This morning was apparently a brief respite in the continuing Devon downpours. I take advantage and Fenn and I explore the plashy fields whilst Mopsa wisely decides to stay in the dry.
The ground is sodden, and the clay noisily sucks at my boots making it difficult to walk at any speed. Small patches of turf give under the feet like sponge and ooze air bubbles. The ditches flow fast, washing silt and leaves further downhill and revealing a glistening stony bottom.
We head for the river which is full and fast, the waterfall which I can always hear but never see, hidden as it is by trees and assorted scratchy greenery, gushes and gurgles below our feet.
One of the trees in the big stand of oaks has fallen. It has been dead for some while and now horizontal I can rub some of its fibres apart with my hands. There may be some decent bits for making small pieces of furniture. Salvage operations will have to wait for a dryer day when tractor and trailer can be brought down here without damaging the ground.
Turning into one of the green lanes fenced now from poaching hooves, the primrose leaves that never seem to die in this sheltered spot have been joined by the first pale flowers. Fenn stands impatiently by the gate to be let through to the next field, up to her elbows and belly in mud, and streaks off as I follow, clumping in my boots.