Happy new year to you all.
Today, back to work after the festivities (yes!!!! 🎉) And it started off on a right foot with a recce of the queen's bower walk for later this month. Nice to see lots of families out enjoying the winter sunshine as I wandered across Whitefield Moor, passing the time of day with the Shetland ponies who were grazing in the warmth of the sun.
Ancient trees stand so proud and majestically as the low sun hits their bare and mossy bark.
I stepped away from the busy beaten track and followed the meander of the Ober water which has burst its banks in some places consuming trees and fungi and my wellies in some parts.
For a moment, I stopped and looked up into the silhouette of the branches as the sun streamed through and hit the fast flowing water where there was a slight movement against the trunk of a conifer tree. Shading my eyes from the winter rays I noticed it was a tawny owl. My heart warmed as I smiled with delight while the sun warmed my face and the sight of this beauty warmed my soul.
I started to head back to the main path and my plans of a recce quickly changed when I reached Bolderford bridge to find it has been closed due to damage. I stood and admired the flooded forest by the bridge while I contemplated where to go from here and as I did, stupidly people were clambering over the fencing on the bridge to continue their walk. 🙄
Not to ruin my mood and stunning walk I started to move away from the stupidity to the open heath and there right on the edge of the busy path was a kestrel sat on top of the gorse going completely unnoticed by others. Once again, I stood and admired another beautiful bird amongst the chatter of walkers and mischief of dogs before he eventually took off into the brightness of the sun. Getting back off the busy path I continued to wind through trees and puddles following the Ober water once again until I spotted an offering from the forest. A inviting mossy log drenched in sunlight, a perfect spot to sit for a moment. Closing my eyes, I felt such warmth from the sun and could smell the mossy damp trees drying in the gentle breeze.
From where I was I could see children having great fun jumping in puddles and climbing over trees, their joy was contagious! But as the sun moved past my forest chair I decided it would be time to head back, so I stepped out of the trees out into the open and as I did, there he was again that handsome kestrel this time hovering above the scrub before dropping with great speed out of sight.
I couldn't help but smile all the way back even though the walk turned out to be less work and more of a wander with no destination. On the positive..... I will have to go and do it all again before too long. 😉