I may have used this title for a post in the past. Whilst fellow bloggers are exploring Manchester, White Nancy, Covid and Wildlife crimes I’m content with a walk around my local lanes. After my drubbing, is that a word, the other day on the Guild Wheel cycle route contentment is the prime objective. I live on the edge of the countryside, but only just with all the new developments, so for many walks I don’t need my car – just set off from the front door.
The road out of the village past the cricket ground is far busier than I ever remember it, a speedway to Chipping. That is why for my cycling these days I prefer the off-road routes. Anyhow, I’m walking today. Storm Otto blew itself out here in the morning and now the sun is shining. As I was saying the road is busy and after a stretch where the footpath ends I resort to evasive action crossing and recrossing to have a straight view of the traffic and hopefully them me. All along are views of the Bowland Hills tempting me to the north. Past that archetypal country inn.
Is that a Kestrel in the tree?
I survive to where I turn up a side lane heading for Longridge Fell. Those white railings, sited on corners for better through visibility, are slowly disappearing – a rural crime.
I stop to talk to a farmer about the winters we never have these days. (tempting fate I know). Along comes a car which stops to reveal a dog walking friend fresh off the fell and heading for a nearby farm café, a good catch up ensures. I’m then admiring the hedge layering skills along the way and am lucky enough to come across the skilled labourer himself. A chain saw now makes the labour easier, but he has to be careful with the final close cut. A bill hook finishes off the branch severing, leaving a slender life giving, bent over, horizontal, stem for further growth. The whole process is to keep the hawthorn hedge thick at the base and stock proof in the future. He seems happy in his work and as he says ” jobs a goodun”
There is a steep hill ahead of me but I have no problem which is reassuring after my last outing mentioned above. (my Covid test was negative by the way) On the way up my mind wanders to future projects – Simon Armitage’s Stanza Stones, finishing off my Cicerone series, getting back on the rock, visiting friends afar not seen since before the lockdown and dare I hope getting back to the Canary Islands. Dreams. Inshallah.
I scan the reservoir for grebes, but the water is too rough today, I’m hoping to catch them in their courting display this year after last year being entertained by the chicks being carried on their mother’s back.
Down through the housing estates and I call in at JD’s for a welcome coffee and plans. A ghostly barn owl quarters across the remaining fields in front of his house. He alerts me to this signage along the road which I had not noticed before – see me after school.
Not bad for a local walk of 5 miles.