Nature walk

Following on from yesterday’s workout on Bannau Sir Gaer, we decided to take things a little easier this morning. Rufus was up at 5am but it didn’t take much persuading for him to head back to his bed. We eventually arose to lovely sunshine at about 6.30. After breakfast and the traditional garden stroll we set off to Fairwood Common so that I could take photos of the early morning wildlife, and Rufus could get wet and muddy (as is set out in the terms and conditions I agreed to when he first let me take him for a walk).

We parked up not far from Ilston and, skirting the two tents set up at the side of the road, we made our way through ferns and bog to the little river. This can be a trickle or a proper river and today it was closer to proper river. By the time I’d clambered over fallen tree trunks and through brambles, Rufus was in the water waiting patiently. Stones were thrown. I must have done it well because he didn’t bark. While I set up the tripod, he explored the opposite bank and judging by the noises in the branches above us, he startled some birds.

I managed to get some photos I was happy with and we both started to wander along the river bank. We found a lovely stretch of water and Rufus was straight in, wading and then swimming without me having to throw anything for him. It was cooling and he loves swimming, so it was easy to imagine a smile on his face.

Inevitably, I took too long over taking photos, and the barking started. I understand my place and role and quickly concentrated on stone throwing.

We left the river, crossed the road and headed off towards the airport. The grass and ferns were longer here away from the shelter of the trees, and Rufus disappeared in some of the undergrowth, only to bob up again and he jumped a thorny branch or checked to see if I was following. Ever since I’ve taken him for walks, I have played hide and seek with him with the intention that he will always turn back to look for me if we lose sight of each other. I still play now and again, but I always know that he won’t stray far before turning back to spot me.

Before I knew it, we’d been out for two hours. The sun was warm and it was a bit uncomfortably humid for my liking, so we headed back to the car. Back home we checked the garden again and then one of us fell fast asleep on the sofa, while the other one made coffee and uploaded the morning’s photos onto the computer.

I have no idea how far we walked today but it wasn’t much more than a mile. You could measure the ascent in centimetres. But fun was had by all.

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