Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Foggy Monday walk 9 Nov

A new walk in the next county, on a dull, foggy day. We set off up this path and, turning round, the view of the avenue was very pleasing. Everywhere was hushed and there was little life around. A buzzard crying in the clouds, crows fussing about as crows do.

Our Ordnance survey map and the footpath sign indicated that we should walk on the other side of this wall, which we dutifully did. A notice rather pompously announced that the landowners 'welcome careful walkers'...

...although as we battled to stay to the mapped footpath (and with no indications of an alternative route) I cursed that 'walkers welcome considerate landowners'. We had to slide and tiptoe along this narrow ridge, through slashed bramble bushes and down landslips.

At last we got back to walkable terrain and had our usual discussion about pylons. Andy hates them. I have a fondness for them; they remind me of alien invaders marching along the landscape - and they do look rather magnificent disappearing into the mist.

Despite a paucity of footpath signs, we made the halfway point, a glowing tunnel along the side of a beech copse.

Looking over the drystone wall to a fat cottage nestling in the fields.

Faroff in the adjoining field, the farmer is cutting the hedges back.

Not all Cotswolds farms look as if they have sprung from an old picture book. This one was very industrial and properous; there was a well-run atmosphere and the farm dogs (of whom we are usually wary) sat obediently on their own on a quad bike, although they kept a beady eye on us.

Even though we are descending rapidly into winter, there are signs that spring is not too far off. The sheep are being tupped - this bunch seem to have been 'done', by the stains on their rumps. One day next year we will return and enjoy the sight of lambs tumbling about these same fields.

In the opposite field, we spotted two rams, each wearing a harness, which holds the raddle -
a marking powder which transfers itself from the holder on the rams chest, onto the rump of the tupped ewe. It only takes a few seconds, as we witnessed while we stood there, drinking our hot chocolate. But then, they have a lot of ewes to get through.

In the next field, the ladies got quite militant - although at first they trotted off, they then stopped and formed a long, defensive line, watching us as we passed. It crossed my mind for a second that we might be the first people in the Cotswolds to be trampled by sheep. You can almost hear them bleating a unifed 'chaarrrrge!'

But of course, they didn't. And I was soon distracted by this gorgeous shepherd hut, rather like the ones I covet on this site,
Cotswold Shepherd huts. There was a similar one displayed at a local garden centre and they are beautifully restored, inside and out, with sweet little woodburners and snug bunk beds. Oh, to have one of these in your back garden!

The afternoon was drawing to a close and we were nearly at the village which marked the end of our walk. The light was dying and the clouds were lowering.

At some point as we got to the outskirts, we got split up; Andy had strode ahead and, dawdling behind, I followed a footpath sign instead of taking the lane and got side tracked.

But there were compensations, such as being able to have a discreet nosy at lovely houses -

- and magnificent topiary. I could smell other people's woodburners wafting up on the cold air and had a yearning to be in our own little cottage with a warm fire bustling away. Where was Andy?

He was bringing the motorbike up the road, ready to whisk me off. It is lovely to go out, and even nicer to return home.


  1. Looking at your pictures i feel like i've been on a walk. Thank you :)

  2. Thank you very much Jasmine - that is exactly what I hope for! :)

  3. Foggy day here too, and it did not clear until almost at Witney; a cap that often hangs over our northern Cotswold edge. Beautiful nevertheless, as your pictures so clearly show. It is so beguiling to see other aspects of an area we love. Thankyou for sharing.

  4. Wonderful stuff! - but now i'm thinking that ross and i should have scheduled our trip for Autumn! :)

  5. Splendid stuff as usual Gretters! Don't know what I'd do without you!!

  6. Oh, I love foggy days and your photos are so beautiful. They really capture the atmosphere and I love the subtle colors and quaintness... What a wonderful walk!

  7. Well. How can I possibly tell you how much I enjoyed going along with you all on this walk?

    I had lunch with a friend today (another painter, who doesn't paint too much...) after visiting some galleries in our NYC Chelsea gallery district.

    One of the exhibits we viewed was of some of David Hockney's paintings of Yorkshire woods and hawthorne bushes, etc. When we were looking at the large paintings, I said that they did remind me of times I have seen such woods, and how much I wish I could again see such woods, during various seasons.

    Somehow, my brain then reminded me about your wonderful Peeps and I was delighted to realize that I do get to see woods, and many other bits of beautiful walk scapes.

    Thank you! I could write much more, but will spare you.


  8. What a beautiful walk. I loved your photos! I could almost smell the woodsmoke and the fallen leaves.

  9. What a lovely walk, Gretel! I too, covet a shepherd's hut but will probably end up with a home-insulated shed.

  10. I too think thought the pylons were giant alien robots when I was young. As always you have taken me on a lovely and relaxing take me home for hot chocolate!!

  11. wonderful words and photos, Gretel. I can feel the chill in the air. Off to look at the huts . ..

  12. I really enjoyed this walk with you, wish I could do it reality. The beech copse photo is really beautiful, I love the shepherd's hut and, like you, would love to own one.I suspect thay are well out of my price range though! I have to say that I'm with Andy on the subject of pylons, not my favourite things I'm afraid.

  13. That Andy is a keeper.

    The shepherd's hut is wonderful--very reminiscent of a Romany vardo. Oh, and speaking of which, have you ever seen the Tumbleweed Tiny Houses page?


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