Once in a while, whether it is for repairing the boardwalk, loping obstructing branches along the path, planting trees, fixing wooden fences or simply to conduct a survey of the flora or fauna, we go down the nature trail.
It is always a walk that I enjoy as I cannot help but be mesmerized by its ever changing character. Dull and broody in foul weather or in the midst of winter with the kip burn’s waters swelling under the rain and sometimes flooding part of the trail; blossoming in the golden light of a spring morning with mixed scents of flowers, grass and lush foliage wafting in the light breeze and vibrants hues that are a delight to one’s eyes. Primroses, bluebells, wild garlic, wood sorrel and celandine grows there, under the shade of silver birches or hazel trees, amid an undergrowth of ferns and brackens, the renewal of life in all its splendor. Tiny creatures thrive here, bumbles and honey bees, wasps, flies of all sorts, butterflies and moths.
The end of winter has brought back migratory birds, Canadian geese and mallard ducks can be seen flying over the land, wrens engage into a series of convoluted dance around the intricate network of branches, red breasted robins dart restlessly from place to place.
Lizards emerge on dry stone walls, basking in the warm light of the sun, frogs and toads hop amidst the green grass that still glitters from the morning dew, their bulging glassy eyes reflecting the world around them, an occasional slug advances the path, here and there, pressing on in an excruciating slow motion or climbing over a dandelion leaf.