A small crowd of Dublin Branch IWT members met at Carrickgollogan Woods car park. The weather thankfully behaved itself for most of the walk. We ventured into the Leadmines tunnel and clambered over brambles and gorse as we exited back into daylight. A cheeky buzzard rewarded us with its acrobatic flight as two ravens tried to chase it off. From the locally famous Leadmines Chimney we viewed the surrounding area of Dublin.
The forest paths were dotted with a range of fungal delights including the poisonous but colourful red-and-white fly agaric, Amanita muscaria (familiar from a thousand children’s story books) and the prized cep or penny bun Boletus edulis. We identified some of the heathland wildflowers including heath milkwort, Polygala serpyllifolia and tormentil, Potentilla erecta.
Sadly, no red squirrels gave us the pleasure of their company. By the time we reached their territory, the weather had turned windy. However we did see evidence of squirrel activity with chewed pine cones littering the ground. Whether these belonged to red or grey no one knows as they both eat cones in the same way.
The last stage of the walk took us up to the top of the hill. During the ascent we were treated to hot chocolate from the flask of one of our members. This sugar fix, I suspect, was much needed and gave us the energy to get to the top. Unfortunately, the weather turned both wet and cold. On arrival to the summit we all agreed that the wind was too strong and we quickly headed back to our cars. (photos courtesy of Sarah and Niall)
|Cep or Penny Bun|