Two good walks

We walked about 11.5 miles today – that’s roughly twice the usual distance, and we had two lunch breaks (plus an intermediate stop on a comfortable bench in St Giles’ churchyard at Barrow), so perhaps it works out at two good walks. I’m putting my feet up (metaphorically) this evening anyway. We’ve got to make the most of fine weather in this unsettled period – as I write, the rain is coming down yet again.

Ahead of the rain

1st October: there will be showers this afternoon – perhaps we can dodge them? The next couple of days look like being rather wet, so we’d better make the most of today. We’ll hedge our bets with a route where there’s plenty of shelter… Sure enough, there are a few drops getting past the trees down Ned’s Lane, and a few more, with the sun behind them, along the Smithies lane. Otherwise, our luck’s still with us.

There are some truly splendid toadstools amongst the trees – some fine colonies of smaller specimens, and later we find some huge things like seriously-warped dinner plates. Some people would be able to put a name to them. Some would even eat them, I suspect. Not me!

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Toadstools and dragonflies

The toadstools are really coming into season now – there’s a wide variety of shapes and sizes down Ned’s Lane. Further on, as we approach Round Hill, I remember the dragonfly that posed for us here a week or so ago. Today there are two of them, both posing obligingly (a brown hawker and a southern hawker – I think…). Elsewhere a red admiral basks in the sunshine. It may be autumn meteorologically, but astronomically it’s still summer…

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Shirlett and the dragonfly

The weather’s good – cool, perhaps, definitely a hint of autumn. But it’s bank holiday Monday – the crowds will be out. Can we avoid them?* We walked this way just a few days ago, but there’s always something interesting to see. Today, it’s a dragonfly, perched in the bushes at the foot of Round Hill – and he’s prepared to pose for the camera, for as long as it takes.
* Yes, we did!

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It rained…

…for much of the day. The last few drops fell around teatime, and though it’s not going to be a sunny evening, it should stay dry. It’s gradually brightening from the west, but the light’s not going to improve noticeably before the morning…

Shirlett and the toad

A gentle evening stroll – it’s too warm for anything energetic. Pleasantly cool air drifts out from the gloom of the woods. We’re almost back to the start when a lump of mud beside the lane turns out to be a fine warty toad, who is perfectly happy to pose for the camera, though he’ll keep a close eye on us…