I took advantage of a bright morning to take the doglets down to the forest before lessons started. It was utterly tranquil. True to form, there was nobody else about. I realised something though.
There are some days when a walk is just a walk. There are some days when it is a pain in the arse and I only go because Heston is foaming at the mouth. There are days when it is 3°C and raining heavily, with no chance of sunshine or a break in the clouds. There are days when it is too hot and I would rather be sunbathing with a book.
And then there are mornings like this morning.
We went a way we’ve not been for a while. The path goes along the Bandiat, and the Bandiat, like the Tardoire, had burst its banks and stayed over-full for weeks on end. Heston loves the water, but it ran the risk of dragging him off down towards the sea and so we stuck to drier paths. Plus, every soaking means a new tube of Advantix, and at 5€ a pop, it’s an expensive walk. That and the mud and the stink of wet dog.
If you didn’t smell so bad and make everything filthy, you could leap around in the water to your heart’s content.
But today, the path was dry, some woodland body had cleared the path and on either side, there are masses of wild flowers.
They aren’t exciting or rare things, but they’re pretty nonetheless.
The first to come out was a carpet of wild anemones, Anemone Nemerosa. When we made our way down the track this morning, the flowers were still asleep, like lilac-cream bells, but on our return, they’d opened up.
The second was another ranunculaceae family member, lesser celandine. Completely absent on our way down, it was dotted here and there on our return. Some people say that it heralds the swallows, but all I heard today was the first cuckoo of spring. That’s always a good thing.
There are also occasional flashes of narrow-leaved lungwort, which are this amazing blue-purple.
No doubt there are many others as well, hiding away there. There’s also one I haven’t identified yet that is virtually everywhere. I forgot my camera, though, which is one reason I’m relying on these great Flickr images. The other reason is that my photos just wouldn’t be that good.
So, with the cuckoos and the wildflowers, it’s definitely spring, cold as it is.
It’s nice to have those moments, though, where you realise you are in exactly the place you are supposed to be, and that, in that space, at that time, there is order and tranquility and harmony. I think I enjoyed that walk as much as the dogs.
Not as much.
The joyous abandon with which Heston launched himself into the river was a little bit past simple pleasure and seemed to cross the line into frantic delight.
Life is good when you are a well-loved doglet.