Pallie, Badger and I went out for a run to Lyme yesterday. When we got to West Gate we found that the gate was padlocked and a notice saying that because of fallen trees and the danger of falling branches, Lyme was closed for the time being. That didn't stop us as we sneaked in one of the back ways.
It was really wonderful having the whole park to ourselves. Badger just ran and ran enjoying the freedom. Pallie had bad vibes about going through Knight's Low Wood, so we kept away from trees and ran up to the Cage. Knight's Low is a lovely little wood, mostly fir, built on a peak. It has a little disused stone quarry at the top. The word 'low' means a buriel site, and it is thought that medieval Knights were buried there. I don't think any have been dug up during the quarrying though.
There were a few fallen trees, although not as many as we feared. There was one large one that had fallen over on Darcy's Avenue. We left Lyme through another little used back path, and ran down through farm land back to the Macclesfield Canal. Going along one track we came across a large flock of sheep so Badger had to succumb to the indignity of going on her lead. She stared long and hard at the sheep, and then suddenly they all scattered. A large grey dog appeared and chased them. Eventually he was called back and the owner put him on his lead. Two farmers appeared on little motor bikes, and asked us what we knew about the sheep worrying. We gleefully pointed down the track to the guilty party and they rode off to reprimand them. Later they caught us up and they were very interested in Badger, wanting to know her age, where we got her from etc. I thought they were going to make an offer to buy her, but disappointingly they didn't, which meant I had to take her for a walk again today in pouring rain.
We just kept to the canal and the disused railway track today, but even here there were trees fallen across the tow path and we had to scramble over.
I feel quite dispondent about this strange weather. On Friday, the day after the storms, I went out to the fields just wearing jeans, a jumper and my wellies. It was so mild, and January 20th too. The fields are so wet it is really hard to walk through them without losing your boots. The water is just not draining away and even the canal seems about to overflow. Snowdrops have been flowering for ages, the daffodils were through in December, I've had forsythia flowering my cyclimen are still going strong and the celendines are up.
I was reading about Prince Charles cancelling his trip to Klosters because he wanted to reduce his carbon footprint. What a plonker. He's just flown to New York to collect an award for ecology.