Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

Getting greener

21st April 2010

Every year in the second half of April, nature does its act of greening up any bare branches with delightful hues. Some years, this change creeps up on me, no matter how hard I try not to miss it until it’s nearly done. This year, I seem to be catching it as it progresses. The apparent order, from my less expert observations anyway, seems to commence with hedgerows before small trees with their larger counterparts bringing up the rear. This may be a misimpression, but it is how it looks to me.

What compliments all of this is the weather. While there has been haze and cloud at times, this April has been a month with blue skies and sunshine for much of its time with us. It is true to say that yesterday and today saw temperatures that were incompatible with sunbathing, yet two weekend visits to Wales have seen me encounter very mild temperatures. Personally, I can cope with cooler temperatures, but I tend to enjoy the countryside while on the move, therefore generating my own heat as I go. Well, it’s not for nothing that the saying advises against casting a clout until May is out and there’s another about keeping well covered I there’s an “r” in the month (in its name, of course).

St. Mary's Church, Nether Alderley, Cheshire, England

Still, this largely settled spell of bright weather only can improve one’s mood and put a skip in your step. At least, it does that for me and might explain a run of walking weekends too. In fact, it might be the cause of my taking a diversion around by Nether Alderley, Alderley Edge (the geological feature and not the village of the same name) and Over Alderley while cycling home from work. Well, you shouldn’t be wasting a pleasant evening, even if it feels a bit chilly. Seeing all the paths around the National Trust’s property around the Edge has planted an idea in my mind of having a stroll around what’s there. When I see well-maintained paths, my curiosity is aroused and the prospect of a bit of exploration is very tempting. Thus, I have placed the idea of spending a few hours exploring around when time doesn’t allow me to go further afield. Until now, my visits have been fleeting and mostly in fading light, so it’s time that I did it some justice, and it might reward me with some pleasing photos too. The age of daffodils may be fading but bluebells (or wild hyacinths as I was reading in a copy of The Scots Magazine on the way back from Dyffryn Ardudwy; apparently Scottish Bluebells are not what you think) are around the corner. Let’s hope that whatever weather comes to us allows for some enjoyment of their splendour.

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