Travels with MaryE

Most things I love best are about good light and good timing. That's where the adventures start. Don't be in no hurry here. Here you'll find a little bit about bluegrass music, fox hunting, life on the road, time on the mountain, and a whole lot about other things, too.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Rime, Hoarfrost and A Place Like Beguildy

Today was bloody cold. So what did I do? I found the highest place around here and stood there for three hours watching the hounds and horses exercise. Go figure. It was beautiful.

And I learned a new word. It's even in the Collins Concise English Dictionary, so it must be right. "Rime." Someone told me that's what they call the icy stuff that forms on branches, grass and even wire fences when it's foggy and then cold (basically freezing fog -- as opposed to freezing rain). Folks around where I stay call it hoarfrost. And I heard it's called boarfrost (is that really so, Mike?) in North Carolina. Turns out, at least from the dictionary definition, that what I saw today was definitely rime, not hoarfrost, at least the stuff I saw that was in the trees. Gorgeous. [Rime: "frost formed by the freezing of water droplets in fog onto solid objects."] [Hoarfrost: "a deposit of needle-like ice crystals formed on the ground by direct condensation at temperatures below freezing point."] See, they're different animals.

My friends back home like to see photos of some good old country pubs, or "locals" as some of the locals call them. Some of these places are HUNDREDS of years old - hard to imagine for Americans who think a building from 1892 is "old." But many of these pubs I get to visit while following the local hunts are actually old drovers' inns (that's the way they got livestock to market -- on foot -- back before the days of lorries and Land Rovers and stock boxes. Imagine that.) I could write a bunch about drovers inns, but I'll save that for another day.

The "field" (mounted hunt followers) pause to enjoy the rime (and possibly something refreshing from a hip flask).

One such pub is the Radnorshire Arms in Beguildy -- where I happened to land today. As I already said it was COLD and another local hunt I follow opted not to hound exercise at all today. But these Radnorshire folks are hardy and they decided a little cold and rime wouldn't stop them from keeping the horses and hounds fit. It was a bit tricky for the horses, though...the ground in the tracks was frozen and slippery. I think everyone got back safely -- at least I hope so.

When I finally made my way back down the treacherous track to the little village that is Beguildy (you gotta love a place by that name!), I stopped in at the Radnorshire Arms, as is my tradition, for a bowl of vegetable soup with roll and butter and it was yummy. There were a few locals hanging about there chatting at the bar and the folks from the hunt dribbled in to defrost and enjoy some soup.
If you haven't been to Beguildy, do stop and have a cold one and hot bowl of soup in one of those cushy armchairs by the woodstove and tell Peter I said howdy! It's a lovely place.

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