A Spring Walk


We have been blessed with a spell of wonderful Spring weather recently and today, needing to stretch our legs and enjoy some fresh air, my friend Phil and I went for a walk up in Saddleworth. As it happens, the weather broke today and the forecast was for rain, possible thunder and possible localised flooding as typically happens after a dry spell. We set off anyway and on the way up, the traffic news on the radio alerted us to problems on Saddleworth Moor because of a wildfire that has been burning since Sunday. A stray firework had set a fire up there and it was still being brought under control 3 days later. The reporter said there was huge black palls of smoke over the district and that the smell of burning was in the air for miles around.

However, when we got to Castleshaw Res for our walk, there was no sign of rain, no sign of fire, no sign of thunder and no sign of smoke. Either the news reporter was being overly pessimistic, or the wind was in the other direction and it was all being blown away from us. Either way, our walk turned out to be neither wet nor smoky.

When I was up here last, my body wasn’t behaving itself too well and I could only manage to go round one of the reservoirs before the tendons in my legs got too tight and stiff for me to walk properly. But I felt better today and managed not only to get round the reservoir but up onto the Roman fort too. I was pleasantly out of breath from climbing the little slope up, and for the first time since I had covid, I DIDN’T WHISTLE WHEN I WAS PUFFED OUT! Very happy with progress today on that front.

Phil has developed an interest in bird spotting through lockdown, and so as we walked he pointed out the birds that he recognised. We were both surprised to see what we thought was a swift or a swallow – definitely not a house martin because we saw him next to some of those and he was bigger, and had a longer tail – and a strangely coloured “pheasant” that I can’t identify. It looked for all the world as if someone had coloured a standard pheasant in with different coloured pens. The thing that stood out was that it had a bright red face and was snowy white with black speckles on its body. It didn’t make a noise and it just gave us a baleful side-eye and wandered off away from us in the long grass so I couldn’t even tell what kind of tail feathers it had. I must get to the bottom of what it was, it’s driving me daft.

Here’s a collage of some of the photos I took today.

And then it was time to head back home… going past McDonald’s for a brew first!

All in all a lovely day walking in the peaceful fresh air. Here’s to friendship.

Love and light

Pam x

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