Saturday, 21 March 2015

A Walk On The Mild Side

An early spring day,
soft and mellow,
a slight haze in the air;

too good to spend all of it indoors.

 We start off at the confluence of two small local rivers, just beyond the castle
and what was once the castle fishponds.

 They’re streams really,
but we call them rivers,
the Clun and the Unk,
which should, by rights, become the Clunk,
but the Clun wins out.

 we’re following the Unk upriver now.

 Just Millie and me,
aunt Josephine’s walking stick,
a small camera,
and Eva Cassidy.

Sheep have been here before us, leaving gossamer strands of fleece behind
on sere bramble fronds

Eva often comes along on days like these,
her bitter-sweet voice is just what I need.

Millie walks ahead,
as usual following her nose
and the delectable scents only she can detect.

We meet nobody;
it’s just us, all the way.

 Eva is still with me,
but quietly enough so I can hear the birds;
they are making good use of this day too.
Each one is marking out his territory,
the robin loudest of all.

 And all the while there’s the sound of the river,
gently flowing and tumbling over rocks,
pretending to be a waterfall.

Somebody died here,
a hen pheasant probably.
There’s nothing left of her apart from a handful of feathers. 

Millie takes a cursory sniff, but quickly loses interest.
Some other creature has eaten all there was.

We haven’t gone far at all,
an hour maybe,
but it’s been worth it.

Just the other side of the castle is home.


  1. You've made a beautiful walk!
    Would love to go along those rivers myself,
    and listen to the sound of the flowing water :)
    Right now I'm listening to Eva, I've searched
    for her. She had a wonderful, naturally voice.
    Too bad, she's not around anymore.
    Have a beautiful Sunday!

  2. What a great walk and so close to home. I am quite amused by River Clunk.

  3. Great photos. Thanks for taking us along on your walk.

  4. An hour is quite respectable. What fine country for a Spring walk. The fleece is biblical in it's bright impact

    ALOHA from Honolulu

  5. What a lovely walk along the river with Millie, just two of you! Your place is so beautiful, which makes me understand why you chose to settle there. Too beautiful to stay indoors, I share this weather here in Nara for a couple of days, but tomorrow winter chill is returning. Have happy days ahead, Friko.


  6. This is so beatiful, Friko! The landscape pictures would adorn any wall, and the one with the path leading between hedgerows is my favourite.
    Maybe the hen pheasant did not die there, but got into a fight with a very persistant cock and lost some feathers that way?
    I have no idea what a robin sounds like. Here, I only rarely see one; most of the birds I hear and see are blackbirds, sparrows, finches, magpies, doves, jays, crows and buzzards.

  7. What a beautiful view on the country side ! I just was in Shropshire with "Escape to the country" I like these series not because of the houses, but because of the beautiful landscapes.

  8. What a wonderful walk you have taken us on. I have listened to Eva for many years now. One of my fav's
    Thank you so much for the virtual walk, the river Clun and Unk- what a wonderful walk indeed.

  9. It was truly a lovely walk, and the pictures and text took me right along with you. :-)

  10. Such a beautiful walk, Friko, made all the more pleasurable, I'm sure, by having Millie with you.

  11. Well, that was lovely. A castle, living water, bird song. Can't ask for much more than that.

  12. Hi Friko - it's a lovely part of the world and I'd love to trudge along with you and Millie ... I'd be content with the bird song - I so enjoy it .. before the seagulls, rooks, magpies take over .. as they do here - thugs I call them! Wonderful path to wander along too .. but am glad you had Eva with you ... it is slowly warming up .. cheers Hilary

  13. Oh, this was marvelous! You have the best places to wander there. Living in the city I miss being out in nature more. The rushing streams/rivers always sound like spring and life! Thanks for taking us on your walk.

  14. Sigh. There are few things that make me smile more than seeing a post from you has arrived in my queue but this one is particularly lovely for it speaks to all that is spring, glorious, warming and peaceful. I love your Millie walks. Alas, Lizzie hasn't managed the leash as Stimpy and Gypsy did (to be honest, Gypsy wasn't so great at it either, but Stimpy walked along like a dog!). So, I walk to the ditch alone, eager to do that later today when he sun is a bit higher and the temperature a tad warmer. I'm hoping I will hear birds as you have, see the remnants of winter nearly gone and spring officially (but still not quite) here. No castle, I'm afraid. You certainly have me beat as far as the views and companionship go. (I have often taken Eva with me, too -- but my ipod is on strike!). Still, I'll hear the sounds and welcome them. Happily. And think of you!

  15. Friko, I've just spent a couple of hours working on my Federal tax return forms, with no radio playing, just the rushing of blustery wind outside the window for sound. Hard to believe that I was in a city. And yet, also impossible to imagine I was in the country.

    And then, I put my calculations aside and came to visit this truly beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing this walk with the rest of us. You've given me a reward for ending my tax procrastinating. Of course, I won't write the necessary check for a while yet! xo

  16. Such pretty photos! That was a great walk! :)

  17. Friko, I too enjoyed your photos and walk... such beautiful scenery... and so peaceful.

  18. Very pretty photos. I especially like the sheep.

  19. This gives me hope! The day was bright here, the snow almost melted away, and we were thinking to go for a walk--until we discovered the wind was strong from NNW, making for a wind chill in the 'teens (F.). Still, spring will come here, too.

  20. You've given a very descriptive description of your walk. Photos only add to your walk.

  21. Friko, I love this blog post as much as I love Eva Cassidy's music. Thank you for posting.

  22. I've not heard of Eva Cassidy until today. It seems that she's far better known and appreciated over there than in the US. I listened to her version of "Fields of Gold" and enjoyed it. I still prefer Sting's version, but it's a close race.

    I still can't get over that you have a castle in your neighborhood, or such wonderful places to walk. I nearly went out today, as the weather has turned lovely after terrible rain yesterday. But, everyplace that's within striking distance will be full of people. Better to tend to some spring cleaning, enjoy the breezes through the windows, and read of your walk. I would enjoy hearing the water, though.

    The River Clunk made me laugh.

  23. I should remember to take Eva Cassidy along with a walk sometime; low, of course, but still along.
    Thanks for the lovely walk.

  24. What a beautiful place to walk. The sheep's wool caught in the branches is magical. And that stream with the grassy banks and still bare trees looks fresh and clean.
    I've not heard of Eva Cassidy but I'll be looking her up as soon as I click publish.

  25. Clunton and Clunbury, Clungunford and Clun
    Are the quietest places under the sun

  26. Amazing what a good walk does for our psyche. Small but great shots of your walk.

  27. Weather is beautiful here by the woods
    this day.
    Think I will take up my walking stick
    and go for a walk.
    Love your scenery...

  28. oh I so love Eva - & a lyrical walk, down to the feathers of wee birdie and lovely Millie.

  29. The scenery is there, but it's the photographer who captures great pictures.

  30. I dream of scenes like this. Thankfully, the poets, with lyrical lines such as this: "Sheep have been here before us, leaving gossamer strands of fleece behind on sere bramble fronds" live in such magical kingdoms. Your kingdom even has a castle, and Millie who seems to own it all.

    Peaches Ledwidge is right about the photographer capturing the great pictures, but it is the poet that paints pictures with words. Thank you for all of this: Your beautiful photographs and your equally beautiful narrative.

  31. You are my introduction to Eva Cassidy, whose Over the Rainbow I just enjoyed quite a lot.
    And the Clun and the Unk should surely be a children's story about social misfits or some such thing. Wordpress insists I'm anonymous but I guess you know I'm not.

  32. Thanks for taking me on a perfect spring walk. Spring should be here in a few weeks, we are being patient.

  33. Not only did I love your photos, for you are a very good photographer, but also the way you laid out this post. Beautifully done. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  34. Looks like a pastoral scene from a movie I would very much like to see. You are surrounded by beauty! And your words match.


  35. Very pretty. Clun and Unk? Sounds like they were named by cavemen.

  36. I can't even imagine living in such a beautiful place! I love how you write. It was like being there with you.

  37. I'm another one who has enjoyed this beautiful, peaceful walk. I googled Eva Cassidy and listened to her sweet voice - thank you for the introduction.
    Clun and Unk - you can't make these things up!

  38. You're good photographer Friko! I liked all your pictures and especially this one of the Old castle, as in your blog header. I'm glad that Millie is better, strolling with you along the rivers and fields.
    Have a nice weekend!

  39. Delightful photos which really capture that hazy sunshine and sense of calmness.

  40. It’s nice to go out for a walk when spring is finally here isn’t it? We also had a long walk nearby in the North Georgia Mountains – not the same scenery but nature is beautiful anyhow

  41. What a beautiful walk. I enjoyed every step, thank you.

  42. I feel like I just watched a wonderfully satisfying show on public television. All this post lacked, to that end, was a few women in bonnets wandering through the frames.

  43. You capture the quiet beauties of the Marches so well in your words and images, Friko.


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