Well, I’m away… so cheating is allowed… more than one photo for day four of the five day photo challenge….
Fifty yards from my front door and we are in the fields. There are no real excuses for not walking. Not that I need any, especially this time of year. In winter, when the long grass is wet and cold, we take the lane out on to the managed fields, tilled and seeded ready for spring. A track skirts the edge and leads around the little copse, drier and firmer underfoot than other routes. But once the warmth returns, we need barely a minute to get in amid the buttercups.
The path is little more than a grove in the green, worn by the other dog-walkers and the village children. In the middle of the day we seldom see another person, though life bustles all around us, from the bees and butterflies, to the spiders and insects, the occasional deer or rabbit and always the birds.
Ani bounds like a small deer through the grass and flowers, hunting moths and exploring every trace of scent. I hang on to the long leash, doing my best to follow until we are safely past the farm roads where vehicles may be a danger, before letting her run free.
The little wood offers deep shade and a place for her to explore. At present the nettles and flowers are waist high or taller… I lose sight of Ani often as she darts through the undergrowth chasing scents. Other dogs and the wild things offer her unlimited possibilities, while I listen to the silence of the trees.
Back out into the meadow and we are surrounded by flowers. This is a beautiful time. The last of the chestnuts to hold their blossoms are the deep pink ones, tall trees covered in huge clusters of flowers and the first spikey orbs of conkers. Elders and wild roses brighten the hedgerows and even the nettles dangle their pearly blooms.
The breeze ripples the meadow like water or a satin counterpane. A huge golden dragonfly flashes in front of us while at my feet a very aggressive little spider tries to warn us away from its web, a fabulous funnel of silk spread between the blades of grass.
Everywhere you look there are flowers. I love the old names.. campion, borage, comfrey, speedwell and one, unknown, that I had never seen before. I wondered if it was a crop plant, seeded away from its home, or a garden escapee. Whatever it is, nestled amid the forget-me-nots and ox-eye daisies, it is beautiful.
So much for a quick walk. An hour passes like minutes. There is an immediate sense of release when you leave the tarmac of the street and step onto the green earth; a sense of stepping into a place where time runs at a different pace and the cares of brickwork and concrete have no place. There is a healing in the earth that simply waits for us.