I have been here by myself for the last couple of days as Ian was working at our son's house in Manchester. I am still catching up from our week away with the family, washing and ironing and gardening and shopping. It was a glorious day here yesterday and as I trudged in from the car with bags to unpack I suddenly thought that rather than sit down with a cup of tea as a break I would walk up the hill,
No sooner thought than acted upon. Out of the house, along the track through our neighbour's farmyard and out into the lane. This is steeper than it looks! There is always that moment when you need to push your legs into the next gear.
As you walk uphill the first bend in the lane reveals the first view, out across the stubble of newly cut fields and up towards the hillforts along the top of the Clwydian range. Our little valley dips away and rises on the other side towards the rounded dome of Moel Arthur.
There are flowers along the edge of the lane, particularly after the tarmac stops and it becomes a stone track. Knapweed is heavy with butterflies. There were Red Admirals and Meadow Browns on the grasses but this Peacock was the only one I could catch.
Rosebay willow herb is just going over, revealing the elegant structure of the flower as the petals fall and before the fluffy seed heads blur its beauty.
There are thistles, the flowers crowding together at every stage from bud through flower to seedhead.
There is ragwort, not welcome in the fields because of the danger to horses, but rather beautiful just by the roadside, thronged with insects.
My favourite are the harebells. There is no blue more intense and I love the delicacy of the flower. As a child I loved Alison Uttley's Little Grey Rabbit books and the harebell always reminds me of them. A bunch of them should be on Little Grey Rabbit's kitchen table.
There is beauty too in the shapes of the trees. The higher you go the more they show the effects of the prevailing wind, the westerly that has come across the sea from Ireland and over the mountains of Snowdonia.
The track ends and if I had a lot more time I would go up here, on top of Penycloddiau, the largest hillfort in Wales. Or I could go through the gate and look out across the Vale of Clwyd, across to Snowdonia and down to the sea. Not today though. Today I turn back at the gate and walk back home in the warm wind.