Today was the first day for a long time that I felt some genuine warmth in the sun. In between days of rain, with cold forecast to return next week, it has been a real Spring day in Beetley. It might only be one of those false Springs we get so often, but it was still a welcome change.
Out with Ollie, I ignored the mud, which is stubborn, and refusing to dry between downpours. Instead, I enjoyed the sight of the snowdrops; so abundant this year, that they carpet the verge near Fakenham Road, small white heads bowing. Some daffodils have also appeared, though the full extent of their flower heads is yet to be revealed. They are unconvinced that it is time to display their full glory just yet, and they are wise to hesitate. The birds are busy, sensing that the change in the seasons is not far off. With most trees still bare, they flit in and out of the bushes on the riverbank, those that have never lost their green covering.
Walking across to Hoe Rough, as the sun drops lower in the sky to the west, the sunlight gives a glorious illumination to the ground. The gold and browns of bracken, the small clumps of moss, all seem to reflect and radiate light, on this glorious afternoon. Ollie must have been feeling pretty good too, as he raced around the open land, stopping to roll in the thick stands of harsh grass that stick up all over. The strong light also served to extend the view across in the direction of Hoe, and Swanton Morley. Occasional red rooftops appeared as if freshly painted, catching the rays. Hedges still carrying dying leaves shimmered like bronze. It made you feel pleased to be alive.
Maggie the chocolate Labrador appeared. She jumped excitedly all over Ollie, nipping his jowls playfully. He didn’t seem to be in the mood for her antics today though, and issued a warning growl. Not that he would have done anything to her, as he has known her since she first appeared as a tiny pup. I talked with her owner about the unusually good weather, and turned to head back to Beetley Meadows. As soon as we were back across the river, Ollie took off at full speed. He had spotted Big Rocky, the Newfoundland, and this time, he was ready to play. Rocky is three times the size of Ollie, and usually flattens him, pinning him down with ease. But Ollie enjoys the rough and tumble, and never complains.
The good weather had brought out many more people; some with dogs, others with children, heading for the small playground, or the river bend. Ollie soon found Poppy, a bundle of energy terrier, who tried to tease him with her ball. His old friend Toby arrived, and the three of them rushed around madly, unaware that we were all heading towards the exit path. Even on a nice day like today, more than two hours walking seemed enough, and I headed for home, with a glorious sunset at my back.
Tomorrow is set for heavy rain and strong winds all day. When I am out in that, I will try to remember today.