The pleasures (and otherwise) on a walk along a country road

The four mattresses dumped at the side of a passing place

One of the hawthorn trees absolutely laden with berries

Part of the hawthorn hedge also laden with great winter food for birds

The carpeting and underlay dumped at another passing place

There is a narrow and very quiet country road near where I live and along which I often walk. There is never a time I am on that road that I don’t see something of interest, whether it be deer, birds, flowers or even cloud formations.

Today my first encounter was unpleasant; in fact it was disgusting. Some moron had dumped four mattresses at the side of a passing place. It seems almost unbelievable that someone would load up these on to a van or trailer and, rather than drive six miles to the nearest recycling centre, dump them at the side of the road. They are ‘household’ items rather than commercial waste, so the chances are there would not even be a charge at a recycling centre. An act of sheer selfishness, and left to be cleaned up by the council at our expense.

My spirits were lifted a bit further along the road. A cloud of over a hundred fieldfares rose from roadside hawthorn trees and bushes and flew into birch trees on the other side of the road. The trees were absolutely laden with berries, which are providing welcome feeding for these Scandinavian visitors. They were remarkably quiet, with none of the normal chacking usually associated with these birds. At the same time a skein of pink-footed geese flew overhead, having lifted from barley stubble a couple of fields away. A nearby field was also host last week to another migratory flock, whooper swans, this time journeying from Iceland. I counted 32 last Friday but there were even more at the weekend. On Monday I took my camera to get a photo, but they had gone. Typical.

Further along the road a female sparrowhawk came swooping towards me along the road side of the hawthorn trees. At the last minute it cut through the trees and continued its journey on the field side, heading towards where the fieldfares were. I’d be surprised if fieldfare was not on the menu, though maybe such a large flock would confuse the predator and make it miss out.

A couple of hundred yards further on there was more disgusting flytipping, again at a passing place but this time old carpeting and underlay. It looks as if the person involved had tried to turn his vehicle by backing up on to the damp verge and had got stuck. After much spinning and flattening of grass I think he had managed to get the vehicle out. What a pity!

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