We ventured off the road and down a track, looking down into a lovely valley with a stream.
Sheep covered the whole valley. The baby lambs were older, and played chase back and forth along the stream bank.
As we walked, the pine forest got thicker with man made gaps to prevent the spread of fire. We came across a family of deer jumping as they made the clearing.
As we walked down a a steep hill, old stone walls that were covered in thick green moss ran parallel to our path.
Rays of light punched their way through the canopy giving it a magical feel.
Excitement grew as we crossed an old stone bridge not more than six feet wide.
The silence was broken by a buzzard soaring on the thermals above.
A small bench was surrounded by mossy mounds and rotten logs, ferns and pine needles that had fallen.
Quietly sitting down, I took my lens cap off and checked the settings for light; I was OK and ready.
The first sighting was sitting up in a pine tree watching me. Smaller than I expected, with a cute face, long ears and long sharp claws. Beautiful, and one of our native animals that I had never filmed before.
I was in fantasy land – my Ruth sat by my side, camera ready, and in the most beautiful setting you could find.
Movement from the trees to our right then to our left; they started to appear one after another.
As they made their way towards us, we could see how small they were – not as big as the Grey, and more pretty to look at.
They ventured so close my lens wouldn’t focus, so I just took in the moment and put my camera down.
There were so many, and they all scampered around the logs and chased each other to find the nuts we had put down.
What an amazing sight.
But we were not alone – the Chaffinch and Great Tit had been watching from the pine branches and spotted a meal or two.
We sat and watched, then had a nice coffee and biscuit – not noticing that we had also been joined by a pheasant who joined in the picnic.
Finishing lunch and spending time in this tranquil place was an amazing wildlife experience that Ruth and I will remember and cherish – we will look back and say what wonderful times we had in our Red Squirrel paradise.