A break for a biscuit - the best part of any walk
A Greek legend describes how Milo of Croton performed a famous feat of strength by carrying a fully grown bull on his shoulders. He did this by first picking up the bull when it was a new-born calf. Every day, he would pick up the calf and carry it. As the bull grew in size, so Milo grew in strength, and by the time it was fully grown he was still able to pick it up and walk with it.
I have tried something similar with young Scarlett (although I would never compare her to a bull, even a small one). Ever since she was born I’ve been carrying her in my walks around the countryside, firstly in the baby sling and latterly in the backpack carrier.
Canada Geese on the lake
She’s been getting bigger, and I’ve been getting stronger. Unlike Milo, however, I’m beginning to flag a little. She weighs about 15kg now, which is about the same as my rucksack when I used to go on winter backpacking trips, and I’m starting to feel the weight. But I don’t begrudge it. I really enjoy the walks we have together – it gives both of us the chance to get out and experience the countryside.
Today has been a warm, bright autumn day – far too nice to stay indoors. We went for walk up to the lake and beyond. I don’t come here very often, so it was a good excuse to have a look round. Unfortunately, it is one of those ironies that bright sunny days are not the best for seeing wildlife – that seems to happen in the dark, the rain or the cold, when no-one else is around. But warm days are so much nicer for a walk.
Robin in Crab Apples
There are signs of badgers in the area round the lake – paths, latrines and snuffle holes – but I’m damned if I know where they’re coming from. There must be a sett somewhere, but it must be away from the paths somewhere. The ground seems too low-lying and damp to me, but the badgers must be here somewhere. The lake is a noted birdwatching spot, but there was not much here today. Some Canada Geese paddled serenely near the far bank, and a pair of buzzards circled overhead. A robin was singing heartily from the top of a crab apple tree. Nothing special, but good to see nonetheless.
Nesting ladybirds on a hazel leaf
The signs of autumn are all around. One unusual thing I noticed was a cluster of ladybirds on the underside of a hazel leaf, presumably getting ready for winter. I always thought all ladybirds hibernated on our window frame, but now I know their natural habitat. Do they stay there when the leaf falls off, I wonder?
As it was a nice afternoon, I kept on walking. I followed the path for a few miles, through the woods and into the next parish where the paths are strange to me. It is wonderful how many footpaths there are in Britain, so that I can be only a couple of miles from my home and yet be in unfamiliar country. There’s definitely scope for more exploring over the coming months.
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