Sunday, 5 January 2014

How to have a good day - lesson one - make an early start!

An unbelievably stunning sunrise

I decided to get up and get going this morning as the forecast once again talked of wind and rain coming in from the west around mid morning. So the dogs and I set off for a good stomp, not really that early, as of course the days are so short at this time of the year.

Well, what a couple of hours we had! First of all, we watched the dawn slowly break over the south-eastern horizon, starting with glimmers of pinks, greys and blues, but then turning into a blood red havoc of a display. Honestly, if you had painted this sunrise and proudly returned home with your water colour, you would probably have been told that you were “ a little over zealous with the colours weren't you!”

The dogs and I stood in amazement as it just got better and better, so that in the end the whole countryside had turned crimson – even the dogs had a pink “hue” to their coats! Eventually we wandered on, feeling very privileged to have witnessed this spectacular start to the day.

It appears that everything else had come out to cast an unbelieving eye at the dawn too! Roe deer were out in the fields in good number, as were Hares. A large flock of Fieldfare and Redwing left a tall hedgerow as we walked past, chuckling to one another as they gathered together to cross the field to another berry clad margin. A male Bullfinch sat in amongst some thorn bushes, his glorious pinkish breast seemed to match the sunrise that we had just witnessed. I stood a while to see if I could find the dowdier female, she had to be around as these birds usually mate for life. Eventually she appeared, only momentarily though, as in true Bullfinch fashion, she felt happier to skulk in amongst the protection of the thorns.

As we approached the dairy farm, I could see snowy white Little Egrets walking around in amongst the black and white cows. This happens every winter on this farm and I counted eleven in all, some walking around searching for food, others standing still, hunched into their “I'm fed up” stance. I couldn't help but feel that this resembled more of an African scene than little down town Cheriton in Hampshire!

After two hours I arrived back home with two very muddy dogs, all of us having had just the most brilliant start to a day. And you know what – I never saw a soul, which somehow made it even more special!!           

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