Since about April myself and my husband have been walking up the lane that runs up the hill behind our house.  I don’t think the lane has a name, it goes up to a farm, and the hill is called Mynydd Coedbychan (which I like to think translates to something like the Mountain of Small Trees – which is probably not accurate but grant me some poetic licence here – I like the way that sounds). This was all because of lockdown of course.  It gave us a chance to stretch our legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy nature.  We woefully neglected this walk in all the time we have lived in the area (despite best intentions), having walked this way a mere handful of times, but now we’ve done it nearly every day in the last 6 months.

I’ve come to really appreciate this lane and have been enjoying seeing it through different seasons and weathers and colours.  Early on there were the dusky blues of Bluebells in the lower wooded part, these led on to the pinky purples of Foxgloves.  So many Foxgloves growing in the banks, I had no idea.  Eventually there were the purples of Heather, I didn’t think there was much Heather growing around here, and then I kept spotting more small clumps, and bigger clumps, and in the end there was far more than I thought, although not a huge amount.  Next came the yellows, of tiny sprigs of Gorse, and sprays of Ragwort, and a really teeny tiny flower that I have no idea what it was.  But lately it has been about the browns, of the rusty Bracken, and the Heather that has faded and died.

Predominantly the lane is green, and grey (with mottled stone walls, and potholed tarmac), and muddy brown.

The lane has given me exercise, and fresh air, and a glimpse of a sea view – so tantalising yet needed when I am unable to reach the sea itself.  We have seen the morning sun rising over the woodland on the hill behind, and the afternoon sun glinting on the wind turbines.  I have stood on the bank and looked down on Buzzards and Kites, Seagulls and Crows, and we have greeted the sheep – three of which escaped the field at one point and kept making forays down the lane.

I think I have especially enjoyed the lane in my early morning walks, the 6am start to the day before settling down to work.  However it is now too dark at 6am to walk the lane and I am feeling my way into where I should fit the lane into my day.  So far it has been at the end of the afternoon between 4pm and 6pm, but I know it will not be that long before this end to the day is dark too.  The weather is becoming a bit more inclement as well.  Today we set off about 4pm, it was windy and a bit damp but not too bad – sitting here not two hours later it is chucking it down and I am glad we dodged that shower!  At this end of the day there are a few more vehicles about, cars and vans returning to the farm, whereas at 6am we only occasionally saw one.  In the early days we sometimes saw a couple of young cyclists eager to embrace the world whilst not at school, and there are occasional dog walkers or hikers.  But all this description makes it sound much busier than it is – it is generally quiet and often we don’t see anyone which is just the way we like it.

Maybe we will venture out in the middle of the day, extend our lunchbreak, work a bit later in the afternoon to make up for it.  We shall see.  But I shall look forward to the opposite point in the year when the mornings will start to become light enough again to make the 6am walk possible.