4 Oct
2013
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An orchard in the rain

It is not raining when we start our walk and I dress Izzy in a poncho, leaving the all-in-one waterproof in the car. This turns out to be a big mistake.

We cross some fields and I lift Izzy over a couple of stiles, before we reach the orchard. Rows and rows of apple trees, laden with glossy red and green fruits, stretch into the distance. Apples in their hundreds lie in the damp grass. But, there is little wildlife around, no wasps or Blackbirds feasting on the windfalls. The weather is against us. As we walk amongst the trees there is a sudden, torrential downpour. Within seconds we are drenched.

We soldier on through the orchard and onto a country lane. Izzy splashes through the river that has formed next to the verge, then we turn onto a muddy bridleway, which is flanked by hedgerows and more apple trees. I point out a Badger up-and-over to Izzy and when the rain stops, the birds start to appear again – a Buzzard circling overhead, a flock of chattering House Sparrows
Izzy stamps happily through every puddle, oblivious to the water splashing into her welly. She points at some acorns flowing down a river of rain, “Acorns are in the bath!”She picks some grass, breaks it in half, declares one bit ‘mummy’ and the other ‘daddy’, then bathes them both in a puddle. Then, finding a slightly raised bit of tarmac to stand on, she makes me laugh by singing, “Izzy’s a dirty castle, Mummy’s a dirty castle.”

She squelches along beside me until we reach the car, where  I empty her boots, wring out her socks and change her into warm, dry clothes. We may not have seen much wildlife, but Izzy has clearly had a wonderful time and she has amazed me by walking further than she has ever walked before on her own two feet.

Checklist

Practicalities

We parked at The Green in Whimple, Devon and followed a footpath going north-west, across a couple of fields, through the orchard, then turned left on the road, left at the bridlepath (the sign was broken) past the houses and left onto the road. It was not suitable for buggies.


Other places to see orchard wildlife

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