Little and Often – Lao Tzu

Hagg Wood – The Green – Stankelt Road – The Lots – The Cove – Townsfield

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I frequently walk past this border of Hagg Wood and it’s been interesting to watch the Blackthorn flowers transform from constellations of tight white balls into fully fledged blossom.

Ecotones are always busy with life and this one, between the woods and the open field, is no exception, being always thronged with birds. Usually I hear them more than see them, but this warbler…

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…was both silent, but also unusually easy to track with my camera.

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Warbler’s are easiest to distinguish by their songs, so I’m not sure whether this is a Chiff-Chaff or something else. And, to be honest, if it isn’t a Chiff-Chaff, then the song wouldn’t have helped me much either.

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The mystery tree is still playing its cards close to its chest, with no leaves unfurling yet, which probably means that it isn’t a Sycamore.

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Hebridean Sheep. I think.

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Chaffinch.

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I stepped into Pointer Wood, saw how deep the shadows were there and decided not to go that way. But I lingered long enough to take lots of backlit photos…

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Gooseberry flowers.

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Hazel leaves?

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Sycamore leaves.

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Ivy.

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The Lots.

The couple ahead of me in the photo are friends from the village whom I often meet when I’m walking locally, particularly of an evening. It amuses them that at the moment I wear shorts, but also a hat and gloves. Seems perfectly sensible to me.

As I approached the small copse which stands either side of the path above the cliff by The Cove, I watched a pair of Buzzards circling above it.

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There were several Starlings foraging in the second, northern-most of The Lots fields. A few years ago I spotted a Starling nest in the woods here and watched for some time as the two parent birds flew back and forth whilst their hungry brood noisily pleaded for more.

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Crow.

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“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, this oft-quoted proverb is apparently from the 64th chapter of the Tao Te Ching which is attributed to Lao Tzu. A more accurate translation, I’ve read, would be: “A journey of a thousand li starts beneath ones feet.”

But, returning to Mr Sloman and his daily target of 3 miles; that average mileage per day would yield over 1000 miles in a year. Which would no doubt feel like something of an achievement. I notice that Country Walking magazine have a 1000 mile challenge. And some bloggers are already well underway with said challenge.

So: could I manage it? Well, this modest walk is two and a half miles. I know this since TBH has loaded an App called Move onto her phone and I’ve been borrowing the phone. The app provides a step-count, a distance, time and average speed for your walk. I must confess that I love both the data and the maps and am almost tempted to get my own smart phone so that I can use it more regularly. Almost. Even with all of the gawking I did, I still managed this in just over an hour, so yes, I could probably manage this most days and then make up any shortfall at the weekends. Of course, a good time to come to this particular realisation would have been just before New Year, rather than part way through April. Still, it’s something to think of for next year. In the meantime I’ll keep practising.

This gate…

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…gives me some measure of my progress to date. In recent years it has been a bit of a squeeze for me to get through it, but now I can pass through with ease. A fact which never fails to make me smile. Sometimes I go back and forth through it a couple of times, just because I can.

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The pair of Buzzards swooped low over the wood then gracefully arced over and back to come to land on branches high at the back of the wood. I could half see them, but not well enough to get a photo.

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Behind me, a Blackbird was regaling the sinking sun with gusto.

And why not?

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Blackthorn Blossom in late evening light.

 

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Little and Often – Lao Tzu

10 thoughts on “Little and Often – Lao Tzu

  1. I adore this place, Sir.
    Achingly brilliant photographs and a belly laugh are always guaranteed.
    With 396 miles done so far this year, a PreWalkDaunder in the offing and a 200 mile walk acorss Scotland in four weeks time should have the back broken of the 1,000 miles. It’s good to see a walking magazine actually promote walking for a change, rather than heaps of incredibly expensive gear.
    Have another pass through that gate Sir. Go on. You know you want to.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      You’re too kind. Highly impressive stats,perhaps you should be aiming for 2000 miles this year? I hope the daunder goes well. I couldn’t agree more about the magazines, I’m not really familiar with Country Walking, but I’m almost tempted to splash out on a copy. Almost. Anyway, the campaign seems like an excellent idea.
      I don’t know what you mean about a belly laugh. Everything I write is completely serious and in earnest, no comedy intended. 😉

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Hi Gordon – sorry, your comment was filtered out into spam. I don’t normally check the spam, since I wasn’t aware that it ever mistakenly picked up genuine comments, and I’m not sure why I decided to check it this time, but I’m glad that I did.
      The backlit photos thing is just something I noticed years ago in the woods – leaves, bark, water-droplets with low-angled light coming through them can look particularly fine, in my opinion.

  2. Hasn’t the Blackthorn been lovely this year. Your Photos are gorgeous and I envy your walking locations.
    Well done on the weight loss and thanks for linking to my blog. I’m sure you could do the 1000 mile challenge. It all adds up quickly…maybe you could include a walk at lunch on a work day? or as I do and park further away.
    You could start from May first for 12 months and use http://www.walkjogrun.net/routes/my_routes.cfm or something similar to track your miles.
    I know the distance of my regular routes and write down a tally on the calendar.
    Good Luck

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      We’re very lucky to live here, I know 🙂 . It’s beautiful when it’s not raining, although we do get a lot of that. If we had proper beaches it would be perfect, but also prohibitively expensive. I could probably do the challenge starting from April Fool’s day, since I have a pretty comprehensive record of where I’ve walked since then. I must admit that a calendar year appeals more somehow. Maybe I should try for 750 in three quarters of a year.
      Thanks for the tip with regards to WalkJogRun, I’ve used it already, it’s very handy. 🙂

  3. Stiles and gates are the toughest part of hike these days. Taking a pack off to get through a gate or having to use my hands to lift my leg over a stile is a constant irritation. I tried to use TBFs rucksack over the weekend, while I was out with TJS who borrows it for backpacking. The hip belt was too short to use. I need more miles or possibly just more gadgets to convince me I’m doing more miles. Is there any fitness benefit from binge watching TV shows, I’m good at that. Great sunset shots again by the way

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Don’t get me started on hipbelts – clearly designed for midgets only. I may yet publish more pictures of awkward stiles, there are several on my blacklist. There are a couple in particular on Arnside Knott, of the whole in a wall variety, where I have been quite firmly wedged in (and had to replace a couple of stones after I’ve unwedged myself).

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