Friday, 17 February 2017

The Chase

The Chase was wonderful this afternoon, you could feel your senses waking along with nature. Although the chill winds were testament to the land still being held in winters embrace, you could feel everything champing at the bit, ready to burst into life. All the signs are there. The wheel has turned and change is afoot.  Whist passing through the Iron Age enclosure in Mistleberry Wood (marked on maps as a hillfort, though I don't think it is), beneath the still bare canopy of a veteran tree, we saw three Hares gathered in conference, as we approached they broke in three equidistant directions and made off. You don't get a more potent symbol of Spring than that. Walking on, the woodland of Stonedown Wood, still naked, is alive with bird song and hidden movement, preparations for what's come are under way. Following old paths and winding tracks we come out of cover on the windswept ridge of the chalk downs. The views from the top of the chalk downs are spectacular in which ever direction you choose to look, as you walk along the distant vistas change and closer by secluded valleys are revealed, only to disappear a short walk further. There's magic in this landscape, you can feel it. We're lucky to have such beautiful and magical landscapes on our doorstep.

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