The last Sunday in April, the weather looked changeable but we really needed to get out for some air and exercise. We walked aimlessly towards town, and stopped to chat to a neighbour on her doorstep on the way. The town square was almost as lively as the Easter weekend. As we emerged with pies from the baker’s, Phil reckoned he heard a peacock. A sighting had recently been made in Old town and wondering if it had descended from there, we walked down Albert Street. With no sign of it, I proposed it was a dog yelping.
At the main road, we walked on to cross near the rail station and took the track down past the stoneyard. We stopped on the bridge, where a small bird swooped down, apparently washing something in the river. It then flew under the arch. We climbed up broken steps and peered precariously from the edge, but the bird eluded us.
Continuing up Wood Top Road, lush greenery surrounded on all sides. We followed the curves to skirt farm buildings and reach Carr Lane.
Revelling in having the place to ourselves, we dawdled to examine the hedgerows. Delicate white and purple flowers contrasted with deep green grass. Dazzlingly yellow dandelions started going to seed forming perfect clock circles.
Birdsong of myriad species made the only sound. A very loud chaffinch dominated the chorus. At the next group of buildings, we searched for a way through but could discern none apart from down to the railway bridge.
Returning to Wood Top Farm, we took the beautiful grassy lane towards Crow Nest Wood. As we headed down, tiny forget-me-nots lay in a clump at the corner. Oak trees sported shiny leaves and pendulous blossoms. A mouldy stump had become almost dust in places, the culprit an iridescent turquoise. At the quarry, we stayed on the top path into the wood. Afternoon sun filtered through leafy boughs, making soft shadows on carpets of bluebells.
I suggested a customary stop near the stream, but as the air cooled, thought better of it. However, a bit further down, we started flagging and rested on a moss-covered rock.
Phil tried to persuade me that stones had moved uphill since his last visit. I was sceptical about the idea of inanimate objects having a life of their own.
We then took the shortest route down, noting trees looking even more dead and rotten than a few months ago.
As we approached the path behind Palace House Road, a roebuck grazed on shrubs. It stared right at me, enabling a good shot.
Verges displayed a variety of life, different from the dark woodland. Insects and spiders waited patiently for prey. Golden Welsh poppies escaped from nearby gardens. A cacophony of tits hopped between treetops.
Back home, we ate the re-heated pies with coffee and agreed it was much easier than picnicking perched on a rock in the woods. I felt very tired, my legs ached and an Achilles tendon issue flared up. But I was glad we had been out.
More photos at: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AjkK19zVvfQti6cACS87vPUo7HaryQ