Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Shropshire Safari...

It's been foggy.. nothing you don't know I'm sure, but up here on what's reputed to be the highest point in Shropshire, it has been dense. This morning was therefore a pleasant surprise, bright, clear, still.

We drove through the common land that stretches up high into the bleak Clee Hills and falls away down into the valley. This jaw-dropping landscape links our outpost with the bigger road, the terrain wild with gorse and fern, where farmstead owners graze their various beasts. Their creatures are hemmed into the 1000 acre wildlife reserve thanks to strategic cattle grids and farm hedging. I always drive slowly here, certainly no more than thirty, with an eye on the sides of the road where the live versions of roast dinners can suddenly appear.

The 7yo polices my speed too. He reads well for his age and last Spring he read a hand painted sign that commanded 'Slow DOWN! 10 lambs killed here this year.'

The light was soft at 7:30 this morning but a long way ahead I could still make out a nomadic herd of cows on the road, maybe six or eight mothers plus their woolly calves. Almost 400 yards away, (yes I still do yards, though I'm very, very young!) the closest cow, a brown and white, reflected well in my dipped headlights, though it's calf was more difficult to spot being jet black, he or she resembling a little Dexter.

Even from way back, I could see that the the Dexter's mother was leaning over the perimeter wall to a dwelling, happily eating any flowers that her long tongue could reach. The children thought this to be hilarious.

The rest of the herd made do with the grasslands or the hedgerows.

So peaceful here.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon