In that place of steep meadows
the stacked sheaves are roasting,
and the sun-torn tulips
and tinders of scented ashes
But here I have lost
the dialect of your hills,
my tongue has gone blind
far from their limestone roots.
extract from THE WILD TREES by Laurie Lee
Today was spent exploring the footpaths and lanes of the gorgeous Slad Valley with colleagues in preparation of a summer of Laurie Lee centenary celebrations. We walked up and over Swift's Hill (above) a limestone grassland covered in no less than fourteen different species of orchid each spring/summer.
Past magnificent beech trees that looked like elephants feet.
Through hamlets of beautiful Cotswold stone houses hidden in folds of the green valley and past the orchards that inspired Cider with Rosie.
We were greeted by clumps of snowdrops along the route...
...And by fence posts painted with different badger scenes!
Of course every long walk should be rewarded, with lunch at the legendary Woolpack Inn.