Thursday, 26 February 2015

Cockney Snowdrops & a delightful walk in Much Hadham, Hertfordshire

Well this weekend, our little trio headed out for a walk in Much Hadham, in Hertfordshire. It's one of our most favourite walks and includes woodland, tracks and arable farm land. I hadn't planned to take any photos on this particular day, as when you're a blogger you often find yourself living life through a lens, so I try to leave it behind now and again and just use my own eyes, but on this particular day I happened to have my iphone with me (turned to aeroplane mode of course!) and I snapped a few moments. This was our day of four seasons .... 

Much Hadham woodland - photograph by A Handmade Cottage

We ambled through the mud in our wellies, the sky was clear and crisp and the sun was a milky yellow. Everything seemed to sparkle in it's light ... the golden fields, the pheasants in flight and SNOWDROPS!!! I spotted an almighty cluster hiding under some trees far off in the woodland and I galloped off like a frenzied woman in a January sale. Ralphy galloped after me 'Lassie-style,' thinking there might be some trouble, but alas, no one was trapped down a well. So we weaved our way through the maze of trees and branches that stood guard over the dainty little flowers.

Snowdrops in woodland - photograph by A Handmade Cottage

We sat looking at the snowdrops. I think Snowdrops might be one of my favourite flowers (I know, you've heard that before) but it's not just because they're pretty, I also love the way they sit huddled together with their little flowery families. They give the impression that they're pure and dainty and 'butter wouldn't melt' but I reckon that really, they're cocky little flowers ... 

Ralphy the dog  in woodland - photograph by A Handmade Cottage
"What do you mean Lassie was JUST an actor??"

In my warped imagination they sit chatting away to each other until they spy some bumbling woman and her dog clambering towards them, and then they hush each other to "Shhh heads down boys!" then as soon as woman and her dog walk away they're back to swaying-while-singing "show me the way to go 'ome" cockney-style ... but that's just my opinion.

Snowdrops - photograph by A Handmade Cottage
"woman and dog approaching, heads down boys, heads down"

We continued our walk, pausing now and again to take in the passing scenery. It's so easy to loose your thoughts while watching the ground. We don't look up enough. As we climbed the kissing gate there was a sudden change in the air. The milky sunlight quickly turned to cloud and the smell of rain was unmistakeable ... the hoods went up and our pace quickened.

Eerie black and white woodland - photograph by A Handmade Cottage
"If you go down to the woods today ..."

Then the rain started ... but actually it wasn't rain at all, it was sleet, and a LOT of it. It came out of nowhere and hammered down on our waterproofed heads. Ralphy wasn't at all impressed. He marched forward, ears down and eyes half shut. We quickened our pace and bounced through the puddles thinking it wouldn't be long until we reached the main road ... but it tuned out that road was in fact flooded - but that road often is. 

Much hadham

Walking in the rain has never been a chore for us. We enjoy it just as much as walking in the sun. As long as we're wearing warm clothes and waterproofs it's still a joy, being amongst nature and bearing the elements is what it's all about ... and the BEST thing about walking in the rain, is thinking about that hot cup of tea you'll be having soon, while sitting in the warmth of your home, under a blanket perhaps ... I think it's worth a hailstorm for that feeling alone. 

If you'd like to follow in our footsteps and take a walk from the ancient village of Much Hadham (birthplace of the tudor dynasty don't ya know) you can find it in the AA 50 walks in Hertfordshire book, or will find this walk on the AA website below.

Much Hadham Walk

JM x

Me getting hailed on!
Me getting a hammering ... oh it was a good cuppa when I got in though!

* Snowdrop facts *

* If you were born in January the snowdrop is your birth flower.

* There are 18-19 species of Snowdrops (Galanthus) and more than 500 named varieties.

* According to the old proverb “The snowdrop in purest white array, first rears her head on Candlemas Day.” (2 February)

* The Species name Galanthus comes from the Greek: ‘Gala’ meaning milk and ‘Anthos’ meaning flower.

* On a sunny day, snowdrops are highly scented and give off a honey smell. If you have enough plants the perfume will fill the garden.

* Snowdrops contain their own anti-freeze. They were harvested during the First World War to make anti-freeze for tanks.

'The Snowdrop Fairy' by Cicely Mary Barker

This is the famous painting is by Cicely Mary Barker ... isn't she lovely?  
I bet she's mischievous though ;-)

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