Sunday, April 29, 2007

Re-visiting Eartham

Well, today was far too nice to stay indoors so dad and I took a drive up to Eartham woods for a little exploring.

The last time I remember going to these woods was way back in the day. As a child we would walk the tracks in the autumn with the eye spy (possible ladybird) books looking for different kinds of bugs, plants and birds. I would patrol the tracks armed with a stick larger than I was, looking for the perfect place to build a hide-a-way and jumping in puddles and banks of leaves in my red wellington boots, perfectly snugglesome inside my retro, red body warmer (circa 1986)Dad would suggest that for my sister and I to see any wildlife, such as deer, we should be as quiet as a retrospect I can see that it was possibly a cunning plan by the adults to keep the sprogs from making too much noise.

On one occasion, still a puzzle to me, we returned to the car park to find a row of smarties laid out on a nearby tree stump. Dad assured us children that the 'fairies' of the woods had left us a treat...I wasn't aware of him disappearing to plant the sweeties himself and am still a tad flummoxed as to how he carried out the gesture (theories? make a comment).

But Anyway I digress....we haven't been back to the woods since after the 'Great Storm' of 1987. Much to our disappointment, at the time, many of the well trodden paths had been completely demolished and the area was virtually unrecognizable. Twenty years later and the area is still unrecognizable for the most part, but the trees have had a chance to grow back to a respectable wood and we couldn't have picked a better day. I'm a bit schmaltzy as to what I find interesting on a walk in the country and like nothing more than seeing wildlife in its natural habitat.

In order (ish) we came across a lizard, had lunch with a Robin (who wasn't quite brave enough to take our offering of sausage roll in our presence) a hare (rather the back end of a hare), a couple of mice and, the result of the day, a young male deer. The deer was obliviously to my dad and I since we were downwind of him and he was concentrating on a couple of walkers on a different path who, in turn were, completely oblivious of the deer. I guess dad's tactic of keeping quiet works after all....Quite amazing!

I'm guessing most people had gone down the beach...itself having a unique form of wildlife. Namely white, middle aged men sporting a lily white....soon to be bright red....complexion (the odd fella sporting the half tanned/half 'never seen daylight' look so favoured by the British)...oh and of course there's the protruding...ever-so-slightly hairy (not in a good way) and ever-so-slightly sweating (completely in a 'just lost my lunch' way)....belly wobbling over top the ill fitting swimming trunks or in worse case scenario........speedos.

Roll on the summer.....I'll be in the countryside.


Chloe said...

I just got home and read this. How strange that we both thought of our old Ladybird books in the same week! The wood looks lovely. Such a good time of year. And great pictures Emma!

Emma said...

Ta muchly....glad I'm not the only one which the Ladybird books were a staple part of childhood.