Mid winter, and the missing days of autumn can still be found squeezed between dry stonewalls in Teesdale. Hidden foot paths also reveal the scattered confetti of November’s once rich and colourful woodland canopy.
Walking along one such path known as the ‘King’s Walk’, I stumbled across a small anonymous stile tucked within the bookends of a dry stonewall. A tiny detail in the landscape, trapping a few stolen autumn days from a winter too early.
I paused thinking of all the travellers who must have passed this way. Without purpose I climbed over the wall and through the stile simply because it was there. Come spring I’ll follow the path, perhaps without a map, just for the thrill! Small excitements heightened all the more in one’s own company.