I haven’t talked about this walking trail yet but I’ve been walking there for years… mostly because it’s so easy (it starts at the end of the road where my mother’s house is), you can do it without hiking gear (as I usually get muddy and only then realise I’m wearing my pretty shoes…) and it has a lot of variety.
There are views over the fields and surrounding hills, there are forested areas…and since it used to be a railroad that has been asphalted, it is even. It’s great on foot, accessible by wheelchair and a lot of fun by bike! It’s my favourite.
It was one of the first real spring days…sunny and blossomy!
The big discovery of this “expedition” was this curious growth near a tree, a parasitic plant called Lathraea clandestina (schubwortel in Dutch) that feeds off tree roots and blooms in early spring. It is a rare plant in Belgium. Supposedly imported from South Europe and not very wide spread in the Low Countries.
I discovered the biggest patch which poked through the leaves, and then began to remove more leaves, revealing more and more patches, so it seems this beech is quite “infected” with it. But apparently the trees don’t suffer so much from these otherworldly looking parasites.
By the way, the English name of this plant is toothwort, because the white stubby leaves (the plant doesn’t have any chlorophyl) look like teeth… imagine them nibbling on your toes when you’re walking past! Hehe. Beware of the woods in Ronse!