Photograph of a beech tree canopy by R. Foley. All rights reserved ( often think of the farm and miss it very much (for new readers, we moved to our current and more urban home in April). We wonder to each other how the kingfisher down by the river fared this year, how the lambs have done, and whether the silage was good. The Tupping Fair will be soon. Wouldn’t it be wonderful just now, we say, to soar through the tops of the trees on our lovely old rope swing in the wood at the bottom of the garden?

It’s easy to think nowhere could be as special, but that is the wonderful thing about nature and the wild outdoors, it’s never far away. And if you keep your eyes peeled there’s always treasures to spot. So, on a gusty afternoon this week we headed for the hills. In a hidden dell we found a green, grassy pond teeming with dragonflies and damselflies. It will be wonderful to return as the year turns to see the reeds aglisten with frost and later on, the water a haven to clutches of frogspawn.

From the highest point we could find we surveyed the plain below and inhaled deep lungfuls of blustery fresh air, spreading our arms wide to the sky in gleeful abandon. On the other side of the hill we discovered a huge patch of bilberry bushes, the fruit now over, but a spot to remember for next year. On our way back down we followed an old boundary bank riven with ancient beech trees and hanging from a branch in a perfect hollow, do you know what we found? Only a rope swing! There we soared into the treetops and then sat underneath for hot tea from a flask, savouring the serendipity of nature’s providence in our new home.

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