Sunset walking

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Walks in winter time are squeezed between sunrise and sunset, taken in slots between showers, rapidly executed.

These summer days stretch out with promise of warmth and sunshine. Me and the dog like to walk in the morning when the day is warming and then again, as the sun goes down, as the day begins to cool and just enjoy the sunsets.

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When it’s too warm to walk…

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Today it was 30’C, so this evening we went to Coniston water in the Lake District and swam.
Labradors love to swim and swimming with them is a joy, though I would advise a wet suit to stop any scratches. The dog does like to swim into my arms and climb onto my back. She adores swimming. Coniston has some shallow shores, though it shelves away sharply, so me and the dog could splash around together.
No words have more magic than ‘English Summer’.

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Breaking in my new boots.

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It’s always sad to admit a pair of boots have come to the end of their life. My old boots were full of holes and actually giving me back ache, so I had to admit it was time for some new ones. Me and the dog are off on our holiday in a few weeks so I though I’d better make sure my new bots were fit for purpose.
I did try to take my old boots to the recycling bin but I just couldn’t find one for shoes, so they are just sat by the washing machine awaiting their fate.
To begin to break in the boots, me and the dog went into the canal. I’ve never noticed how much water lilies look like boiled egged before, but I really thought this one did!

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The bulrushes are also growing tall and strange, not flower, not grass.

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I also really wished I had a good camera instead of just my trusty iphone4s. The white blob in the black and white picture was really a wagtail. There was a whole family of them in the stream but I couldn’t get close enough to take a picture. I thought I’d share it as a mistake!
No blisters to report from the new boots but the Himalayan balsam is now really immense, towering above the hedgerow and blocking the native plants from sight. In fact, parts of the green lane feel like a set for ‘Day of the Triffids’!

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Here comes the rain again

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Today the rain has returned and the world is transformed. At the moment, there are no raging torrents, just splashing raindrops.

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I had to dig out my waterproof coat and discovered my walking boots let the water in! (fortunately I haven’t quite managed to part with my old boots yet and now I have a reason to keep them)

The butterbur leaves sounded like umbrellas as the rain drummed down. I saw no birds, no people not even a duck! The colours of summer were changed and everything seemed so green. The mud went from brown to black just to make the greens stand out more, puddles appeared where there had been paths.

Tomorrow, the Tour de Frances passes through Yorkshire. I think it will rain and I hope the world looks on and admires the English summer. The dog did not mind the rain one bit though she did object a little when I dried her when we got home. She has been so used to drying whilst she sleeps in the sun. Still, there is a softness about English summer rain and I can’t say I mind a bit!

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The return.

I haven’t had internet for two whole weeks. During this time the dog did hurt her paw and was not able to walk for three days but it still means I have lost 11 days of blogging! The past two weeks have been perfect English summer weather. The temperature has stayed below 25’C, so nothing too hot, but blissfully above 20’C, warm enough to walk and let the dog swim as the world becomes lush and green.

The green lane where we walk lives up to its title in the summer, and the river bank becomes so filled with grass and butterbur, rosebay willow herb and sticky goose grass, that it becomes almost impossible to walk to the river. 

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 There are also nettles as high as my head, which doesn’t bother the dog, but I choose to avoid.Image

 

 

A sign of a hot day is this discarded baby sock. Hot little toes must have wriggled free or maybe this is part of the ‘where do odd socks come from?’ mystery.

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Thunder showers.

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Dodging heavy thunder showers today. Puddles overflowing, elderflower blossom washed from the trees.
The dog didn’t like the thunder and preferred sitting in her basket to walking today. The rain has made everything so lush. I counted five species in the hedgerow and especially noticed the red stalks of the sycamore that forms part of the hedge.

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Hope we have sunshine and a long walk tomorrow!

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The absence of walking

I haven’t written for a few days. I’ve had a very bruised foot so I haven’t been able to walk very far. This is the dog’s own fault as she launched off my foot when leaping into the air, vertical take off! Three days without a walk and I am an insomniac, my back is shot and I am altogether washed out. The dog, on the other hand is fine. I think we walk for my sake really.
The days we have missed have been hot then wet and the lane is lush. Nettles grow to waist height and it is difficult to see the stream that flows beside the lane. There are exceptional places, like the ford, where the dog awaits her stick.

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Sticks are hard to find as the undergrowth is now dense. Huge butterbur leaves dominate, though this provides cover for the dog as she waits to pounce.

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Everything is changing, life is thriving, new flowers open, flowers that were new last week are shedding their petals before my eyes.

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The elder is already heavy with blossom. It is a cool, rainy day but I feel summer has arrived.

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