Friday, October 15, 2021

A Friday Five

 A Friday Five from Trentham Gardens.  We've walked there twice in the last week and I've included photos from both visits as different things are spotted each time.  On both days it was calm and slightly sunny.  

The second visit was a day when loads of birds were in the air.  As we walked skeins of geese were flying over the lake making a cacophony of sound.  Swans were taking off with a great deal of flapping and clapping of wings and cormorants were fishing and then settling on logs to open and dry their wings.  So first up are -

1.  Waterbirds and Waders 

The black swans practising their ballet movements.

Greylag geese, always my favourites, with a coot trying to get in the photo.

Cormorants - there were loads of them up in the trees as well as on the water. There is a heron on the far bank.

A fine looking heron at the end of the lake, preening and watching the world go by.

Cygnets on the River Trent.
We also saw a Little Egret across the lake on the heronry island but it was very shy.  Later, across the lake, we saw a tree with at least half a dozen of them amongst the branches. 

2. Fungi

Lots of different ones including boletus, inkcap and bracket fungus.  I haven't seen any Fly Agaric this year.

3. Events 

The circus is in town, well in the gardens, for its 'Spooktacular' performances.

The Big Top looked cheerful in the morning sunshine.

Not sure what their 'spooktacular' displays will include.  Ghostly acrobats and ghoulish clowns perhaps?

For children there is the 'Room on the Broom' trail.
We didn't follow the trail but came across one or two parts of it along the way.

It ends with brooms you can sit on and a 'selfie' spot for photographs.

The 'Pods and Picnic' area was seasonally decorated.

They looked as if they were awaiting lunchtime visitors.

4. Rivers of Grass

Piet Oudolf's creation 'Rivers of Grass' which is at the side of the formal Italian gardens is still looking good.

It blends in well and looked wonderful in the bright sunlight.

5. Other seasonal things spotted.
All for now.  Have a lovely weekend and take care.


Saturday, October 09, 2021


On Thursday we spent a lovely hour or two in the town of Buxton.  I've taken you there before in several posts.  It was the first time we'd viited since November 2019.  Since then the renovation work had been done on the buildings on The Crescent and we wanted to see what they looked like.

 We parked near the Pavilion and had a cup of coffee before setting off into the town. 

The Opera House was open for performances again which was good to see.

We passed by the Old Hall Hotel which is opposite the Pavilion Gardens and Opera House.

According to the hotel's website part of the present building was built for George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury so that Mary Queen of Scots, who was in his custody, could take the waters.  George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury was the fourth husband of Bess of Hardwick.

 Above, St Ann's well.  The fountain, built in 1852, dispenses the famous Buxton mineral spring water.  It stands on the Crescent at the bottom of the Slopes next to the Bath House (below) which is now a visitor centre.

The Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel has now opened after many years of restoration work.  It was wonderful to see the hoardings down and the building in all its sweeping splendour.

In Georgian times there were two rather grand hotels here where there is now only the one.  The buildings on the Crescent were designed by John Carr of York.  Here is a - link - to their website so you can see and read more.

We wandered into the town and spent some time looking around a few shops and gazing at a few buildings.
We then found a cafe where we could have lunch. It was quiet and peaceful. The Apple and Blackberry tea was refreshing and the cheese and salad sandwich tasty.  They make their own bread.

The shop had some wonderful locally made treats and goodies for sale.  It's called The Buxton Pudding Emporium.  We didin't try the Buxton Pudding but it did look delicious and quite similar to a Bakewell Pudding.  Here is a - link - to their website.  Here is a -link- to some Buxton Pudding recipes.
After lunch we headed back to the car through the hot house where there were many plants to admire.
Plenty of fish too.  Below seasonal displays at the flower shop in the entrance.

All for now. Have a lovely weekend.

Friday, October 01, 2021

Into October

October already and days are still drifting by.  October the month of 'mists and mellow fruitfulness',  the month when mornings get cooler and evenings darker.  Lamps are switched on earlier in the evening and the heating kicks in occasionally. It's the month of crisp, brown falling leaves, pumpkins and squashes,  warming bowls of soup after long walks through fields and woodlands.  Scents of damp earth and woodsmoke in the air.

This time last year we had our 'flu jabs but nothing so far this year from our surgery, other than a note on their website saying do not call, you will be contacted.

There has been lots of rainfall the last few days.  Walking has been sporadic and the car has stayed in the garage as we hold on to the petrol we have in case we need to drive for 'flu jabs or opticians appointments which we both have at this time of year.

Life has revolved around the kitchen and garden the last few days.  The larder cupboard has been emptied and checked for things nearing, on, or sometimes past their sell by date.  Nut roasts have been made and frozen, almond slices with some just out of date ground almonds and hummus made with an old carton of chick peas.

We also had a nearly out of date packet of Falafel mix which went well with the hummus and pitta bread with salad leaves and the last few tomatoes from the greenhouse.

Things are changing around the garden.  The seat has been moved to where the old shed used to be and an arch placed over a new brick path which will lead, hopefully, to the wild flower meadow we hope to create in the top corner of the garden.  The arch will have honeysuckle growing over it eventually.

The paler area to the right is where the grass was kept long all through the summer. With all the rain it has begun to recover.

The foxes and badgers are visiting the garden earlier now it is darker. We've caught them on the 'fox cam' as early as eight thirty in the evening, badgers slightly later around ten. The foxes all have lovely bushy tails at the moment. 

As do the Squirrels.

No wonder with all the bird food they eat!
All for now.  Take care.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Five Since the Last Time

Somehow two weeks have gone by since my last post   Time is passing so quickly and I'm trying to hold on to the last shreds of Summer even though it is now definitely Autumn.

If I hadn't taken photos I'd have difficulty remembering which days I've done things on as all the days seem to be melding together.

Last week on Monday we took a few bags of things to donate to the local Wildlife Trust charity shop. We went in first to check that they wanted what we had before fetching the bags from the car and placing them in the little changing room at the back of the shop where they would stay for a while before being sorted.  Afterwards we had a wander around the town.  Leek has some lovely independent shops and also successful indoor, outdoor and artisan markets.  All well publicised by their 'Totally Locally' campaign.

On the Wednesday we met with friends at the village of Bonsall which is near Cromford in Derbyshire and visited the Cascades  gardens.  The garden is set in a quarry and is a meditation garden and bonsai nursery as well as offering Zen retreats in the old mill house.  

We spent quite a while in the garden before finding lunch at the nearby Fountains Tea Rooms.

Our garden has needed quite a bit of attention over the last week.  Areas of grass we had allowed to grow long have now been mown and the seat moved to the top of the garden where the old shed used to be.  
The red cabbages have done well this year.
As have beetroot and courgettes but tomatoes have been less successful.

Some of the flowers are still doing well too.


The first Comma butterfly I've seen in the garden this year.

The Sunflower has had about twelve blooms on it.

I was able to collect two of the three books I had reserved from the library.  Luckily they both became available at the same time.

The third book I'd reserved came up as available to borrow from the e-book library so I had it from there and cancelled my reservation at the library as I was still quite a way down in the queue.

So far I've read the Ann Cleeves book and the Kate Ellis one and thoroughly enjoyed both of them.  I'm now looking forward to reading '1979.'
This week we ventured up to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery to see the newly  opened Spitfire Gallery.  Whilst the museum has been closed through the last eighteen months lots of work has been done and some galleries were closed as refurbishment is still taking place.  

There was much razzamatazz over the last weekend with a fly over from a Spitfire and many living history events.  We decided to wait until it was quieter to visit.

Reginald Mitchell, the designer of the plane, was born locally.

The plane has been refurbished and is now in a lot better condition than it was.

We sat and had coffee overlooking the downstairs bit of the gallery and then went to see the other exhibition 'Curiouser and Curiouser' which uses the museums own objects within the displays of 'Alice's Adventures in a Museum Wonderland.'

All for now.  Take care.