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Picture perfect BUT not so great on the nose

On Saturday, despite the rain, I headed out for a walk in the woods. It wasn't meant to be a walk in the woods, I was supposed to be walking out to a monument, but the rather heavy cloud cover (and my lack of listening to directions) resulted in me not being able to find it. As a good next option I thought a refreshing walk in the woods would be great.

In between leaving the house and getting to the West Wood I took a drive. That's what I'll call it. We'll conveniently forget that I was temporarily lost. But I did get to see some beautiful countryside. For all those who have repeatedly told me to admire the countryside on the way up to Yorkshire (yes, beautiful bridges - which I'm underneath - and fabulous... cooling towers. Hang-on, is that Elderflower? No? Just Cow Parsley? OK.) Hampshire IS beautiful.

Chuffed that I'd thought ahead and wasn't wearing baggy tracksuit pants that would trail on the ground, instead choosing to be practical, I zipped up my jacked, closed the car door and beeped it locked.

The cloud lent an 'air' to the forest - which direction would Robin come from? Is that a rustle of skirts I hear and muffled sound of hooves? No? Just my own feet pounding the ground and the chaffing of my own jacket? Oh well!

What I did spot was a fallow deer. Glimpsing out at me from behind the dripping green undergrowth, playing statues. I played statues too - both of us staring at each other, who would look away first? Me, I was trying to find the zoom on my phone's camera!

I was enjoying myself, wondering fantastically, trying to keep the imagination away from a tacky English slasher flick (thick cloud sneaking through the trees until visibility was at an all time low. Suddenly the sound of a single shot rung out, but from where? The thick cloud was so disorientating... she knew she shouldn't wander from the path...) If I'm honest, at most there was a light drizzle. The landscape was richly green and the overall prettiness level was well around a 9.

But something smelled a little funky... I walked a little further, maybe it's just this section. No, unless you count the whole forest as 'this section'. It all had a slightly boggy aroma to it. I couldn't put my nose on it at first, but then it came to me. Wet dog.

Imagine a whole forest filled with hundreds of hidden, silent, very wet dogs. You know they're there - you can't see them - but your nose won't let you forget.

By the end of the walk I kept imagining a warm (aga / open fire warmth) kitchen. Possibly a big one, where food isn't really too important, unless it comes from a 5 / 10 kg bag.

Always hard to know who'll be waiting round the corner

Untrodden tracks...

Some of the flora

Endless trees

Could the shot have come from up there?

Can you spot the fallow deer? It's a bit like playing Where's Wally, except there's no Wally, no fallow deer look-a-likes, and to be honest, not much chance you'll find it. However, it is there (hint: kinda in the middle of the picture.) I was also playing a little colour / sepia game here: colour




Ooh, where will this path lead to? What's not so obvious is that all the off-white bits are actually cloud

Ivy League

A little view from the car window

The road to?

One of the three houses in a little village I passed on my 'drive'

Could the monument be up that hill?

I drove down there

But not down there

This road is almost never-ending, but who cares when it looks like this

Ah! The cloud

Along the road to?



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