Festive tradition saw my family and I taking a lovely walk, in an attempt to wear off some of the calories we had piled on during the gluttony that is Christmas. Past walks, dependent on the Christmas have been along Hertfordshire fields, up onto the South Downs, the Newhaven coastline and over the pebbles of Seaford beach. This year saw us in Sussex again where we went off to someone new – Selwyns Wood, a Wildlife Trust reserve not far from Uckfield.
Naturally, we needed a few days to wallow in our self-pity from eating so much, but soon enough we were entering the wooded and muddy reserve. Luck was on our side as we strolled in the warm sunshine, discussing how I might improve my photography and laughing at our dog’s antics.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned the dog before on this blog – a gorgeous black and white Lab-Collie cross called Toby. For him, a walk is not complete until two events have occurred. First, he has met at least one other friendly dog, though it need not be a playful one but he does like to be sociable and say hello. Since at home, he is often taken for walks with family friends and their dogs, that event is easily ticked off. Second, he does love to go into a river, or lacking that, a large puddle. He can’t swim mind, but he does like to jump about and then run around like a mad puppy after.
Fortunately, we met some friendly dogs, and there was a stream for him to paddle in before leaping out and barking at us. There was plenty of wildlife to take notice of as well, smaller birds flitting in and out of the trees. A walk across the heathland part of the reserve prompted discussions on the different plant species, with my attempting to remember the little I know about heathland plants. The gorse flowers were a sight for sore eyes, a bright yellow colour shining in the sunlight amid the green of the gorse.
The muddiness and puddles of the paths did little to deter us, rather instead they made it more enjoyable I think. I do always enjoy a good splashabout in my wellies, particularly when the dog joins in. One highlight of the walk were the two woodpeckers of unknown species. Naturally, they were either flying or on the opposite side of branches, so I failed in getting a photo. I shall just have to take more walks in woodland. We also came across a few types of fungus and spotted some pretty berries which made some nice photos.
A great finish to our outing was a rather late pub lunch – superb food and atmosphere! And a well-behaved dog, even when the horses went past!