Cooler temperatures today brought sweet relief and an urge to take the dogs for a nice long walk. I hadn't been to Swallowfield for a while - it is now too difficult for Charley and Sadie to walk all the way to the river, let alone the estuary, particularly in warmer weather. They have slowed down so much this past year, my two collie girls, and at eleven and thirteen years of age have stopped participating in most of the Wednesday Walks.
But the cooler weather and some wanderlust led me to load the dogs in the van and head to the Swallowfield area; we would just go as far as the fork in the path, a gentle tree-lined walk with blackberries to pick and flowers to admire.
And what a beautiful showing of flowers there were - flowers of every shape and size and colour, nestled among grasses and brambles, bursting from tree branches, and boldly swaying at the sides of the dirt track.
The mosquitoes were having a picnic, and thought we were on the menu - thank goodness I had put on long pants and packed my repellent. Charley found a patch of grass and had a nice long scratch.
When we reached the fork, I remembered a plum tree growing by the side of the right hand path, so we walked a little further in the hopes of getting some fresh juicy fruit. We found the tree but, alas, the plums were all too high for me to reach.
Grapes cascade over a nearby old stone wall, all that remains of a long-ago homestead.
We turned around to head back, but not before Sadie decided she'd had enough of this walking bit, and lay down for a rest.
A little fresh water in her portable dish and she was ready to carry on.
Eeewwwwww, Sadie spitted in it, Mom!!!
We returned the way we came, taking a couple of ducks and geese in a boggy pond by surprise though my fingers on the camera was not quick enough to catch them. A chat with another person strollling with their senior dog, a few more shots of flowers and berries, and it was time to go home.
We got home around dinner time. I had put all the ingredients for a hearty stew in the crock pot that morning, and the aroma filled the house. A bowl of stew, a chunk of grainery bread, a dessert of fresh picked blackberries with warm homemade custard, two tired dogs at my feet, and a good book to read for the rest of the evening - life doesn't get much better than this.
Corn through a circle of blackberry vines.