Although we have recently enjoyed some warm spring sunshine, the last few days have seen a swift return to wintry weather, with bitterly cold winds and snow on higher ground. I'm really hoping it will be short-lived, as surely it must be time to pack away my winter woollies and boots now. The garden is still to be tackled and I'm longing for the day I can sit out there with my morning coffee, enjoying the (yet to be planted) flowers.
At the weekend, we wrapped ourselves up nice and warm and went for a walk through a beautiful nature reserve. It was a bright, still morning and I'm sure the changing of the clocks had something to do with how quiet it was there, as it felt as though we had the whole place to ourselves.
The pathway through the reserve is built on a disused railway line, so it made quite a refreshing change for us to be walking somewhere without any hills. It was lovely to see signs of spring all around; primroses lined the track and the lambs in the fields seemed very keen to make us aware of their presence from the amount of noise they were making.
There was plenty of nature on offer, including rabbits, deer, red squirrels and woodpeckers. In places we could hear the beck babbling far down below the track, but couldn't actually see it until we reached the viaduct because of all the trees which lined the steep slopes of the gill. The views from the viaduct were stunning and from there we could clearly see the slight detour we were to make on our return. A few miles into our walk we found this lovely Shetland pony lying right across our path. She was one of three and the other two, at least, looked as if they were heavily pregnant. They appeared to be very well cared for and were happy to receive lots of our attention.
Turning away from the main footpath we joined a public bridleway, crossing a small stone bridge over to the opposite side of the river. Here we followed the track back around to the far end of the viaduct where we re-joined the footpath once more. A good spot for a rest, we sat a while and ate our picnic before retracing our steps back towards the farm where we first began our walk.