This was a walk of ‘wonderful’ weather, wonderful Dorset scenery, and some really interesting people along the way!
You know, the more I walk, the more I look forward to meeting people on the path. There is something about being in the countryside – everyone you pass has a nod and a ‘hello’, and often they will stop for a chat as well, whether it be a farmer, the local vicar, the postman, or just another walker. Isn’t that really what life is all about! There is a lovely camaraderie in the country that you don’t find much in the towns, and people are just so interesting. One of the tings all the people I meet have a view on is the weather – well we’re English aren’t we!
On this walk, it was a truck driver. He was parked up at a country crossroads in a somewhat difficult position and I thought he had broken down. We fell naturally into a conversation. Apparently he had come from Poole, picked up a load at Corfe Mullen, driven 100 miles to deliver it, picked up another load near his drop off point, driven 70 miles to where I saw him dropping off half the load. He was then going to drive another 50 miles to drop off the other half, picking up another load, and was then going to drive 500 miles to the Scottish border to drop that off! What a crazy life!
The crossroads he was parked at is called ‘Four Ashes’, because there are four ash trees, one on each corner. He was trying to deliver 12 bags of fertiliser to the local farm, but articulated lorries and country lanes don’t go together! The only way to deliver it was to park up at the crossroads and for the farmer to bring his tractor and trailer up to collect it – which he finally did, and I moved on.
Four Ashes crossroads
Delivering, or is it collecting, the load
The scenery on this walk was simply stunning, that typical Dorset rolling countryside. It was a walk that took in a number of hill forts and the picture below shows one hill fort as viewed from another. In fact on top of one of the hill forts was a bull! He was on his own except for the hill sheep and I was a bit surprised because the land is owned by the National Trust and is open access land popular with walkers. As I have blogged before, that is technically not legal! I had my red cape with me but he didn’t seem very interested !!
One hill fort to another
Part of this walk took me through the most fantastic area of woodlands and at this time of the year with the sunlight slanting through a gap in the trees, the colours and tones of the Spring foliage really come alive. New life, and new growth, is everywhere! Don’t you just love the fabulous greens of the moss and lichen that cover these trees and bank! It is an interesting area and and as you walk through it, you just wonder about the millions of people who have passed that way before over the centuries since the line of trees and the bank are clearly an ancient boundary of some sort. If trees could talk!
The wonderful Spring greens of Dorset
And speaking of trees, don’t you just love them! You could almost hug them…….and some people do! I love that well known poem by Alfred Joyce Kilmer called ‘Trees’:
I think that I shall never see,
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest,
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree!
How true that is! (Just as an aside, as I am writing this, I am listening to the duet from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers – what a spine tingling piece of music that is!)
I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree
In that poem, Kilmer speaks of trees ‘living intimately with rain’ – well at the moment, The Dorset Rambler does too!! The weather for much of this walk was beautiful, but it was interspersed with really heavy bouts of rain and hail – it’s what I call ‘interesting’ weather ! Now I had my waterproofs, but I have discovered that they are not…….waterproof that is! The consequence was that I got literally wet through! So at the end of the walk I decided to reproof my walking gear, and I’m sure it won’t be long before I check to see if it has had the desired effect!!
One of the side effects of all this rain is BIG boots! They start off a normal size 9 but some of the fields on this walk were MUDDY, and it was that thick clingy mud so that by the time you get to the other side your feet are size 30 and you have a job to lift them off the ground! Picture the scene – this silver haired man, soggy and wet through, unable any more to lift his heavy feet, on his hands and knees dragging himself across the field to reach the sanctuary of drier land on the other side ! Once there, there is usually a handy gate post ‘scraper’ nearby so they are soon back to normal size. Note to self – in future if it is wet, head for the chalky well drained hills !
And talking of hills, there were a few of them on this walk too….steep ones! I climbed up this near vertical slope to reach the top of one ridge and just as I got there, a fighter plane on a training mission went over. He was clearly practising low level flying and I reckon he must have been only 10 feet above my head (well, that might be a slight exaggeration ;) ) – it was deafening!
Some good waterproof testing weather coming!!
Ah, but the sun always shines again – and you can’t fully enjoy the sun unless you get the rain!
The sun shines on the Dorset landscape
Thanks again for visiting and reading the ramblings of The Dorset Rambler!
The Dorset Rambler