With the idea of snow being blown around in the air, and indeed small flurries of light flakes in the cold north easterly wind we decided a walk along the River Medway was a good idea. I don’t like cold weather much, and in particular I regard snow as something that other people can enjoy, although I do admit it looks pretty, especially on Christmas cards.
So, we were glad the snow fall for Saturday was light. The cloud across the water on the Essex side of the estuary was filled with the stuff (snow) and as it advanced across the water it obscured the Isle of Grain. At one point late in the afternoon the cloud was such that except for the reminder of the chimney stacks gazing out toward the mouth of the Medway it looked wild and uninhabited. Cold and uninviting – bugger being a bird.
We walked to Motney hill car park from the main entrance and explored the chalk pit opposite noting that although the country park is a nice place to walk the dog it seems as if the Dog Poo Fairy was absent. The piles of droppings deposited by the myriad canines was a definite distraction.
The signs are there, the bins are there, you all know the law, you can easily get bags, and cold or not you are choosing to take your dog for a walk there so clean up the SHIT!
Message over except to say that dodging the dog poo turns a pleasant afternoon walk into a sad experience.
Along the way we saw rose hips and hawthorn berries waiting to be eaten so at least the land birds would have something to eat. The seabirds, the little waders especially were feeding on the edges of the muddy runnels.
However, the mood of the day as far as the weather was concerned was ominous, as if the skies were waiting for the signal to begin, letting the wind cool the land to accept its gift of a delicate, icy blanket. At times the sky was almost that coppery tinge preceding a snow storm but this was not to last as the afternoon grew to become a dark, grey cover.
For all the gloom, and the dog poo, we enjoyed the walk, meeting and chatting with people, sharing the foreboding of cold but liking the colours, catching the mood. Walking around the pond noting marks on the snow where perhaps a bird had tried to land. Seeing small gulls crouching on the green unfazed as we walk too close and refusing to lift off. The light and shade of the reeds and the abandoned barges so different from the days of sunshine, and the misty shapes of the reaches and low coastal hills all added to the pleasure.
And the surprise of seeing a Rabbit scuttling away from feeding on the green bramble leaves. Teasels growing in profusion covered in snow and discovering the bird watching hide close to the reed beds was another treat.
The park is also part of the Saxon Shore Way and I know that a lot of people walk the track so it would be a good idea for all the dog owners to clean up after them. Yes, it was cold but we saw a lot of small birds and above all had our weekly dose of exercise. And that had to be worth it.