And so it began!

Our regular Wednesday morning excursion, with a new recruit onboard, set off from the Aislaby road and headed along a marked footpath towards the village, and access to the Teesdale Way. We would decide which way to turn once we could not go any further, and avoid falling into the river.

The following conversation took place as we were walking down the footpath.

Brian S: “Quick lads! Have a look, there are a couple of Jays on the path about 50 feet ahead of us.”

We all lifted our binoculars to our eyes to confirm the sighting. Sure enough two brightly coloured Jays were cavorting about on the path ahead of us, just under a large tree.

Brian S: “They will be gathering acorns to store for the Winter.”

Harry M: “Acorns?”

Brian S: “Yes , they are well known for foraging for acorns at this time of year.”

Harry M: “That’s a Sycamore Brian!”

The tone was set for the remainder of the day. The newcomer had laid out his stall, and suddenly any mention of acorns was met with hilarity from the other members of the party.

We proceeded on to the village, and turned down towards the river.

It started raining! We turned left for Yarm and proceeded on the path alongside the Tees.

Muddy, slippery and wet, this footpath tested our footwear for both grip and resilience to water.

We had an early casualty! One of our group ended up looking as if he had been on the bottom of a collapsed rugby scrum after a fall on the muddy, uneven path. All was made well after a suitable length of tree branch was located and we supplied him with it, to provide additional support whilst we carried on with our adventure.

A train was spotted on the viaduct! Heated debate ensued as to whether the direction of travel of the train was North or South. Nobody had a compass!

We gave this stuff a wide berth!

The big question was “What is it?” We settled on Otter after yet more debate.

All in all a very enjoyable day was had by all.

We returned to where the car was parked and set off to a local hostelry to enjoy a well earned bowl of chips and a pint!

Aislaby Circle – of Jays and Acorns

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