A winter walk……

fallen tree in the river

 

Even though we both had coughs,colds, croaky voices and sneezes we’ve tried to get out of doors as much as we were able over the Christmas period to blow out the cobwebs and stretch our been sitting on the sofa too long cramped legs……

We’re really lucky, we live just on the outskirts of a small city so are never more than a few minutes walk away from green countryside…….last Easter we went up to the local university to see the bluebells (I still remember the intensity of the blue and the heady scent that filled the woodland and am looking forward to viewing them again this year), on the way home we walked back along the river.

We thought that would make for a nice walk so we bundled up and headed out……it was so peaceful and we only saw a handful of solitary walkers…..and it was muddy like you wouldn’t believe……

 

by the river

 

Actually it wasn’t just muddy, it was also very slippery, I wanted to take a lot more pictures but I had to keep my eyes permanently on the path as oozing muddy puddles kept appearing and I was flapping my arms about trying not to fall over (there were a few close calls where I thought I was going to be walking home with a mud covered bottom)…….

In the Spring the greenery is so dense there are times where you can barely see the river from the path, but now it’s all exposed and the river was in view all the while.

Even though everywhere seemed so barren it’s still beautiful here, the sun was shining and the morning warmed up though I think another layer of thermals wouldn’t have gone amiss.

 

tree reflections in the river

 

I love seeing trees reflected in the water and in fact the sky looked much bluer in the reflection than it actually did above our heads.

In warmer months the water isn’t half so clear but is filled with water birds and dragon-flies and damsel-flies skim overhead.

 

mossy tree trunk

 

Amongst the dry leaves and bare trees, there are patches of the most intense green moss, soft and furry…..

 

mossy detail

 

This was such a bright green, and so velvety and dense….it was almost like stroking a wild animal as my fingers sank into the “green fur” like when I coase and stroke Bernard.

Nestled amongst the moss, tiny new leaves were sprouting up and there were a couple of little beetles scurrying around……maybe the moss is like a big fat green eiderdown keeping everything warm and cosy.

 

swan on the river

 

We did seem to spot a ridiculous amount of swans on our walk, maybe all the other birds were huddled on their nests or maybe just too small to see while I was concentrating on not falling over….however swans are very hard to miss and as we walked round the bend in the river, we found a small group of them feeding in the water…..

 

swans on the river

 

In fact they swam up right to the edge of the river bank to give us a once over before gently drifting back to where they were finding food…… they are such incredibly beautiful looking birds and I know my photos don’t do their regal elegance any justice……..against the murky grey of this section of the river, they looked almost dazzlingly white……

 

bottoms up

 

And I feel a bit mean for these next two pictures, swans are so beautiful but sometimes (on very rare occasions) they can look a bit silly…….I couldn’t help but smile when I saw a swan on the edge of the group put it’s head in the water and bob down for food., as it searched it’s little bottom just wiggled about….

 

swan bottoms

 

But then they all did it which just made us both laugh…….we’ve seen them eat water plants before (and seriously, swans are very noisy eaters…more snuffly and slurpy than a hedgehog and they take some beating)  but to see all of the group bob down at the same time and wiggle their bottoms was something I’d not ever seen before.

 

 

 

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