The incredibly long hot summer which chose to break when we went on holiday, perked up for a few weeks more but on the day yours truly was supposed to be leading about 9000 schoolchildren up and over the Bonsai Mountain as part of the Kington Walking Festival it rained mightily.
So much so that we decided to abandon any idea of taking little ones out into the wilderness on the assumption that dampness might affect their personal development. But! Being made of sterner stuff than 9 year olds yours truly and Keeeef decided to go anyway. Here we can see the effect of the summer drought, our local river has gone on holiday, Keef is in the deep bit devoid of water, for now anyway.
Springtime this was a healthy river with fish, now its a great place to ride your mountain bike...ahem.
However today the small god of rain took it upon itself to rectify the shortage of flow
and in 3 hours great big puddles appeared on the Bonsai Mountain and surrounding area.
Paths and hollows became filled.
The trees are still missing from 5 ways, some scrote with a huge machine tipped up a few weeks back and massacred the shrubbery.
So heavy was the deluge that we sought sanctuary in a Shepherds hut for a refuel and brew. Which is about this time I got a call from the apprentices school asking if I could fetch him a he was feeling poorly. Rather than explain my circumstances I just said yes but not for at least an hour, not because I had a brew to down but because I was so far from the car.
But as the sandwich sharer Mrs Bear was hungry
and the brew was ready I took 5 mins to ponder the good things in life, like hot liquid on a wet cold day, before braving the elements again and rescuing the small ones from school.
This is the face of an unfit fat bloke who has probably overextended himself setting up the 8 peaks challenge, again. This brutal 13.5 mile off road run with 2000 feet of climbing is getting popular thanks to yours truly hosting it but at this point I was not feeling the joy of running.
Then a rogue nail on a style bit me.
Bonsai Mountain peak 7 of 8.
By the time mile 10 had happened I was seriously unhappy with life and the prospect of 3 more miles.
End of play, done it.
Meanwhile back at the ranch Tasha is showing signs that her weight gain is not all dog food.
This handsome Bernese Mountain Dog, Rocky, father of 54 pups has finally departed Rock HQ.
He nearly made 12 years old which is 2x what a Berner can expect, the above pic is him with his son from the first litter, Mr Bear and his granddaughter Tasha in the background. This picture taken 10 September, Rocky died on the 12th.
The poor lad just seemed to give up, nothing could persuade him to eat, he just lay on the floor watching us and snoozing taking the occasional gulps of water.
When he refused ice cream we all knew this was not a scenario where he would evade the dog equivalent of the grim reaper once more.
Any idea of a party like this pic from his 10th evaporated.
His final day was a sunny one, he plodded outside and lay watching his clan, he seemed content but very very tired.
And this is how this beautiful big dog passed away, in the company of those who loved him so much, who had experienced so much joy because of this one animal. Rocky, Rock Star, the Rockmeister crossed the rainbow bridge and ran off to be with Reba, Spotty, Bliss, Aunt Montana and Diesel. His gift to us has been priceless and his genes will hopefully carry the breed on.