I made a return visit to the Crystal Well, near St. Boswells, at the end of the Autumn and saw some of the Felty Folk again. I was directed to the Crystal Well when looking for a geocache, (a good example of how geocaching leads you to interesting places). I went with my friend from Newcastle, who took the photos of my red shawl I showed you in my last post. I really enjoyed my last visit, and was fascinated by a plantation of trees there:
I loved the rhythm of the receding trees. I was keen to see what they would look like in Autumn colours.
As I got out of the car, I was greeted by a Robin, really close by:
It had been a frosty weekend, and although the sun was shining, there were pockets of thick frost, which created wonderful sculptured foliage:
Which contrasted with the bright trees:
When I visited the well in Summer it looked like this:
This is what it looked like in Autumn:
And by the river:
I walked towards the well, and thought I saw something quickly move there.
I crept around to the side of the spring, and look who I saw:
Can you see him on the left by the railings? It’s the Ghillie Dhu: often the most difficult of the Felty Folk to see, and rarely keen to talk to me. When I got closer to the well he moved away.
I had a closer look at the carved face above the well:
I heard a small voice below me,
“Go away! I’m busy communing with the Spirit of the Well. Go and find Neeva, she’s exploring the woods nearby.”
I looked down, and there he was:
He looked quite cross, so I backed away, apologised, and went to find Neeva.
I headed to the tree plantation, and was disappointed to find all the leaves had fallen off the main plantation trees:
I had forgotten they were poplars, which drop their leaves quite early in Autumn. It still looked dramatic though:
I had hoped there might be a carpet of golden leaves below the trees, but most of them were black and brown. However, this one looked lovely:
It gave me an idea for a colour combination to use with some beautiful golden handspun yarn I have.
I went in search of gold leaves, and found some:
This reminded me of a Klimt painting:
And a single leaf, still clinging on:
I walked back into the plantation, and noticed some of the trees looked like they were wearing mossy legwarmers:
And then I saw Neeva:
“Hi Neeva,” I said. “You’re far from home.”
“So are you. I’m surprised to see you here,” she replied.
I explained about my previous visit, and she said she had come with the Ghillie Dhu on his pilgrimage to the Crystal Well for a change of scenery. Although she said she was a bit bored now she was here; and that the Ghillie Dhu was doing meditation, and communing with the Spirit of the Well, and they could be here for a while yet.
I was a bit concerned about disturbing him, but Neeva said he was often a bit grumpy anyway, and not to worry. We headed back to the Crystal Well together, Neeva stopping for a frolic in the leaves under a hazel tree.
The shadows were getting longer and it was time for me to return home. I was concerned about Neeva travelling in the dark, but she reassured me that she was staying with some other Felty Folk nearby, and would be travelling back the next day. Although the Ghillie Dhu would stay at the well overnight. I asked if Neeva had seen the Spirit of the Well.
” I’ve only seen her faintly,” she said, ” she can’t be seen by humans at all.”
“Why does he do the pilgrimage?”
“I think it is a kind of cleansing experience, and is done to mark a change of some kind. I don’t really understand it, it’s to do with his ceremonial duties too,” she explained.
We walked along the path together until we reached the steps I had to climb to get back to the car.
It’s interesting that the Ghillie Dhu makes his pilgrimage here, as the information board at the well says it is quite modern:
I’m sure the spring itself is old…