Sunday, 17 August 2014

Weekend walking

My eldest grandson and I enjoyed the four and a half mile walk home from North Berwick on Friday.  He is ten years old now, and very good company.  The children still have another week and a half before they start at their new school in Edinburgh, and they will be in our tender care between now and then.  So far they have been having a terrific summer holiday, doing all sorts of good stuff, and entirely UK-based.  They have been away for the last couple of weeks, visiting places like the Harry Potter Experience, Legoland, The Imperial War Museum, a duck tour on the River Thames, rowing a boat on the Serpentine in Hyde Park, the beach at Hayling Island, walking in the more remote areas of the Cotswolds and finally, Cadbury World at Bourneville - so the young man and I had quite a bit of catching up to do.  We were able to chat, chat, chat, all the way home.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

I like this view of North Berwick law.  Note, the Act of Union beech trees are still standing - despite the gale force winds we have had this year.  Please God this is a good omen.
Over the past two days there has been the constant drone of combine harvesters, working away in the fields nearby.  The field below is one shown in my previous post and it is now all cut and cleared away, just twenty four later.
Tilly and I are delighted that the fields are now harvested because it means we can walk around them, and although Tilly doesn't like walking through the stubble, there are wide tractor tracks which are clean, dry and padded with stray straw and chaff.  Today we walked around two newly harvested fields further down the drive.  I was curious when I saw this sight and blinked a couple of times before I realised it was a deer's bum!  
It was a very young deer.  It turned and bounded off to the edge of the field,
 then stopped, and looked round.
It was an exquisite little creature.  Inexperience of humans and dogs and curiosity encouraged it to take a couple of steps towards us, and then common sense prevailed and it ran off into the wood.
Further down, in the corner of the field, there were two more young deer, grazing quietly. Then they took off when they saw us approaching. 
We put up three hares as we walked round the first field.  Tilly was beside herself with excitement each time an animal leapt up from under our feet and shot off across the field.  I have to keep her on a lead, otherwise she would be off and away with all the wildlife we encounter on our walks!  As we headed for home I spied, out of the corner of my eye, a fourth hare, hunkered down in the stubble.  It obviously decided it was going to chance its luck and stay put.  They are virtually impossible to see, but if you look very carefully in the photograph below, you might be able to spot it!  
It's a magical thing to see these beautiful animals in the wild, and a privilege.  They never cease to enchant me.

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