The last couple of days have been unseasonal, and a little unsettling. After a long walk with Ollie on Sunday, I felt relaxed and well-exercised. We had gone a little further than usual, across the Holt Road, and up to the disused railway tracks. Ollie was excited. He hadn’t been this way much during the summer, as there are herds of livestock to consider. It was unusually warm. After ten minutes or so, I unwrapped my scarf, and opened my coat. I was feeling quite uncomfortable after thirty minutes, and sat to rest on a lonely bench, enjoying the view in bright sunshine, across to Old Beetley, and beyond.
On the return trip, I waded the river to cross to Beetley Meadows. There were lots of dog-walkers, despite the fact that it was approaching 4 pm. Ollie was very happy to see so many dogs, and ran around playing with a Labrador. Very soon, old friends arrived, and before too long, there was a large group of dogs and owners, all chatting about the unexpectedly good weather. Hearing a loud noise in the sky, we looked up. Huge formations of geese were flying in perfect chevrons. Line after line, numbering into the hundreds, crossed our point of view, heading south-east. Some were honking noisily, as if ordering the others to keep pace. They flew with a purpose, wings flapping rapidly. Those geese had not been fooled by this late Indian Summer, and they were still heading south for winter.
Not long after arriving home, my head began to itch. It was unrelenting, and caused me to scratch like a madman. I could feel lots of small bumps on the top of my head, and it didn’t take long to identify them as midge bites. These flying blood-suckers are normally long gone by the first week in October. Yet here we are, the second week of November, and I have a dozen itchy bites on my head. It is a strange time indeed, and the weather is playing tricks on us. Even today, after dressing in a heavy coat, to combat what seemed to be a chill wind, I was soon too hot. Despite the obvious cold wind, warm sun won the day, and I felt myself getting hot as we walked around the Meadows.
If this is Global Warming, I am more than happy with it. I just have to remember the insect repellent.