Posted by: carmarthenbaywatcher | June 16, 2013

The Problem with the Saltings and other problems….

OK, three days after the last blog it started raining. The rain stopped (albeit temporarily) yesterday afternoon and things brightened up although it remained windy. As a consequence, to avoid being shot blasted by the sandstorm on the beach, Daddies Little Sheepdog and I walked along the edge of the saltmarsh known as The Saltings:-

The tide was well out but things weren’t particularly dry – the morning’s rain had made sure of that. The Saltings have an interesting geography being a tidal inlet between two extensive dune systems. As a consequence anything washed in on the tide tends to stay there. It is probably The Dog’s favourite place – particularly after a spring tide when all kinds of stuff turns up. At the moment we are moving to a neap tide so there isn’t much new to investigate. This is a problem because the dead gannet is still there and yesterday I realised that Daddies Little Sheepdog was carrying something yep, The Gannets Head (great pub name) was being brought to me. Bearing in mind it had been there for well over a week, I didn’t really want it.  A quick bribe with a gravy bone sorted that problem out but then, from somewhere deep in the marsh he brought back a dead mullet.  What a good boy! I was going to run out of gravy bones at this rate also my black and white dog was also mostly black mud and stank of dead sea creatures as he had slid into a creek.

IMAG0418

I, on the other hand found a nice bed of young tender samphire which was reasonably accessible so I’ll have to watch it and pick some before it gets too tough or picked by someone else!  Whilst on the subject of foraging, one of my fellow dog walkers and I discovered a hazel tree absolutely covered in baby cob nuts. In about two or three months time these will be fantastic and ready for picking.

Hazel is a very common hedgerow tree in these parts and one of my pre-occupations involves selecting suitable coppiced shoots for making walking staffs and sticks.  A few days ago DLS and I found a brilliant hidden clump which will be just right for harvesting in November. The trick is to collect the sticks in the winter when the sap has gone back into the roots – it still takes 18 months or so for the wood to season but in 2015 I’ll have a really good collection of staffs to sell or give away!

I’ve bought a new pair of walking boots with some birthday money and while I was in the shop I let myself be conned into buying gel insoles to make them even better. DON’T FALL FOR THIS! if your feet get hot and the gel gets damp it starts to slide on the bottom of the foot bed. This is hell to walk on.

Have fun, keep the faith!

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