Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Around Home

Just popping in to share a few garden photos. Some of the flowers in the garden are looking lovely at the moment.

Above sweet peas and foxgloves



More foxgloves in the no mow area at the top of the garden

Flag Iris in the pond



Damselfly - I see from Ragged Robin's Nature Notes this morning that it is probably a Large Red Damselfly.

A small posy from the garden - washing drying on the rotary dryer through the window.

The first strawberries.

 Last night, around midnight we heard the most unearthy sound and then loads of yelps and squeals from the garden.  I'd heard that noise just once before so we thought it might be a hedgehog.  A badger had cornered it just near the greenhouse.  As we opened the back door the badger ran off but the poor hedgehog was still groaning and squealing.  
Paul gathered it up in a towel and placed it in a small trolly type wheelbarrow with some bird nibbles and water.  We left it in the greenhouse with the windows open.  At about 5.30a.m. we went out to see if it was okay.  It had eaten the nibbles and drunk some of the water so we wheeled it to the top of the garden and put it under the shelter of a shrub.  We left it until about 9a.m. to go and check - it had moved on.  I do hope it will survive as there are lots of badgers around here in the early hours and I know they are partial to a hedgehog.  Sometimes nature seems cruel.

All for now.

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Creswell Crags and the Harley Gallery - Part One

'Walk in Footsteps 50,000 years old' the leaflet for Creswell Crags says on it's front cover.  When we were children I don't think we realised that is what we were doing.  I grew up in a village close by. In fact there was one village in between Scarcliffe and Creswell and that was Elmton.  We passed through it again on the way to Creswell driving down the narrow lanes, verges white with Cow parsley and May blossom and fields yellow with Buttercups.  A group of us children from our village used to cycle as far as Elmton and back, Creswell was just that bit too far.  My Dad used to take our car to a garage in Creswell ( I still remember the number plate RTU 498) and in those days you could drive straight past the crags.  All is very different now.

The last time we visited Creswell Crags was in August 2021 when we took a car full of Paul's stone age tools and other artifacts to donate to their education department. It was pleasing to see that some of the items had been placed on display whilst others were used for children's activities.

We spent a couple of hours looking around the indoor displays and walking across the meadow and around the lake in the gorge.  I didn't take too many photos this time.

Well, I say I didn't take too many photos but I was enthralled, not by the lake or the caves but the wildflowers we saw along the way.  On both side of the lake were swathes of both Cow Parsley and Comfrey.  There was also Wood Avens (we have a lot of that in our garden here and it is quite invasive) here it was perfect.  On the grass banks there was loads of Yellow Rattle.

Next time in the returning to childhood places trip posts - Part Two - the Harley Gallery and Portland Museum on the Welbeck Estate.

Thursday, June 01, 2023

Today's Walk

 Just a few photos taken on today's walk at Tittesworth Reservoir.

It's not very often you see a wild rabbit.

Let alone two - what a joy!

Woodland Walk down to the stream.

It was cool under the trees.

Lots and lots of Yellow Rattle.

In the distance and hazy in the sunshine The Roaches.

Sightings from the hide include the Heron and Coot below.   We also saw four Lapwing, a Cormorant, five Oystercatchers, a Great Crested Grebe and a Buzzard soaring overhead.

The Heron was as still as a statue, patiently waiting for his lunch to swim by.

Pink Hawthorne Blossom

Delicate webs close to the hide.  Spiders?  The webs were covered in fluffy seeds.
All for now.  Next time back to last weeks visit to Creswell Crags.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Tissington Well Dressings

I've taken you to Tissington several times over the years I've been writing this blog but never at Well Dressing time.  I wanted to visit the village during the well dressing festival as I have happy memories of school trips there.   My mum always used to say that Spring turned to Summer the day we children boarded the bus to take us the thirty five miles from school in Scarcliffe to Tissington.  

There were about thirty children at our school and I'm not sure if all of the three classes - known to us as baby class, middle class and top class - went along. I guess it would probably have been the older children.  My overwhelming memory is of the heat of the day, coats and cardigans soon abandoned, smelly sandwiches in greaseproof paper bags - usually fish paste or egg and bottles of pop.  I remember the cattle grid at the gated entrance to the village - it's still there.

Of course life is much busier now and there is a special entrance and parking at the top end of the village and a one way system to exit.  

According to the booklet, given to us as we paid to park, the origins of Well Dressing may well have had their roots in pagan times but later given Christian meaning.  One theory is that the custom began just after the plague or black death of 1348-49 to give thanks for the purity of the water from the wells which they thought was the reason that the village population all survived.

Another theory is that the tradition recalls that during the severe drought of 1615 the five wells of Tissington kept flowing freely and the surrounding district were grateful for the supply of water from the village.  A thanksgiving service was held and the wells were decorated each year after.

The boards on which the images are to be made are soaked in the village pond and then plastered with local clay which has been mixed with salt and trodden to reach the right consistency.  The design is then traced onto the boards and marked out with coffee beans before the task of applying the petals begins.  Here is some more information about the process.  Everyone in the village contributes in some way in dressing the wells, digging clay, gathering flowers and assembling the dressings ready for the start of the festival.

There are six wells now in the village which we wandered around.  There were also several bric-a-brac stalls, an art exhibition and a craft exhibition in the village hall.  Coffee from Herbert's Tea Room halfway round was most welcome as we sat and people watched for a while.  There were lots of dogs too and a special ice cream van just for them.  I also met four lovely cats along the way.  It's a very cat friendly village.

Here are the Well Dressings.

 Hands Well

 Children's Well

 Hall Well

 Yew Tree Well

Town Well

 Coffin Well
Above a few close up details from the well dressings.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Here and There

 We've been away for a few days.  We haven't ventured too far from home but as we wanted to visit a dear friend in Nottingham who has been very poorly and in and out of hospital and also visit our nephew and his mum we decided to stay over a couple of days and make the most of the visit.

On the way to Nottingham we stopped of to look at the Well Dressings in the village of Tissington.  The next day on our way to relatives we visited Creswell Crags, the Harley Gallery and the Portland Museum - it was so hot that day.  On our way back home the next day we visited Crich Tramway Museum.

I'll be writing more about all of the places but for now here are just a few photos.

Well Dressings at Hall Well

and Coffin Well.

Creswell Crags Museum

The Gorge and Caves

The Harley Gallery - outside

and inside.

The Portland Museum

There is an Art Trail walk between Creswell Crags and the Harley Gallery.

Most of the walk was under the shade of trees but there is a busy road to cross along the way.

As you pay for your entry to the Tramway Museum, which is valid for a year so you can make a return visit,  you receive an old penny to pay for your first ride.  You can have as many rides as you want.

We rode on the top deck of the one below.

All for now, I'll be back again soon.