Sunday 8 May 2011

The walk

Heavy rain during the night, very welcome. You could almost hear the trees and plants sighing with relief in the morning.

Our Sunday walk started off in dappled sunshine.

Blossom everywhere, petals from the horse chestnut candelabra floating  down like pink and white snowflakes.

The little Ouseburn, swollen and coffee-coloured, was rushing noisily.

The wild garlic was everywhere, crisply green and white.

Further upstream, all was calm.

This is the scene of yesterday's tragedy - Flossie's favourite ball rolled down a steep bank and was lost.

But today she found a replacement in the undergrowth, a nice new ball. It stayed clean for about 30 seconds.

And she was clearly very pleased with it. Tosca doesn't share Flossie's enthusiasm for a ball.

We met our friend Holly and her owner. Holly's coat is a colour that tells me just how mucky Flossie really is beneath that camouflaging black coat. They both love mud and water.

Holly is placid and plodding, but Flossie watches her like a hawk, because she's quick to snaffle a ball that rolls her way, but Holly obligingly hands it over.

We turned back for home, noting that the dreaded Japanese knotweed is taking over with indecent haste. Almost impossible to eradicate by digging, trials of a natural control of this invader are underway in parts of Britain.

It looks light and delicate now; in weeks it will have ugly, thick, mottled stems, and have smothered everything around it.

But there's cow parsley (Queen Anne's Lace) too.

Flossie is busy. A ball and a stick are easy to manage.

And this is why Flossie often smells faintly of garlic....

The last opportunity to swim in deep water.

Flossie likes to keep the Ouseburn free of plastic bottles. She's trying to get two in her mouth at once here, but alas, even enthusiasm and a big mouth won't do it.

She delivers the first, and returns for the second.

Such a sense of civic duty!

But there is thunder, drawing closer. The sky is darkening. We have to get home!

Flossie charges ahead, leaving wet footprints.

We take the steep short cut.

Little legs need a little break halfway up the slope.

Can we outrun the rain? No.

Flossie tries to persuade us to go back into the Dene. Weather-proof, that girl.

It's raining and blowing hard now. My shoes squelch, my clothes are soaked.

Tosca hates rain more than anything else.

And decides to make a run for it.

We reach home, wring ourselves out, get dried (them) and changed (me), and the sun comes out again.

A nice hide chew is what's needed after such a drama.

"What drama was that? No drama here." Cats are so sensible about weather.

British weather. You've got to love it.


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'm very jealous of your proximity to such a splendid park and I do like the way Florence does her bit to keep it uncluttered .
(And did you have a nice hide chew , too , with your cuppa ?)

judy in ky said...

Flossie looks waterproof and eager to go... poor little Tosca just looks water-logged and harried. The cats are snug in their little beds. Looks like everything is normal there.

Lucille said...

Honestly it's like coming along too. I had to go and dry off.

the veg artist said...

One of my favourite posts to date! I adore Tosca, even when wet!
By the way, just how many dog/cat beds/radiator hanging on things do you have in your house?

dinahmow said...

Marie has a novel way of dealing with knotweed

Pam said...

Poor little Tosca! But she looks warm and happy by the end of this dramatic tale. What a cutie she is.

Karen said...

Knotweed is becoming a huge problem here in North Carolina, too; a close second to the kudzu that the Japanese kindly sent over in the 1930's.

I still can't bring myself to think of even eating it, though, despite Marie's post.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I enjoyed going along with your walk. Love the videos. Flossie should be congratulated on her efforts to keep the park clean.

Frances said...

Lovely photos..thanks for the walk!

Unknown said...

Well, that was my exercise for the day!

Dogs have such amazingly strong characters don't they, yours are brilliant!

I get a bit freaked out seeing dogs in rivers since someone I knew died trying to rescue her dog who got in trouble, but it looks like Flossie knows exactly what she is doing.

Anonymous said...

Such delightful company your lot! Enjoyed seeing Flossie doing her bit for the environment. It's always good to get home.

Ann said...

Thank you for a beautiful post -- I truly appreciate the time you take to do them!

Dan said...

I had a feeling there might be a soggy ending given the weather we've been having this weekend. Sun one minute, torrential rain the next.
Flossie's a great swimmer!

judy in ky said...

I just came back and watched the videos. I love seeing Flossie looking so tail-waggingly happy. She's a star!

Susan said...

amazing post !!! I felt like I was there.
Thank you !! I was worried that Flossie might be swept away down a raging creek after her clean up regime. And how sweet she is - the tiny dog

xo les Gang

and why people laugh at dogs

MLou said...

Flossie is pretty industrious. And just look at that tail helping out with the swimming. I think there is some beaver in the mix. Adding that to the labrador pedigree completes her Canadian heritage.

Marcheline said...

I've got the Japanese knotweed blues here on Long Island, NY as well.... I spend most of my gardening time cutting and pulling it out of my beds, to no avail - the next door neighbor's yard is awash in 8ft tall swathes of the stuff. ACK.

Great post - what an adventure!!! Love your critters.

mountainear said...

Good dog Flossie! Looked like a really good-for-you walk. Probably only Tosca would be the only one to disagree.

Love that post-walk, all-clean feeling. Tea and cake well deserved.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Completely beautiful and that's only Flossie! great pictures. I shall go to bed with a smile on my face.

jabblog said...

We desperately need rain - about two weeks' worth non-stop to really soak the forest floor and prevent further outbreaks of fire. You can keep the thunder though.

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