At the start of this month, I mentioned that the daily walk I usually take was a bit flooded. Things got worse after that and, shortly after I had decided I should look for a different route, the footpath was closed. So, for the past couple of weeks I have been taking my walks around the town. It’s not the same.

Now that the snow has melted and the sun is out (it almost feels like Spring), I thought I would take another look.

The river water is still a bit high, but not too high, and the bridge is accessible again.

It’s also been warm enough for me to spend some time chopping wood for the next cold snap.

Things are looking up.


Up until the end of last year I was doing quite well when it came to going for a daily walk and was managing to spend at least an hour a day walking. Things, however, have slacked off a bit since the New Year, though. When it’s a good time, it’s often too dark or too wet or too cold, or I’m just feeling too lazy. Consequently, I’ve only been managing three or four times a week during January.

So, even though it was a bit wet yesterday afternoon, I went for a walk anyway. What’s more, the twins decided they would like to join me.

It turned out to have rained a bit more than I had realised and, after trudging through some pond-sized puddles (and avoiding the lake-size ones) we came to the small bridge I usually cross on the way to a nearby forest.

We took a detour.

Almost a Winter Wonderland

I’ve complained often enough about the lack of snow in January, so I really should acknowledge that we actually did see some yesterday. What’s more, it has survived the night and is still visible today.

Apparently, between 2 and 8cm of snow fell across the country yesterday. While we’re very much at the 2cm end of that range, any snow is better than no snow.

It’s a toasty 5°C as I type this, so the snow isn’t going to last long. But it was glistening quite nicely when I went for a walk.


The weather forecast keeps promising snow, and the snow keeps on refusing to turn up. So, this morning, I took the photo at the top of this post with the intention of saying that it almost felt like spring.

And then it started to hail.

Autumn Walks

For most of the lockdown period I have been trying to make sure that I go for at least one decent walk a day. Initially, and throughout the summer, I adopted the habit of going out after work which gave me quite a nice break between working and not working.

With the start of the school term, I swapped this around and started taking a walk first thing in the morning. This meant that I was out of the way while the kids were getting up and ready for school. You may have noticed the occasional sunrise photo that resulted from this.

Now, with the days becoming shorter, it’s getting a little too dark to be trudging around a forest at 7:00 in the morning and, as of last week, I have started switching things around again.

Everything is a lot more colourful just before lunchtime.

Water playgrounds and hobbit holes

Back in July, I joked about hobbits moving in to the area. That location is actually a nature playground, and it has recently opened.

The playground is part of a visitors centre that also incorporates a kids-friendly walk, a beautifully renovated 17th Century watermill — which now contains a bar — and a recently restored small lake. It’s going to great when summer comes around.

When I walked by though it was, inevitably enough, raining.

Smeagol does now have a door fitted, so he won’t get too wet, but I think he’s going to need a bit of grass to grow before his hole starts to feel like a home.

That said, I did cross the bridge, which (luckily) wasn’t as slippery as I had initially feared.


I told you I’d be around for a sunrise.

That moment, early in the morning, when the fog lifts and the sun starts to rise can be truly spectacular.

It’s peaceful, too. No-one is daft enough to be outside at this time in the morning apart from me and a few dog walkers.

Autumn Clouds

I meant to post this last week, but things kept getting away from me. Better late than never, I suppose.

It’s autumn and I was very impressed when I stepped outside on Monday morning to find that the weather had immediately turned both foggy and cold. It also created something of a dilemma for me because, while it’s cold when I step outside, I’m reasonably warm once I’ve been walking for an hour.

So do I wear a coat, knowing I will be far too warm by the time I get home or shiver a bit when I set out in nothing more than a sweater. Both choices are less than optimal — I expect I shall just have to wait until it’s a bit colder and I no longer have to worry about trivia such as this.

Still, the morning walk remains refreshing and, as the days get shorter, I realise that it won’t be long before I will be both able to see the sunrise and able to appreciate it (as long as I don’t have to start commuting again next month).

I’m looking forward to this.


While out walking this morning, I almost walked into a spider’s web which had been spun across the footpath. The spider responsible was dangling from a tree and, while I have to respect her optimism, I’m not entirely convinced that she could have managed a human sized meal.

On the subject of not being entirely convinced, Waarnemingen tells me that this is almost certainly an Araneus diadematus, also known as a European garden spider. I don’t know a lot but I do know that this species normally has cross-shaped markings across it’s back — and this is something I couldn’t see while waving my camera around in the middle of a field.

So if anyone out there is better able to identify this, or knows anything that I don’t (which is most people), please do leave a comment.