From grey clouds to blue skies

I have been steadily working for some time, working on my first online needle felting project, which means a lot of time spent with my camera and computer. So last week I decided to get out and about, even if it was only for an hour or so. My poor bike, Marjorie, had flat tyres from languishing in the porch for months, but once they were pumped up, she was ready to go. 

The lane outside the cottage looks peaceful and idyllic here, but after taking this photo, a busy red car came up behind me, and a high sided lorry came up the road soon after, which is normal. So I was anxious to get onto a quieter side pathway, a mile further on.

The skies were a flood of brisk grey clouds, blowing over from the West. On the far horizon, the Shropshire hills were just visible, blue and brooding.

It was a gentle, pottering cycle ride, with many stops to take snapshots and take in the views. And rest my legs.

Autumn is the time of hedgerow treasure and I found shaggy parasols mushrooms. I have eaten these in the past, but they were so pretty I left them alone.

Brambles and hops draped themselves artistically along the road, still green as autumn has not yet changed the pallet of the countryside.

This is my favourite lane. It gently winds into the distance and slopes away uphill; I know exactly where it goes, and still it maintains a delicious mystery.

It is past harvest time and hay stacks are everywhere - some are so large that I wonder how they stand upright.

The odd thing about this lane is that I always anticipate a left hand turn to take me back to the nearby village. Yet it actually curves round so gently that before I realise I'm there, I am already in front of the imposing gates of what used to be 'the big house' of the village. It's still technically 'the big house' but is now a commercial venture. And this is where my return journey begins.

A few months ago, a large old oak tree blew down in a gale and already nature is taking over. I have a feeling this imposing fungus may be 'Chicken of the Woods', but I know it to be typically a yellowish colour, whereas this was mostly white. It was the size of a large cat. 

As I neared home, the fickle wind blew the cloud cover away to reveal a piercing blue sky.


Ahead and in the far distance was the blue hump of the Wrekin, which is the main view from my studio window. As the road twists and turns, it seems to be situated first to the left, then to the right, then to the left again; I like to think it is quietly shuffling around like a great, shy prehistoric creature, trying to hide unsuccessfully.

I am one of those  for whom home is never so beautiful as when I am leaving or returning to it and there, in the distance, to the right of the farm, is the dear cream wall of the cottage. A short journey, but with so much to see.


Barbee' said...

Thank you for taking us with you. It was all lovely and the only way I could ever have seen it. What a beautiful area!

Karren said...

Oh, how wonderful to be taken along on a ramble with you again! I so miss your long rides through your countryside, and especially all those mushroom gathering rambles when you took us along with you. I remember the post, years ago, when you dropped your knife in the woods and went back and found it. I feel like a long lost friend has come back into my life. Nice that you're up to taking those roaming trips with Marjorie again.

Country Rabbit said...

Beautiful area where you live, be careful on that bike...Our devon lanes are quite similar cars whizz past. Luckily my lane has a dead end so not too much traffic unless you live in one of the cottages like ours. Sometimes its good to get out in the open space and breathe a little and re#charge your creative side...I always love to draw after a good walk or even on the walk...I absolutely adore your needle felts! I needle felt too, but yours are so incredible! I taught myslef and some day wish to do a leeson or two just to 'perfect' the art of it as so to speak, shame you dont live down my lane ;) good luck with your shop... x

Lin said...

What a beautiful place you live! I like when you take us along on your adventures. :)

Sheila said...

What a lovely ride to go on with you! Almost feels like I was there with you. Good old Marjorie, old bikes never let you down.
So lovely to see you back!
Would love to know all about your online needle felting project!

Granny Sue said...

I loved this post. Felt like I was along for the ride.

School on the Heath said...

Beautiful beautiful Shropshire. Thank you for sharing Gretel.

BumbleVee said...

Thanks to you and Marjorie for a great little jaunt.... how I love a beautiful blue sky.