A walk.

Walk with me, across the airfield and into the boggy places. The hedges are lined with tangles of brambles. The day is grey, calm, quiet, the land golden.

I decide to see if I can walk a walk I only usually do in summer. As you walk with me the reason will become clear. But I love it, have new wellies, and the dogs so love all its different stages. So, we head across the stepping stones to the boggiest place on earth.

Pi soon takes a detour. I can’t see where she is but can hear a curious noise of a spaniel in a bog. Now and again her progress is marked by the rise of snipe into the sky, and a bogdog shape, leaping above the gold.

She moves so fast, does Pi, from one of the a walk to the other, nose down, tail up, never really looking with her eyes where she goes, only with her nose.

There’s willow here, scrub, crack willow with pillows of emerald and lichens.

Urban architecture intrudes, but I love these posts that stride across the land. A grey heron rises from the pond, a strip of reflected sky. It slow flaps its heavy winged way across the golden land. There are buzzards too, raven, something small, calling, calling, pheasant, snipe and plovers, sparrows, house and hedge, and more. A wren flew up from almost under my feet.

And the gorse is bright in the subtle light.

Celandines are beginning to bring their yellow faces out to greet the coming of spring.

Having made it through the worst of the mud ( I think) we get to a place where five tracks meet. Someone has been cutting the reeds here. I wonder what for?

 Over the fence with careful tread, more mud and more golden gorse.

Once this place was the dump, and the winter brings the detritus of years to the surface. There are bottles and jars, not much plastic.

Curiously there are stands of daffodils in strange places.

And this is the tree that in autumn has apples, bright, sweet, beautiful, and fieldfare and redwing, feasting.

And I make it through more deep mud, hanging on to branches, stepping onto tussocks, until the path becomes….

Oh. And the dogs wade through, and Pi goes duck hunting, and I try to work out how deep the dogs have gone, and I give it a go, but no. When it gets to an inch below the top of my wellies I turn back. Too deep. Back the way we came.

And it’s not surprising, given the trip wires laid by brambles that at some point I trip and fall to my knees in the mud. On dear. Ah well, wet now and cold around the muddiest knees, and onward.

Ivy goes mouse hunting, catches a vole, eats it. Charming creature.By now Pi is the muddiest dog with, somehow, the cleanest head ( if you don’t count the ears) in the world.

Back through the mud (swishy swoshy- it’s like going on a bear hunt…..)

and here, again….. FROGSPAWN!!!!!!!!! So much, so very much and I missed it first time because this time I have been tump hopping my way over the boggy mire and pool. I do love frogspawn, the promise of frogs.

By now I am so muddy, I’ve torn my dress on a barbed wire fence, I have twigs and brambles in my hair. I am 56 years old, covered in mud, looking like I have been dragged through a hedge, backwards ( because I have!) I have no dignity, but I am smiling wide enough because I’ve seen frogspawn for the second time in a week. And anyway, I quite like mud.

So, home, and both dogs have been in the bath. Pi loves it. Ivy thinks she can manage well without a bath, thank you. My wellies seem to have created a vacuum, and were almost impossible to remove, but my feet are now cosy in sheepskin boots. And it’s time to work.

So thank you for joining me. I’m off to lose myself in the branches of a willow tree.

 

About Jackie

I am an artist and writer. I live in a small house by the sea in Wales where I write, paint, walk and watch and dream of bears and whales. I love to read, have a wish for wings and prefer the company of animals to that of humans, though at times I can be quite friendly. I am learning how to work with wood engraving tools and hoping to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
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9 Responses to A walk.

  1. Bernie Bell says:

    FROGSPAWN! HURRAH!

    And – HAPPY JACKIE! HURRAH!

  2. Cecilia Hewett says:

    I love your walk. It is like my walks, except that our mud is mostly red.

  3. Home bound after lunch, I really enjoyed this trip with you and the dogs. Thank you.

  4. Barb Rogers says:

    Thank you so much for taking me with you and your dogs through the muck. And I love that you were willing to get muddy for the joy of frog spawn. I get muddy in clay almost every day, but only up to my elbows, and it’s for pots after all!

  5. Carol Jennings says:

    I love going along on your treks. I have never before seen gorse or so many frog eggs in one spot. I live in the country also but a quite different countryside than where you walk. Thank you for sharing your walks. Love your illustrations also.

  6. Ali says:

    Joy Joy Joy. Thank you.

  7. Georgia says:

    I adore walks down boggy paths, but I don’t have much time to do so anymore because of my school work

    This makes me feel like I just went on a walk!

    Thank you for sharing

  8. Anita Sams says:

    What fun!!! Wonderful fun, and I would not worry one whit about dignity–a little mud washes away, but the memory of finding frog spawn while following the doggies will keep you warm in the memory of it all.

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