Our walk today began and ended with a further wee dug/coo charm offensive. There was much mutual nose licking and communal snuffling for the pellets of sugar beet (surely the crack cocaine of the animal world). Shuna Spurtle edges closer, but is not quite there yet…I am playing a long game.
Round by Kersfield to admire the magnificent soil, lovingly showcased by the resident mole. There was something flowering in the drainage ditches so I scrambled down to discover they were chock full of water mint. Lyra had to get in on the act and platched up and down a ditch for a while, ignoring my blandishments (alas I was armed with only crunchy treats…) However, she ambled back eventually and we were gaily strolling on when I realised my phone was missing. Steps were retraced and thankfully I spotted it in a clump of grass and not the slurry. The sporty cotton zip up has been declared unsuitable for dog walks due to defective pockets. (They barely deserved the name, being pathetically shallow and more like small shelves for resting your forearm on when your giant fit bit gets too heavy). As regular readers will know this is entirely the fault of the patriarchy. If this carries on I may have to blow up a post box. Project Waistcoat With Useful Pockets is nearing code red urgent.
On the way back we swung west to look in another little wood. A young deer ran out of it on the evening walk last night, and I marked it down for investigation. I was rather doubtfully skirting the edges, thinking that shorts and ankle socks were not the best thing to tackle knee high nettles, when the vista opened up with an inviting, but still fairly overgrown, track. Lots of red campion and herb Robert amongst the long grass and dotted piles of brash and branches looking for all the world like pyres waiting for unwary witches.
The track split half way along and I dithered, trying to remember the Robert Frost poem, before plumping for the left hand track. I fear this was the deer path and it led to a route out of the wood which involved leaping a ditch and scrambling up a steep bank. To any bystander “camel” might have been the word that sprung to mind rather than “gazelle”. Slightly dusty and nettle stung, we continued home, where Lyra cooled off in the pond before sneaking off for a further chat with her bovine amigos. I was revived with tea and a slice of cake gifted by our lovely neighbours.