Turf Blog 21-06-24

Turf Zone – WatchTheMud

Tonight, Thursday 20 June at 21.51 BST (20.51 GMT), the night of the 2024 summer solstice. This gives us the longest day and the shortest night. A perfect opportunity for a night turfing session and there also a full moon, or as near as, for added spooky ambience. But before we go a-turfing, how does the summer solstice come about?

Well, when the Creator was taking a break from building the Universe he paused for a well-earned rest and decided to bake some scones, apple and cinnamon, of course. However, the Creator, being a rather busy and forgetful deity, forgot about them and they came out of the fiery Celestial oven burnt to a crisp and totally inedible, the apple chunks having turned into BCB’s*. This pissed the Creator off rather badly and he passed the job of building the Earth to a spotty young apprentice called Plook Zit-Squeezer.

Said apprentice, Plook, could only be described as a total idiot, a bampot or numpty as we say in Scotland, and he/she/they/them bodged the job. This resulted in the Earth’s rotation giving us 365 days a year and also a useless spare bit. The apprentice also gave us gravity which means any bicycle left unattended falls over and other similar daft idiosyncrasies. And instead of the Earth standing tall and straight, it leans of-axis by 23.44° and that gives us the seasons and the solstices. I bet you didn’t know that!

Actually, I had more or less decided to head out this fine night to turf around Dalhousie Castle and when ChoccyMuffin mentioned it was the summer solstice, well, that just finalised the decision. It was also a full moon, or close enough not to make any difference. Just hoped the cloud cover would break a little and allow the moon to shine in all its reflected glory.

It was a nice night for a walk, as they say. And a gold star to anyone who can name the actor who repeated those words and the apocalyptic movie it was in. Weather was mild, with temps in low double figures, little wind to bother about and ideal for shorts and t-shirt, my favourite attire. Followed a slight variation to my usual route around Dalhousie, taking to the tracks across fields to avoid stinging nettles along the path and to try and reduce the chance of picking up any of those little blood-sucking skin-crawling nasty wee bastards, in other words, ticks. Only picked up one and that was easily flicked away before it started chomping into my flesh.

Turf Zone – DeanWoodTurn

It was a fairly quiet turfing session, though found a few branches had been deliberately placed across the trail. Not entirely sure who the culprit was but I can hazard a shrewd guess. Needless to say, they were all removed and dispatched with great delight. The highlight of the evening was most certainly the two tawny owl chicks calling to each other in the trees by the castle parking area. Their call is said to be akin to a squeaky gate hinge and quite distinctive. Managed to snap a quick photo of one, which was quite a challenge holding the torch and operating the phone at the same time.

And to finish, the new Alpkit Possum frame bag is great. Loaded up the bike this morning for a turfing session around Rosewell and Bonnyrigg, carrying all the kit I might need and it works a treat. Did make one minor on-the-trail alteration. I’d attached the straps all facing the same way and found that the bag would hang to one side. Alternating the direction of the straps solved that issue. And in addition, the bag seems to make the bike run more quietly, perhaps absorbing some of the tyre and running gear noise. Back soon.

*BCB’s, Burnt Crunchy Bits.

Copyright ©2024 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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