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9th April 2022 @ 6:06pm – by Henbury Webteam
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Occasional Notes from a Dog Walker – March

In like a lion? Not exactly. Cold and wet but the storms had hit in February. Could be more to come with the equinox

Meanwhile some lovely morning walks with Dot the Dog. An interesting experience one day very early in the month – one of the advantages of myopia (?). As we walked along the track from Anderton’s Lane to Moss Cottage/Mossways I was convinced there were sheep lying and standing on top of a high hedge ahead of us. DtD was not impressed by my observation and as we moved on it became clear the sheep were in fact on the top of the hill hidden by the hedge. ’Twas a nice illusion!

Next morning we found that, overnight, frogspawn had appeared in our garden pool (too small to be dignified by calling it a pond). Dot was not interested – but when there are tadpoles swimming around she will watch them very carefully.

There were many wormcasts in the sodden fields wherever the grass was not long. There were also a lot of shallow scrapes among them so we think Mr (or Mrs) Brock the Badger must have been looking for a worm supper. Judging by the number it must have been quite a good meal.

At last however the sun came out in the second week (a tiny bit warm if you were out of the wind). A walk starting at Redesmere revealed charlock in one field – spring definitely in the offing. The immature swan from the field-flood seems to have found its way to the mere – it has lost some more of its brownish plumage and is very nearly all swan-white but I am pretty sure it’s the same bird.

A few sunny but chilly days followed (the sun again a bit warm if you could avoid the breeze). The wind however was quite brisk and gusty. One day, roles reversed – S did the morning walk with DtD because I was otherwise engaged and the circuit over the fields and past the cottages on to Henbury rise was accomplished quite normally. I therefore had the afternoon walk and DtD and I had to move at top speed because I had to be home in time to get my bread out of th’oon. We were however delayed by having to negotiate a newly-fallen branch from a tree on the path between Henbury Rise and the cottages that had also demolished part of a garden fence. DtD was all for continuing home (her tea awaiting our return) so I had to squeeze around the obstruction or go back to Anderton’s Lane – Dot the Dog was not open to negotiation. A holly and hawthorn hedge is a bit painful to push in and out of (DtD just went under the obstruction and laughed at my contortions and yelps)! The bread did not burn – but it had a good crust

More lovely early spring mornings after that. One sunny-but-hazy morning looking over towards Tegg’s Nose, Shutlingsloe and Sutton Common Dot the Dog reminded me about A E Housman’s line in A Shropshire Lad – “blue remembered hills”. She’s really quite a deep thinker

Spring is definitely here. The hedges we pass as DtD and I do our morning walk and hold our philosophical discussions are greening. The buds on the apple and pear trees in the garden (one of each – hardly an orchard!) are noticeably swollen.

Mid-month and yet more glorious days (and the occasional soak). Walk up to Sutton Common amazing – herd of deer on the horizon under bright blue sky and a (very) young lamb tripping round its mum about as high up as you can get. There was a captivating optical phenomenon as we reached the top – a fluffy cloud passed across the sun, its edge first tinged pink and then gradually all the rainbow colours developed alongside, still in the edge of the cloud. Gone within the time it takes to fire up the camera on the phone but we did see it!

On a day when the sun had definite warmth bumble bees seen and orange-tip and (possibly) peacock butterflies spotted by S – must have found somewhere cosy to overwinter.

Heading for northern Greece for the second half of the month. Dot the Dog off to the health farm (concentration camp) for ten days – she’ll be leaner and fitter when she gets home – and will take it out on us.

Home from Greece for the last two days of March. Good to have had the warm (even hot) sunshine although we gathered the weather at home was sunny too. Those who know me will know also of my interest in wildflowers – lots in Macedonia – some familiar, others must be looked up Our tour guide referred to one of the roads up into the mountains as “windy”. It was certainly winding and the hairpin bends did indeed make us feel windy!

Arrived in London to find snow falling as we came back to Euston in a taxi for the train home and snowing lightly again when we later arrived in “Embry”. This month the old adage about lions and lambs seems to have become rather muddled!

I remain

Horrid of Henbury

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