Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A Grey Old Day......

Drizzle and grey sheets of rain today. Out on the open Forest, a hundred small streams run over gravel and down moorland hills into lanes and valley bottoms. Brown, peat stained water from a night of heavy rain. Pastures half submerged by ponds and lakes where the water soaks and slips its way downhill.

Old Dog is better again. One morning last week he hurtled out into a world of sheet ice . His feet went from under him and he crashed and slid onto his side. He came in lame, his left shoulder strained by the sudden landing. He has been examined and treated with extra anti-inflammatory pills and it is good to see him sound again and eager for life. Today was his first walk beyond the gates , so we pottered gently around the hill and Whisperdog , muzzled again a world of fear and Other Dogs, came with us.

Wet silver birch trunks shine out of the grey-greens and maroons of the woodland edge.

On the dullest day, there is always gorse in flower.

A pony track between gorse bushes becomes a rushing stream over a gravel bed. Each spring, walkers and riders venturing up and down Forest hills find changes in familiar pathways. Steep drops, small but treacherous ravines cut into the sand, sink holes filled with water. Sometimes the old tracks become impassable and detours are made . New tracks appear in parallel through the bracken, gorse and heather.

Clouds of soft rain moving in across the hills.

Wet and miserable after a night and day of rain, a yearling filly dozes in the shelter of an old field bank. We call this pony Fudge, as that was her colouring when she was born up on the hill. She seems to be turning greyer now, but last summer she had a coat of soft , mushroom dun.

These two were standing nearby. The mare was carefully chewing gorse from a branch while her friendly filly foal came over for a chat and a scratch on her withers.

A thick growth of tree ivy on a silver birch provides shelter and food for insects and birds.

Rivulets of water stream down trackways into the valley bottom to be soaked up in bog land and marsh.


Bovey Belle said...

We had one of those "there was no possibility of a walk that day" sorts of day here yesterday - beastly cold, rain chucking down heavily and often sideways, and a bitter N-E wind to back it all up.

At least you were able to get out and I enjoyed my walk with you, as always, though it is participated in from a computer seat! Lovely atmospheric pictures - especially the last one. Hope that Old Dog is completely better now.

Kath said...

I love the Gorse, I always think it smells of pineapple! Glad your old dog is better.

Morning's Minion said...

It looks like a day when firm discipline was required to pull on boots, coat, hat, mittens and actually make it outside into the weather. Just stepping onto the front porch here or out into the garage lately has been enough to convince me that I don't want to GO OUT!