Wolds Diary: An eerie stroll enveloped in mist

Red kites are among the birds of prey that have been persecuted in North Yorkshire, police report.  Pic: Doug Simpson
Red kites are among the birds of prey that have been persecuted in North Yorkshire, police report. Pic: Doug Simpson
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EVERYONE AROUND me seems to have been mowing their lawns this week. Everyone except me that is, as I just haven’t had the time. I have made a start on the vegetable patch though.

The warm weather has been delightful. I went out one morning with the dogs for a good walk, and I didn’t even need a jumper. A tee shirt sufficed. Yes, I did have slacks on as well.

I met a charming couple with two terriers one of whom was frightened of all strange dogs and fortunately I had Brock on a lead so my other four were called off.

On another morning Brock disgraced herself by vanishing into a field of oilseed rape and I knew she was in there because I could see the pheasants flying up as she approached. It was some time before she exhausted herself and by the time she caught up with me she was pretty tired and slept most of the rest of the day.

On another morning I went to another location where the valley has a flat floor and the sides rise steeply - a typical Wolds dale. Although it was still quite early I could see someone had walked there before me as the ground was wet with dew and the footprints were obvious. By the time I finished my feet were drenched too.

As I set out there was a mist hanging above the valley and when I turned to retrace my steps the mist dropped dramatically and almost followed me down the valley floor; it was quite eerie.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thrilled to have seen a number of barn owls flying close to me, even in broad daylight. They have long been a favourite of mine and I suspect they’re nesting in some numbers in the areas I walk in.

I’m almost blasé about seeing red kites now, they seem to be in every field and woodland around here. A pair were hunting very close to me the other day and I was reminded of just how big these wonderful birds are.

The fruit trees in my garden are bursting forth at the moment much to the delight of the tits who seem to enjoy eating the green shoots as they appear.

I would rather have the treat of watching the birds, just so long as the trees survive.

My garden is full of primula blooms and other colourful alpine plants, an inheritance from the previous resident. A number of buddleias sprang up last autumn and I have, on advice, pruned them back. I have also noticed a lot of butterflies, mainly peacock ones but also a few tortoiseshell ones in the garden and even in the fields.

I popped over to Scarborough during the week to take some beech trees to a friend to augment her beech hedge.

I could only get copper beech but they will look fine once established.

To another friend I took some pussy willow fronds to plant in her garden. Whilst there I took her cat to the vet to complete the inoculations it required.

I deviated on the way home and called into the lovely town of Malton. I also saw a bit of the countryside that is unfamiliar to me and I sometimes wonder at the diversity that Yorkshire has to offer.

On the Friday I drove over to Bridlington to meet up with a friend and collect some items I needed. I have never really explored Bridlington, and for the first time I managed to see some of the old town.

The next morning I spent some time in Market Weighton, another very friendly place, except for the stupidity of a silly young thug who thought it was funny to expose himself to me and my friends in the main street while we were sat in a vehicle.

I cannot say that any of us were that impressed. We decided his IQ was almost as deficient as his dress sense and carried on with our day.

Almost everywhere the daffodils border the roads and spring is with us.

There is blossom on the trees and the evenings are much lighter, making the day more productive. I can now walk the dogs in the evenings if I need to. This has only been slightly spoiled by the quality of the air one day, when I found it quite hard to catch a good breath.