Monday, 28 April 2008

Fun Monday #1

This weeks Fun Monday is hosted by AOJ over at The Lurchers

The assignment was " I'm going to make it a nice and easy Fun Monday this week. All I want you to do is take me on your favourite walk. In words or pictures. Or both of course! Tell me why it's your favourite and point out things of interest on the way.So go get your walking boots on!"

Now I have lots of different walks mainly because I have lots of different dogs, 8 in total here currently all with very different needs. Some can be quite norty out and about so need street walking, others cannot be let off lead, then there is Mummy's angels, the dogs who I can trust with all other dogs out and about. Sadly lol we only have two of them so ive chosen to take you on *their* walk as its a little more interesting than pavements and lamp posts.

I posted a little here already about the reserve near where I live last week but here is a few more pictures....

When you first head onto the fields this is the view you see. The pictures arnt the best as they were taken at 6am last week with my new camera which im still getting to grips with.

The reserve is split into different parts, open fields that go literally for miles up over the back there is an old slag heap which was part of the pitt. This is now a mining museum . Its a beautiful part to walk but is sadly also the haunt for all the local bunnies and hares which isnt the best when you have a pack of hounds so we stick to the field and the main reserve itself who's only delights seem to be fox poo!

Its funny how little things along the way catch your eye and although you see them daily you still somehow look at them each time as if its the first time.
Our first main point along the walk is this fallen down tree. Its been there for years lying like that. It never seems to rot or fade just stays exactly the same year in and out, it came down during a heavy storm.

Another thing you cant help but notice along the walk and one of my main bug bears is the burnt grass and singed patches. The local children seem to gather in the fields and regularly get great joy out of setting them alight. This again has gone on for years. Im 34 now but can remember when I was a youngster the same thing happening over and over again then. I hasten to add I wasnt one of the culprits. My Grandad is the one who instilled the love of animals and nature into me and I use to spend hours with him on the ruck watching the ground nesters and other wildlife. It annoys me as much now as I remember it did then. Not to mention the amount of hours the local fire service have to waste beating the ground down to put out the flames. It horrifies me everytime that somewhere someones life could be at risk.

The next point is the blue bridge. Everybody here knows what and where the blue bridge is. Again its been blue since I was a kid, ive never seen anyone re paint it and im down there all the time so its a bit of a miracle how it became blue and how it stays blue!
Crossing this links you to the main reserve.

After the blue bridge we head onto the first field or the small field. This is always where the *sparring matches* between Scarlett and Tzar take place. The mad chasing, the dashing oh and then the nipping into the thick to chase the mice that frequent the holes there. Due to the mice this is where the kestrels hang out. We currently have a beautiful pair and I stand and watch them hunt whilst the pups blow off some steam.

From there we cut through into the big field. Much the same occurs here as in the small field. More mad sparring and charging around. The back end of this field is the buzzards haunt so again more watching from me. Isnt it amazing that no matter how many times you see hawks in flight it never fails to take your breath? Almost the same as everytime you see a pointy especially a greyhound break down into first gear and run for the fun you just think WOW!
Coming out of the big field we walk round to the main reserve itself. Now the local council decided recently to add a path to these parts. Apparently its called a health walk . They are places that are being set up all around the UK to encourage people to get out there and get fit. Me? I much prefer to feel like ive really walked and not being caked up in mud on collapsing home doesnt feel like a *real walk* but I appreciate not all feel like this. Sadly though in our area its used as a track for motorbikes and the likes.
This path always seems to bring out the littlest hobo type qualities in Scarlett. She always walks along it, never off it and heads off in a stride.

Along this path is a handy fresh water area that the dogs love to stop at for a drink.

Onto the reserve itself. We are blessed with some beautiful wildlife and the whole place has been cultivated to continue encouraging more and more birds to the area.
Here is Mr Swan having a clean up session whilst wifey sits the nest. I spent hours watching them building it.

My tree. Probably the most poignant part of the walk for me. This is one of the most beautiful and oldest trees on the reserve. Its in a quiet off the beaten track area which doesnt get frequented much and is such a focal point to watch all the comings and goings. Its one of the oldest trees on the reserve and I use to sit for hours with my first greyhound Dizzy on a Summers day watching the world go by.
Then home again. On the right night at the right time you can see some of the most beautiful sunsets and moody skies to die for.
I hope you enjoyed!
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Aoj & The Lurchers said...

It never ceases to amaze me that, in the middle of a city, you have such a wonderful place to walk!

We're lucky aren't we!?

Patience-please said...

What a wonderful walk! Thanks for taking us along.

kitten said...


Melanie said...

What a beautiful walk. Wow!! And I just love the name of your blog ;)

Our Happy Happenings

Lil Mouse said...

can dogs EVER go past a puddle without a drink? i dont think so!

Karmyn R said...

What a beautiful place! I love taking walks where I can let the dogs run and sniff and play.

Dreaming What Ifs...

Jan said...

Wow, what a great walk, and in the city, too.

jientje said...

oh yes, I did enjoy that walk! What a beautiful place you live in! Thx for the walk, and thx for walking along with me!

Kaytabug said...

That is a beautiful walk. What lovely photos you took!

ChrisB said...

That is a beautiful walk and you can see the dogs love it. It must be wonderful to see the swans nesting~ all your photos are really lovely.

Celeste said...

How beautiful. What a very neat place to take dogs. I might have stayed in the city if I had something so nice, so close.

Kim said...

I love the photos, especially the last two. I enjoyed reading about your precious dogs at your other blog. I'm so sorry about Lady. We lost a Boxer to cancer a few years ago.

I know it will be difficult beyond words when we have to say goodbye to one of our present dogs.

Thanks for visiting today.

IamwhoIam said...

Lovely area and so great you can let the hounds run free

Peter said...

Glad you enjoyed the walk through IKEA and I hope you don't mind this "general" comment, I'm running out of time for individual answers.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Wow what a stunning walk. And I love the frolicking dogs. :D

lisa marie said...

I know this will sound really stupid, but that's ok. I had no clue swans built nests. I guess I just thought they mushed a nest into taller grasses like I've seen geese do so I guess that's not so dumb after all. ;)

How great you have such easy access to all this nature!