Turf Blog 03-06-22

Turf zone – NewtonChurch

Silly O’clock, that’s another name for the wee small hours of the morning. I would guess any time after the midnight, the witching hour, and before say 4.00 am. And when you tell people (other than the very few enlightened homo sapiens turfus) they understandably think I’m totally daft. I prefer the term eccentric, means you can get away with more daft stuff than usual. Yes, cultivating a degree of low-to-medium eccentricity might not be so bad an idea. So, turfing in the wee small hours of Silly O’clock, why not?

Why not indeed. Look at the benefits. First of all the lack of turf competition. I was out on the Swifty Air kick scooter this morning between 1:15 am and 3:45 am. Did a loop from Bonnyrigg across to Sheriffhall, picked off a couple of newly minted unique zones in Millerhill and then back via a closed and blissfully deserted Dalkeith Country Park. Ticked off 25 zones overall and not a single turf person anywhere in sight. Well, showing on the turf app as it was too dark to see anyone in the “real” world. Only the TheInquisitor was showing in Penicuik. (Thanks for the message by the way. Nice to know I’m being watched over).

Then there’s the peace, the tranquillity and the blessed stillness. One thing I love about being out turfing at night is the quietness, and all the sounds that are more noticeable than during the day. You notice the little squeaks and rustles in the undergrowth. At Melville Castle Hotel, traffic passing above me on the road bridge sounded like jets passing overhead. And there’s the wildlife. Three young fox cubs again on the cycle path leading up the Bonnyrigg health centre. Third year in a row I’ve come across young foxes at the same location. Must be a den nearby.

And the usual rabbits all squirreling about the place when I scoot through mobs of them. Birds as well. Tawny owls a-plenty and juvenile long-eared owls calling around Melville Castle Hotel. At Millerhill, a sedge warbler singing non-stop from the bushes. And Roe deer everywhere. Fun when you get a fright after one bursts from the undergrown and crosses in front of you. And the dawn chorus started around 3:30 am and that was amazing. Worth getting up just for that. It was also starting to get light around 3.00 am.

The topic of safety when going out alone at night is often mentioned. A few people I’ve spoken too mention being too afraid to go out alone at night. But what is there actually to be afraid off? As I mentioned before almost no people about. No dangerous wild animals left these days. All the wolves, bear and big cats are all extinct. Mind you there have been reports of escaped vampire gerbils around Dalkeith. I suppose there’s also the risk of alien abduction, death’s head hawk moth attacks, sabre-toothed voles and wicked witches from the west, when you think about it. But really, the scariest thing you will encounter is your own imagination.

On the matter of turfing video blogs, I’m making good progress. The new computer is totally the dog’s bollocks. I can now edit GoPro Max 360 video with ease. No more grinding to a halt or crashing when loading a large file. I’ve even sussed out the GoPro Player app that allows me to reframe, export, cut, etc, 360 degree video footage. Looking good. Off now around Dalhousie to grab a few zones and practice my technique. Back soon.

Copyright ©2022 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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