Gathering in Hamish’s Wood

I headed out for a walk to Hamish’s Wood, hoping to see the Felty Folk. The route there isn’t so pretty at the start, through a small industrial estate and past the Fire Station, but you are soon on the old railway track leading to the wood:

Disused Railway track

It’s quite a pleasant walk as the track is on an embankment here and there is good view of the fields and Harry Burn winding towards Lauder. It’s a little close to the busy A68, so you hear the cars a bit, but I tuned it out while listening to the birds singing, and cows mooing. It’s not too far along this track to Hamish’s Wood:

Memorial stone

It may seem like a sad thing that the wood is dedicated to a young man that died, but the wood is a favorite haunt of young people from Lauder to meet up and have a bonfire and a few drinks, and is a place Hamish used to enjoy. I think it has a lovely atmosphere.

This is the fire pit, recently used by the look of it:

Fire pit

A bit further along I found some mushrooms:


I don’t know what type, I’m not so good at identifying fungi. There are quite a lot of names scratched into the tree trunks here, it reminds me that generations of kids have come here. This one almost looks like Egyptian hieroglyphics:


I don’t think it spoils the place though:

Hamish's Wood

It’s not a very large wooded area, more of a copse really, there’s a field to one side, and the Harry Burn on the other:

Harry Burn

The bank gets quite steep by the burn, and the tree roots have been exposed:

Tree roots

Hang on… I thought I saw something…

Dod in roots

There’s Dod. “Hi Dod!”, and there are the other Felty Folk:

Joined by Neeva & Oosie

“Hello Ruth,” they cried. I clambered up to see them.

“We’re busy gathering today,” Neeva said.

“You’ll have to show me what you’ve found,” I said, “but I’m feeling a little tired, can we go over to the fire pit, so I can have a sit down, and you can show me there?”

“OK,” said Dod”, “this way Neeva.”

Coming down

We headed back to the fire pit, and for once they were lagging behind me, I realised they were dragging a little bark sled with them.

“What have you got there?” I said.

Gathering wild things

“We’ve got a mushroom for dinner tonight,” said Oosie.

“And we’ve got some beech nuts, ” Dod said, “to make beech nut spread…”

“It’s yummy!” interrupted Oosie.

“We’ve also got some beech husks,” Neeva said.

Dod and Neeva explain

I was curious. “What are those for?”

“We use them for all sorts of things, don’t we Dod?”

“Yes, they are good for keeping things in. They make quite a good bowl with the stem filed off, or you can use them as lights, like a kind of torch.”

“How do you turn them into lights?”

“There are some little bugs that glow, that will live in the husks, but we have to feed them, otherwise they leave,” Neeva explained.

Neeva with Beech husk

“But we only really need them when it gets very dark in Winter.”

“That’s ingenious, and very resourceful. You will have to show me one day.”

I left the Felty Folk to their important gathering work. I walked back down the railway track, and noticed the daisies  on the embankment, and couldn’t resist the lovely Summer scene with the cows beyond:

Daisies and Cows


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