Up before the world this morning! Arrived at Shatterford at 5.45am to enjoy first light and the coolness of sunrise. The sky was magnificent! Baby blue skies with brush strokes of clouds and a edging of pink as the sun thought about climbing above the horizon, which reflected the pink shades of the newly flowering heather. I could see in the distant two fallow deer prancing and bounding through the heather before playing and chasing in the opposite direction and disappearing behind the ancient burial mound. Already the air was humid and the start of the day was warming up quickly but as I entered the ancient woodland of Denny Wood for a little light relief the fallows continued the theme as one by one they crossed my path ahead. The woodland quickly turned to a concrete path heading between two small holdings where bunnies run for cover at the first sight of Banjo (not that she would know what to do!) Entering the gate to the conifer-lined enclosure which has recently been felled offered an intense smell of the freshly cut and neatly stacked pine which was great for the soul.
As I turned a corner two buzzards swooped from the tree above while a tawny owl came in to roost. I approached the gate out of the enclosure and the landscape changed from trees and straight paths to wide open spaces splashed with pinks and greens. Passing through Woodfidley passage i met my first fellow walkers who had bypassed a hovering kestrel which went unnoticed.
Following the sandy path i was kept amused by the calves playing and skipping amongst the heather and then my walk came to a standstill because of another herd that were having a mothers meeting in the path while the teenagers had a drink and splash in the water. I wasnt going to risk passing through them as I spotted a very young calf amongst the nattering mothers. So young it was still wobbly and wet, but it was no bother waiting and observing their interactions for five minutes before they moved on to graze. Heading back to the car park the gathering trees in my sight were beautiful in there own right with the accompanying train sound by the close by track and obvious browse line and the quickly arriving traffic.
If you want to join me for this walk next Saturday follow the link below. The walks are a maximum of five people to stay within the lockdown rules.