I’ve never understood why people have the desire to run when walking is also good for your health, without the jarring of knees and ankles that you get from running.
In the army there’s a saying “officers never run. it alarms the troops” and I don’t wish to alarm anyone ! so, I walk in the countryside for an hour or so everyday.
All I can recall when being made to run at school and in the army, was sweat dribbling into my eyes and seeing the ‘front runners’ muddy shoes flicking mud at me, joined by red legs to wobbling bottoms; not a pleasant sight before breakfast.
Each to his own for whatever reason !!!
Walking gives you time to stop and enjoy your surroundings, to listen and see what is there.
You get to hear the wind in the trees, see the grass bending in the wind and walking through the grass seeing the pollen clouds bursting from the grasses, the nodding wild flowers and the wind moving wheat fields in waves.
Cluster Bell Flower
Goats Beard Flower
Early morning, before the warmth of the sun has yet to fully penetrate the bodies of the stretching, yawning bees and butterflies ( or you, come to that ) you get to see insects close up and get some easy photos.
Green Veined Whit
As the day warms up plenty of other insects appear, many of them migrant summer visitors from Europe.
Hover flies are harmless, many different ones, varied coloured and sizes, here are a few of the regular ones to be seen.
Something always to look forward to is the arrival of two migrant butterflies and the humming bird hawk moth
Humming Bird Hawkmoth
Many birds feed early in the morning so there’s plenty of movement about. Buzzards soaring on the early morning thermals and the odd red kite looking for an easy meal.
Suddenly a flutter and a brace of grey partridge fly off, low and following the contours of the ground. Red legged partridge are by comparison to the grey, quite plentiful, however in their home countries France, Spain and Portugal they are declining in numbers
If its a good vole year and the barn owls have young, they frequently hunt during the day to keep the family fed. In poor ‘vole years ‘ they often don’t breed, This year we know that at least two of the four nests on Wimpole Estate have young in them, more to follow.
Carefully, quietly and silently look over the bridge over the water, you may catch the glimpse of an otter, a water vole or a kingfisher.
Mute swan with cygnets
A late vixen may be seen with one of the farm chickens in its mouth heading home to the cubs in the den as well as muntjac and fallow deer retreating into the woods and occasionally a badger who’s had a night out ‘on the tiles’.
Its interesting to record what you see each year, you can then plan on what you should see and where you should see it. Times often depend on the weather and of course the gradual seasonal and weather changes with Global warming.
In early morning you’re not the only one about, you can meet others who enjoy walking ( with or without dogs ), exchange information on what you’ve seen, comment on the sunrise or lack of sun. Sit and watch and take photos of the sunrise.
Sunrise 29th Sept 2015 0630
Sunrise 29th SEPT 0720
I always look for boxing hares but have only ever seen one proper match. Often there are larger groups chasing each other around but it rarely comes to a real fight
Group of Brown Hares
The Real Fighters
After the walk still keep your eyes peeled for the unexpected, a stoat crossing the road, there were two but I only got the one on video
The seeing and photography can be taken further