It was windy, cold and grey, spits and spots of rain in the air, and over to the west I could see the wet weather heading our way. But we were not deterred. We set off to follow the John Muir Way, which is a good path with great views.
There is a short stretch along a lane and the hedge on the right hand side was predominantly ash. The original young trees must have been trained in a similar way to the pleaching of fruit trees, because all the upright trunks you can see in the photo below are coming from one plant, branching out from two horizontal branches, a bit like a candelabra. It is a different technique from the traditional laying down of a new hedge but equally effective.
Two fields away to the west there is the remains of a 17th century windmill. By 1799 it became a dovecot, or a doocot as they call them here.Further on we walked along a hedgerow which is exclusively hawthorn. It will be a picture in May when the blossom is out, but just now the only sign of new life are tiny red buds, barely visible amongst the cadmium-yellow lichen.
And then into the woods, out of the wind and rain, and amongst the snowdrops.
By the time we emerged from the woods the rain had cleared through and blown out to sea. The view across the fields to the south to the Lammermuirs was clear and above there was a skylark. What an optimistic little bird it is! Singing away about thirty feet above ground. It was right to be positive, because within about ten minutes Tilly and I were on the home-straight, walking in bright sunshine. To hear what the skylark has to say go here,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03tht7c, to the BBC Tweet of the Day website, click on play and shut your eyes. Instant summer.