The object in the photograph below (which I posted it in response to Hughes weekly photo challenge week 12 – games) was of course a footprint, a cast of a wolf footprint to be exact.
Thank you, Hugh for picking my picture to showcase on your weekly blog challenge.
It is not as exciting as a fossilised footprint (being only 12+ years old), but it is very special to me and reminds me of one of the most magical and memorable experiences of my life.
I stayed on holiday for a week at Wolf Watch UK, actually within a wolf reserve in Shropshire, England. It’s a brilliant organisation and for me it was a once in a lifetime holiday. Please check out their website Wolf Watch UK to see how gorgeous the place is and the important work they do. I don’t know if they still run holidays, but there are plenty of opportunities to visit the wolves on things like photography days.
(The pictures in this post are not the greatest quality as they are only photos of photos, it was way before my days of digital photography.)
I loved that whole experience. Hearing the majestic and haunting sound of the wolves howling in the evening and early morning – I couldn’t think of a better alarm clock. I would spring out of bed at the first howl (not that easy when you’re 5 months pregnant!) and record their howling on my little palm top computer. I have a sound file that I wanted to share, but the .wav format is not accepted by wordpress. If anyone can tell me how to convert and add sound files I would love to update this post. As it is you’ll have to put up with a rather poor quality image of one of the wolves mid-howl or yawning its hard to tell.
Back in 2004 there was no TV reception in this beautiful Shropshire wooded valley so it made the perfect writing retreat. I started planning and writing scene for one of my works in progress called Child of Destiny. I hope to finally finish the draft in 2016.
My husband wasn’t that happy without a TV. And he certainly wasn’t keen on the wolf feeding experience.
I loved my time in the wolf enclosure. Even though I was 5 months pregnant with my first child, I wasn’t going to let that stop me getting up close with these lovely creatures. I think you’ll agree I look a lot happier about it than my husband.
I’ve always been an animal lover, but my obsession with wolves started when I read Robin Hobbs Farseer trilogy. Nighteyes was, and still is, one of my favourite all time fictional characters. I’d love to have met him.
This holiday will always have a special place in my heart and it’s brought back lots of memories writing about it now. I would love to revisit Wolf Watch UK, but I have a few years to go before my youngest is 16 (age limit imposed for safety reasons).
If you ever get the chance, go along and meet the wolves. The experience will stay with you forever.
I’m taking a few days off social media to finish the edit of my next book. Please do leave comments though, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.