by Jackie118 on 05/01/12 at 11:59 am
My partner Adam and I love nothing more than venturing out into our stunning and peaceful local countryside and spending our leisure time lurking in the hedgerows and along the seashore, river banks or unique Norfolk broads, peeking into every nook and cranny searching out interesting fauna and flora to spy through our binoculars or photograph with our digital cameras.
We arrived in the minuscule car park – not too many tourists were aware that this tucked away place even existed, let alone the wonderful peaceful walks it provided. We immediately tucked hungrily into our hot bread rolls washed down with a slug of coffee. By this time the weather seemed to have turned considerably worse but, being good old British bulldog types, we carried on regardless.
After struggling against the strong winds, we eventually managed to get into our water proof coats, tucked our binoculars and cameras into our large “poachers pockets” and left the concrete car park which had, in a previous life, been part of the old Horstead Mill which, unfortunately, had burned down in 1963 and the owners had never restored it. There had been talk of it becoming luxury flats but, to date, nothing seems to have come of that idea. We then found ourselves on the public footpath alongside the river.
Strangely, we weren’t the only idiots out that day. There was a party of canoeists on the river but they were well wrapped up in good waterproof canoe-ing gear complete with helmets so probably didn’t feel the full impact of the driving wind and rain. We tentatively stepped onto the slippery, muddy path. The slipperiness and muddiness wasn’t helped by the addition of soaking wet leaves and moss growth due to the over shadowing willow and oak trees, and the native Norfolk hedgerows on one side of the path and of course, the inevitable tree roots which notoriously come to the surface along riverbanks.
We would have felt fairly safe but, on the left hand side as we walked, just behind the trees and hedgerows there’s a steep bank leading to a deep ditch containing a stream and, of course, on the right hand side was the river. The edge of the riverbank wasn’t easy to see as it was flanked with reeds so we had to be extremely careful where we trod as either of us (but primarily me – never too good on the old pins!) could end up in the stream or the river.
As we were walking with our heads down due to the wind, rain and booby trapped pathway, every now and again we’d stop and look out across the river and eventually I took my hands out of my pockets and decided to take a few photos. The first one was looking across the river towards a small copse. The trees, I could see, were very much typical of a late autumn day – some of them had already shed their leaves but others were hanging on like grim death to their fading foliage.