We just walked alongside the lake and back. It is hot in England this lovely long Bank Holiday weekend. Much more like June than April. Summer has come early. The weather certainly seems to be changing consistently. Last winter was a hard one with temperatures plummeting to minus 20 whereas the summers seem to arrive early. I’m not going to complain about that! But I do think about the effect of global warming and how our world is changing.
Water does it for me. I love lakes, rivers, streams. I adore the sea. I think I am lucky living where I do, there are several lakes in easy reach even if we are a fair way from the sea. The sea needs a day trip whereas a walk by the lake is possible any old day. And then there are the canals. We live near the Trent and Mersey canal, and canals are an important part of our industrial heritage in this country as well as a source of pleasure. Nowadays its easy ( though not cheap!) to hire a barge ( narrow boat) and sail slowly along the waterways for a day or a holiday. But I love just walking along the canal tow-paths. Smiling at the boats and their cheerful livery, seeing the birds peeping out from the undergrowth.
So today we walked along the lake. I was using my sparkly pink walking poles and find I can walk so much better with them. I’m a bit unsteady on my feet, and last winter I had a lot of falls in the snow and ice and they have really knocked my confidence. I find myself feeling quite tearful occasionally when I’m going downhill as I’m so scared of falling over. But I reckon that practice is what I need and the poles are definitely helping there.
Always on the lake and in noisy groups along the edge are the Canadian geese. The other day I heard a little boy of about three years old say to his mum, “Look BIG ducks. But they aren’t swimming ducks, they’re Statchoooos“. I was grinning all the way back.
In the middle of the lake is an island where the herons nest and breed. Today the RSPB were there with their fancy telescopes so we got to see the herons as if they were sitting right next to us. I love those birds. So graceful in flight and so regal as they sit high up in the trees or on the lakeside watching for fish.
The largest European heron. It can stand with neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunch down with its neck bent over its chest. In flight it holds its neck retracted and has large rounded wings. It is usually solitary although several birds may feed fairly close together. It stalks its food, often standing motionless for some considerable time. It usually feeds close to the bank or shore, but may wade out into shallow water.
I am feeling a little fragile today. Grateful for the sun and long weekend. Blessed by the peace of the lake and the sight of those herons. I think the feeling of unsteadiness on my feet makes me wobble a bit emotionally. I want to be able to walk steadily and with confidence again. Today was a little milestone for me. It’s the first time for a long while I have had the energy and stamina to walk the whole length of the lake and back again. That’s pretty special. Sometimes its easy to get bogged down in feeling tired, achy and a bit wobbly, feeling fat and unfit instead of recognising the gains and celebrating them.