I was soon surrounded by fields, following a track and feeling, all at once, one with nature. There were rabbits playing in the path in front of me, startled pheasants darting around in the fields to the side of me and sweetly singing birds all around me. My God, but I swear I had Bing Crosby walking along side me singing Zippedee Doo Dar. It was euphoric.
The miles went by and my pace and smile didn't slacken. I saw wild deer standing alert in the centre of a field. Big ones, not the small Monk Jacks I was used to seeing in and around the towns. They eyed me cautiously as I wandered by.
Less beautiful, but no less fascinating was a skull and backbone of an small animal laying on the path. There was no evidence that it been dinner for some predator, but it had been cleanly stripped of any fur and tissue. The bones were pinky white, intact and totally fly-free. I stopped briefly and examined them closely. In fact, I take it back, it was beautiful in a, ' isn't Mother Nature bloody awesome?' kind of a way.
The feeling of being entirely humbled by nature continued strongly in me. There were fields bursting with wild daisies, dazzlingly bright, yellow, rape-seed fields, huge old gnarly trees, that you just know have been standing for hundred's of years, as centennials watching over the slowly evolving landscape. If they could only talk ,eh?
I started to pass by some early-morning dog walkers and some out doing what I was doing, dog-free. It is amazing how friendly people are out in the countryside.
I shared a few heart-felt pleasantries with them like, 'Glorious isn't it?' and 'Beautiful day ' and a simple, but no less pleasant, ' Morning'.
Why do we feel at ease being so cheery out here when people are generally ignorant of each other on the street? When we pass people, sometimes it's people we see quite regularly from time to time, we act like they don't even exist? The endorphins have something to do with it out here, of course, but really, how sad.
I eventually reached my goal, not that I had planned my journey carefully, but I knew I was heading to a glorious bit of the local countryside, the Barton Hills. Hertfordshire is generally not known for it's bumpy bits, which is probably fair as it is generally flat as a table, but the grassy undulations of the Barton Hills are well worth experiencing.