Yesterday was bitterly cold and dank. Today is warmer, bright, and as the force hasn't really been with me in the last week or so, Tilly has had a very short straw when it comes to a decent walk. It just hasn't happened. So, I promised her that after breakfast today we would have a decent tramp around the fields, and catch up with what's been going on around here over the past days, because if there is one thing I can tell you for sure, the countryside does not stand still! It changes on a daily basis.
To my delight, and relief, the Howden Burn is full. We have had a lot of rain recently and this has run down off the fields to top up the streams which run through our local landscape. Back in the summer I was more than a little concerned that the burn had run dry. The farmer had dammed it, in order to siphon off water to irrigate his potato fields. I am not entirely sure he should be allowed to do that, and there is little doubt that this affected the wellbeing of the water life and plants downstream from the water collection point. To see it full of water today made me say "Hooray" out loud!
The crab apple trees growing along the edge of the burn still have some little golden fruits, hanging on for dear life! There are plenty lying on the ground and I think maybe the deer have been enjoying some of those. The grasses along the bank of the burn, under the trees, are all flattened down.
The dense twiggy branches have already got next year's blossom, fattening up in claret coloured buds.
The Howden Burn runs along the bottom of another huge field, which I love to walk around. Today the wind made a wonderful rustling sound as it passed through the common reeds, growing along the field margin. I wish a photograph could illustrate the wonderful movement of the rushes, as the wind blew them, this way and that.
In an old hawthorn tree, along the edge of the burn, there was a charm of chaffinches - or could it have been a trembling, or trimming? They are all lovely words for the collective noun for a group of finches!
And then the highlight of today's walk. A rainbow, and a buzzard which was soaring over the field, chucked around by the strong warm wind, as it blew across the field. I tried to photograph the bird, but with no real luck. So, imagine the combination of the rainbow and the big brown bird, with a wingspan of about 4 ft, and the sun shining on the paler feathers of its underside, as the wind tossed it around, up and away. Fabulous!