Friday, May 07, 2021

Some sort of Normality?

This week it has felt a little like getting back to doing 'normal' things. We have plans in place to visit friends the week after next, been to Trentham Gardens to renew our yearly pass which we'd allowed to expire over the last few months.  We still have to book a time slot to visit as yet but things may change very soon.  I ordered a book from the library which I will be able to go in to collect when it is available and also look along the shelves for anything else that may tempt me.  It's been over a year since I actually held and read a proper book, everything has been on my kindle or ipad which is good for my eyesight as I can enlarge the font if I'm struggling.  We have also been out to vote, all very well organised, I remembered to take my own pencil!  We also went a little further afield to walk at one of our favourite places and I'll write a post about that in a couple of days.

Meanwhile things are growing in the garden.

Wallflowers - growing against the front wall.

Wild Garlic at the top of the garden


Geum - Lemondrops
 
Geum - Rivale

Bluebells

Ferns

Camassia

Aquilegia

Strawberries
 
Daisies plus Orange tip

Vixen visiting in daylight hours.

 The sun was out for our walk this morning but tomorrow heavy rain has been forecast so it looks like a 'staying in' day.  Take care.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Bluebells

Bluebells, a day later than promised but then it is a Bank Holiday Monday here and I always include those in a long weekend.

I took you to Hem Heath Woods a couple of posts ago and mentioned that we would go back again to check on the bluebells.  We returned on Friday but this time parked at the other entrance off the Wedgwood Estate.  The factory shops were open but of course, the Museum and cafe were still closed. 

 We wandered into the woods first and made our way along the paths we knew led to the areas where the bluebells grew closely together.  It was warm in the dappled sunlight and the birds were singing, robins, chaffinch and blackbirds.  Also the gentle cooing of wood pigeons and the tap, tap, tap of a woodpecker in the distance.


Below are a few of the photos  I took along the way.










We left the bluebell wood and wandered along to the pond which was surrounded by gorse and had cowslips growing on its banks.



Then we wandered back to the car park past the musem and visitor centre.
The willow sculptures are still in place by the show gardens
 

and Josiah Wedgwood (1730 - 1795)  is still standing in pride of place.


I think the bluebells will still be there for a week or so with some areas still to achieve their best display.  We may go back again as being in the wood early morning with the intensity of warmth, scent and colour is just wonderful.

I was upset and horrified to hear the news about the dreadful and inexplicable vandalism  of both the Osprey nest at Lyn Brenig Reservoir in Wales and the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings near Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.  Also more locally the destruction of the bird hide at Doxey Marshes in Stafford. 
 
Why?
 
I've put links on the places mentioned above.  Here is a - link - to the post I wrote in July 2012 when we visited the Avoncroft Museum, I noticed on yesterday's  local West Midlands news report that three of the buildings I'd taken photos of have been vandalised.  
 
Again, Why?

 

Friday, April 30, 2021

Lately....

Lately I've been....

1. Walking

Through the bluebell woods.

They are looking wonderful

I'll write more about our visit and show a lot more photos in my next post.

2. Spotting

Other wildflowers in the bluebell wood including Forget-me-Not, Dandelion, Red Campion, Cowslips and a white flower, possibly Greater Stitchwort, perhaps someone reading this can identify it for me?  

3. Reading

The latest Masie Dobbs novel by Jacqueline Winspear. I always enjoy these novels and the latest one didn't disappoint.  In this book Maisie visits an old friend of her former mentor Maurice Blanche in Mecklenburgh Square, in Bloosmsbury which is the setting of Square Haunting by Francesca Wade.  In this book the author visits the Square during the inter- war years when its inhabitants were some of our literary giants.  She has chosen five women to follow including Virginia Woolf and Dorothy L Sayers.   Pulpit Rock is the latest of the Ben Kitto novels set on The Scilly Isles.  I always race through these as they are an easy read.

4.  Listening

To podcasts and BBC radio programmes  'Life in the Garden' by Penelope Lively read by Stephanie Cole.   'The Stubborn Light of Things' a delightful podcast by nature writer and novelist Melissa Harrison and 'Obsessed with Line of Duty' a podcast by former cast member Craig Parkinson.

5. Watching 

'Line of Duty' and 'Keeping Faith'  'Make Up: A Glamorous History'  and  'The Repair Shop' all on BBC also 'Secrets of the Transport Museum' on Yesterday (Freeview) and Criminal UK on Netflix.  I'm not finding a lot of things I want to watch at the moment as there are a lot of repeat programmes and as much as I've previously enjoyed Poirot, Marple, Vera, Endeavour and Lewis, I've probably watched them two or three times and really  I want to see new programmes but I suspect it will be a while before things get back to normal.  It's not a gripe more an observation.

Today is the last day of April and what a strange month it has been.  Today we've had brilliant sunshine and hailstones.  I had my second Astra Zenica jab on Wednesday and it didn't make me feel as ill as the first one did, so far so good.  I'll be back over the weekend with bluebells.

 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

In the Park

In our nearest local park it's blossom time.  

Last year when we walked here the blossom trees had been ravaged by the wind and rain and browning petals were strewn across the paths, damp, sticky and clinging to the soles of our boots.

This morning the air was warm and dry and the trees sparkled in the gentle sunlight.

There were still lots of daffodils growing along the grass edges to the paths.
 
The bees were buzzing in the branches of the trees.  Standing under the overhanging blossom the noise was amazing. 
 
We wandered off the main paths into the woodland area.
 
A few bluebells were spotted but there were many more to come.

It was wonderful to spot some Wood Anemones.

One of my favourite Spring wildflowers.

Opposite the Wood Anemones was an area of Snakes Head Fritillaries.

Their drooping heads were dancing in the slight breeze.

On our way back to the main gates I noticed that some of the Rhododendrons were in flower.

Next week we'll go back to Hem Heath Woods where I took you in my last but one post to see if the bluebells are in flower.  Something I always look forward to.


Friday, April 16, 2021

In the Garden

 How lovely the weather has been this week.  Walks have been taken and gardening done once the early morning frost has disappeared.

Flowers are appearing on the Amelanchier tree.
 

On the bird feeders we had a visit from a Siskin

This is a rare occurance.  Apologies for the not very clear photo it was taken through the window.

Last evening both male and female chaffinch visited spending time in the Tamarisk tree.  Only the female allowed herself to be photographed, the male hid away although I could spot his pink chest between the branches.

In the greenhouse Freesias have appeared.  We set the seeds last year and forgot about them so it was a surprise to see so much colour suddenly appear.


Also in the greenhouse Yellow Rattle.  Again we planted seed last year not knowing if they would be successful.

I've been checking the leaf shape against the  drawing in the wildflower book.  It seems they are Yellow Rattle.

Next week we have a skip arriving so we can clear the top of the garden of unwanted debris from the last of the Leylandii trees, old pieces of wood and logs.  We'll be keeping a few back to make a log pile for frogs, newts and other creatures, the shed will eventualy be taken down and a new one placed in a different part of the garden closer to the house and a meadow area under the small birch tree will be made including the yellow rattle and wild garlic that is already there.
 
Lots of work to be done.  Let's hope the sun keeps shining.