I started the day with a morning run. It was pretty chilly. The ground was covered in a sparkling frost – made all the more dazzling by the rising sun. As I ran along the canal I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the suns rays casting beams of light through the trees. Sections of the river bank were illuminated magically by these dancing streams of light. Water vapour rose in a swirling mist from the icy water. In previous visits to this section of the river my fish mad boyfriend had excitedly pointed out a brown trout or two. They would be darting in and out of the undergrowth in the search of a bite to eat. A good way of coaxing them out of hiding is by throwing in small pieces of bread. Apparently they have quite the appetite for the stuff. Although sometimes you have to be patient. Rumour has it they also like cheese. Which variety however eludes me. Perhaps simply chucking in a cheese toastie made with kingsmills finest would pull in a few biggies. I will suggest this to the boyfriend. He will probably tell me to stop being stupid.
Anyway today there was no sign of the “troots” as they would say in my motherland of Scotland. There was still some wildlife to be seen though. The humble mallard. Forever floating along our waterways. Probably the most common duck in the UK. In fact the RSPB states you can pretty much see them anywhere. I am not so sure about this though. I have yet to see one on the London underground, or behind the wheels of a car. Today I felt quite sorry for the group – one male and a few females. I figured their little feathery breasts must be pretty cold in the water – let alone their naked feet. Thankfully they have pretty neat heating system whereby the warmth they have in their bodies is filtered down into their feet warming them up. Still though rather them than me. Despite the cold they had chosen a pretty good place for home. Right beside a pub. I have seen them regularly been fed by jolly pub clientele. This however annoys the boyfriend. Gaggling ducks grabbing food from the surface scare off those prized wee “troots” we talked about earlier.
I ran on. I was feeling pretty energetic on this particular run so boldly decided to take on a new route up a country lane which I had not yet explored. As I huffed and puffed up a gradual incline I stopped momentarily to admire the quaint thatched cottages bordering either side of the road. To me they always look so cosy and inviting – a bit like the hobbit houses in J.R.R Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’. While I was quite frankly being a bit nosy I was rudely interrupted by a sharp, frantic squeak. I scanned the trees above but to no avail. I could not find the culprit. I could not imagine a bird making this particular noise so thought it may be a squirrel. The squeaking carried on and persisted in the search. Soon enough I saw him..or her. It was in fact a grey squirrel perched on a branch just above me. I do not know how I did not spot the squirrel sooner. I was pretty sure it was sending out an alarm call thinking I was a potential predator. Either that or it was quite rightly giving me a telling off for prying on the neighbouring houses.
After seeing the squirrel I turned and made my way back down the hill. Not a bad haul for a frosty morning run.