Behind my small block of flats is what appears to be a wilderness where there are blackberry bushes, a lot of trees and wild wood. I have taken a short cut through it many times but have never explored even though a few years ago the Council, who own it, came and hacked away some of the undergrowth and put paths down and generally had a clear up. Last week when the sun was shining I went out for a walk (trying to do this on a daily basis now) and decided I would explore further than I have been before.
So I went along this path and strolled along, went round a bend and came across a pond. No idea it was there, though as Bourne Mill, a National Trust property is next door to me, it was obvious that there would be another stream and another pond somewhere. So I trolled along even further and came along two ducks having a quiet snooze in the sun. They opened an eye and looked at me but did not move so I tiptoed past and left them in peace.
Coming back on the circuit I was on more familiar ground as I found myself on the opposite side of the lake where the Mill is located but had not seen it at this angle before. Spotted one swan on the lake, its mate sitting on a nest at the end, tucked away, so no doubt cygnets will be seen soon.
Then further round the lake found mother duck with all her offspring, splashing around and she was quacking and keeping an eye on them.
Then found myself on the side of the lake near to the road which I know well and here is a view of Bourne Mill and you can see by the blue sky just how pretty it was that day.
Now, I have lived in this flat for 9 years and had never found this walk. I have never had the time to do that extra bit of exploring, to go out of my way, I was usually shopping or on an errand. I did the round walk again this morning and intend to make this a regular thing. Today, Sunday, lots of dads taking their children out in their buggies etc and all feeding the ducks, drakes, moor hens and swans on the lake and always a lovely sight. Of course, when the tiny little ducklings were spotted by the children this morning you can imagine their reaction and hardly surprising, little golden brown balls of fluff paddling away like mad. So sweet.
This is a lovely wild wooded area and I also found a patch of bluebells hidden under a bush and brought some home with me. There are loads of blackberry bushes as well so come August/September I will be out there gathering them for jam and at Christmas may just cut a bit of holly which also seems to be in abundance. These are the sort of discoveries I am making now I am at home, I am also chatting to my neighbours and getting to know them so much better and when I was in Bury St Edmunds (see earlier post) I kept thinking hnow lucky I was to be there and that I could now do this sort of thing whenever I wanted. I came back via Long Melford which has the most stunning church, Kentwell Hall and Long Melford Hall and a huge village green and is a great place to visit and I shall return again in the summer. So many lovely local places to see now I have that most wonderful of all gifts - time.
However, I do wonder how much longer this discovery of mine will be left as it is, particularly as right at the end of the walk, there is a sign saying 'Coming soon - luxury houses. Land acquired'. I hope it does not refer to Bourne Valley but as most of Colchester is now covered in Barratt and Persimmon homes, nothing would surprise me. I came to the conlcusion years ago that if the Council could get away with flogging off the Castle and converting it into luxury apartments it would do so.