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Foxhunter 10-14-2012 02:27 PM

Sunday Morning in the UK.
First frost of the season last night. The ground was white but, only on the top, the ground is still really wet.

As the sun began to rise so did the mist. I love it when it is like this.
We are situated in the armpit of a hill which means we are sheltered from the worse of the prevailing winds.
I had fed the horses, let the dogs out, let the birds out, returned for a cup of tea, went back to let the horses out.
Let out three mares and two yearling fillies that run with them, they are trained to go out loose and I follow them to their field to shut them in. The view was fantastic, it looked like an enormous grey lake with the mist covering all in the vale.

I was on my own today so that meant two walks with the dogs. I would be able to manage all bar for the fact that the Foxhound pups thunk the older terriers are great for bowling over so the oldies will not come.

All the horses turned out I took the house dogs out, 12 of them, the oldest Tweed, no longer comes walking, he stays at home barking at nothing thinking he is guarding the place.

I then took the hounds out. The younger dogs also came so I had a pack of 14. One terrier on a leash as she will take the hounds off.

I set out walking into the mist which was lifting fast. There was a good chill to the air but I was soon feeling warm.

I love watching the dogs work, the pups haven't a clue what they are looking for but they have their noses to the ground searching for something. Each is so different, Rascal will get onto a scent and not leave it. Beeswax will keep searching and change when she finds a fresh scent. Raindrop will just lope along with a very easy stride not bothered about anything and as for Beaumont, well, he tries. He loves the sound of his own voice and I generally know where he is. He lumbers along often falling over his own feet tries hard to keep up with the girls but because he is growing so fast he runs out of energy.

I walked over the lower hill into the vale, following a path into a village about a mile away. On reaching the road I had all dogs walking behind me (Cesar Milan eat your heart out!) Though the village and starting the climb up the hill. The terriers are darting in and out of the furze bushes, pushing rabbits out. Pheasants are whirling up high and fast, the dogs running futilely after them. My legs are weakening as I climb, both the hill and mud is wearing.

By the time I reached the top the sun was up and the mist gone all bar a few patches.
I walked over the road into more downland, through the woods and back down to home.
The dogs were tired, they immediately lay up either in their beds or outside in the sun. Hounds back in their kennel and fed breakfast, content to lie up on their bench to regain energy.

It had taken me over two hours and I still had the stables to muck out!
I grabbed a small bowl of cereal and a cuppa and mucked out. My Sunday treat is to have a big fry up, better when work is finished.

I enjoyed my plateful.

Here are some pictures of the area hope you enjoy. These were not taken today.

tinyliny 10-14-2012 02:36 PM

I was confused at first in that you said it was frost and Fall, yet the leaves were still green, until I read your last sentence.
How do you get from one field through the next? do yo have to zigzag your way around fences? are there trails and roads that I cannot see in that photo?
interesting how things there are not on a rectilinear layout, as they mostly are in the US. I realize that it's due to the difference in age between the two places. the countryside looks so inviting!

AlexS 10-14-2012 03:03 PM

Sounds like you had a lovely morning. Your photos made me very homesick, I am from Cheshire.

Foxhunter 10-14-2012 03:11 PM

Nothing is straight in the UK!

Fields are small compared to the US, especially in areas like this. Most fields are fenced with thick stock proof hedges, these have been growing for hundreds of years. Generally they are trimmed during the winter using a flail cutter which makes a mess in slashing the branches off. More and more farmers are returning to hedge laying, the taller branches are three quarters cut through and laid flat, this forms a thicker fence along the bottom of the hedge and the branch still grows. This is repeated after about 8 years.

All land is privately owned but there are rights of way over much of it. Footpaths where you can walk and bridleways where you can ride. I am lucky in that I know the farmers around here and they do not mind if I walk where there are no rights of way.

As for roads, around here most are single track, nothing more than lanes. (Most would be narrower than a single lane of a US highway!) The last picture was actually taken from the top of the hill road.

Around here there is little arable, mostly grassland. The other side of the hill and it is mostly arable. That is the diversity of the UK! Around every corner, and there are many of them, it changes.

Internet friends who have visited the UK think that they can hire a car and drive to see me in an hour and a half. A distance of about 100 miles. Nigh impossible because there are always delays on the roads just from the amount of traffic.

I have driven many miles in the US and found it monotonous, straight roads and crops all the same for mile upon mile! You do not get that here.

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