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#63700 - 30/12/11 05:03 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
tonyk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 16/02/04
Posts: 1033
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: slowcoach
Originally Posted By: Harland
I agree with Oldun, "retirement" is magic! You can do what you want, when you want. I thought it would be like a long weekend but it is much better than that! Make sure that you do things whilst you are able to so that as you sit in your rocking chair in years to come you don't think "If only....." but "That was really enjoyable with lovely memories".


Duplicate post ......

My only fear about the future is that one day the Grim Reaper will approach me and say "Aye lad ... Th' times up, I've come for thee"

As I shed my mortal coil and make my way heavenwards I catch one last glance of England and glimpse a hill that I haven't walked up ..

I would never rest in peace if this happened.


The trouble is you don't know when the Grim Reaper will come for you.A Buddhist monk once told me there are only two things that are certain in life,the first being that you are going to die and the second being that you don't know when you are going to die.I often wince when people say they are going to wait until they retire before doing something.How do they know they are going to reach retirement age?

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#63705 - 31/12/11 05:54 PM Re: Snow [Re: tonyk]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"the second being that you don't know when you are going to die."

Google "Peter Labilliere" and "Box Hill"

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#63766 - 10/01/12 09:27 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
After all the grey and miserable weather the sun has returned. Up in the hills it is just like Brighton sea front on a hot summers day. Cars, cars and more cars, with skiers in every direction. As usual when there is deep snow about and just to add to the confusion, the army arrives with lorry loads of fresh squaddies carrying over size backpacks. ...officers taking great delight in screaming their heads off at the poor buggers they have got trying to run through knee deep snow.

My mate and I went off on our own in the opposite direction through a snow laden forest, climbing up about a 5000 ft to the peaks where the snow was hard and had drifted in places to such a depth that we were actually stepping on the uppermost branches of pine trees. Weird feeling to realize that in summer we would be walking beneath the branches of these same trees, which were now just humps in the snow about a foot high.

Going up was a slow sweating slog which turned quite chilly in exposed areas when the wind hit us. Had a very slow walk down and just as sweaty, this time the sweat was produced by anxiety as we picked our way across ice fields that had been left with a thin coating of powder snow hiding the slippery surface.

Altogether a lovely day, finished off in a mountain buvette where the farmer provided slices of sausage and dried meats washed down with a local brew.

The only down side was when we finally left the warm cabin to do the final couple of miles with cold wet clothes and soggy hats and gloves.

Surprising how bright the sunlight is after a few jars!

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#63777 - 13/01/12 03:06 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Yesterdays walk was again up in the (now) cross-country skiing areas of the Swiss Jura in the Mount Tendre region overlooking Lac Leman (Lake Geneva). Knowing that it was going to be busy up there, my mate and I set off early while there was a chill in the air, but the pistes were clear of people.

We covered several miles in total peace with picture postcard views, blue skies and boiling hot sunshine. Actually the air temperature was minus one centigrade, but the unshaded infra red from the sun heated us up just as if we were in a sauna.

For lunch we sat up on a rocky knoll where we could look across to a complete horizon covered by the Alps; Mont Blanc being in plain view.

While we were sitting there a large bird (of the feathered variety) came walking up to us just as if it were out for a stroll in the park. It was the same shape as a Grouse, but a lot larger: about 90 centimeters long. It wandered past, pecked at a few ground berries, then came up to an arms length from me, watching me intensely. It then settled it self down comfortably on a mound of snow and turned to look out across the snow fields exactly the same as we were. It showed absolutely no fear and seemed to be enjoying our company. After about 30 minutes we finished our lunch, packed up and wandered down from the knoll. The bird slowly walked away in the opposite direct after we had said goodbye. Subsequently I have found out that the bird was a Capercaille, a native of old pine forests and rocky areas. Quite a memorable experience.

On our walk back to where we had left the car we noticed that the pistes had become full of people. As far as the eye could see in both directions there were long lines of skiers. Trying to thread our way back was like trying to get served at the bar of Lord Stones Cafe on a sunny Sunday afternoon during the school holidays.

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#63783 - 14/01/12 08:23 AM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Oldun
re Yesterdays walk ,
Well done ,
If you could see me, I am green with envy.
All the best for the new year
_________________________
ern

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#63784 - 14/01/12 08:29 AM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
had pheasant strolling round the garden the other day
I am hoping there will be a few hen pheasant's about as well.last year there were 5 sanding themselves under the hedge
_________________________
ern

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#63785 - 14/01/12 09:03 AM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
Hi Tim. Happy New Year.

The large bodied bird (90cm = 36inch) we saw yesterday seems to be of the Grouse family and it actually walked like the grouse in the whisky advert. It looked really funny lifting its feathered legs up high very carefully. We could not believe how close it walked up to us. I could have (with a stretch), stroked it on the head. It was just as if it was relieved to see us and have some company. The really strange feeling came when it snuggled down in the snow next to me and started admiring the scenery. Its head and beak were quite hefty and by the way it looked up at me I wondered whether it was sizing me up for a meal.

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#63788 - 14/01/12 02:05 PM Re: Snow [Re: Oldun]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Hi Oldun,
just been looking the capercaillie up in the bird book.
it states it is a very large bird and can be mistaken for a turkey. also the displaying males are very aggressive and may threaten deer, sheep or even humans.
by the look of their claws I would think they could give a nasty wound, so be careful
_________________________
ern

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#63792 - 14/01/12 05:12 PM Re: Snow [Re: tim smith]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Grouse are very wary birds (they know what is going to happen to them on August 12th!) Very unlikely that one would let you anywhere near it. Could it have been a ptarmigan or a dotteril? The latter can very approachable and I have had one eating out of my hand! They were driven almost to the point of extinction by people looking for something for their pot.

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#63796 - 14/01/12 09:16 PM Re: Snow [Re: slowcoach]
Oldun Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1750
Loc: Renens, Vaud, Switzerland
This bird was definitely a Capercaille. The photo I took of it compares exactly with a photo in a local bird book and like Tim says, it was as big as a turkey. Grouse are about a third of the size. The book says that they do not fly about much but like to creep around wild pine forests. I guess this one was just bored and lonely, or maybe it has got used to people leaving behind tidbits for it.

In our walks we have found that wild deer will approach walkers and only step aside at the last moment. When it is the authorized hunting season you do not see a deer for love or money. Maybe they are learning to read the signs.

What we are constantly on the look out for are Lynx. They have been reported in the hills close to here and we have seen unusual paw marks in the mud and snow, but as yet we have had no sighting.

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