A great day’s hill and ridge walking yesterday. All day I was buffeted and battered by high winds and very cold winds at that. But the sun shone and for the most part the combined effect was quite exhilarating.
Without doubt I was walking through a winter landscape. The trees and woodlands remain for the most part barren. A worrying amount of water still lies on the ground. Along steep and narrow valleys bracken lay dead and still, gold and dry. There was little in the way of birdsong to keep me entertained.
Few others were venturing out on the hills although I did meet one interesting character. He was in his seventies I suppose and approached me early on as I climbed from the train station. He had was ascending from a small car park. He was walking with a stick but it was only as I got close I saw that this was not a walking pole but some kind of radar-type devise for someone who was blind or seriously, visually impaired. We stopped and chatted, praised the weather and generally congratulated ourselves on getting out of the house. A lovely man, a keen hillwalker who wasn’t going to let his failing eyesight deprive himself of the great outdoors and the sheer sense of walking amongst big and lonely hills.
It may have been deep winter but there were signs of regeneration. The day is breaking earlier now and the sun is setting later, and the pace of the lengthening of the day seems to be increasing. A crack of dawn start saw me most of the day and I was able to walk until twilight. There was no need to rush just time to eat up the miles at a good, gentle, walking pace. All around may lay signs of winter, the length of the walk told me that winter was well and truly receding, a first sign of the regeneration of the new year.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is superb for much of the country. If you can, get and enjoy the landscape and feel the regenerating day yourself.