When I'm feeling stiff and slow, like this morning. I find myself concentrating more on the ground around me, than the wider vista. I also choose very gentle tracks to amble along. So today we drove over to Graig Fawr Forest. For those of you who don't know, it is law in Wales that everything has to be dual language (despite the phenomenal extra expense!)
But every where the Welsh Dragon is proudly displayed, especially at the Millenium Stadium where the Ozzies beat us in a friendly rugby match yesterday. At least Shane Williams retired from the game in style by scoring a final try just before the whistle blew.
So often in the day, I start off with a blank page in my mind, then as the walk progresses a theme presents itself. Today it was the leaves of fruiting plants, mainly summer berries ...
Wild strawberries obviously love the conditions here and grow in abundance, so much so that a few years ago, I was able to pick enough in a short space of time to make several pounds of jam. I love them, they have an especially tart taste and to pick them by the handful and eat them on a morning walk is ... well ... just bliss!
The next to ripen are the wild raspberries and once again the pleasure of picking these out on a walk, eating some, saving the rest for the freezer and winter summery puddings is a foragers pleasure.
Making jam out of free, to a good kitchen produce gives one a sense of satisfaction.
Then towards the end of summer, when autumn begins to show her colours, the brambles, so often regarded as a gardeners spiny intruder ... produce blackberries in abundance. Mixed in with apple, topped with pastry, adorned with good cream?
But the bright (now officially winter) fire-flaming colours just give pleasure on a cold December day. There were so many to capture on camera today, I was spoilt for choice.
This little scene of a red bramble leaf with sphagnum green and sulphur yellow fungi on top of a Forestry Commission, just recently felled stump, also greatly appealed to me.
Then ... things changed. Having focused so much on natural things, the dog felt ignored ... and finding an iron ore leeching stream ... paddled happily and ended up with what looked more like an advert for Orange ... and was obviously embarrassed enough to turn away.
End of this mornings walk, and a whole lot of towelling to "try" and remove rusty stains. Very unsuccessfully! Even this evening he has had a colour change. Darned dog!