Wednesday 24th February light to fresh N Sunny 5 to 7C
The frost is thick and the air is cold as I cycle along the A10 north. A bird flies over becoming a year tick that I had expected to have on the year list weeks ago, a male yellowhammer. It lands on one of the very few bushes to be seen some distance away. This chalky landscape is dominated by immense cereal fields with few, if any hedges.
Through Royston and on towards St Ives. A green form of transport passes me with a hello and turns further down the road, a speedy horse and cart.
Into St Ives I am just about to enter a shop when a lady comes up to me and inquires as to whether I recognise her voice! I did and the memory of meeting a couple who were waiting for their cycling son to pass a roundabout in Cheshire last April came back. Their son was cycling for a homeless charity in Cambridge called Winter Comfort.
“John,” I asked. I had remembered. We, Janice and I, went for a coffee and a chat. Janice was in St Ives to look after her 90 year old mother whilst Jon was at home in Dorset. I love lucky meetings like this and an hour passed before we said goodbye.
Trying to get out of St Ives I took a wrong turn and ended up on a large maze of a housing estate. On asking a passerby for directions I was told by her, Chris, that she looked after orphaned hedgehogs. She took me to her house, introduced me to her husband, Errol and shown the cages where the sleeping hedgehogs lay.
They had helped hedgehogs for over twenty years, returning them to the wild once fit and well. They supported the nearby Hinching Country Park. Kindly they added to the menagerie on my bike by giving me a cuddly hedgehog, Wilfred Prickles!
So the year list is now at 170, eighteen ahead of this time last year.
53.51 Miles 1442 elevation up 1686 elevation down