Sunday, June 04, 2006

Flaming June

Note : I started this post on Saturday but left it for a few hours and when I returned to it, I wasn't able to upload any photos. I spent some time trying everything I knew but nothing worked. I finally had to give up but saved the text to draft and after a night's sleep, I managed to get around the problem. So ignore the date at the top......this post relates to Saturday 3rd June.

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The title of this post refers to the weather and not that I'm angry with the month or that it's suddenly 'come out' as gay !! It's an expression here in the UK and can mean that we get lovely hot weather in June but it's more in hope than actuality.

So far it's been a cracker though and today may be the warmest yet - just checked the temp probe and it shows 97.8F in the sunshine but at some time in the last few days that went to 109.2F. Thankfully it's not that warm in the shade and that what we need to look at.

I took my walk a few hours ago when it wasn't so warm but it was hard to take all my bits and pieces with me when wearing a t-shirt and jeans. From now on I really need to be wearing shorts and that'll mean cutting down even more on what I can carry. I don't really want to use a backpack as it makes my back sweat and anyway, I don't carry enough to justify going that far.

So what DO I take ? Well unlike most people, I don't carry a water bottle. Even if I walk for 90 mins, I don't need water with me. It's not like I'm running a marathon after all. I wear my heart monitor as keeping a watch on my pulse rate IS important to me. I have a pedometer clipped to my sock to see how far I walk. I also carry my cell phone - mostly in case I get into difficulties when out in the countryside as out there, I'm really on my own for long periods of time. Another must is my mp3 player as music helps me forget any aches and pains in my legs and to be honest, I just love listening to music. Finally I take a tiny radio as a backup in case the mp3 battery runs out and today I wanted it to keep tabs on the cricket test match every now and then. Sad I know !!

None of these things weigh very much so it's still comfortable to walk with them all and today I also took my camera as there is usually something scenic to snap around here. My route today took me along a mostly urban setting but that's still pretty enough.


Taking a left out of my house and this is the view back along the road. Everyone takes great care of their gardens in this area and on a beautiful day like today, it makes for a very pleasing scene at the start of my walk. The vast majority of homes still have the traditional lawn at the front with varying levels of flowers and shrubs and even the odd rockery. But increasinlgy as more families become 2 or 3 car families, these lawns are being removed and replaced with dull concrete or paved patio type fronts so that they can get their vehicles up off the road.

It's probably also true that many older people and busy executive younger couples don't have the time or the physical ability to tend to a lawn/garden and so have them removed for those reasons. Some can be made to look nice too but at this time of year, nothing beats a lovely green trimmed lawn with a flower border in full bloom and a few earthernware pots, overflowing with brightly coloured flowers and greenery, strategically placed around the house.

Anyway back to my walk and a few seconds later I came to the main road which has a bike path running alongside it - but it could be a world away from the traffic passing just a few feet on the other side of the small wall.

Well I say it's a bike path but it's really just a foot path that bikers can use. There are houses to the left but again, the trees hide them and give some basic privacy to those living there - and it gives bikers and walkers the illusion that they are out in the countryside.

I think the way that the trees on both sides come together to form a natural archway only enhances this feeling. It's still only a few minutes from my house but what a lovely start to the walk.

As for music, on these walks I tend to pick one of my Billboard Top 100 albums (an album of the Top 100 songs from years 1958-75) as then there is no need to touch the mp3 player for the whole walk. I'm kinda locked into the 60's as far as fav music is concerned and although I like music from all decades, the 60's is by far my decade of choice.

Anyway after this avenue of greenery, I'm back to a stretch of road which just takes me past some of the most imposing houses around here. This is still an enjoyable part of the walk as I like looking at these houses and their lovely gardens which have, for the most part, been cared for by professionals. Once again it's with some sadness that I note the growing number of large black electronic gates shielding these homes from anyone except those with permission to enter. A sign of the times I guess.

After about 15 minutes along this road, I'm able to turn off and start on the country lane which I've photographed before and posted views of earlier. As usual I had it all to myself today and there wasn't even anyone on the golf course that the lane cuts across.

When I take a different route, I have time to walk to the end of this lane and down onto the main road to get back home. This route today gets me to the lane that bit later and so I like to get near the end and simply turn round and walk it's length again.

Just before my turning point, a little rabbit hopped from the left side and stopped just before the grass on the right. I knew it was going to hop on into the undergrowth with my next step towards it so I stopped. I had to rush the photo as I expected the rabbit to move at any time but I still wanted it to be well composed. I wanted to show it's diminutive size against the scenic background and it posed nicely for me.

After I'd taken the photo, it was still there looking at me. I took a pace forward.......it didn't move. I took another, and another. Still it didn't move.


I knew I was pushing my luck and took one more photo just in case - and sure enough, one more step and off it went.

I see rabbits and other critters quite often on this part of the walk but it's the first time I've had my camera with me - so it was cool that I came upon such a posing rabbit this time.

It was such a lovely warm day that normally I'd have extended the walk quite a bit but today I had a deadline as I wanted to be back home for 2pm to watch the final warmup game for England before the team headed off to Germany and the start of the World Cup. It was only against Jamaica but still, a game is a game.

I stopped off at a friends house on the way home for 5 mins and still was back in time for the start of the game - so it was a 90 minute walk today which is 20 minutes longer than it usually takes me but I'd stopped a few times to take photos.

I was due to go to HomeBase and get a small paint brush to touch up around the new light fittings that my friend, Ken, had finished installing yesterday. I found an old stiff brush in the garage and decided it was good enough for the job and after the game, which England won 6-0, I touched up around the 4 light fittings as well as around the new dimmer switch and it looks pretty good now - from a distance !!

The forecast is for a dull day tomorrow (Sunday) with a chance of rain........kinda back to the flaming June we've come to expect. I'm sure it was better back when I was in school and having to stay in to study for exams

1 comment:

jen said...

Sounds like you had a terrific walk. A bit warm for me though...ugh!

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