Sunday, September 05, 2010
Our walk begins in Meldon, parking next to a post box and public telephone.
The first lesson of the day is a geo-political one about the riches of the developed world and the inequities of distribution of food resources. We have so much that it is piled up outside whilst in other places price rises due to poor harvest in Russia and Canada mean demonstrations, riots and people being killed in Mozambique.
Reflecting on how fortunate we are and how unfair the world is nevertheless we set off for our afternoon walk. I wondered where the birds are but DH says they're too stuffed on seeds to be able to fly and have gone for a lie down!
Just through the first gate and we find deer tracks in the mud, we have occasionally seen deer too but not at this time of day or on this walk. Somebody is too noisy to creep up on anything!
Just in case you were wondering there were sheep this week but not many and not as handsome as last time's. These, I believe, are Mules, and they're very obligingly posing for their photo before moving out of our way as we set off uphill to walk along the skyline. The ewes are mainly Blackies around here. The initial section of our walk is obviously not well trodden and has become so over grown with nettles that we had to take a short detour. Up here however the stubble in the field is easier to navigate.
Folklore would have it that a heavy crop of berries forewarns against a hard winter but perhaps this tree clinging to the edge of our path just tells us this has indeed been a bumper year for all in this country.
A windswept untended former hedgerow stands on the ridge, bent by the westerly wind. Today is was pleasant, though windy hence the Calorimetry, in the last summer sun but in the winter this section of our walk is bitterly cold.
Always at the edge of a 'safe distance' she's running ahead as we make our way downhill towards the river. It's good to be somewhere where that boundless energy can be relatively free running.
It really is a big step for a small girl. From here on it's relatively flat walking until the very end. A great place for throwing stones in the river and now that they've replaced the bridge no more fear it might fall in!
Half way there and time for a rest and a snack then catch me if you can!
An important aspect of any walk is the collecting. We always come home with a bag containing momentos of our day. Important lessons about what can and cannot be picked and why, the relative merits of a special stone, the number of ears of wheat left after the combine harvester which would be needed to make a loaf of bread. Is this wheat, barley or oats and what do you make with them? Katy has her own theory about why this field full of weeds and parched areas had not been harvested and what the farmer was doing by leaving areas fallow.
Sometimes we play the 'what if we lived here' game. If we lived here there would be plenty of space for the football posts and I could have a studio in the outbuildings. On reflection though we thought it might be too big for us and Katy didn't want to be so far away from the blue shop where she gets her bouncy balls!
This sign points the way to another lovely walk in this area which we have done in the past. Visiting the same area several times means we have been able to see lots of different aspects of this place, it's riddled with footpaths and it's lovely to go back time after time yet rarely cover exactly the same ground. I am beginning to see how all the walks fit together and where one crosses another.
Before leaving the short road section of our walk we had chance to 'speak' to a horse curious over whether we might have a treat hidden in our bag. Sadly we did not.
Soon after leaving the road we walked along a Public Byway. On the map this led from somewhere insignificant to nowhere important. Was it an access road for something grand? Or to take stone from a quarry perhaps? A made up road with bridges and embankments; a railway? No sign on the ground or the map of it's original purpose. The farmer we asked said it was just a 'Green Lane' and nothing important.
But I think I want to dig a little deeper on this one.
Under the strangely elaborate Public Byway there were several culverts, a lot of trouble for a 'road to nowhere'.
And by the side of the Byway were some unusual fungi which were variously described as 'dinosaur eggs' and 'stones' until she tested them with her finger and oops they weren't as hard as she thought they'd be!
Further along we came back to a familiar part of our journey and rejoin the path on a section we have walked before.
The dilapidated pump means we're on the last leg of our walk. Phew, nearly there!
Not sure but I think this stubble is Oil Seed Rape - very pretty and in the last of the sunshine the field glowed red.
At the top of the hill, in the last field there are 8 trees in a line. By now we are tired and I am ready for a sit down and that flask of coffee I left in the car! What's the best way to get a small girl along this field as quickly as possible? Why have a race of course! She's getting pretty quick and I am pretty slow, wont be long before she beats me every time instead of most of the time like now.
Have a good look, this may be the only photo you ever see of me running :)