Sunday, 10 January 2021

Nature's lessons

If I didn't have dogs there's no way I would be out in cold, damp early mornings or the dark chill of a winter's afternoon.

I would be hunkered down in the warmth and probably not even particularly interested in what was going on outside of the window.

But now though you'll find me wrapped in layers, trudging through the mud and putting up with the icicles forming on the end of my nose.

As well as the obvious enjoyment of being out with my pups and revelling in their joy at being alive, I have come to develop a renewed appreciation of all that Mother Nature offers us, whatever the season.

Having previously dismissed winter as providing little in the way of natural interest unless Mr Jack Frost had been out waving his frozen fingers of magic across the landscape or we'd had a dump of fresh snow, I have learned to notice and appreciate the little nuances as we make our slow shift through the seasons.

Take yesterday for example, I spotted this thick covering of lichen on an oak branch. The colours and textures striking brightly against the foggy backdrop. It set me exploring - a mini adventure among the boughs as I hunted for more to be captured by my camera.

There are always a few brown leaves hanging around at this time of year - reluctant to drop to earth and become mush and mulch. I admire their audacity to rebel against everything that the season throws at them, clinging on through wind, rain and frozen temperatures as if they feel the need to retain their owner's identity - to shout out - "look at me - I'm an oak tree!"

Look closer and you'll find all manner of textural treats and shapes on something as simple as a leaf. Tiny holes with which to peek through or small galls. Every leaf seems to have its own story to tell just as each walk proves to be a new adventure. 

Where will you go today?

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