Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sheffield Country Walk - section 2

The weather today was astonishingly changeable. I was very lucky not to get very wet. It was as if someone up there had suddenly realised that we'd missed out on March winds and April showers, so we should have them on a single day in May. Seconds after passing the cows, it started to rain. The rain lasted for less than a minute. I didn't turn round to see if the cows had stood up. The walk was not very different from leg 1: meadows, woodlands, country lanes. The bus stop - the terminus was right next to a pub, so it was perfect to have a quick drink outside in the sunshine before hopping on the bus to return home.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sheffield Country Walk

Having done the Round Walk, the logical next step is the Country Walk. I travelled from home (north west) to Halfway (south east) on the Supertram. This left me a short walk to the start at Eckington Church. I was lucky enough to have the best weather of the week: quite breezy, but sunny and pleasantly warm out of the wind. This leg mainly follows the Moss valley, and is a very pleasant and easy stroll through woodlands with a bonus of 2 pubs en route (I only stopped at one).The bluebells were just getting past their best, but the blue haze of the massed swathes was still a delight. The wild garlic was in full bloom and the warmer than average spring meant that there were plenty of other things starting to flower: yellow archangel, tufted vetch and herb robert to name a few.

Ther were some fine views across the south of the city from the highest point near Troway.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

How to retire

The current fashion for "How to..." guides has come to my attention, so I thought I would revitalise this neglected blog by trying out this genre.
Firstly, if you find yourself unexpectedly and unwillingly retired, a good strategy is to take some thinking and head-clearing time. I found that a 70 mile walk did the trick.
Secondly, if possible, do it in April. Take the time to explore where you live. Chances are, there will be places not too far away that you may not know. If you are lucky enough to live in or near Sheffield, I can recommend the Round Walk. At this time of year, the bluebells in the woodlands are sensational. You will also see masses of wild garlic, wood anemone, celandine, the vivid green of the trees coming into leaf, and hear and see a huge range of birds - herons, wrens, robins, dippers, kingfishers, grey wagtails, jays, to name a few, and rabbits and more squirrels than you can shake a stick at. I expect that if you are prepared to go early morning or late evening you might see foxes and badgers. Other highlights include an astonishing number of parks, a number of fine caf├ęs, alpaca and rocking horses, rivers, railways, picnic tables and golf courses. What, no fungi? I hear you cry. Of course there are lots of the long-lived brackets - ganoderma, coriolus and piptoporus, and at this time of year, as you might expect, St George's mushrooms. I expect in autumn there will be lots more to see. So please return in Autumn, as I think, will I.