Summer it is, sunny or not.
Hot, humid, 'close' as someone said this morning. The rain falls in big plops, or sheets of showers. Everything GROWS; has been growing since it stopped being icy...

The dog and I went for a walk: from Slaley village (school, pub, post office and church  lined up either sides of the road), through Slaley Woods, over Holly Hill, past (fantastic)Lightwater Cottages, into Dipton Wood. Turned at Temperley Grange, went by Todburn Steel, around Peel Flatt and out again onto the road the other end of Slaley.

The wheat stood hip-high and the oil seed rape hung heavy and obtrusive over the path. The dog gagged on the grasses forced low by said rape and recent damp. In places, the grass trodden flat by a previous rambler, not a path in sight...
Masses of tall grass. Very green.
Green are my favourite colours.
On the edge, almost not even inside of,  Dipton Wood a very rooted tree right in the middle of the path. I lingered and it became both mandala and land-art, quaint albeit.

Sludged alongside bogged and mired paths.
Came upon an amazing sandstone path just beyond Lightwater Cottages! Rockhard,  water-carved - felt like walking up a cemented watering canal, imagined the scene during the recent flashfloods.....!
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wheat, sky, black crows... Slaley
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lots of ant-activity - great big mounds bulging about, especially in the foresty parts. Mounds seem to be covered in pine-needles Slaley Woods
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tree mandala landart, Dipton Wood Nr Slaley
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a little detail
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sticks, pine cones, bark, moss...
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amazing sandstone-bedded path... flash floods hurtling down like a bishon friese! Nr Lightwater Cottages
Throughout Dipton Wood the air closed in tightly. Finding someplace to eat the glorious packed lunch almost impossible: everyplace sittable there's a colony of busy and pincher-bummed ants, or a murder of mosquitos....

Down the escarpment from Hunter's Hill, alongside Dipton Burn... fantastic evidence of recent flooding. Beautiful small pools, cauldroned out. Debris caught in low-hanging growth, damming yellow foam. Sudden sun bursting through canopy where I've just laid some fresh-green bracken on the foam. A momentary sanctuary...
Lined the burn with bracken in another foamy place, burdensome feel to it. Like 'down and out' hardship, where the sun never shines....
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In Dipton Wood
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Bracken star in cauldron Dipton Burn, Nr Hunter's Hill. Sunny spell putting a bit of a spell on it just as I took the photo
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Bemossed dry-stone wall. Dipton Wood
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Humid
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Spitting bugs in Seventy Acre Wood. No bears.
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'down and out' bracken-lined foamy burn. Dipton Burn
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Rape and Poppy
Sweating and breathing hard on the humidity up the bank, up and over to Todburn
Steel - more grass and oil seed rape dotted with poppies, less footpath. The  previous rambler must've given up, because no more trodden grass. Just my nose and I (it's a good nose...)
Another ladder-stile - dog struggled with this one.
Had to stop on the hill up from Blackburn to admire the green, pick some wool and make a trinity of circles. To catch my breath.
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the wood. Todburn Steel
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the saw
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yarn bombed fences
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the yarn bombers, pretending not to be
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Blackburn. Footbridge depleted. Dog not sure....
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seeds, grass and wool. a trinity of circles. Fields between Todburn Steel and Peel Flatt
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added spot of yellow...
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ladder stile beyond Peel Flatt pond. No sign of any footpath beyond this point. The end is in sight.
Back at the car, long chat with the owners of the house in front of which I parked, who liked the peace and quiet - once went shopping in Eldon Square, centre of Newcastle, 20 years ago....too busy for their liking: never been back.
Sounded bloody marvelous!
Liefie
7/7/2012

Hey, LOVED this! Really good to know what you're up to when I'm away! Great pictures, great descriptive poetic language. Reads like meditation itself. x

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