Having not gone on many of these rather lovely leisurely strolls in recent years, I am reminded what an absolute treat it is and how amazingly lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and scenic part of the world.
Sunday morning was beautiful. Frosty, but accompanied by the most brilliant sunshine. Oh to get a really good dose of vitamin D, arrrr......
So off we toddled with Small boy and his friend, myself, a very eager Jenny dog and my dear friend who is finally able to keep pace and join us in such pursuits. Of course keeping pace is not really something that happens when you take two small boys out into the country. The world is full of so many wonderful distractions. It would be a sin of the worst kind to make haste and set any serious pace on such a fantastic morning.
We took to our village lake to explore the seasonal changes and enjoy the beauty that surrounds right on our doorstep and what a total delight it was.
The sun's energy beaming its dappled rays through the bare trees created the most incredible reflections in the water and the colours of the vast variety of mixed plantings feasted our eyes on the most stunning palate of hues. How often do we think of Winter as being drab and dull? You have to see beyond that sometimes and look for the colour, it really is there if you open your eyes.
The boys were thrilled to see that recent rainfall had caused the water level of the lake to rise and overflow, whooshing over the edge of the storm drain and belting out at break neck speed into the little stream below. What an excitement to paddle in the stream and feel the waters energy pummelling on your wellies.
Further on we observed the excellent efforts of the estate gardeners and their ground clearance work to encourage new growth and strengthen the banks and to give rise to clear and inspiring views across the water.
The boy's were reminded of a fox that they had found in the hollowing of tree roots; a dead fox. They had awaited the decay of its flesh to enable them to explore closely the structure of its bones. Today the moment of readiness to examine the creature were upon us and challenging thought and practise were instrumental in excavating the poor thing. Nothing prepared me for parenting a child with such gross interests!
The fox carcass was exhumed and balanced precariously on the end of a stick which was carried at arms length. It still stank!
I have to admit that the jaw of the fox was intact and was....interesting!
I know.....rather yucky!!
Further on, the boys admired the bridge which had been cleared of its tangled mass of creepers, exposing its face wall and several 'secret' doorways. These required some careful navigation but were explored non-the-less with great enthusiasm.
A badgers paw was hooked out of the lake in the same spot. Amazing how the water had preserved the flesh. Thankfully it was returned!
A slow pace meant many treasured moments to stop and admire the incredible scenery. An hour or so of wonderful fresh air and another collection of memories to be kept forever :-)