Suky has been into very stoppy starty walks recently, and as that is a major part of what dog walks should be, I am usually happy to oblige. Yesterday I thought I would take my camera out with us and snap a photo at each, well most of the stops.
Grab a coffee, pull up your chair and relax ... this is a long one.
Off we go.
The first stop of the morning is always just as we get onto the riverbank, while Suky sniffs around the bench and the bin I get to stand and watch the river.
It's usually the longest stop as, well bins are so interesting aren't they!
So I get time to admire the ferns growing out of the stonework. I do love the tenacity of plants growing through stone or tarmac and in unusual places.
Still here ... the river has slowed down now after the rains of the last few days had it briefly as a raging torrent.
Peaceful here at our second stop of the first 50 yards.
See, we haven't come far, maybe not even fifty yards, I'm useless with distances.
Suky sniffing the plants, me snapping the trees across the river, what a glorious tangle of roots and branches.
Imagine how many little lives live in the river at points like this.
We've gotten much further along now, a bit of a trot and a little excited gallop as we rush to say 'Good Morning' to Ruby and her owner ... and then we stop by this beautiful flowering bush at the side one of the riverbank caravans, absolutely gorgeous.
And while I watch the buzzy bees, Suky sniffs at where all the boy dogs have weed .. she's so full of class my Pug.
Our next stop for a change is down to the 'beach'.
It's always been nicknamed this by me as there is a little bit of sand and lots of pebbles for throwing back into the river, just like being at the seaside and lobbing the pebbles into the sea.
Looking up river, and what is this we see swimming towards us?
We admire the clear water and the pebbles while they get closer.
Here they come!!
It's a convoy of five ducks.
The caravan park ducks are just beginning to return to the park after their absence.
I bet they soon cottoned on to the fact that no people on the park during lockdown meant no bread, toast and tasty nibbles being thrown their way. So I'm guessing they went up river towards Garstang where the people were still walking their dogs along the riverbank and parking in the riverside carpark
Back up off the 'beach' and we reach Mayfair.
It's just nicknamed this, as this part of the park had a new tarmacked road laid at the beginning of last year, with night time lighting added along the river and then some of the poshest, newest Vans moved in. Prior to this we had been laughingly called the poshest, and our road was nicknamed Millionaires Row.
Past the caravans which are on our left, and we are walking along the shallow part of the river, where the water tumbles 'white water' fashion over rocks and fallen tree branches.
Moving along the river we come to where it quietens down and where the ducks come to balance on the rocks and have their daily preening session.
Slightly further along and as the ducks swim off Suky sniffs at the fences of the caravans to our left.
It's peaceful here, someone has cut the grass on the riverbank and down to his fishing area.
In the evenings the riverbank is full of anglers, neatly spaced along it's length all out seeing if the fish will bite and seeing if there will be Tiddler on Toast for tea. I've never seen a big fish pulled out ... although they talk of good catches in the club at night.
I drink in the sounds of the riverbank, the birds in the trees, the water meandering by and the scent of the evening. Himalayan Balsam being unfortunately the overpowering scent of the moment.
Then we go down the steps, past the caravans and the little holiday flats and head along tarmacked and stony roads to home. With the occasional stop for a sniff at a bin or bush and a conversation with a beautiful Saluki cross and her owner.
And then home is in sight ... and knowing there is a coffee for me and a treat for Suky we hurry our pace and reach it quickly. Another evening, another walk, peaceful and meditative with lots of stoppy starty moments for both of us.