Something wickedly aromatic this way comes

I was woken early this morning by a wet nose on my hand, a reminder that there’s a new boss in town now. But when I looked out, there was a lovely mist in the air and I immediately thought of getting out to some woods to try and get photographs of trees in the mist. We’ve been going to the woods above the Upper Lliw reservoir for a while now and I knew with the right conditions I could get the photos I had envisaged.

Rufus managed to eat half his breakfast but I was faffing about so much that I only had a cup of coffee. I knew the mist would soon burn off and so i wanted to get going as quickly as possible. We set off and it didn’t take long to make the journey over the misty hills to the little valley in which the woods nestles. Of course, with my luck, the mist had lifted from that part of the world and so we entered a clear, sunlit plantation with the early morning rapidly warming.

The calls of buzzards echoed through the trees as we made our way along the track towards the reservoir. In the distance, I could hear seagulls calling from the reservoir dam. As I feared, there was no sign of any mist and we reached the shore of the reservoir with only a few speculative photographs taken. The water was still and the seagulls were sat on the wall of the dam. On the opposite hills I could see mist brushing the tops, and I realised that the cloud was coming down again, which would introduce the mist tot he woods.

Off we went, back along the path. This time Rufus took a diversion the continued along near the shore of the reservoir and I followed. A subtle haze filled the woods and I managed to get some photographs that I was happy with. I’m always happy when taking photos at my own pace in such beautiful surroundings and I didn’t really want to stop. But I was conscious that it was getting warmer and both Rufus and I aren’t great in the heat.

Walking back to the car, I caught a whiff of something deeply unpleasant. Rufus has a habit of rolling in unpleasant things and I kept an eye on him in case he dashed off to dive into this one. But he seemed to show no interest, which is very unusual. Then it dawned on me why; because the deeply unpleasant aroma was coming from Rufus. He had already rolled in it while my back was turned (or more likely, my eye was at the viewfinder). Rufus is the master of discovering impossibly awful things to roll in. I don’t know what this was but I tried my very best to keep upwind of him. At the car I tried to wipe the worst of it off but it made very little difference. Needless to say, the back windows were kept open and the air conditions was on full blast in an effort to remove the smell from the car.

 

We took a short detour to see the wind turbines but further up the mountain the mist was much thicker and I only managed to catch a glimpse of the base of one or two, plus the odd blade slowly spinning by. Then it was back to the car and a swift drive home to the shower. A curly and damp but sweet smelling Rufus is currently dozing on the sofa.

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If you go down to the woods…

I called around for Rufus to see if he could come out to play, and he could! A lads day out!

Dave turned up and rather than have him cry again, I agreed to take him for a walk. 

We drove down to Whiteford and parked up in the little field before heading down to Cwm Ivy wood. The mist was just clearing and through the canopy of leaves the sun just managed to shine through. The wood was quiet and peaceful and the only other living thing I saw was a pheasant, which ran across the path in front of me.

There were lots of smells and I found a dead sheep to roll in.

There were a lot of sheep around, and quite a few horses on Llanrhidian marsh but no birds other than the odd seagull. Rufus found the only water for miles around in the form of a thick, muddy drainage ditch. He dived in.

I was hot and needed to cool off. Elephants have mud baths and if it’s good enough for them it will do for me. Besides, the way Dave mutters after I emerge covered in goo is funny.

After we’d crossed the dunes, we dropped down onto the beach. The tide was way out and in the distance we could see people harvesting cockles near Whiteford lighthouse. Rufus managed to find another pool of water left over from the last high tide. As I was sending a text message, I started to hear the now familiar grunts, whines and yaps that told me I was taking too long.

Dave was spending far too long playing with the little gadget he carries around and there was a significant danger of the tide coming in and the sun setting before he’d thrown me any stones. Al I did was remind him of his responsibilities.

I threw stones for Rufus and he was happy to chase back and forth, cooling his paws as he went.

The simple things can keep Dave occupied for hours.

We headed back over the dunes, meandering between the largest of them to find the easiest route back to the woods. I was too slow to stop Rufus rolling in a large, fresh cowpat. By the time I got to him, he was covered in it.

It was so aromatic I just had to cover myself from head to toe. Dave shouted a lot and wouldn’t come near me.

We walked back to the car in near silence. All my attempts to wipe the mess off him didn’t do much good and in the end I resorted to covering it in sand in the hope it would dry it more quickly. It worked to a certain extent and I was able to use fern leaves to remove some more. But the smell remained and when we got back to the car I had to open all the windows.

Dave must have been hot as he left all the windows open as we drove home.

Of course, Rufus had to go straight into the shower when we got home. There was a lot of huffing and puffing and groaning but I have never seen as much dirt and muck come off him. It took several applications of shampoo to get rid of the worst of the smell.

But I sure looked good at the end of it.

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