April looks likely to be a
thoroughly gloomy month, so in a spirit of something here is
a picture of a sunny day in that scenic bit of landscape between
two scenic border regions - the Wye Valley and the Forest of
Dean - brought to you with much encouragement by the Tourist
Excitement section of the Wye Valley Railway.
Near Hearkening Rock, seen
here on a warm mid-April afternoon, is a particularly splendid
outcrop in between Monmouth and Symonds Yat, high above a side
valley off the Wye proper. The name is derived from it being
used by gamekeepers to "hearken" by standing quietly
under it and listening for sounds of poachers; the rock acts
as a giant whispering gallery for much of the local area. A mile
or so to the east Far Hearkening Rock, which is somewhat further
from the main Monmouth to Coleford Road, the posh pad at the
Kymin and civilisation generally, fulfils a similar need in the
A neat bit of tree clearance
has allowed this fine bit of stone to be used by passing trade
as a viewpoint over the surrounding area - one of many places
in the locality where one can stand with a view of miles of trees,
fields, hills, big fluffy clouds and other signs of general nature.
The only thing missing is any sign of other humanity, except
possibly other people sitting beneath the big white slab and
looking forward to summer.
All other things being equal,
by summer it should have warmed up a bit.