What a day for meeting some really ancient trees it was. You can't really feel the age of these trees in photographs in the same way that you do sat next to them. Historic as the castle was, it didn't really connect you to the past in any way. Sure you can read up on its history but with a tree you don't have to. Its history is all there on every twist of branch, scarred amputation and its questing height. And it's still alive with new history yet to bud.
Having contemplated trees, trains and ducks we returned to Sandsend for a quiet pub lunch and a drink. After that we visited Mulgrave Woods just as Mina and Lucy did in the early portion of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel Dracula. I believe this was the only day of the week during our short break that the wood was open to the public. A stream runs alongside the path back toward the sea. I don't really get to go that far into many woods as the paths are not always the best for exploring wheelchair users but in this case I did manage to forge a little way in at least. We turned around when we got to the logging buildings. Probably just as well. In previous years separate parties of family members have ventured too far in here and ended up quite lost. Harry was loving it of course. He also found himself a suitable stick.
We left the woods and were confronted with the best duck photo opportunity of the week. Harry ignored them as another Labrador approached. Both dogs were wary that the other coveted their stick too much. So what was the photo opportunity? I'll tell you. A great line of ducks stood along the grass verge looking down to the stream below. All posing. Some spreading their wings. I have no idea what they were doing but it looked great.But my camera battery was dead and Debbie had filled hers up with pictures of steam locomotives. Shame. Phil left to get some more vittles and stuff from the village shop. Debbie and I went and looked at the sea. Two riders made their way down to the beach. One of them was a young girl on a pony. The pony was not very happy at having to cross a very shallow stream that fed into the sea. They tried everything to try to get it across. Eventually it got the idea.
We loaded up and drove back to the Raithwaite Estate. I think Phil quite liked the electronic security gates.
That night was a really clear night. You could see all the stars arcing above us. I tried to read but zonked out on the first page. I woke up blinking and wondering where I was about an hour later. Sitting on the bed next to me was a black cat. Even though I was sleep befuddled my brain was still sharp as a razor. I reached out for it grunting a perspicacious, "Urr, cat?" But my hand just grasped thin air. It was a shadow. But it had looked just like a small black cat.
Year of the Toad - *Common toad near Blackford Pond, Edinburgh * Last weekend we visited Blackford Pond hoping to see lots of toads spawning but we were too early for the ...
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