Today was another warm, sunny, blue-skied day - hazy at times but absolutely glorious. J and I had planned to go for a walk today as he will be heading back to university before long and I am back at work next week (sigh), so we pulled on our walking boots and headed out into the deliciously warm air. Our walk took us along the local network of cycle paths which are criss-crossed by lots of smaller footpaths. J knows these paths very well from cycling out and about with his friends over the years, so I let him decide where we went.
I'm always surprised at the speed with which everything starts to grow at this time of year. The greenery everywhere is quite astounding in its, well, green-ness. I love new hawthorn leaves for their freshness and the pretty shape of their leaves. My dad (who will be 90 this month) tells me that when he was a child he and his friends would eat the new leaves straight from the tree and knew them as 'bread and cheese'.
A little way from the path I saw these lovely cowslips, and was reminded of cowslip wine. I must try it some time ...I wonder if it tastes very flowery?
As we walked I looked out for violets, as I've seen that some other bloggers have spotted some already. Just as I was beginning to give up I spotted a patch of delicate little white violets.
I walked along here at the beginning of March and photographed it in this post. It's certainly looking greener now.
These incredibly sunshiney daffodils caught my eye, and made me smile.
They looked like an Easter card - only some lambs/chicks/bunnies were missing from this scene.
The cycle path took us into the centre of a little town and we stopped for a lunch of toasted sandwiches at a coffee shop. After a coffee each we headed back again along the cycle track, but soon took a detour up a grassy hill.
Once at the top of the field, we carried on climbing up this enchanting little path lined on either side by incredibly bright celandines.
They looked as if they'd been sprinkled there - Wordsworth thought them 'bright as the sun himself'. I love their reflective, waxy petals.
At the top of the hill we walked between wide green fields, and I felt very happy indeed to be out on such a lovely day. Above our heads skylarks were flying and we were surrounded by their sweet, warbling song. Their singing was continuous as we walked and we strained to see them above us. Eventually J spotted one - a tiny brown bird rising into the blue high above our heads.
Beautiful views appeared through every gate and opening.
In the hedgerows nettles were beginning to flower, attracting lots of butterflies none of which stayed still long enough for me to photograph.
The blue sky deepened as the afternoon wore on, a fabulous azure with a few wispy white clouds.
We passed a house and growing in the verge was this amazing double daffodil. I stooped to take a photo and caught the sun as it shone through its petals.
On up the hill we went, and looking out across the fields and town I realised we'd reached quite a vantage point.
Soon it was time to turn towards home down a long, steep footpath. J told me that he had once found a lost cow down here!
After a stop for an ice lolly we headed through a very familiar stile and up steps we've walked up many times. When we got home J worked out that we'd been on a 5.6 mile walk.
We'd had a wonderfully amiable day together walking and chatting, but also looking around us and listening to the sights and sounds of spring. A day I'll treasure for a long time.