As the year has drawn to a close we have seen some subtle, and some not so subtle, changes as The Dog and I walk our walk each day. The leaves have fallen off the trees for instance. At first just a few here and there, so that it was interesting to find dry leaves whirling round in the little eddies round the edges and corners of buildings. As we walked up the hill, the occasional leaf would run on ahead of us and The Dog would follow in hot pursuit. Then, it became hard to see the road for the drifts of leaves, very colourful it was too. Soon though, the carpet of reds and browns decomposed into a black slushy veneer that was thankfully washed away by the next heavy rain.
There are a few sheep around, along our walk, but there are far more cattle, or at least there were. Most of them have now been moved into their barns for the winter. There are still a few of the more hardy types pottering around in the fields but each time we pass by we notice that they are less and less obvious. More and more fields stand empty, looking quite forlorn and deserted without the munch and crunch of their bovine occupants.
In previous weeks we have rarely come across evidence of horses, marking their passage, as they do, in a way that would have left Hansel and Gretel green with envy. Very seldom have we caught the sound of their clip clopping approach as we strain our ears for the sound of vehicles but most of all for the almost silent whisper of bicycle tyres on the road. Now all that has changed. Horses too, we guess, are currently stabled against the wild winds rude lament – and so in need of exercise. Three times this week, we have stopped to chat to a horse out for a trot round the block. And very pleased we were to meet them.