I heard my first cuckoo of the year on my short evening walk. And had to dodge several high speed bikes on one steep straight downhill stretch. As the sun heads for the horizon the increasingly warm light intensifies colours to an almost unreal degree – and to great effect.
I started out from the car park at Elmley Castle at about 4:50am – 30 minutes before sunrise. It transpired that today’s hike was mostly about skies. The dawn sky wasn’t at its most colourful but it certainly offered creative possibilities. I was back at the car after just over 4 hours without having seen a soul throughout. Thinking back this has been the first time this year on Bredon Hill that I’ve not even seen a distant walker (with or without dog) or runner or biker.
A longer 9 mile walk today in glorious spring sunshine … and warmth. Roger, a friend of 40 years, accompanied me today. When hiking with my camera I usually go alone as it’s not fair to ask of anyone with me to stop all too frequently for 5 or 10 minutes at a time whilst I indulge myself trying to make a worthwhile image from something I’ve seen. But Roger is very forgiving. I didn’t find many possibilities today, I blame the spring sunshine. We’d planned to end our hike mid-afternoon with a pint in The Yew Tree at Conderton only to be left thirsty – sadly it wasn’t open.
[Note added later: Roger has now told me it’s not that he’s forgiving, it’s because he welcomes the opportunity for a rest!]
I’m now one third of the way through this year’s photography project and so far I’ve walked almost every yard of the public and permissive footpaths and bridleways on Bredon Hill – many of them several times. But here and there are shorts pieces that get omitted as they don’t form part of a loop or are a short spur. So this morning I filled in a few of them in and near Ashton under Hill. By the time I finish in December, there won’t be any un-hiked segments left. They’re already few in number and short in length but I can’t dismiss the possibility that there’s something worthwhile to photograph along them.