After a fairly sleepless night, i decided that there was little point in staying in bed. It was getting light just after six and a quick glance out of the window showed that the weather was behaving itself. Things were forecast to change according to the Met Office app, so it made sense to get up and go.
The dogs initially thought differently. But once they heard me getting ready they raced down stairs, tails wagging and excitedly milling about by the front door.
Getting them into the back of the car is always a bit of struggle. They would still prefer to go on the rear seats and always go and stand by the rear door. Eventually they are sorted and we can set off.
This Sunday I have decided to go to Green Fairfield. It is good for them to get a change, and there is a good circular walk that we can do. Much of it is in a green lane, with good solid dry stone walls, made of basalt and not limestone.
At this time in the morning we should be the only ones out and about, farmers excepted. This is important as the Gabster has a lot of issues, one of which is fear aggression. This means that she barks, growls and lunges at other dogs.
We try and avoid other walkers and dogs where ever possible at the moment. It is going to take time and a lot of effort to get her right.
We park on Cowlow lane, close to the old Waterswallows quarry. A beautiful hare lies in the side of the road. It is not clear as to how it has died but probably it has been hit by a car. I move it to the back of the verge. At least it will feed foxes and buzzards.
A few minutes into the walk a sparrow hawk flies overhead and I curse not taking my binoculars with me. It flies from Orient Lodge heading across towards Daiseymere farm, with its flapping and gliding flight. It is good to see.
The dogs are more interested in the sheep. The Gabster is particularly keen and makes a few cursory lunges towards them. She is half hearted though and on a lead.
The early promise of a brighter day starts to give way to the clouds that will in an hour or so deliver rain. We plod on to the end of the green lane and then turn right and follow the path across the field. Just before we reach the turning a herd of sheep that had been quietly minding their own business in the field, decide that they will cross the lane into the next field. After all the grass is always greener.
The dogs get excited.
I am worried incase the sheep decide that they want to come up the lane, but they don’t and with a few minutes they are safely in their new field and we can go on our way.
Tracking back down Green lane, we skirt the edge of the Old Waterswallows quarry. This is a fascinating site, full of wild flowers in the summer and with several pairs of nesting lapwings. They have returned but we do not see them today. The track is rutted from use by farm vehicles and at one point the Gabster disappears almost up to her neck in water as she wanders into one of the deeper ruts. Lilly gives her a disapproving look and gets out of the way of the flying water drops that the Gabster has shaken off.
As we reach the car I hear a peregrine calling from Tunstead and a horse rider clip clops down the lane, standing out in her fluorescent yellow jacket. The dogs bark half heartedly but stop as I shut the rear door. They have more important things to bark at as we set off for home.Early morning walk