The sky was grey this morning, overcast but high, not oppressive, and the air was still, chill and silent. A perfect morning for a walk.
I see something new every time I retrace an old path. This sheltering rock formation had escaped my notice, despite being right by the path. A tunnel, almost closed at the far end, but you can see a patch of green through the hole at the back.
This spring is often dry, or just a damp muddy patch in Summer, but today its soprano chuckle was the only thing breaking the silence, and its ripples the only movement.
The french for stepping stones is pas japonais, because of the one-step-at-a-time way they are usually tackled. Despite the fact that the river seemed quite low, the water was running over some of the stones, though not all. I crossed them anyway, my sturdy walking boots giving their usual confident grip.
A bit farther along and the path becomes wooded. And there, peeping out of the undergrowth, the only wildflower I saw all along the walk. A lonely Periwinkle says "hi".
There's a big mill beside the river, and they have recently made a veg patch out of what I take to be a small piece of flood plain. In any case, I can't imagine that it doesn't flood when the river's high. The winter leeks are refusing to be beaten down by the frosts. The line of shrubs at the back will separate the veggies from the footpath.
On into the village of Saulges, and I notice that the place has been decorated with occasional straw bales. I wonder why.
The homeward part of the walk takes me past a small farm. These geese made it past Chistmas, at least, but seem to be hostile. Perhaps it's a "You bastards ate our Cedric" kind of thing.
The lime kiln has been renovated, and the cottage next to it has been pretteyed up and weatherproofed, even if it isn't habitable. There's always something new, and I notice that the top of the wall now has pansies and primroses on it.
I had always assumed that no-one was interested in this little garden, but I am proved wrong. It has been decorated with Christmassy baubles and ribbons. Perhaps there's a house hidden behind the trees that I've never noticed.