Hampdenleaf Wood, Buckinghamshire
We're spoilt for choice when it comes to evening walks. The area around Little Hampden has fast become a favourite, the woodlands are vast, rolling and utterly beautiful. Far from the roads we are happy in the knowledge that Apollo and Aura can run free for miles and miles ahead.
The trails are gentle and undulating, rolling between small clearings and dense woodland.
As we walk, birds, pheasants, field mice capture the attention of the pups...
Fighting his instinct Apollo is fantastic at recall, racing back to our sides on call.
Except, earlier that morning we'd all been out biking in the fields behind the house and I a miscalculated jump and I was whacked by a wayward pedal on my shin. In this moment, hurrying back on recall, Apollo barged into the same shin which was aching with a bruise!
Best thing to do?
Laugh out the pain!
We continued, past the beautiful layers and layers of trees, so dry from the spring drought.
While hot sunny days are wonderful, the farms could really do with a good downpour to save the first crop.
Into the woods there are leftovers from old industry which once thrived.
Deep into the thick woodland the ground hums with a rich blue from layers and layers of bluebells.
Following along the track, we disturb pheasants every now and then. Their cries as they dash up into a hurried flight probably alarm us more than them.
It's wonderful outside at the moment, temperatures are increasing, meaning that the goretex layers can be changed up for thin layers.
For the first time since moving the straw hats have come out from storage and I couldn't be more excited. Soon we will visit T Snooks Hatters and I can't wait to check out new pieces for the summer.
While I fuss over the hat, Aura fusses over the insects in the thick bluebells...
...how does that saying go? Dogs and Owners are alike...
^ we can't be that much alike - check out her muscular thighs!
Anyway, hats on we potter along, chatting, laughing, occasionally loosing the dogs to a rabbit chase.
We all find one another in the end though...
Aura, panting will often tell us exactly what she wants. With temperatures increasing water is always to hand.
We cool off beneath the thick canopy, walking slow for the dogs to catch their breath in the cool air.
Wandering back to the car, utterly content with souls thoroughly nourished.