As you may have gathered from previous posts (or the lack of them!) I have been a tad occupied of late. What with the grind, work being carried out to the Wooldridge estate grounds and now the room de bathing, the completion of Poultry Towers, and a host of other day to day chores I’ve had time to neither fart, burp or complain (ok so the last bit’s stretching it a tad). But this does not mean that I’ve been neglecting the Warthog and her exercise regime, hell no if anything we’ve covered more miles in the last couple of weeks than
and his pachyderms did on their journey of conquest. Thing is though the recent workload your beloved scribe here has been brutally forced to undertake has meant that the walking has been given a slightly different perspective. Normally I walk in the morning (although not early enough) or the afternoon if the sun is not blazing down too hot, that’ll be most afternoons then here in ‘sunny’ Wales. But due to circumstances beyond my control the Warthog and yours truly have been unable to hit the trails till the evenings, and I have to ask myself why haven’t we done more of this type of meandering before? Hannibal
It’s difficult for me, being the person I am, to put into words the whole damn thing that makes evening walking that tad more special, there are far better wordsmiths blogging away that this tongue tied bugger from Wales I can tell you that could sum up the atmosphere with some well chosen lines, but I’ll have ago anyway.
The whole ambiance of being out and about in the evening is so different to walking at other times, even the air smells differently. Whether it’s because in the build up moisture or that plants change their systems as the light fails but I’m telling you the bloody air smells differently, and it smells wonderful every evening that we’ve been out over the last few weeks, whether it was raining, windy or clear. Although having said this, there was one night last week when the air smelt, erm… rotten is the best way to describe it, every where we trod there was a dank smell of decay following us. This brings me to my next observation, and that is there is a difference to your comfort levels as the light just starts to fail, certainly under the close canopy of the older woods the light swiftly dims and to be honest it’s a relief to hit more open aspects of the trials.
It’s funny how we humans claim to be highly evolved and have an understanding of the world around us thanks to intellect, science, higher intelligence etc. Bollocks, every hair on my neck stood up at times passing through the darkest parts of the forest as the sun dipped to the horizon, every nerve screamed with primitive fears, my eyes saw threat in every darkened hollow and my hearing detected noises that stretched the imagination. Scared at times? Bloody right I was but I tell you what, it’s a great ‘I’m alive feeling too!’ It also doesn’t help matters when the Warthog becomes skittish and instead of quartering the trails ahead at her usual twenty yards she loiters behind saying ‘go on you’re big an ugly enough to go first’ to be fare though she’s becoming quite the trail companion and I’m beginning to trust her instinct more and more.
I touched on the sounds, not all are threatening the arrival of a banshee, indeed the woods take on a mass of sound that if you just stand in an open (and preferably well lit) glade the sound washes over you like a tsunami of noise. From the territorial calls of many birds claiming their space before turning in for the night to the wind driven chatter of trees as they discuss the hobbit and his scruffy dog below them, from the clap, clap, clap of wood pigeons bolting from trees as their roost is disturbed to the bark of a fox (hairs up at this point) the woods are awash with calls and noises not heard in the day.
Then there is the light, yes it’s fading but also as you pass through glades and emerge from tree cover at times it seems so much clearer with small details defined as crisp as you like (really wish I was a better photographer at this point). But also it does sometimes drag your primitive fears to the surface when up the trail a shadow pauses before moving on and for the life of me no matter how hard I squint I cannot make out what I’ve just seen.
I suppose I’d better leave you with a few pictures from when the light is good ‘till it starts to desert me. Maybe they’ll help, with my simple words above, describe the rush of emotions and feelings felt whilst walking through the woods as the light fails;-
|A small Wasp nest unearthed|
|Home at last....|
One last thing, would I put myself through the roller coaster of emotion when the light is going and there is still a few miles to go to the fun cruiser? Damn right I will, hell it confirms one thing – I’m alive.
I hope that I’ve conveyed a little of the joy I felt during these walks, till next time take care my friends.