Sunday, 17 April 2011

Morning routine

Spring is really getting into its stride now. I walk beside the river I fish every morning, with my three salukis, and I love to see the season progress, the flowers coming into bloom, the ground cover thickening into a shroud of secrecy.

I could only now confidently identify this as an umbellifer.

There was a time when I would be out in the field with my hand lens and wild flower book to sort them all apart, but these days the only one I can identify with absolute confidence is sweet cicely, as it fills the summer days with the delicious scent of aniseed. Actually I think the photo is cow parsley, but umbellifer is good enough for me, these days.

And celendine, and wood anenome:

And here is my hound, returning more than a little shame-facedly, from another run on a cat. He stands on the edge of the river bank, scanning the field opposite that ends in a steep bankside, scanning for signs of feline life.

If he sees one, he is off - taking the river in a bound, and all I can do is stand and watch as he scorches across the field and crashes through the undergrowth of the bankside. He has never caught one yet, and with a hundred and fifty yard start, it would have to be a particularly stupid cat if it were to be so.

Then he comes back at a trot. He knows he shouldn't, I know he shouldn't, but he loves to run and I love to watch him. Such explosive power, you can only stand and stare and wonder at what it must feel like to move at such speed, with such confidence, to be so in your own element on land and in air.

He is saluki crossed with a greyhound, by the way.

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