Walking in the great outdoors has got to be one of the most enjoyable of pastimes, especially when accompanied by man’s best friend.
My own little bestie loves a good walk through as many muddy, filthy places as possible, just so that he can take a great big leap into the dirtiest of puddles and have a good old shake when he gets out. Lovely! That’s another bath then (for both of us). Never mind there’s so much fun to be had.
Autumn is a great time for walking, as it’s usually neither too hot or too cold. Quite often I have to take my coat off though, particularly when we’ve walked up a few inclines. Watching my little pal run in front of us, sniffing (and peeing) everywhere makes my heart fill with happiness. His little fluffy tail is always wagging and he literally bounds with joy at his freedom off the lead.
We often walk on the bottom bridle path near where we live, through a little woodland, up the steep steps, across the top bridle path and back down home. A lovely walk where we can wonder at the nature that surrounds us. The colours of Autumn are stupendous, the reds, golds, browns and fading greens look beautiful in the bright early Autumn sun. There are many blackberry bushes that are past their best now that the birds and insects have had their fill (but not before they have been foraged by people eager to make their own home-made jam. I have partaken of this activity on occasion and even made my own jam - but that’s another story). Even the fading bushes have a beauty of their own. Leaves have been falling and will soon become part of the earth again, once the winter rain comes and helps to mulch the fallen debris. It's important to wear decent footwear when walking on wet fallen leaves as they can be very slippery, as is watching where you go. Many times I have tripped over large stones and fallen branches whilst looking at the beauty of the surroundings or been busy watching my fur baby dashing around chasing after squirrels or birds.
Winter walking can be just as enjoyable, provided you wrap up well to keep warm. Again decent footwear is a must. Wellies are probably best for walking in the woods, especially if it has been raining heavily and there is a lot of mud around. We are fortunate enough to live near a few wooded areas and we head off there usually at the weekends, when we have more time to wander around and explore. Wrapped up in our winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves we have lots of fun trudging through the mud (that’s where the wellies come in handy) walking through the trees and greeting other dogs that have come out to enjoy the fresh air. If it has been raining for a few days we will avoid the woods as it can get a bit much once you have slipped and fallen on a muddy mound whilst busy watching your dog darting around with the other dogs. I enjoy the woods more when it’s one of those days where it is bitter cold but the sun is shining, the ground is hard and you can see your breath when you breathe out. A lovely brisk walk soon warms us up and we can then find a nice pub for a meal and a hot drink or even maybe an alcoholic beverage (or two). If it’s icy though we give it a miss as I don’t fancy falling and fracturing my wrist again, thanks very much (you could be forgiven for thinking I’m a tadge clumsy).
For me spring is the most magical time to go for walks. The sounds, the sights and the freshness of the air is just the best at springtime. All that new life emerging, buds waiting to bloom and birds singing excitedly is a joy to behold. The days are getting longer and brighter, so there’s more opportunity to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors.
Living in Yorkshire, we have many places we can go to for great walks, such as the coast and the countryside. It’s not called God’s own County for nothing. I remember watching the first Tour de Yorkshire a few years ago and the cameras showed aerial views over the route that the cyclists were taking. It was magnificent, the full beauty of Yorkshire nature was there for all to see. I felt so proud of being from Yorkshire that day (well every day really).
We don’t have to drive very far to find some great countryside to enjoy a lovely long walk and there are plenty of pubs and cafes to enjoy a nice rest afterwards.
Of course when walking anywhere with your dog it is important to remember that it is against the law to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control anywhere, for example in a public place, a private place or even your own home. If a dog injures a person or makes them worried that it might injure them, then your dog is considered to be dangerously out of control. If your dog attacked someone’s animal or the owner thought that they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog from attacking their own animal, it could be decided that your dog is dangerously out of control and please do remember that farmers are allowed to kill your dog if it is worrying their livestock. These laws are applicable to all dogs. If you are unsure how your dog will react or if their recall is not very good, when you are out and about and in the countryside it is always better to be safe than sorry by keeping your dog on a lead and under control.
Summer is a wonderful time to go walking especially when the sun is shining (it doesn't always play ball in Yorkshire but when it does the natural beauty of our area really stands out). We often walk on Baildon Moor at this time of year but we keep our little bundle of furry fun on a lead as we have to consider the fact that the area is a breeding ground for threatened and ground nesting birds and we certainly do not want to risk scaring them off which would leave their young exposed to crows and gulls. Skylarks, lapwings, curlews and plovers breed there and lots of other birds go throughout the year to breed and feed. On some parts of the moor roe deer can be found and also grazing sheep.
When the sun is shining everywhere looks lush, especially when we've had a really wet winter (which is more often than not in this county). So let's make the most of it, pack a picnic and enjoy the blooming marvellous joys of walking for miles, finding somewhere picturesque to sit down and eat our offerings and take in the glorious sun while it's here. Happy days.
Of course all that walking can play havoc with the feet, that's why it's important to look after them and wear appropriate footwear for the type of walk you are going to do. Then after a nice long walk, there's nothing better than having a long hot soak in a bath, followed by a cuppa and a well earned rest with your feet up in a reclining chair and your loyal little pal laying beside you...bliss.