Each day the weather gets a bit more wintery, which can only mean one thing: snow on the high tops! Both the lakes and the distant Scottish mountains had been peppered with white drifts overnight, so it felt like an ideal time to strike out on another local walk. Rather than follow the same loop as last time, we left the village along the main road before crossing into some old hedgerow paths. These were wonderfully hemmed in by gnarled and extremely fruitful apple trees, but once they emerged back into fields the views were brilliant (and offered an ideal opportunity to get some distant snow-capped mountains with the Sigma lens).
The fields took us up towards the small village of How – or at least, what I remembered as the small village of How. It turns out that there have been quite a few new plots developed in the area! Before getting too close to other people, though, we veered off, round the side of a particularly well-kept bungalow, and back into rural fields and old pathways.
Unlike our last walk, this time the hedges and pastures were alive with all manner of bird life (and even on scurrying small mammal, identity unknown). Sparrows and chaffinches chittered from bushes; starlings sung sweet melodies above our heads; and in the fields, a mixture of fieldfare, mistle thrushes and blackbirds were out in force. It's been years since I've last seen fieldfare, certainly in these numbers, and with glorious light over Scotland it was a nice spot to gather for a minute or two.
After that, another winter regular cropped up: mud. These fields are more regularly (or at least, more recently) used and between sheep hooves and tractor tyres the edges were fairly churned up. Much was still partially frozen, so the going wasn't too tough, but it remained otherwise fairly uneventful until we were back home, having cut through via the hobbit huts once again. A short walk, but with hands frozen by the time we got back, just about the perfect length for the day. The only odd feeling was that, for the first time in memory, we were heading into a Christmas Eve and I didn't have any wrapping to do. 2020 truly is the weirdest of years 😂