Monday, 4 February 2013
A wander to Scrabo Tower
Above a town called Newtownards sitting on a plug of Dolerite rock sits an old tower. Built in 1897 as a memorial for a local landowner It is visible from many miles away on a clear day.
The tower housed a a collection of people over the years including a certain William McKay who, along with his wife brought up 8 kids in it. The tower is constructed from stone quarried from the rock on which it sits.
The tower and its surrounding lands are now part of a public country park. The old quarries which provided the stone are overgrown and disused. A Beech woodland has grown nearby with Hazel and thorn scrub.
I have always liked this place, it sparks my imagination.
An old Beech slowly degraded by Ganoderma spp. fungi-resulting in failure
An old carving, again destroyed by the wood eating Ganoderma spp .
A nice south facing mixed broad leaf woodland. Beech and Scots Pine with a sparse understory of Holly
An old hollow Beech and an obvious bat roost.
One of the old quarries mined for the stone to build the tower
The tower sitting in a nest of Gorse
A well flooded golf course. This water was crystal clear but knowing a bit about green keeping I suspect it is full of fertilizer and herbicides washed off from the course.
Sand stone carving
Crystal clear water in one of the many rock kettles on the summit.
Rock kettle- regularly emptied by the sun and wind and refilled by pure rain.
More rock kettles.
Enjoying the view over Strangford Lough
Drinking from the highest rock kettle I could find. Pure rain water. It is hard for nasty pathogens to live in these. they are often empty and are subjected to constant(when it is not overcast) UV radiation from the sun making them sterile. Of course try not to suck up the sediment on the bottom.
Wood sage- it has similar properties to commercial sage-which are many.
A nice little red flowered moss existing in a crack in the rock, sheltered from the constant rain off the lough.
Stonecrop growing out of a rock crevice