Make yourself comfortable, there are no pictures today. Just pictures for you to paint in your mind......
Every day I walk out of my front door and look at the view, every day it is breathtaking. Sometimes the mist is low, the trees peaking out above it, sometimes it is high, hiding the hills making it feel like the valley does not exist. But today it is just sunny. The valley is spread out below, steep sided, heavily wooded, with the river snaking it's way through the flat valley bottom. Often the deer are making their way across the now green flat hay fields which surround the river. I pick up my trusty bicycle, Fenris, the dog, leaps around excited, she loves the bike. The sun is giving us a beautiful sunny autumn day and the birds are singing. The swifts and swallows have now gone to warmer places. but there are still many birds here, often hidden in the bushes and trees. We get to the end of our driveway, the garden still is looking full and healthy and we turn down the dusty narrow lane which only leads to 2 more houses and we take a steep grassy track down to the wooden river bridge. The wild raspberry bushes line the path and Fenris jumps on a patch of moving grass, ever hopeful of catching a vole or mouse. We cross the river. It is very low, we have had hardly any rain for months, but it is still rolling its way down the valley over the rocks and stones, just not so deep or wide.
We now make our way up the grassy track small trees and shrubs line our way, past the wonderfully smelling pine trees which transport you to a different place in your memory. There is a patch of clay on the track and the dew has left it a bit slippery but soon we are up at the top of the track where we meet the forest track. We shoot of down the hill, Fenris excited to be going fast, I'm trying to keep up with her, but we soon are on the level again and come to one of the parcels of our woodland, but we are soon through the small strip and onto someone elses. The sun makes it's way through the trees giving patches of warm air which we roll through to the colder air in the shade. There are tiny frogs on the track, a gravely track, which I have to swerve around. Not as many frogs as the wet years, but still enough to have to concentrate on the track in front!
We come to the end of the forest road, a large turning area for the large forest trucks which will shatter the silence in the winter, but now, small trees are growing in the middle, reclaiming their territory. I leave my bike on its side and make my way into the forest. The marshy area you had to run through with big strides so your feet did not get too wet is dry now and fresh green grass is growing. I am at the rivers edge. It is not wild down here, it is slow and dark and very shallow. The path is very narrow here, wide enough to walk and we pass the bird station where our friend nets and rings birds . The nets are wound up on their wires in tiny metre wide clearings darting off from the side of the path. Alarm calls of birds in the forest ring out around us.
The track deteriorates even more, we are near my favourite place, I should walk here more often, and we are battling through long grass, raspberries and small trees. I nearly fall, I have not noticed one of the many beaver tracks crossing my path. Smoothed out and flattened grass made by their bellies and mouth fulls of branches being dragged back to the river.
The tree I am aiming for is in sight. I am on a spit of land only 2m wide, the swampy silted up lake to my left and the dark river to my right. I come to the tree, I am facing due south. The sun is warm, really warm and I look over the lily pad strewn lake to the endless forest beyond. It is alive with life. I sit down and take in the silence and the beauty. Hundreds of dragonflies dart around over the lake and through the reeds at the edge and soon I have a black dragonfly sitting on my arm. Another one comes too close to its choice resting place and darts off and chases it away before coming back to rest on my arm. Fenris sits seemingly admiring the view also. All is very quiet, sunny and calm and we soak up the beauty of it all. I am so lucky to live somewhere where it is so wonderful. Fish jump, splash, but all I see are the ripples. I sit there scanning the felled forest area, will I see a wolf, bear or elk? Not this time. I will keep looking, but not today.
We make our way back home. It is truly beautiful, calm and peaceful.....This is where I live.
Now sit back and listen to this music via the link below.......take three and a half minutes to think and be still........