Today I’m grateful for nature!
We ventured off into the wilds of Wales today for a Green Laning trip. For those of you who’ve never come across Green Laning, it’s essentially a gentle kind of off roading. Generally very sedate (average speed 4mph?), sometimes involves navigating steppes, crossing streams or little rivers, and is a rather nice way to pass the time. A typical day includes a lot of tea-drinking and biscuit-eating, discussions about prop shafts and engines, arguments over the best tyres, and tales of winching folk out of a tight spot. The people are lovely (fairly low female count but I never let that bother me) and you get the chance to see some delicious scenery.
Weather-wise, today was set to be pretty miserable. It was the kind of day when you wake up, look outside, and decide to stay in your PJs for a little longer. Make a brew, take it back to bed and start a new book. Maybe watch your favourite film in front of the fire and finish off those Christmas biscuits that have been tempting you.
But no, 8am and we were off. It was grey and dreary, raining that fine mizzle that gets you soaked in seconds, but our spirits were undampened! Armed with an iPod and positive thinking, we rocked up on a carpark in Wales at 10am, ready for whatever the day had in store. And what a day it turned out to be! The rain eased a little, stopped at times. We had patches of blue sky and the occasional brave ray of sunshine. We met 2 other chaps that had got themselves stuck in a muddy rut and had to be towed out by a local farmer, and later had to move off the track for a tractor half way through brewing our Pot Noodle (N.B. not usually an advocate of Pot Noodle, but sometimes needs must…)
And throughout the day nature was our constant companion, sending little marvels our way. Because we didn’t have wall-to-wall sunshine and blue sky, every time either did appear it was a cause for comment. All colours stood out against the bruised sky – the dead bracken a beautiful burnt brown, the old grasses a honey-mustard yellow and the lush new growth so very green. Spent seed-heads were heavy with rain drops and the bare heather bore tiny liquid baubles, glinting in the light. Holly berries were so supremely red against the dark prickly leaves and the mud squelched deliciously underfoot … My toes were numb and cold inside my wellies at times, my hair damp and curling, jeans increasingly mud-splattered, but none of it mattered. It was magical. For a rainy and (supposedly) miserable January day there was magic all around. Nature had cast her spell and I found myself repeatedly marvelling at the tiniest of details.
Here’s my little tribute to Mother Nature. Thank you for a great day! May add more photos when my internet is less hamster-powered…
A few extra photos, as promised…