Summer has arrived in the Kilpatrick Hills. The flooers are blooming, the wee creatures are crawling, jumping and biting and the neds are setting fire to it all.
In amongst my fun at running around the perimeter deer fence looking for any holes in it, I have been doing my wildlife logging which has meant seeing lots of new bird varieties arrive at the Lang Craigs. No idea what they are, but they are very pretty. Seems that with quickly growing and budding trees, new things arrive to perch on them and eat them. Yay, go nature!
However, accessible and lovely hillsides are also a magnet for stoopids, when the phone went on Saturday tea time I wasn’t expecting to be pulling on my hill gear again and running up the hillside to a fire, which I am indeed blaming on neds.
Pastor Bob who runs Overtoun House had already opened the gates for the fire brigade and the two tenders were there ahead of me. By the time I got to the site of the fire some already burst looking firefighters were beating out the flames. They’d had a good bit of a climb with their heavy gear, and it was bloody warm in the evening sun without the flames.
Losing the young trees would have been a disaster, singeing a visitor wouldn’t have been so handy either but the light breeze had blown the flames around and past a lot of the trees from the initial heavily burned area. It could have been worse. So, the helicopter wasn’t needed, I was glad of this as I was the only Woodland Trust representative on site and I would have had to pay for it.
Once the fire fighters had gone I had the site to myself, the ground hissed and popped, smoke occasionally puffed up energetically and then died away for a lack of any more fuel. Soon it was silent but for the burn running below me at the bend where it scoops out a chunk of the steep opposite bank, exposing the layers of rock and ash from this once volcanic area.
I walked around, the fire was dead, I heard birds again, I saw walkers. How quickly normality resumed. Only 250m of black ground to tell the earlier tale.