Tuesday, 1 June 2010

A Somerset Walk

We spent the long weekend in Somerset, another lovely English county (almost as lovely as Herefordshire!).   The countryside is in its full early summer beauty, the grass green and lush and the trees beginning to be heavy in leaf.   Although the bluebells are over, the chestnut trees are still holding their candles high, and elderflower and cow parsley luxuriate beside the lanes.

Yesterday morning we walked along a ridge behind the handsome honey-coloured Hadspen House.   The grassy track through the estate was once an ancient road, and runs through an avenue of tall pines.   On either side of us the woods fell away, revealing dim blue distant views of yet more woods and fields.   We discovered an interesting stone stile - a flat slab of stone set on its edge in the dry-stone wall, with a neat hole cut into it for one's foot, something I had never seen before.

Towards the end of our walk we came across two magnificent Shire horses, working to pull logs out of the woods below.   The younger of the two was 18.3hh, with hooves the size of dinner plates below his fine, white-feathered legs, and both of them were splendid beasts, all too rarely seen these days.   It was good not only to see them, but to see them working, doing a job which they do so much better than machines.

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