Monday, 9 February 2015

A Day Of Walks

So the sun was out all day yesterday and after Saturday's rather flattening energy I wanted to be outside, with the camera, getting revitalised.

M went off to a running race early where he clocked up his best ever time despite not trying and as a result came home surprised and chuffed; L was abed, snoring in teenage fashion, and the doggy people were mooching about the garden happily on the trail of various Interesting Smells, so I sneaked out on my own for once and wandered up the lane into the fields and woods, camera in hand, to see what I could find....

First, I noticed the feathery patterns the ice had left behind on the grey slate roof...



Then I saw how the woodpecker has drilled holes in the wooden posts of the pergola..


Next I spotted Mrs Brimstone still sleeping gently on the wall, her wings lit through by the sunlight...


Then I found that red buds are appearing on the hydrangea...


And that ivy close-up is a fascinating plant, look at all those suckers it uses to attach itself, like a long millipede...


Next I found this sweet chestnut sitting quietly on the drive: it has been drilled into by someone small looking for a winter home or a place to hide tilling hatching time. This fascinated me because the nearest sweet chestnut tree is about 1/4 mile away. Has a bird dropped it? Did the wind blow it? Has it been picked up and carried here by someone?


Our twisted willow was looking regal in the light. This tree was swamped and endarkened by a number of shrubby type things when we first moved here. We took everything away and cleared the space around her, then, when she found she could breath properly, she started to shine and grow and ever since she has looked well and bonny, and now provides an important perching place of shelter for our garden birds and a resting place for my moths when they wake up after a day sleeping indoors...



The garden is slowly becoming colourful again with primroses, red dead nettles and sweet-smelling daphne all blooming now...


 

I left the house and wandered down the lane, keeping my eyes peeled. A little way down I heard a flock of bullfinch and then saw them- five, flitting from tree to tree. No photos as they were moving too fast but I did find a squirrel dozing comfortably on a branch in the sun. A couple of cars and a cyclist went by, entirely unaware that this little person was there, a few feet above their heads. I love the way her tail is curled up over her head. She looks so sweet :o)


I went up into the overgrown fields where a buzzard kept me company as I threaded the paths between the brambles..



There was fungus on the trees...


Including King Alfred's Cakes which the boys used to collect as fire lighters when they were small...


Next the stream, midges danced in the light like tiny fairies...



And alder cones suggested meals for Siskins who haven't come yet this winter...



Ivy creeps up the trees as snowdrops blossom on the ground below...




I returned to the house after an hour and was surprised in a pleased way to find a dock bug out on the fence in the place where the dock bugs live in our garden. He was sunning himself, and the small triangle on his back was glowing burnished bronze (which, try as I might, I couldn't get the photo to pick up). He was very friendly and didn't mind at all me getting very close to take his picture- the only time he moved was when I blocked out his sun :o) I was so glad to see him- dock bugs always remind me of summer.



After lunch, which we ate with all the doors open for the first time in ages it was so warm, M and I went to Stockbridge for a walk by the river. It was here, on these ancient water meadows on September 14th 1141, that King Stephen's wife Matilda led an army that defeated the forces of his cousin Maud, contender for the throne of England, as they beat a retreat from Winchester castle.

I can't help but think of that whenever I come here. The land is boggy and I know men died on this stretch of countryside. Still it is a beautiful and peaceful place now and has SSSI designation and is looked after by the National Trust..













We walked back across the meadow and along the path beside the stream. I admired the flint work in this old barn wall....


And then we popped in to Lillie Langtrees for hot chocolate and coffee and a slice of victoria sponge each. We sat outside by the river and chatted and ate while the sun shone and people and dogs went past on their way down to the meadows and it was peaceful and pleasant.


When we got home there was a dog fox barking in the field, so I went to investigate. Pop was Rather Cross she couldn't come, but settled for remaining behind and helping M clear out the greenhouse.
I got covered in scratches and returned looking like a wild woman who'd been dragged through a hedge backwards. The evening light shining through the trees made it all worthwhile though...



I failed to see the fox but this was made up for by the woodcock who took off in front of me and a tiny Jenny Wren who sat in a bramble bush and condescended for photographs :o)

 


I loved my day of many walks, it topped up my light levels - needed today as the sun is hiding again and the air is cool.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend too. I'll leave you with some shots of T and P playing one of their favourite games- chasing each other round and round the greenhouse. Teddy always takes up position on the outside nearest the patio, while Pop's place is beside the fence. The do this for ages, and it always makes me smile to watch them. Can you spot Poppy in the last photo?




And finally, a couple of pictures of them in front of the fire the other evening. I just loved these. They do adore each other :o)




Simple things, eh?

CT x

46 comments:

  1. Lovely, lovely post, really enjoyed it. Managed to find Poppy peeking around the corner , thankyou.
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Bri :o), so glad you enjoyed it. Just off to catch up with your latest xx

      Delete
  2. I have no idea what a "King Arthur Cake" is, but we have similar things growing on olde trees round abouts the woods here. We call em tree burrs. I love the gnarly branches in the big tree. You did have a great walk, discovered Spring in some places and thanks for the lovely photos, especially the cuddly couple at the end in front of the fire. I would paint that photo and hang it. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. King Alfred- a 9th Century King of Wessex who united most of England and fought off the Vikings. Tradition has that when he was lost in the marshes, a peasant woman sheltered him not knowing who he was and asked him to mind some cakes she was baking. He burnt them and when she returned she berated him soundly for ruining the meal. x

      Delete
  3. What a lovely post, I could write an essay in reply - but suffice to say I'm brimming with smiles after reading it - you write with a beautiful touch - I eagerly leant forward to find Poppy in her greenhouse game - what sweeties - and in front of the fire ... gorgeousness, must be about burning their eyeballs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jennifer, so pleased you enjoyed reading it and seeing the photos. Those doggy people really bring joy to the heart with their simple pleasure in their games and each other's company.

      Delete
  4. This was such a relaxing day just in photos. It must have been twice as nice in real life :) You live in such a pretty area. We're not able to sit outdoors for snacks just yet, so it's nice to see someone enjoying Spring weather! Wendy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This afternoon the weather has improved again and it does feel a wee bit Springful :o) Many thanks for the comment, Wendy.

      Delete
    2. I've just found what I was looking for on Harvest mouse, you might have seen it. First I went on BSBI news &Views (full of good wild flower news) http://bsbipublicity.blogspot.co.uk/ on the blogs on the left had side is Bontanist+ Ecologist https://gailqb.wordpress.com/ and go on the Harvest mouse survey.
      Amanda xx

      Delete
  5. Lovely photos CT and two great walks :) I thought of you yesterday when visiting some gardens and smelling some Daphnne - you are right the perfume is unbelievable :) Its been very Spring-like here the last couple of days and this morning I heard a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming somewhere close by :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the most beautiful scent. All I'm waiting for now are the bees :o) GSWs been drumming here for the last couple of weeks too- a great sign of spring nearing us :o)

      Delete
  6. I too managed to get out on my own Sunday morning, just the best weather with blue skies.
    Still have not seen a Brimstone even during the summer so a little jealous of yours just sleeping there on the wall.The primroses look beautiful, I managed to clean the garden up on Sunday and will have to get some Primroses to go in the empty pots. Saw a Buzzard too, the numbers have picked up round here over the past few years, listened to Red Kites and Bustard's calling as they flew round my head, and to top it all your river walk looks great, I miss living next to the river. My little beck will have to do at the park.
    Amanda xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just about to pop over and see what you've been up to :o)

      Funny about the Brimstones- I think they do breed up your way but perhaps the food plant is limited? I haven't seen a Bustard before but the Kites are doing well here, saw one on my way to college recently. And as for rivers, I would also really miss it if we didn't have them nearby xx

      Delete
  7. First, totally enjoyed taking a nature walk with you! You have a wonderful place to explore and live!! Found Poppy...popping around the corner! The favorite photo was the last one...friends enjoying a nice warm fire :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Juliet :o) I'm so pleased you enjoyed the walk and the doggies and well done spotting Pop, I looked for her for ages in that pic when I uploaded it!

      Delete
  8. Everything looks about to burst into life..it's gorgeous!
    I felt relaxed as I ambled alongside you on these walks...when can we go again?
    Jane x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jane :o) Glad you liked the walk. I do get out with the camera quite a lot so I'm sure there will be more soon. Can't wait for spring proper to arrive now xx

      Delete
  9. It just goes to show how much you can find if you really look. I love the water meadows, we have some near us but we usually give them a miss in winter, fearing that we might sink in and disappear without a trace! Lucky you being able to get a shot of the wren - your clicking finger must be more supple than mine. And those last two photos - just adorable. I saw a Peacock Butterfly sunning itself on our fence, no wonder they are coming out it is almost like Spring today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to do a walk every now and then to look precisely at and for the small things that so go unnoticed otherwise. It always amazes me what is there if you take the time to look.

      That little wren was so adorable and quite a distance away- the zoom on my camera is good so it should take the credit really, rather than me :o)

      Fantastic about your Peacock, I am a huge fan of butterflies and moths and can't wait to be able to watch them this year again. x

      Delete
  10. Hey CT,
    Simple things indeed. I get twitchy if I don't get out for a walk at least once a day. All of your looked lovely. I walk at quite a pace, but I'm scanning all the time for a bit of this or that to inspect, photograph or watch.
    Have a great week, lovely girl.
    Leanne xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah thanks my dear :o) I always love your walks too. Right back at ya in the lovely week's stakes :o) xx

      Delete
  11. Thanks for the lovely walk. Your primroses are nice & sunny - I won't see mine for 3 or so months.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sending you virtual primroses to cheer and light your day :o)

      Delete
  12. What a lovely post CT. I agree about ivy - so fascinating. I can't believe how many flowers you have! All we have is compacted snow all over the lawn and borders and frost damaged Hellebores that have never shown. I think my favourite photo of all is the stripy wall. Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks so much for the presents by the way. Love them! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought you'd like the wall :o) Hoping your garden perks up soon- sure it will with some warmer weather. V welcome re prezzies- richly deserved, my talented friend xx

      Delete
  13. Spring is very near CT. You always post some great photographs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, Dave. Casting clouts and May and all that... :o)

      Delete
  14. Well done M!!! How great is that. Mrs Brimstone really is a confused thing isn't she, I hope she will be alright come spring time. I was looking back today at your blog for some reason and found the videos of Poppy and Teddy playing when she was just tiny - too too cute!! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thank you :o) I will pass on congrats. He is still smiling (quietly, because he is a modest soul - it's me that shouts about his achievements :o) ). So funny you should mention the vid of Pop as a small child- I was watching her play her second fave game which is chasing her own tail earlier today and as she grabbed it and started growling I thought I really should get a vid of it and post it. I think we must be on some sort of telepathic wave length when it comes to the dogs! Hope all's well with you my dear xx

      Delete
    2. ps- forgot to say- lots of butterflies come in and out of hibernation over winter when a warmer day pops up. It's not uncommon for them to do this so she should be fine, although I do wish she'd found her way back into the garage or under some cover, instead of falling asleep on the wall in broad daylight right under the bird feeders! Am hoping she looks so much like a leaf it's confused the birds :o) xx

      Delete
  15. What a gorgeous post, so many really beautiful photos. The dogs in front of the fire together are so sweet. I love the buzzard shots as well, and how nice to see the brimstone again. It looks like you had a lovely walking day. Enjoy your week. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you CJ, you are such a dear :-). I always look forward to reading your comments and your blog posts. So pleased you enjoyed the post. Hope your week is going well xx

      Delete
  16. Only just found your blog and what a lovely post. I was with you on your walk your pictures were lovely to see and those two dogs simply amazing.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks Jan :o) I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

      Delete
  17. Wow, you found all sorts of interesting things on your walk! And cute doggy pics too. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda. It was such lovely weather everything looked well :o)

      Delete
  18. What a lovely post and lovely photos and lovely doggies and well...just everything about it just lovely! Thanks so much for sharing.xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Deb, glad you enjoyed it all :o) xx

      Delete
  19. Thank you for the lovely virtual walks, rounded off beautifully by those two little darlings sitting by the fire! :-) xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks my friend :o) Roll on Spring, eh? xx

      Delete
  20. I was going to say, I love looking at your pictures and when my computer is down I miss dropping by. You always find the most interesting things to show everyone that I never thought I would be interested in IYKWIM.

    But then I look at your two fluff monsters and my heart just melts, they really are my favourite pictures xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julee :o) And I've learnt something new today- had no idea what IYKWIM meant! (looked it up so I do now). Glad you liked all the bits and bobs and T and P. xx

      Delete
  21. Gosh I am so disgracefully behind on commenting! Oh look at your lovely walk, my cameras has gone kaput so I'm asking Mike nicely to buy me a cheapy one, based on the fact I'm not very good with them & I need to save my salary for fabric & yarn. I digress, if he does get me one I shall take photos of my walk on Sunday with my doggie who doesn't look anyway near as adorable as your two do by the fire x Oh I did spot Poppy in the bottom greenhouse shot, well her face anyway!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been busy the last couple of days so have been absent from the blog-o-sphere too :o) What a pain about your camera. There are some great inexpensive ones on the market though so hopefully Mike will be able to find you something suitable! Would love to see some pics of your lovely doggy :o) xx

      Delete
  22. What a wonderful collection of pictures and snippety bits! The quality of the light has been great lately, hasn't it? Spring is definitely on the way.
    I particularly like your fungi and insects - and the doggies snuggling together, too, obviously!
    Keep up the good work :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x