Tackeroo toadstools

Wednesday: We’re walking the track of the Tackeroo today. The reason for the name is lost in obscurity; the track is that of the WW1 military railway built to serve camps on Cannock Chase – lifted soon after the war ended. Substantial parts of the network of lines remain as very pleasant footpaths across the moorland – along one stretch, there seem to be regular indents at right angles to the path, about as far apart as the line’s sleepers would have been. Surely not, after nearly 100 years?

Today’s weather is dull – grey and hazy – and the colours in the leaves have yet to develop. The Tackeroo toadstools are doing really well though, especially the fly agaric (“Flying Eric”, as my nephew once misheard). Sadly, many beside the path have been kicked and broken – whoever would want to do that?

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Cleehill Curiosities

Tuesday: We’re exploring in the southern part of the Clee hills – Magpie Hill and Titterstone Clee, and Clee Hill itself (Cleehill – all one word – is the village). The curiosities are many, not all easily explained. Who would think to name a place “Random”? Then there’s the three-forked pole – shropshirehistory.com quotes a map of 1571 which described it as a “A fforked pole neare to a place whence on old Stone Crosse stood formerly”. Those space-age mushrooms on Titterstone Clee (there was once a rocking or “teetering” stone) are not quite what one would expect, though, visible from miles around, they aren’t really unexpected. But those brick-built figures of eight – what were they for?

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Parasols and sombreros on Brown Clee

Not just parasols (one of which looks more like a sombrero), though their size makes them rather obvious – there are all kinds of fungi up on Brown Clee at this time of year, from the mundane to the weird and wonderful. It’s a very pleasant afternoon to be out on the hill – barely a breeze at first, with a blue sky and white fluffy clouds. Later, the sunshine becomes rather watery, but it stays dry, and the light’s just right for those monster mushrooms as we return to the car.

View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=358940&Y=285446&A=Y&Z=120