>Wharncliffe Woods

>Saturday morning I drove “over road” (across the M1) to meet the new walking buddy. We drove into Wharncliffe Woods where we parked up and then spent the next 5 hours tramping along the crags, through the woods and over the ridge. I didn’t take my camera with me because the battery needed charging and we were travelling light anyway. So this time I’ve pinched the picture from here.

Here comes the science bit. I pinned on my pedometer and it recorded 17,886 steps, 536 calories burned, 10.73km walked – which converts to 6.6 miles. I’m quite proud of that.

We saw around a dozen different kinds of bird, 1 mammal (grey squirrel), at least 4 different kinds of fungi (toadstool pic from here), and we had a bit of competitive fun identifying the trees from either the bark or the leaves on the ground.

There was some gorse about, but nothing else was really in flower any more.

The highlight for me was watching a kestrel from afar as it hovered for several minutes, was bombarded by meadow pipits, before dropping to the ground and then coming to roost where we could watch it through the binoculars – and even with the naked eye – as it sulked at missing its prey. I nicked this picture from here.

Next time I’ll take my own camera with me, so apologies and thanks to all the photographers I’ve plagiarised here. Please take time to visit the links so I feel a bit better about that.

Sunday was chores day. I baked a farmhouse fruitcake, a banana tea bread and a plum crumble and I caught up on all the washing. The trouble with emptying the washing basket, though, is that the ironing basket becomes a mountain. I’ll have to work my way through that.

Today I have the dentist this afternoon, so I’m not looking forward to that. I also have the first draft of a short story to write, and I want to spend a couple of hours on the confidential job. I’ve already carried out maintenance on the laptop. Having everything re-installed makes it feel a bit like a brand new machine, but the security I’ve been paying for via my phone bill just isn’t working. So I’ve got the free AVG virus protection for the timebeing while I either sort that out or replace it with something reliable.