluster of entries on canmore regarding old ruins and settlements, and today with no higher peaks to hurry on to, it was the day to thrash through the undergrowth looking to see what was there.
Other sites checked: “remains of longhouse underneath bothy”, “Rectangular footings on a small shelf (immediately S of experimental plot 3) represent the remains of a medieval or later longhouse measuring about 7m by 2.5m internally.” , “a large turf-covered enclosure (possibly of two periods), stone clearance-heaps and rig “
Heading back to the track, the trees were alive with twittering. Bird.net app identified both goldcrest and long-tailed tits: cuteness overload, but too tiny and fidgetty to get on camera, other than a coal tit above.
With one success out of 4 spots explored, a meagre crop. With either trees or deep bracken at the other sites, I didn’t expect to see much: probably better to come back in winter or spring. We headed west again, a section of path I’d not been on before to link up to the Sgor Buidhe track (better known as the “mastermind” mountain bike ascent. Another canmore explore revealed nothing, and with daylight running short I left a final spot (quarry shelter) unexplored, we headed to Ballater for a pub stop before heading homewards.