Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumn is definitely here...

Oh for goodness sake! It's such a long time since I managed a blog, it's just taken me 10 minutes to work out how to create a new one... honestly... anyway, with no further ado, here it is.

Moretonhampstead in the distance

Autumn is definitely here. This morning’s dog walk was glorious, the air crisp and the sunshine brilliant, with everything in high-definition glistening with the morning dew.

The wildlife was very active, lots of rustling in the hedgerows and small shapes flitting about, always just out of view… the cold mornings must kick-start their winter preparations. In the wall at home, our bank vole is rushing around industriously gathering his supplies for the winter months.

At the top of the back lane, I stopped and leant against the gate to enjoy one of my favourite views down the Wray valley. The sheep in the field were dozy in the sunshine and stood about looking as if they’d only just woken up. Deep shadows in the foreground, and the view disappearing in the very strong sunlight… this view includes the lovely little hill - it’s almost conical, with a tree growing on the top - that I refer to as Cromwell’s Knob. Oliver is reputed to have massed his troops in that area, and I always fancy he would have done it on the little hill as it’s such a good vantage point. Complete nonsense probably as anymore than 20 or so people and they probably wouldn’t fit and I think Mr Cromwell had a pretty healthy following in this part of the world.

Middle barn looking lovely, if decrepit, in the morning sun
Above me in, the beech hedge, a robin started singing - such a magical sound. Another bird nearby, I think a wren, politely waited for the robin to stop and then performed a little solo of its own, before letting the robin carry on.

I’ve never paid much attention to birds but now I’m aware of them all the time - clearly an age thing. I am much more aware of nature around me everywhere these days, I find it far more interesting than anything else, it’s so endlessly fascinating and birds in particular, are so diverse. I’m quite good at identifying them, but I need to brush up on their songs as I’m never sure who’s singing unless I can see them, like the robin.

Study birdlife and you’ll see our own world in miniature - the youngsters fighting to make their mark and define their territory, all the punch-ups over sex… the home-making, feeding and protecting the young, the bullying robins, the chattering blue tits, the murderous sparrowhawk… and so it goes on in a glorious colourful, feathery, twittery world.

The air was so clear this morning all the colours were vibrant, the lichen on the middle barn was a deep ochre and the sky the most stunning blue.

Sheep in Pond Field, chewing ernestly...
As I finished the walk, the sheep were all lazing about under one of trees in Pond Field, chewing peacefully and taking no notice of Tilly or myself, all very serene and pastoral. Definitely one of those mornings when you want to run around like an idiot whooping and rejoicing in the beauty of it all. Needless to say, I didn't... I just plodded home and had some coffee. but it has lifted the spirits enormously.

These days for convenince, I tend to only take my iPhone with me, so the quality of the photos is a bit average. Once it gets misty and more interesting, I might venture out with the 'proper' camera and take some decent shots... watch this space....

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