Saturday, March 27, 2021


 Yesterday's walk took us down through the local recreation ground at the bottom of which is the fairly new, colourful building belonging to the Clarice Cliff Primary School - which is now an Academy sponsored by the Co-op.  The recreation ground which is maintaianed by the City Council houses a football pitch, a netball court and a children's play area with the usual swings, slides and bouncy chickens.  It is also very popular with local dog walkers. In the centre with paths either side is an area of trees mostly pear and crab apple.

The pear trees were in blossom and looking wonderful. 

At home in the conservatory the sweet pea seedlings I showed you in my last post have grown enough to be planted in a larger pot using the twine or 'twool' that was included in the seed pack.

Eight out of ten of the seeds have germinated and there are five in this pot.  The other three are taking a little longer to grow.

March is nearly at an end.  Did it come in like a lion or a lamb?  I can't remember.  It has gone by so quickly.  From the weather reports it looks as if it is going to depart in lamb like fashion so perhaps it did roar as it came in. The clocks spring forward this weekend and next weekend is Easter.  Time is racing on.  I have the ingredients to make a Simnel cake and when I was searching the cupboards for something else I came across the Easter decorations.

I need to find a suitable twig from the garden to hang them on. 

Yesterday it rained for most of the day.  There was frost this morning and although the sun is bright at the moment it is bitterly cold with a harsh wind.  I think the day needs to warm up a little before we venture out for today's walk.

We put the wildlife camera out a couple of times this week.  It has captured visits to the food bowl from three different foxes one with a limp - holding up it's front left leg - three different badgers including the pale, female one, crows, magpies, blackbirds and of course a few of the local cats, some of them in the collage below.

We know them all by sight and all but one by name - Dolly, Mabel, Sox, Peanut and Pip.  I wonder what the white and black cat by the pond is called? It visits most days to sit there.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Park and Garden

The last few days have been wild and windy here.  Plant pots, bird feeders, bits of fence, wheel barrows  and wheelie bins have been on various trips around the garden.  They are all safely back in their places - for now.

In the garden the Grape Hyacinth (Muscari) have flowered. I love their bright blue colour. 

When I ordered bird nibbles on line I also treated myself to some Sweet Pea seeds.  They came with wool twine called Twool with which to tie the flowers and stems to the wigwam canes.

The seeds were planted a few days ago, there were ten in all and three of them are showing little shoots.

Also growing well are the little tomato shoots.  There are several varieties, all labelled, including Gardener's Delight, Tigrella and Mini Munch.

On Tuesday morning we walked down to the local park.  it was quite warm and sunny.  Spring hasn't quite sprung there yet but there were a few encouraging signs.

Blue Skies


I was also spotting things as we walked towards the park.

I liked all the chimneys on these houses.

A little cat hiding behind the railings in the park.

The gold tops of the railings were glinting in the sun.

The terraced houses above were built for pottery workers to live in, just as the public parks were built for their leisure.  There were lots of pottery factories in the area around here.  Many of which still stand others have been demolished.

 Writing this has reminded me that this Sunday is the final of   'The Great Pottery Throwdown' filmed at the nearby Gladstone Pottery Museum.  I've been enjoying watching this series as much if not more than the previous three which were filmed further North in the city at Middleport Pottery.  We've also been enjoying 'The Great British Dig' and 'Grayson Perry's Art Club.'  I've been enjoying the new series of 'Unforgotten' and am looking forward to the return of 'Line of Duty' next week.

Tomorrow I will have been writing this blog for sixteen years. It doesn't seem possible for it to have been that long ago - Monday 14th March 2005 - when I wrote my first post.

Monday, March 08, 2021

A Fossilist

Over the past couple of weeks I've read, not one but two articles about one of the women of the past I've always found fascinating.  I've written posts before about both Lyme Regis and Mary Anning. I hope you won't mind another one.

I've been following for some time the reports about the possibility of a statue of some sort to commemorate her life at Lyme.  It now looks as if this is going to happen.

As today is International Women's Day our paper was full of stories and articles on inspiring women and the mother and daughter who have campaigned for the statue are featured in one article. The statue will depict Mary Anning walking down to the beach followed by her faithful dog Tray.  Here is a - link - to more information.

Last week I also saw an article about new fifty pence pieces with depictions of the various species discovered by Mary Anning.    More information about the coins - here.

You can see from the books below which I have acquired over the years how she captures my imagination.

Bottom right is an extract frm the 1841 census showing Mary Anning aged 40 living in Lyme Regis with her mother Mary age 77.  They are both listed as fossilists.

Below are a few of the photos I took when we last visited Lyme in 2010.

The - Philpot Museum  - which is on the site of the Anning Family home and fossil shop.  It is named after it's builder Thomas E D Philpot, a nephew of the Philpot sisters who were fossil collectors around the same time as Mary Anning.   A new Mary Anning Wing was opened at the museum in July 2017.  An addition I'd like to visit when times permit. 

The parish church of St Michael the Archangel

The headstone of both Mary Anning and her brother Joseph Anning.

Inside the church
The Mary Anning window, paid for by members of The Geological Society in 1850.
All for now.  I'm finding it hard to find things to write about but I thought this was worthy of note today.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Into March

Although the title of this post is 'Into March' I'm going to write about the end of February, specifically the last two days.  The weather was beautiful, almost perfect for the time of year.  It certainly made us both feel more cheerful, more optimistic about the next few weeks without looking too far ahead.  It was just good to be able to get out into a fairly dry garden and take stock of what needs to be done.

The first thing I spotted was just one flower from the Winter Aconite that I thought had been lost.  It was  struggling to show it's bright yellow face under the Snowdrops.  I'm glad it is still there.

The heather was alive with the sound of bees, mostly small ones but also a couple of bumble bees too. Standing on the steps with heather on either side it was almost as loud as the buzzing in the air on a warm Summer's afternoon.

We saw both small and large Tortoishell butterflies, there must have been five or six of them flitting and fluttering as they landed and fed on the heather.

On Saurday there was one lone frog in the pond but it has now disappeared.  I hope the heron that visited one misty morning last week didn't come back  and take it.  I was hoping it might be joined by a few friends over the next week or two.
It's a long time since we've seen scenes like those above in the pond.

The squirrels are looking plump and well fed this one was on the fence between us and next door.
Inside felt cheerful too as the sun lit up the Spring flowers on the kitchen table.

Daffodils on top of the fossil cabinet in the conservatory window were also bright and cheerful in the sunshine.
Our overnight wildlife camera has shown us that we have a pair of foxes and it looks as if cubs may be imminent.  Also the badgers are back!  The pale one is the female, perhaps there will be some badger cubs too. 

 Their bustling 'get out of my way' attitude always makes me smile.