Back on Patrol

With the quarantine ended and my leg largely mended, Lyra and I were finally able to hit the trail again today. I was up with the lark and out with the pooch before anyone had a chance to object (though Lachlan I think rather appreciated the lie in as his last night in Glenelg saw an unexpected reunion with old friends which was celebrated with great thoroughness by all concerned).

Our garden is a mass of flowers of every hue at present. They assail the senses. Everything has gone berserk and I am teetering between loving the profusion and dreading the epic amount of splitting out that will surely be necessary come the autumn. However, out in the fields everything is in muted shades of green and gold, almost austere and very soothing. Wheat and barley are starting to ripen to gold, but their stems are still an almost startling blue green. The oilseed rape has formed into twisty masses of seed pods, turning gently biscuit coloured and garnished at the field corners by rangy clumps of wild chamomile. Most of the wild flowers have gone, with seedheads now starting to form for an autumn display, though there are still airy clouds of hemlock and stitchwort in the grassy verges as well as an array of thistles and knapweed providing food for the fluttery brown and white butterflies. The gaudy red ones haven’t put in much of an appearance as yet.

My neighbouring dog walkers have surely failed to keep the paths trodden down in my absence. I was up to my waist in places and Lyra totally submerged. She swished to and fro in the long grasses, having a whale of a time and looking winsomely at me through the fronds to check I was watching. This was Hula, Hula dancer coy at its finest. Not having come this way for a while there was a lot to sniff and inspect. She seemed especially fascinated by the peas planted in our favourite stubble field and examined them minutely. Or then again perhaps she was just scouting for a juicy nugget of deer poop.

We were back before noon, just as the sun was getting a little oppressive. Lyra found a comfy spot in the shade and I settled down with a book under the pergola. One, amongst many, wonderful things about walking the dog, is the sense of virtue which then justifies a sybaritic afternoon.

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