I often have ‘senior moments’, but not usually complete ‘mind loss’; but there’s always a first time I guess. A complete, in capital letters, muppet moment. I’ll explain.
Just up the road from me, is a place called Woburn. The Duke of Bedford has a little place there, with a patch of land, and some wild animals roaming about in a fenced off area, called Woburn Safari Park. It costs money to go there, and I went there once; years ago.
The other day, I sat here, wondering where to go. Somewhere not too far away, and somewhere that wouldn’t cost too much. I dug out my road map, (no sat nav), and studied. I’ve also got a couple of Ordnance Survey maps of the surrounding area. I like maps.
These maps are wonderful, and very detailed. They show hills, streams, touristy stuff, and public footpaths. Guess what. A public footpath skirts round Woburn Deer Park. Eureka!! ‘Public’ means free; and ‘deer park’, must mean deer!
Why have I never thought of this before?
Saturday morning I parked the car in Woburn, and walked the short distance to the footpath that skirts the Deer Park. It was windy, raining and I was cold. I was excited too.
A small wooded area runs past a small lake, with a couple of Swans serenely gliding across the water.
Nuthatches were calling from the trees, Robins, Blue Tits………….why had I never been here before? It was lovely; despite the weather. I carried on past some houses tucked back in the trees, and began to wonder if I was going in the right direction. The sign had said ‘public footpath’, so I carried on.
Out from the shelter of the trees the path ran alongside a stable yard on the right, ahead an unmanned kiosk, and to the left, by another small lake,
a stag. And behind him, the deer park. Mallard were swimming in the lake, but my attention was with the stag. I don’t think I’ve ever been so close to one.
I took pictures, I stared, he stared.
I slowly walked past, towards the unmanned kiosk. A fee was required to walk through the park, or I could stay on this one. I stayed on this one, and carried on.
Glancing back, my stag was calling.
What a great sound, booming across the park. The rain was easing off, and I scanned the park with my binoculars. In the distance I could see more deer, and House Martins flying around the treetops. I thought they had all left by now; maybe these were grabbing the last lot of insects, before their long journey. Crows were circling overhead, making their usual racket.
I carried along the path towards a gate that was by some trees. A good view from here of Woburn Abbey, and more deer.
The time had raced away, and I was cold and wet. I decided to retrace my steps, and make my way back. I’d seen the deer, and stags. I’d seen the stag up close. No fighting between the stags, but I was happy to have seen what I had. I passed the stag I’d seen earlier, and took a few more pictures.