The last of the evening sun slants across the footpath that runs between ploughed fields. The light has that wonderful wintry quality; clarity that comes from the chill air rather than the haze of summer, but with those distinctly warm tones created by the low sun. The warm tones belie the day which has not been warm at all!
It has been a good day, a typical winters day, out on the tracks and lanes of Dorset. With lots of damp underfoot, soft ground everywhere, deeply puddled earth – in fact it has been a welcome break when of necessity I had to tread the country lanes. Wet feet in winter means cold feet! Even the sounds are wintry, with pheasants and occasional fox screeching to accompany me. Swans too, but they wouldn’t pose for my camera.
There have been hints throughout the day of warmer times to come. Snowdrops are everywhere! They are not a spring flower but to me, any early flower has the feeling of spring about it, or at least, a promise of spring. And at the lane sides, daffodils have pushed their way through the ground to reach daylight but they are nowhere near flowering yet. I make a mental note to return. In the woodlands, there is a suggestion of bluebells, but again, it will be a while yet before they raise their heads!
The fields are empty of livestock, they are still in their comparatively warm barns. They are empty of people too. I don’t mind the emptiness though. The farmer has clearly been busy in preparation for the coming season. There are recently ploughed fields with long lines of great clumps of earth roughly turned over. The frost will aid his preparations by breaking down those clumps – nature and man working together.
At this stage of the day though, I am relieved that this kind farmer has left the green causeway in place to make my progress easier – so many don’t. So many just plough the whole field and don’t reinstate the path as the law says they should. I like good farmers!
By the time I reach the valley bottom, the sun has disappeared and the cold really closes in around me like a damp cloak. I shiver a little as I make my way onwards – my friend the dark will be here soon.
Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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