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    CHICCHANTAL   22,123
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Breakfast with 'shrooms

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Saturday, November 03, 2012

Today it's Epping Forest again. Train to Loughton and of course ten minutes out I realise I have put my squeaky clean new trainers on, not my muddy waterproof goretext trainers. Heave a sigh. I will just have to stay out of puddles.

Get to Loughton, buy breakfast and lunch in Sainsbury's. One croissant, one cereal bar, one coronation chicken sandwich. Ah yes. I brought a flask of tea and a banana with me. Head off to the forest.

Walk up the road and notice some enormous toadstools by the side of the road.



Picking them isn't allowed in the forest, and I wouldn't dare anyway. Most of the toadstools in the UK are harmless, except for half a dozen kinds that you certainly wouldn't want to invite to dinner. I'll stick to ordinary mushrooms. Last time I was in the forest I photographed some inkcaps, and since I don't know anything about toadstools I hunted around on the net to see what they were. At one point I thought I'd been photographing something really deadly, destroying angels! Quite interesting though, 'shrooms.



So I head off up the path. It's not too muddy. Autumn is well on its way and I would guess that next time I'm along here there won't be any leaves left on the trees. At the moment though, the sky is blue and the leaves are green and gold and orange. Lovely!





There's a fair bit of standing water about, which wasn't there a couple of weeks ago. After a while I get to the fallen treetrunk where I always sit and have a drink and sit down for breakfast.



This is the view I'm looking at. I don't know what you looked at while you had breakfast today, but if you had a better view than I did, please put it on your blog ; )



Finish croissant and a spaniel appears from nowhere, vacuums up the crumbs I had dropped and makes advances on my bag. I insert a foot between him and the bag (which has got my lunch in) and say 'no!' firmly. He gets called off and leaves reluctantly.

Sit and sip tea. A minute later, a chocolate labrador bounces along the path and comes to sniff the patch the spaniel just left. He then tries to get at my bag. I use the same technique, leg against his chest, to stop him devouring my coronation chicken sarnies. I know I'm not supposed to have them (411 calories) but honestly! Two dogs in five minutes? You'd get fewer dogs if you had your lunch at Piccadilly Circus!

Stand up feeling slightly addled. The first dog and owner disappeared down a track leading off from where I am sitting. When I next look at my map I realise that this track must go to Loughton Fort, the other earthwork in the forest, which I was intending to look for. Oh well, at least I've identified the way to it. There's always next week.



Stomp along the path, and where it curves on the map, there is a pond marked, 'Blackwater pool'. I actually leave the path (carefully and walk into the forest 50 metres or so, but I can't see it. I'll save that for another day, when I'm feeling a bit more intrepid or have other people with me.

Keep going on. I mentioned the other day in a blog how staggered I was that all this walking had drastically increased my fitness levels, but actually today I'm trying to walk a bit faster than usual and I realise that in fact this track has a fair few ups and downs. It's certainly not a flat easy walk, and there are plenty of muddy bits to avoid.

What I want, however, is to be like the woman who passed me jogging slowly, followed by a black poodle.



Come to the first road and cross it and for the first time pick up the correct track the other side. Actually, if I hadn't worked out which way it was, it's clear now. The leaves underfoot have been churned up along the correct way, making it perfectly clear. Ho hum!



Feeling pleased with myself and come across a couple with two small children and a King Charles spaniel. I like these: if I ever managed to overcome my horror of poop scooping (there is not the smallest chance of this), this is the breed I would buy. That's lucky on the whole, because this one bounces up to me and puts his very muddy paws on my leg. Oh well, it's clearly a canine sort of day.

Keep going, cross next road and hit a very muddy patch which takes a bit of negotiating. Once I have got walking boots, and got a bit fitter, I'm promising myself I am going to go off piste a bit and try some of the tracks I see. While I don't like being lost one bit, I do get the feeling that the most interesting bits of the forest are not the ones you see from this path which has loads of people on it. I've never for example seen a deer or a deer track but I'm certain there will be deer about. Today I see one squirrel, a bluetit, a robin and a magpie. Nothing else at all.

Well, trees.



Have a quick look at Ambresbury Fort, which is still there, now with lots of leaves on it.



I'm now on the final leg of the walk and feeling a bit tired. I'd like to stop and eat but there's absolutely nothing to sit on. Up ahead I see three people acting oddly but when I get closer it turns out that one of them is photographing 'shrooms growing on a log, a whole forest of them. The people are clearly going to be some time, so I leave them to it but make a mental note to myself to have a look next week. I was expecting to see more 'shrooms, I do come across these ones, complete with bunny leavings.



And this one, growing on a dead tree



Arrive at the end of the trail feeling definitely peckish. Cross on to Bell Common, the bit that is by the side of the road into Epping. This turns out to be the muddiest bit of the lot. Right at the end, having successfully negotiated loads of squelchy patches I put my foot in a wet bit and get a soggy foot.



Argh. Oh well, only a half mile to go now.

Pass the pond.



And believe it or not, I get to the station without getting lost.

A first.

Fling myself into the train and bolt two sandwiches and a banana. Drink cup of tea as hot as I can bear it. Never has tea tasted so good.

Looking forward to next week's walk already.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HYATTI1 11/13/2012 11:37AM

    I would love to take the walk with you...as for shrooms, the only way I would eat them in the morning is in an egg omlet. I love your photos...takes me on the journey with you. Thanks for sharing.

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WATCHINW8 11/9/2012 9:32AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WILSONWR 11/8/2012 7:16AM

    What a great walk! I'm glad you "documented" it for the rest of us!

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SERASARA 11/7/2012 9:48PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNGBIRD2000 11/7/2012 11:29AM

    wonderful! thanks!

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CFMOSS 11/7/2012 7:08AM

    yet another - good pictures, good commentary, good walk.

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GARDEMON 11/6/2012 7:42PM

  Lovely pictures. I went today to China Town in Centre Amsterdam and bought dried fungi for a whole month...

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REGSHAR 11/6/2012 11:17AM

    THAT'S QUITE AN EXCURSION, SOUNDS LIKE FUN, IF I WAS ABLE TO DO IT.
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FATHINSN 11/6/2012 12:30AM

    Wow, such a pretty view, I almost can feel the cold forest air :D But I couldn't help but laugh when I saw the pastry on the tree trunk, looks out of place among the nature, hehe.

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LIBBYL1 11/5/2012 11:08PM

  Great pics and account.

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SHAZG321 11/5/2012 11:04PM

    emoticon

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MCJULIEO 11/5/2012 9:50PM

    What a pleasant doggy day!

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MAMAOWLS 11/5/2012 9:03PM

    Your walk sounds very interesting. We've been hunting and I've walked no less than 7 miles for the last 4 days. Most of it over very uneven terrain because I'm hunting I don't take the time for pictures. Besides, I don't have the talent for writing that you do so. I do enjoy your blogs.

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BARBANNA 11/5/2012 8:44PM

    I'm jealous, looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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FAVORITEAUNT84 11/5/2012 6:18PM

    Awesome pictures! Thank you for sharing!

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DIANEGLORIA 11/5/2012 5:42PM

    emoticon

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OICURON2 11/5/2012 5:20PM

    Nice - found myself enjoying your walk

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HARRIET2 11/5/2012 12:18PM

    While eating my breakfast I viewed your great photos! thanks

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CANDOTERI48 11/5/2012 11:38AM

    I really loved your blog. I am a teacher and must have lunch in the classroom so my students can use it (they find the cafeteria too loud/hectic.) As a result, sometimes my lunch is too loud/hectic!

I got to read your blog today and it was like you took me on a walk with you in the countryside. Thanks so much! I appreciate the time and care you took with your story!
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BUSMOM27 11/5/2012 11:26AM

    beautiful pictures

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BANDMOM2012 11/5/2012 10:50AM

    emoticon

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MOMOSG 11/5/2012 10:34AM

    Enjoyed that a lot! Good for you!

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MNCYCLIST 11/5/2012 10:17AM

    emoticon

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DEEJACKSON 11/5/2012 10:07AM

    emoticon

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LJOYCE55 11/5/2012 9:46AM

  Thank you for the illustrated story. emoticon

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LISBETHSALANDER 11/5/2012 9:17AM

    The photo of your "breakfast view" is a stunner. The light in it is breathtaking. What a good idea for your walk!

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HLOCHRIDGE 11/5/2012 9:08AM

    Love the pix and LOVE the blog!

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DEBLYNN323 11/5/2012 8:56AM

    Great blog! Loved trailing along on your adventure!

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TRICIAE2 11/5/2012 8:36AM

    emoticon

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AJB121299 11/5/2012 8:28AM

    great job and great photos

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NEWMOM20121 11/5/2012 8:15AM

    Perfect. I love your walks, you can take me with you anytime.

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ARUSHING2 11/5/2012 8:09AM

 
Thank you for sharing your walk with us - appreciated!

The photographs are quite beautiful, next to being there perhaps.

Appreciate your investment of interest, time and energy to share with us.

Have a great week and take care.

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HIKERGAL123 11/5/2012 7:59AM

  I love your blog! Where I live, we don't have a lot of "friendly" paths so I have to drive to get to them and have to walk the same ones over and over. I love hiking in the outdoors and really enjoy the pictures you take - keep up the great work! emoticon

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SKMINNY 11/5/2012 7:31AM

    Nice walk today, i really enjoyed it! Keep it up, thank you!

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 11/5/2012 7:04AM

    great blog

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BLUEJEAN99 11/5/2012 1:48AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BLOOMING52 11/4/2012 11:36PM

    emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 11/4/2012 9:50PM

    emoticon

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JOANNHUNT 11/4/2012 9:23PM

    emoticon pictures. Love the stories. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ONLYTEMPORARY 11/4/2012 9:08PM

    Beautiful!

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JUNEAU2010 11/4/2012 8:58PM

    I love shrooms, too, but, like you, I am afraid to try any that I see growing. I also have an aversion to scooping, so no dogs for me!

thanks for the tour!

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CLAYARTIST 11/4/2012 8:14PM

  emoticon emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 11/4/2012 7:29PM

    emoticon

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FANCYFREE15 11/4/2012 7:16PM

    I adore your blog! Your running (or walking!) commentary is like laughing with a good friend! Your pix are absolutely beautiful and complement your commentary perfectly. So delightful! emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 11/4/2012 6:53PM

    Oh, what I would give to be able to walk like this!! I love your stories and walk virtually with you. Thank you for sharing!!
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KELSEY54 11/4/2012 6:42PM

    Wish I was physically with you as I am mentally. Lovely blog as usual. emoticon

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VOLLEYGIRL77 11/4/2012 6:30PM

    Great pictures!

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KIPPER15 11/4/2012 6:28PM

    Thank you for another lovely walk. I love to walk with my dogs, but there is a strict leash law here. I am sure you would enjoy a dog, if you got by the scoop issue. I am not sure the cats would enjoy a dog though. LOL. My cat actually rules the dogs in our house. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RONNIEHUEY 11/4/2012 5:52PM

    Love the pictures

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PATRICIAANN46 11/4/2012 5:48PM

  My brother-in-law is an expert shroom-picker. He is the only one I trust to bring them to the table for the best tasting shrooms ever.
Your breakfast was much prettier than mine. It is hard to beat a croissant!!!
emoticon for another great trek.

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