It feels like a long-ago memory now, but what may be our only snow of the Winter was only a couple of weekends ago.
While the snow was crisp and fresh in the morning, by lunchtime the thaw was already setting in. After defrosting myself from the morning’s activities I headed out in the slush, camera in hand, to see what I could find. Yes, I deliberately chose a route that would bring me into contact with the local horses. And yes, my feet got wet in all the slush, but no, I didn’t slip over in the ice.
There is some beautiful countryside between Crook and the village of Howden-le-Wear. This group of horses looked happy enough with their hay, and the snow was rapidly thawing. By this point the path was mostly ice water. Not much fun given that I was only wearing my trail running shoes.
The ponies in the next two fields let me down. My camera and I were ready, but they resolutely stayed at the other end of their field. I carried on, hoping that my favourite herd would be in position. The farmer leaves giant hay bales close to the footpath, and as the field is very muddy the horses tend not to come up to the fence. Less horse-cuddles, but better photo ops.
I was in luck – kind of. The bales were in a less favourable place, and several horses came up to say hello. This was not in the plan. However, I happily spent half an hour with soggy feet and frozen fingers snapping away.
Peek-a-boo. By the time I got the camera to focus this little rascal, who is not at all shy and retiring, decided not to pose. Cute anyway.
I reckon I could stare into this mare’s eye all day. She only kept still enough for me to focus the camera for a second, but I’m very pleased with this shot. I could easily be looking at a swirling pool of peaty water up on the moors, not an eye. Beautiful.
Here comes trouble. The mare-with-the-peaty-eye and the not-shy-at-all gelding are sniffing the mare’s fresh and very smelly dung. I wonder what messages they are picking up from the smell?
On a mission. After some dung-sniffing he’s off to cause mayhem elsewhere in the field. He squeals greetings at some of his field mates before striding purposefully away.
This final photo is in arty-farty black and white. After a lively greeting these two nuzzled up to each other like best friends. I decided my feet and hands were quite cold, so time to head back home.
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