Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Still Here

 I've just got home from five days in hospital.  Still feeling very fragile so I won't be blogging for a while. I'm reading your posts but forgive me for not making comments for a while too.  I hope to be back as soon as I can.

Meanwhile here is a collage of photos taken in the garden over a week ago.  Of course by the time I got home all had changed.


Sunday, May 01, 2022

Cuckoo, Bluebells and Little Ringed Plover

It seems ages since I wrote a post.  I've been around and about not going far until I feel better.  I've been trying to walk more throughout this week and whilst out and about on Friday I bought a step tracker.  Not an expensive one but it does link to a device so I can see progress.  

Whilst out walking last Sunday across nearby Fenton Fields. We heard Skylarks and then, joy of joys, I heard a sound from my childhood, the call of a Cuckoo.  We stood still and listened and heard it again. Just two calls.  I was used to hearing them over the village woods, where, as children, we played on the stone walls of the old sheep dip by the brook and scared ourselves into screams and giggles by peering in the cobwebby windows of the old, derelict gamekeeper's cottage.  By the 1950s the gamekeeper had taken up residence in the old station house as the local line had closed, way before the Beeching cuts of the 1960s, and the tunnel had been filled in for safety reasons.  I seemed to have drifted a little.

  On Saturday we walked in Biddulph Grange Gardens (National Trust).  On Thursday we walked in Hem Heath Woods (Staffordshire Wildlife Trust) to see if there were bluebells and on Friday we walked at Tittesworth Reservoir (Severn-Trent Water).  

Below are some photos of things that caught my eye.

Cat, tulips and blossom at Biddulph Grange Gardens.

Bluebells at Hem Heath Woods

I think they will probably be at their best next week so we will go back.  It's so hard to capture the intensity of blue as they carpet the forest floor.

At  Tittesworth Reservoir we spotted some lovely wildlife.  We walked down to the stream with views of The Roaches.  Later we crossed the road and visited one of the bird hides, it was new and  empty so we had it to ourselves for quite some time.

 It was delightfull to see the Little Ringed Plovers, I've never seen them before.  We watched them for ages. 
Nice to see a bunny too.  This photo was taken by Paul as I wasn't quick enough to take its photo before it ran off.
I've been enjoyng reading lately.  Three books from the library.  It's so good to be able to browse the shelves again. One down two to go.
 All for now.


Friday, April 15, 2022

A Woodland Walk and New Plants.

 We went out for an early morning walk in the local woods this morning before popping to a nearby garden centre.  Compost and horticultural grit were needed for various jobs around the garden.  We hope to spend time in the garden over the weekend if it stays dry.   The forecast seems to imply that it will.  Fingers crossed.

Hem Heath Woods belongs to the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and is well maintained by volunteers.  In two or three weeks time the forest floor will be covered in bluebells but for now it was a pleasure just to walk under the greening trees and listen to the birds.

After our walk we headed to the garden centre for a cup of coffee before making purchases.  A few plants fell into the basket as well.

Two Courgette plants as both lots of seeds we planted haven't germinated.  The Primulas will add colour near the pond.  The other plant is a Lavender, you can't have too many of those.  This one is called Vera.

At home, in the garden there is quite a bit of white around.

I'd forgotten about the Narcissi bulbs we planted in a pot.  They are delicate and white and have three heads.  Some of the Wood Anemones we bought on-line as small plugs last Autumn have flowered.  The Spirea Bridal Wreath is in full flower as is the Amelanchier.  We have bird feeders close to the Amelanchier and both Long Tailed Tits and Blue Tits sit in it before launching themselves at the fat balls in the feeders and then swooping low over the grass to disappear in the Holly hedge at the top of the garden.  I love to sit in the conservatory and watch them.  Sometimes they are joined by a Robin and a Coal Tit. Dunnocks peck around underneath to pick up the bits that fall to the ground.


 All for now.  

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.




Friday, April 08, 2022

Five Around Trentham Lake and Gardens

After three days of almost constant rain it was good to get out for a walk this morning around the lake and gardens at Trentham.

There were lots of lovely things to see along the way.

1. Water birds - mostly in pairs


Black Swans

Mute Swans

Female Shelduck

Greylag Geese
A pair of Mandarin ducks
2. A Willow Arch

With a willow Peacock

3.  Spring Blossoms and Flowers


Cherry Blossom



Crown Imperial (fritillaria imperialis)

4. A New Fairy

This one is in thanks and honour of 'The Gift of Life' given by donors and their families through organ donations.

5.  A Trail through Wonderland
In search of the White Rabbit

As you can imagine there were a few excited children following the trail.  I expect there will be far more next week when the schools break up for the Easter holidays.
Take Care.



Friday, March 25, 2022

Butterflies and Spring Flowers

 The warmer weather has brought butterflies to the garden.  

The only one I couldn't seem to photograph was a Brimstone.  They just never stop flitting around.
There are Spring flowers everywhere now.  Bright golden daffodils along the verges, in gardens and on street corners.  Shops are full of both daffodils and tulips ready for Mothering Sunday this weekend.  
When we had coffee in Waitrose one morning there were tulips decorating the tables.
Later in the week I bought a bunch of many colours for home. 
On our walk this morning there were Lesser Celandines everywhere.

Also signs of Sorrel, Dog's Mercury, Wood Avens and Wild Garlic.
In the garden the Fritilary (Fritilaria Uva Vulpis)we purchased recently has flowered. I don't know if the flowers will open out any more.  It will be interesting to see.
It's quite beautiful.  Also flowering are...

Grape Hyacinth or Muscari 


Lungwort or Pulmonaria
and in the pond Marsh Marigolds.
There are also the first signs of
Wood Anemone from the plugs we bought last Autumn.

and the Wild Garlic or Ramsons which grows along the hedge at the top of the garden.
All for now.  Take care.