For the first time in a-a-a-a-ages we have been able to get out for a walk. We wrapped up warmly and set off for the hills behind Austwick in the Dales. With bitterly icy winds and low cloud we followed an old packhorse route. Narrow and sunken, winding between old tumbled walls.
Eldest noticed first - catkins, nodding in the weak sunshine.
Then, further along the lane, in a quiet south facing tumble of dried leaves................snow drops.
Snowdrops - this must be the earliest I've ever seen them. There were plenty of daffodil leaves pushing through the leaves too.
The lane undulated through fields and below woodlands and dropped down to a ford. We stopped at the old clapper bridge.
Over the years, we have crossed that clapper bridge many times. It is one of our favourite routes through a delightful part of our world
The walls were draped with thick pillows of moss. It felt incredibly spongy and luxuriant.
Our lunch spot was another favourite of ours, the sheep wash dub fields. Farmers would herd their flocks up to this point, dam the river and wash their sheep,cleaning their fleeces hopefully ridding them of parasites.
As we finished the last leg of our walk, the sun slipped down behind the horizon, the temperature dropped and the sky took on a delicate pink tinge.
It was cathartic, it was refreshing, it was wonderful !