To be honest, I do get bored taking Ollie for much the same walk every day. Although he adores the routine of the familiar routes around Beetley Meadows and Hoe Rough, there are times when I just can’t face the ‘Groundhog Day’ effect of repeating the same walk from yesterday.
Today was such a day, so I put Ollie in the car and drove the short distance to Beetley Common, desperate for a change of scene. In bright sunshine, we set off along the path that leads up to the common and fishing lakes. Ollie didn’t seem to be too bothered by the different venue, and was soon rushing around sniffing as usual. The sight of some sheep in one field sparked his interest, but he stuck close to me and didn’t bother them.
Once inside the wooded common, he was in his element, with lots to sniff, and different paths to take. I let him decide on the route he fancied, and followed along, watching out for the mud that lingers on the small paths under the shade of the trees. We were on our own today, with no sight of fellow walkers, or other dogs. It felt quite nice to have the whole place to ourselves, at least to me. No doubt Ollie would have preferred the company of many more dogs.
I walked up to the gate that bars entry to the private fishing lakes, and stopped to admire the sun-drenched views. I could see that nobody was out fishing today, as all the places built for anglers were empty. However, I could distinctly hear repeated splashes coming from the nearest lake, so I concentrated on the water, hoping to see what was causing them.
Moments later, I watched a large fish leap completely out of the water. It covered a fair distance before plopping back under the surface, with a loud splash. It was soon followed by others, in different parts of the large lake. At times, three or four different fish were jumping in this fashion, separated by large areas of water as they did so. I stood and watched this for around ten minutes, as it was something I had never seen before. Ollie nudged my leg, telling me it was time to keep walking, and I wandered off, amazed by what I had just seen.
To anyone living close to a river or lake, or to someone who is a dedicated angler, this (presumably feeding) fish behaviour may well be old hat. But for me, it was a complete delight, watching nature that carried on oblivious of my presence.