Signs of Spring in Rosedale

Took a walk through Rosedale today, past the hill that was the inspiration for Wild Country Walkabouts' logo. Good to see and hear that the Rookery amongst the Pine trees has been repaired, after winter storm damage. I've always had a soft spot for Rooks, as I hand-reared one as a teenager. Very intelligent and social creatures. Big eaters of leatherjackets and other harmful grass pests. Sheep farmers should be pleased to have them around. Also calling hauntingly, through the valley, signalling their return from the coast, were several Curlews. Staking their claims to nesting ground. I treasure their trembling, whistling calls, especially when alone up on the high, open, wild moor.

Later, I sat a while under a stand of Beech by the river Seven, watching the water bubble and tumble over its stony bed. Waiting for Dippers and Kingfishers to swing around the blind bend in the river but all to no avail today. Dog's Mercury is now forcing new shoots through the beechmast which litters the earth around me. Here and there other leaves, larger and brighter green, also reaching up into the light. Soon this wild Garlic will smother the damper ground and tasty flower buds will appear and swell. Great as an addition to a walker's sandwiches. Mmmm! Can't wait. As I walk on through the campsite, bird song is all around; blackbirds, robins, songthrush, dunnock and great tit. I love this time of year, hope you do too.

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