Countryside explorations

As the title says, verse that has come out of various ambles, explorations, enjoyments in the countryside. They were in my 'Nature' collection, but as that has grown I thought it would be useful to form a specific collection for these.

A brown Christmas …

A brown Christmas, dead buzzard in the mud, fields a-flood, welcome sight of clearing sky a breeze up high to make clouds skud away awhile; still warm and bright the friendly smile,

A clear autumn afternoon

The fog has lifted, autumn colours glow and warm, crisp, crunchy footfall on the ground, then far away glint pale grey silhouettes – Welsh hills against the golden clouds,

A lovely walk ’til adrift in drizzle

A beautiful walk along the cliff path, sunlight on the ocean – glowing bands … drizzle blows in …
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A relaxed ramble

Along the lane from Arthur’s Stone [collapsed remains from times long gone, some ‘cromlech’ ancient burial mound once buried underneath the ground] to Merbach hill, with blue-domed sky:

A Short Trip to Llandegley Rocks

Council-paid sitter has come to stay for 4 hours: time for us both get out away together , a break from the care and watching we share of our elderly pair.

A sunlit autumn walk

Kington*, nestled among the hills, where footpaths meet at the edge of Wales. We take one leading to Castle Twt, a neat ‘look-out’ mound, – but keep to the foot-
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Along the Cat's Back

(at the edge of Black Mountains, Olchon valley)

Autumn Shades

Multi-shades and shapes of brown scattered on the green, where the wind has blown and thrown – sun sparkles dewy scene. Green and yellow, brown and...

Beauty on a Dungheap

Bobbing flight, dips out of sight, and up – ‘peep bo!’ then duck below. Perching on the pile of muck, wagging tail perfect stance to give a chance for photo-shot.

Beauty: vast and tiny

(at a secluded spot in Radnorshire)

Brecon Beacons Climb

Misty layers of mountain folds, tramping higher, new views inspire, and give excuse to stop, turn round, to stare, lift eyes up from the ground, and drink it in before more slog

Bute Park, Cardiff (IP)

[cf Iolo’s Great Welsh Parks (1) BBC 2, 6.30pm 5/8/2013] From the castle and shops past flower beds ablaze, and sports fields; roam woods (… green...

Deep in the Forest of Dean

Evening light in the afternoon, secluded valley with autumn trees above and around, but the sheep munch on as we walk along, startled pheasants erupt...

Elusive Woodland Birds

Soggy wood, early autumn bounty: seeds and insects, spiders’ webs, mixed tall tree tangle, whistling tweets surround up high, social gathering; necks...

Even on the dullest day …

A wishy-washy day: brown and tired-green, and grey, views are clammy, torporous, ruminations misty, vacuous … but … cheer in day austere …
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Footpath through a Herd!

Footpath through the field, a crowd concealed of cows young and frisky (any nursing young, or short-fused bulls?) – is it too risky? we can’t turn back: walk quietly forward,

Hafren* Forest and the Source of the Severn

Babbling brook and tumbling river, damp decaying needles cover soggy, spongey forest floor, mossy clumps, tree trunks, tree stumps, sodden banks of greenery, quiet, placid scenery:

Holywell Dingle in a Wet Winter

We went in the back end, didn’t know we’d have to wend through a field like a paddy, squishy mud to squelch and puddles to paddle, then, firmer ground where sunshine catches
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Hopesay Common, Shropshire, 27/11/13

Walking along, high over the views of hills, dips, valleys – grey-day hues, space all around, and breezy air; most of the trees are skeletal bare,...

Hurricane Katia’s tail-edge

Llŷn peninsula, north-west Wales, September12&13 Lashing, dying hurricane tail, bashing, pushing, gusty gale: whirling map-bag – whipping, slapping; wrenching hat to make it rocket,

Kyre pools

Clear blue sky, bright winter sun, fresh, crisp air, a touch of breeze, rippled patches, still reflections – tracery of the edging trees; none but us, and singers hidden

Monnow Valley – early spring

Monnow valley – gentle, calm, whispering river, – soothing balm, hills enclosing, set apart, bird song, – shadows flit and dart; by the water, wagtail grey
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Nant Gwrtheyrn, and the Goldcrest

prompted by the IP, but it's not on the list!
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November Severn, and its Queen Swan

5/11/11 a bit above Bewdley Heavy, steady, Severn flow, reflecting banks of autumn trees, steam train chuffs and chugs, and whistles by, not disturbing ducks, and geese, and swans;
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on the headland, September 4

Spongy turf, bright, glowing gorse and heather – carpeting quilt of gold and red [prickly feather bed], with a sprinkling of harebells quivering,...
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Peaceful Ramble at Skenfrith

Hustling, bustling narrow stream tumbles into gentle Monnow gliding, flowing, slowly going on its steady way; round the bend a stony bed, – water rippling, sunlight stippling;

To‘bottom’ing, at Caer* Caradoc (23:3:13)

[*Ki.r] Plunging, crunching through the deep, crisp snow – what fun, but, oh, so slow! then up the hill we go (the sky a-mist with floating drift), but when we reach the steeper bit

View from Stac Polly, (Stac Pollaidh) (IP)

(place of unexpected, strange, particular pleasure)

View from Tre'r Ceiri*

Climbing up Tre’r Ceiri, high to where the old stone circles lie – suddenly the far off sight of overlapping mountain folds – Snowdonia greyscale,...

Visit to Clun

Clustered village in a vale of sombre hills, high mound aside with towering ruin: gaping, ragged window voids that frame stunning views of drop to valley floor

visiting Romers Wood, Bockleton

Breeze-blown ripples on a barley field, feathers waving, weaving: golden yield; whispy clouds across the vast domed sky, dips and dells and hilly swells nearby …

Walking on the Dyke, above Knighton

Propitious weather window, favourable circumstances allow a few hours for a walk: stiff climb to the ridge, valley far below, narrow meandering ribbon-river, two-coach tiny train,

Wigmore Castle

Herefordshire The grandchildren like walking up Wigmore castle hill: up and up, past ruined bits of tower, – steps, then level, higher, higher;

Aber Mawddach*

( anglicized to ‘Barmouth’) The streams are flowing, the river growing, from mountain tumble to lowland amble that slowly wanders and meanders, until an estuary with tidal range,

Holiday Destinations

Overheard in a Post Office queue – “We’re off to Majorca, what about you?” … I’m hugging inside a thrill of my own – excitement which these may never have known

Late Spring

Warmth is creeping, touching sheltered nooks where plants are sleeping – an opened primrose promises delicate bouquet to come, a celandine spreads narrow petals

Soggy November Day

Saturated hedges drip, visibility murky, thick, misty haze obscures the views, greying out familiar hues; hands in pockets, slither, slip, oozy puddles, wellies stick,

Rural and Urban Night

Darkest black of winter night, far away from man-made-light scattered dusty stain like milk, glittering jewels on black silk like a giant dot-to-dot – join them up somehow to plot

January trees

Stark, dark sihouettes, clean lines unencumbered

New Year’s Day Tandem

Blue sky, crisp air, glinting floods, reflections of reversed bare-boned trees; refreshing breeze; dashing down dips (he’s in front, hope he’s taking care) struggling up hills

Interlude

A dome of heavy cloud, oppressive shroud … here and there a thinning glow – and seachlights fan out, show a dappling on the valley floor … torn rags...

Aldon Gutter and Stonehouse Pools 22/1/14

Disgorging clouds retreat: lull, brief leisure to explore out into the myriad hidden nooks of the beckoning, great outdoor: A small, secluded, valley...

4 day holiday 14-17/2/14

[Bitter storm …sunshine … full waterfalls … coal tits]

On Hergest Ridge 18/3/14

On Hergest Ridge, vast wide blue sky … relief-map, below, unfurled

Welcome Sunshine (IP)

Sun is bright, and hot and cheery after wintry weather dreary; triggers vitamin for bones, shading skin to bronzing tones. Extreme exposure isn’t...
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Where the 2 rivers meet

Lingering by the lapping Lugg longing to glimpse another flash of Kingfisher blue in the leaning willows fringing and shading the earthy banks, sooty...
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Dingle through the seasons

We went in the winter, just after the floods*, we went in the spring when the opening buds of the trees, arching towers stood high over surges of sparkling flowers …

East Dinmore and Bodenham Lakes

Burning sun, sheltered, silent wood, quiet stroll (one patch of squelchy mud), then hot open ride awhile, and back into dappling sunlight, butterfly...
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Mid-Wales – (in August)

Humpy hills, all ups and downs, with glowing purple heather crowns, paths of turf between fern patches, bilberries, lichen, moss and rushes. Skylarks...

Down by the riverside

(river Wye, near How Caple, 10/9/14) Sunshine dapples river ripples, leaves drift down and float along the current’s steady onward flow. Bankside...
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Ysgyryd Fawr/Skirrid …

… sliced off the Black Mountains, solitary sentinel, rocky berg anchored at the edge of the rolling, green waves of the cultivated plain. Tough pull...
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Water Break-its-neck.

… viewing through the screen of trunks sunshine bands across the slope dark long shadows afternoon autumnal light …

Snowfall Ramble

Melting in the valley down below but the higher up the hill we go boots squeaking through ... second-hand tablet seems to say …

Aston on Clun Ramble

28/01/15 Gusts of whirling hail-balls white, surround, then drift away, sun peeps through and glitters bright upon the little brook, runs through the...

Scramble Ramble

… slipping, gripping grassy clumps …
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Millhalf Brook

… peaceful, no-one around but us.

Wye Trail Sheep

Wye trail through field of quiet scattered munching sheep “Meh! Meh! Me-e-eh! Me-e-eh! Who goes there? Meh! Meh! Me-e-eh! Me-e-eh! Meh! Meh! fellow-...

Little Almeley Amble 18/0315

Primroses and sunshine, a blaze of celandine … finding the sounds of birds, and tumbling water so soothing …

Catching the eye

Patchwork views of greeny hues – blot on the landscape, gaudy rape; verge splash – stitchwort stars bright, tippex-white, forget-me-not haze …
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Dress for the weather!

Spitting rain, sunshine – glittering lush growth bejewelled; whirling wind, billowing crop, large field, swaying, waving trees; skylarks, darting...

Up to the Wind

Burrow Fort, Shropshire 17/6/15: Hills around us, patchwork scene – farm fields, woods in hues of green; meadow rippling in the breeze, and sound...
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Disgwylfa* Hill

* Diss-gooil-va [the word means ‘waiting expectantly for something/someone’, but we weren’t, just enjoyed what was there for us.] …

Gwaun* valley (Pembrokeshire) in May

Gwaun* valley quiet, lush, green, munching sheep by a glittering stream, bird song and baas (but very few cars), narrowing down til the grass has...

Unexpected Harvest (2/9/15)

Picking early blackberries, rain drifts in, tumble into car, explore a maze of lanes. See a new path … the rain has stopped a-while. … ‘Shouldnt we...

Lost! (Poetry Monthly??)

or how to add 3 miles to the end of a short walk …
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On the Mynd

Bright, crisp, gingery bracken, bilberry clumps, and heather, spread of fields below, folds of hills beyond, fringe; net of sunlight beams fan out...
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November Arboretum

… murky and dark, a splash of blood-red, a pattern of peach … … yellow stars outspread on a background screen of conifers’ drab

… The Bright Day Interlude following

[near Whitney Toll Bridge, near Hay-on-Wye] … Good to get out when the weather is dry, with breeze that will freshen …

Mud, mud, mud …

Away from the flood there’s abundance of mud to slip and slide, slither and glide, enrobing our boots in dark chocolate goo, and smattering … a spatter pattern scattering, of syrupy brown mixture –

Mid-winter wander

[Gaunt brooms scratching blue sky … embedded spear heads, spiky patches … wild snowdrops are coming!]

Up Brown Clee Hill

… highest hill in Shropshire (20/1/16) At home, hoar-frosted trees against the milky, misty fog, drive north, the scene clears, blue sky; venture...

Surprise Crop

and up to the ridge … Two big fields hold surprise at the top …
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Pembrokeshire in April

Bank-lined lanes – slopes spattered with soft-pale primroses, and celandine sparkles, clumps of scurvy grass, tippex-white; carpets of golden...

Visiting Bury Ditches

Thick netting of cow parsley borderng the narrow lane, waving in the wind, frothy hawthorn trees scattered on the hillsides, fields of buttercups,...

The Hare in the Middle

A bridge reflected … tiddlers and dragonflies, a swish of large fish, walk through buttercups – glittering gold … 'Haring' out of the rape …

The Begwns*

… dramatic northern scarps of the Black mountains and Brecon Beacons …

Habberley Valley

Soft, lumpy sandstone outcrops …

Above Knucklas

Strolling up into the green and humpy hills – views close, and further off; cotton-wool clouds above like a perforated ceiling a little lower than...

Shady Skenfrith

Shady Skenfrith, Monnow gliding, sunshine glinting, rippling burble, from white water tumble edging small pool where family laughter splashing to...
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Visiting Aberedw Rocks

Leaving home in the milky mist, blue sky emerges as we travel west, park in a village close to the Wye, little river Edw bubbling by to meet the big …

Late Blackberrying

Late for blackberries, missed it this year - let’s go up Wort Hill – ‘look-out point’ over Shropshire dips and ups, and on to Edgton – enjoy the air...

Bright November Late Afternoon

[The photo is of another day, and time of day, and weather, but the same place]

Preparations!

Base vest layer, shirt, fleece, sturdy anorak with large hood, waterproof (and windproof) trousers, walking socks and boots, scarf, woolly hat,...
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Up Mortimer’s Forest 12/2/17

Early morning – a sprinkling of snow shining in the sun, children out chattering in the garden before school; soon melting, drive north, icing...

Still January around White Castle, Monmouthshire

A misty walk to White Castle … but the hills not totally obscured … Remember the banks of violets seen before; now all around suspended growth … a beautiful ivy spread …
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River Clun Wander - Mud and Wild Snowdrops

Rushing, bulging river flow, sodden spongy tussocks, mucky mulch, slithery, squelchy mud; drizzle curtain passes over, buffeting, refreshing wind, sodden sheep …

February Wander

Furry pussy willows peep, buds begin to crack, dog’s mercury pokes through the dead leaf mulch, and celandine leaves make pools of green beside the track.
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Wild Daffodil Wood

Delicate wild daffodils scattered on the woodland floor … With the onward march of March more buds grow and swell, unpeel, sunbeams falling through bare trees a lemon host reveal.

On Little Mountain, near Bredwardine

Little Mountain where once we got lost* (wrong path curves far, as we found to our cost) amongst dead bracken with a blue dome sky glimpsing far down...

Bringsty Common

Three-dimensional dips and ups, carpets of dead bracken, wide-open violets peep out here and there, and the stark, bare Malvern Hills rise high: crown the horizon …

Walk along the Wye

Among the humpy bare hills of mid-Wales, we walk by the Wye out of Builth* …

On the Stiperstones*

Craggy rocks along the crest, short pull up to walk the ridge, or clamber on each ‘dragon’ pile. In sweeps curtain of fine rain – mysterious now the...
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Mynydd Troed

(Munith - [hard ’th’] Troeed,) Black Mountains

Path blocked

Along the low ridge, blue skies and white clouds – Clee hills to the left, Wenlock Edge to the right; then on to the lane … cows, calves and a bull moved to greet us, squashed up close – inquisitive? should we squeeze through …
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Nordy Bank Fort 5/10/17

“Blow-your-hat-off” wind blustery, bustling, dying bracken rustling, boots crunching, sheep staring, silently munching – up to the fort, flat peak ‘...

Merbach Hill, again

End of flat grass ridgetop, vast sky, Dore valley meets meandering Wye far below. Hay Bluff sharp sliced off finger of Black Mountain range...

Above New Radnor

… Radnor Forest humps and dingles – empty land, ideal for fighting training … for the rambler views afar – Pen-y-fan, Beacons’ double peak, clear and stark on the horizon … and south-east – spread below, like a raised relief map …

Path of Bovine Mud

Lovely wide, quiet, green cultivated valley behind Wenlock Edge: bridle path runs alongside the cowshed – heads out, eating from the trough; soft mud...
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Near Kilpeck, February

Leaves slip through the mud – unnoticed – anonymous to untrained eye, ‘til the flowers … first the pioneering buds appear …
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Visiting the Dingle after early March snow

… we sink to our ankles, splash, wade, frequent suck-glugs as haul-pluck at mud-clasped boot …

Effort & View

Black Mountain Ridge sweeps down to quiet Olchon valley – dead end, springing to life! ‘Our path’s up there.’ “Oh! maybe we’ll have lunch half way up...
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The Malverns

Bare, windswept hills… iconic skyline of the Malvern hills, peaked ridge, seen from afar – natural ‘dyke’ between two cultures …

Ramble by the Severn

Pink wild roses, and fields of ox-eyes, bees drinking from purple comfrey, and poppies in the corn …Picnic ‘gallery seat’ on the river bank… entertainment laid on – swallows … a flash of peacock blue? …
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Discovering Craig y Cilau*

… feel a beautiful cool updraft as from a deep-freeze. …
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Ross on Wye and Chase Wood 15/11/18

Full Wye flows around the town – town sitting on its cliff; with wooded slopes behind. Walk along the Wye out west of town, then turn towards the hill …

Losing the planned path

We hadn’t a large-scale map. The path looked “straight-ahead” from A to B, but on the ground, with missing arrow-signs, and new …

“Stonking Views”, it said

… a sign to the castle (divert up for “stonking views” …
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Circle from Craswall 11/1/19

Soggy day and squelchy ground, but rain has gone, far views have cleared, air is fresh, we circle round through ups and downs east of the Bluff*...
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Above Clun

(7/2/19) A sharp shower as we climb out of the village, then steeply up the fields into the wind and sun, high above Clun, with the green waves of...
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Walking Part of the Herefordshire Trail

Mellow Herefordshire trail, mist lifting … warm sunshine, crisp air, lunch at Bache Camp with ground dropping …
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On Pippin’s Hill

… a sense of depth and space …
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Poem of the week

Wild daffodils of field and meadow*

* south of Dymock, north Gloucestershire, 21/3/19
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Way?-markers

When walk instructions are unclear, and arrow-signs the worse for wear – why does the colour disappear? – they might, if shaped to point the way...
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The Puzzles’ Enigma

Walking along Hergest ridge, comfortable, spongy turf, burbling melodies pour down from skylarks unseen, high in the blue; enjoying the freedom of a...
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Symphony of green

Driving westwards, symphony of green – hillsides’ soothing concert chorus of the spring: fresh foliage unfurling in fragile hues, bronzings (maybe...
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Up Carningli

(north Pembrokeshire 7/5/19) Beautiful lush green peaceful Gwaun Valley: walk up through woods of birdsong on to the heathland – bilberry, gorse, heather beginning to green … scramble up the path through the highest pile of rocks to the ‘crow’s nest’ with 360° views … :careful!
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Scenic Variations of the Wye

Curved meander of the Wye, cow parsley waving fringe, field of meadow buttercups, Canada geese here, swans there – then a bevy, one upending, then...

Little-used public footpath

a vast sea of wheat … try not to wobble on unsteady feet!