The Felty Folk have a picnic

As I promised, I will tell you about my encounter with the Felty Folk the other week. I told Neeva I was planning to walk up Chester Hill in Lauder, to try and push on my physical capabilities. She said she would meet me on the hill to make sure I was alright. I decided to take a picnic lunch, so I could stop and rest at the top, before I descended again.

The weather had been changeable in the morning, but by lunchtime the sun was up, so I packed up my lunch and drove to the foot of the hill. The path up Chester Hill follows the Southern Upland Way which crosses Lauder. I was feeling very determined and positive about the walk, but equally knew I had to be careful not to overdo it, so I took it slowly. A bit of the way up the hill I stopped and looked back at Lauder:

View of Lauder from Southern Upland Way

Feeling pleased with getting this far OK, I looked ahead of me up the path:

Path to Hill

As you can see it’s a fairly gentle slope and a nice easy path. Over the ridge I stopped again as I was struck by the yellow Wild Pansies bobbing in the breeze, I had only seen violet and yellow bicolour Wild Pansies before:

Wild Pansy

The tiny yellow flowers are Tormentil. I also saw these lovely starry flowers:

Field Madder

It’s one of those small inconspicuous flowers that you just walk past and never know what it’s called, so I’ve looked it up – Field Madder.

This was the view from here up the path, I was heading for the trees at the top:

Path to Hill 2

It’s a flattish, level path from here so it didn’t take too long to get there. There’s a lovely view from here over Lauder to the Lammermuir hills beyond:

View of Lauder from the top of Chester Hill

The valley to the left with gorse at the top is where Lauder Burn runs, where I found the tadpoles. I felt quite a sense of achievement getting up there, and just standing on top of a hill gives you a feeling of light and expansiveness. It was very pretty under the trees:

Top of Chester Hill

So I sat down and got out my lunch. “Hello!” I jumped, and looked around and saw this:

Felty Folk in tree holes

“Well Hello”, I said. “Thanks for all of you coming to meet me, what a surprise. That’s a great tree to hide in.”

“How are you feeling?” Neeva asked.

“Not too bad, my legs are a bit shaky and tired, so I’m glad to sit down for a while.” I chatted to them and had some drink and ate my sandwich. I had brought some cherry tomatoes with me and offered them to the Felty Folk. They were still quite big for them:

Felty Folk picnic

Proportionately a bit like a melon to us. Neeva had a bit of an accident:

Neeva's accident

Luckily I had some kitchen towel with me, so I mopped her down:

Mopping down Neeva.

I didn’t lick it first like my Grandma would have done.

We were ready to go down the hill; the Felty Folk said they would come down with me to make sure I was alright. I wanted to walk a different way down, because it’s alway nice to do a circular walk instead of coming back the way you’ve come. I had slightly misremembered the path back and thought there were steps down, but instead I ended up on a really steep path down the hill, which was really hard on my poor M.E. ridden legs:

Downward path to Lauder Burn

But at least I had scampering Felty Folk among the gorse on the way down. I also saw a Yellowhammer fly off from the gorse. As I came to the bottom of the hill there was a conveniently placed bench, so I sat down for a while, thinking that I may have overstretched with the walk. It’s a bit like “your eyes are bigger than your stomach”, the desire to climb the hill overrides my energy levels. I still had to get back, and the path was level now, so I set off, and soon came out at the opposite side of the gate I photographed in a previous post:

Back to Lauder Burn

I always thought the greeny yellow flowers next to the burn were Lady’s Bedstraw, but I looked it up and it’s Crosswort:


The Felty Folk and I walked up the path by Lauder Burn together and soon we were near the last bridge before the path end, and as there was a man walking a dog nearby, the Felty Folk said their goodbyes and headed off into the undergrowth:

The Felty Folk go into the Undergrowth

I was very glad I had brought my car, it saved my legs an extra walk when I was most tired – I was very glad to finally get home. Sometimes it’s worth the tiredness to have a bit of fun and relaxation. Luckily, I got away with my energy recklessness and didn’t feel too tired over the next few days.


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