We start at Hope on the lane leading to the cemetary. Given it's sad connotations, it is a lovely spot just outside the village. I have never seen so many birds thronging the hedgerows! I couldn't catch any of them on film though as it was too dark and they flew too fast. The dogs don't aid this endeavour with their running and barking.
Below is a new addition to the landscape since I last walked this way - a school wildlife garden. How very fancy. I don't remember anything like that back in MY day but applaud it heartily.
Past the conservation area, we turn up hill and under the railway bridge. Puff pant...
Glance left and you'll see one of my favourite houses up on the hill. I would love a view like that....
But, assuming that I'm not going to be affording that house any time soon, how about this tiny, secluded and very pretty caravan site(the fenced area just ahead)? Normally I find caravan sites quite uninspiring but this one is lovely and within walking distance of the village too so pubs and takeaways handy-ish.
This is the view from the caravan site. It really is a gloomy day today isn't it?
Did I mention that it is WET?! Every tiny trickle of a stream is gushing. I hear that the reservoirs are full after only a couple of weeks having been dangerously low for months.
Minty found a stray late Father Christmas. She approached with caution but he didn't attack (and neither did she, amazingly!).
While I'm dragging my sorry backside up the hills, the dogs have more important matters to deal with - sticks!! Shelagh is a past mistress of camera avoidance but Minty always happy to oblige as a model. It was deadly serious.
Sticks had to be carried for as long as possible and then buried in a secure location. If either dogs thinks I might have observed the burial spot they may (depending on how good the stick is presumably) be forced to abort and find another spot. I therefore have to take photographs covertly and on zoom, hence the poor quality!
Here they are "fully loaded" but on the leads so burial is thwarted....panic mode ensues...
Now we're on the quiet lane leading to Aston. It feels so ancient, as if the road has dug itself into the hillside like a stream (which it looks like much of the time). I wonder how long those trees have been hanging on with their roots becoming ever more exposed and precarious?