Thursday, 30 July 2009

Early mornings...

...of these, we have seen plenty. Partly it's the camping (especially without - er - the express permission of the landowner, best get moving) but mostly it's because it's truly the most lovely part of the day.

Our routine is simple: on waking, I move the electric fence a little to give the ponies a fresh bite of grass while I'm making a quick brew and striking camp. Breakfast comes later - mid-morning usually.

Especially on a fine morning (and we've had quite a few), the day is so full of promise...If the sun is out, the hedgerows are full of heady scents and glistening cobwebs. Fruit is ripening everywhere, including those delicious wild rasperries (never to be matched by Tescos).

A good time to spot wildlife too, going about their quiet business: we've seen weasels and stoats out hunting, foxes, deer and one morning a badger. In spite of being close to many rivers, we haven't yet seen an otter, but plenty of tracks and spraint.

I often walk for the first hour or so - a good way to unkink a body afetr a night on less-than-forgiving ground! (Aye, there's none of us getting any younger - Doogs)

Near the Jed we saw reed buntings, oystercatchers and a pair of goosander; on the open hill there are plenty of skylarks, wheatears with their dancing flashes of bottom (wheatear is supposedly a corruption of 'white arse') and in the Cheviots, merlins and an eagle.

I rarely see anyone else in the mornings (come to think of it, I rarely see anyone at all, excepting the odd dog-walker near a village or a farmer in the distance). In the mornings, the countryside seems to be just for us, although undoubtedly we will have been spotted!

The early morning pace is gentle, serene, our world newly-washed, sparkling and full of beauty. Now that's worth getting up for!

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