The dog doesn’t get walked as far or as often as I (or he) would like through the winter. I get to the point where I rack my brains for a non muddy walk and as the sun warms the days of Spring and the ground starts to dry out I start to venture further afield again on the local tracks and green lanes (of which we are blessed with many).
Even though the point of a walk is exercise it’s always helpful to have an additional purpose…like walking to the pub and back (a popular one with Al), or foraging, or…well…last summer I got involved in geograph.org.uk .
The idea of geograph is for there to be a representative photograph of every square kilometre of the British isles plus photographs of any feature shown on an OS map. Its a great idea…it means if kids are learning about maps and aren’t sure what a church with a spire looks like… they can cross reference with photographs of said feature.
It’s also an excuse for ambling around taking photographs… there are some lovely shots on there and if you’re thinking of visiting somewhere in Britain its worth looking on there to see whats to be seen.
There was also an element of competition on geograph… being the first to photograph a square…still ‘just’ possible if you’re willing to go off the beaten track… but as there was one retired bloke taking his holidays in Eire just to bag remaining squares I suspect the heady days of bagging a new square are almost gone.
But that was last year…. this year is my year of the geocache. I’ve pottered around looking for caches ocassionally (there was even one under the shed at my last local pub)… but this summer the dog and I (and Al at the weekends) will be out with serious intent.
I was reminded of geocaching last month when I went down to the fort at Earith, sat down on a hawthorn stump for five minutes in the sunshine and found a cache just lying on the ground.
I suspect it fell out of the cut down tree, the stump of which I was sat on…so I rehid it off the ground as close to where I found it as possible (in winter the whole area floods) and pootled off.
Since then we’ve found a two part cache close to where we live…one set of co-ordinates revealed a clue to the co-ordinates of the second part…in which there was a log to sign (yay for Al with a pen in his pocket), a mini cache in Ely (no log…no goodies… you just had to find the thing that ‘is’ the cache and today my biggest cache.
Which brings me back to the beginning of this blog…Spring has sprung and I’m back out walking the dog…a totally blustery sunny day and I set out for a cache I must have walked past at least half a dozen times…and its the size of a biscuit tin.
Not owning a mobile phone makes geocaching extra ‘fun’ as I have to stick the co-ordinates into google earth, at home on the laptop to place it and then memorise landmarks and field boundaries to be able to hone in on it in the field (so to speak)….its working as a system so far.
I found todays cache easy peasy lemon squeezy…scored a caribiner out of the goodies in the box (which meant saying no to an early packet of 1Direction stickers which are probably worth lots and lots of money now) and left a piece of glasswork that I made…. I really like the idea of leaving a shiny piece of something beautiful wherever I go to make someone happy.
So thats this summers walks sorted… enough about caching…sssssh…or you’ll all be at it.