2019 In Photos.

As is now a December tradition, I am sharing my year in photos. It’s been a pretty fab one. Life is looking good!

In January I started the #walk1000miles challenge again, determined to beat the 1600 plus miles I did in 2018. Had great fun doing the RSPB Big Bird Watch with my sister’s family, including Chloe the cat. And spent a weekend in Edinburgh. for Wils birthday.

February was pretty quiet , we changed the colour of the bedroom. I’m glad my other half is a dab hand with a paint brush. 😁

There was a weekend away in March with some walking in the fells near Coniston.

And more gallivanting in April , this time with pals, discovering Street Art In Bristol..

May felt strange, as I left my job of twenty nine years. I took my redundancy and have basically spent the rest of the year spending it! Highlights in May included Badger Watching at RSPB Haweswater and my friend Gills wedding. Wil and I scrubbed up ok.:)

June was the only time we managed to get a camping trip in. This is my fave photo from our weekend in Ingleton with friends. Our dogs on a date 😁~ Hugo & Bel the Bedlington terrier. Later this month I bought a static caravan in the Eden Valley in Cumbria!

In July we spent a tranquil four nights in a Tree Dome in Shropshire ( booked before my impromptu caravan purchase), got the caravan kitted out and I found work in a local cafe. I’m still there but it’s not the most stable of jobs. Who knows what the new year will bring..

August was mainly about exploring the area local to our van. Much of the rest of 2019 was devoted to this pursuit. 😁

I visited Amsterdam for the first time in September and the girls and I spent a chilled weekend at the caravan.

October was the month of Afternoon Teas ( in both Manchester and Leeds) plus The Winter Droving Festival in Penrith.

November is my birthday month and Wil treated us to a night away at the Haweswater Hotel. 🙂

And now it’s December and we are away yet again, this time in a cottage in Keswick, also booked before we bought the caravan. Despite losing my job this year, it seems I have taken more trips than any other! I know I have so so much to be thankful for and this little blog is definitely one of those things…..

I’d like to wish you all the best for 2020. Here’s to a healthy & happy New Year. Xx

Wildlife Moments In 2019.

For me 2019 has been very much about experiencing wildlife with others. It’s the first year I have watched badgers go about their business from a guided RSPB badger hide and the first time I have been on a bat walk run by the Rivers Trust. I’ve also looked for ring ouzels in the Slaidburn fells with the RSPB and done this year’s bird and butterfly counts with my nephew, niece and sister. Family has joined me in all the above and it has been a joy watching wildlife with them. 🙂

Sometimes I can be out and about with Wil and the dog and we will spy something special. Recently we saw a red squirrel at NT Acorn Bank, I have been hoping to see one since buying our caravan in Cumbria this year.

There have been a few rare moments when I’ve been completely alone and immersed myself in nature. Just spending three hours in the woodland near my Mum’s in Askham back in May was such a treat, I saw jays, woodpeckers, buzzards, a weasel and wildflowers galore.

In 2019 I witnessed my first badgers ( I’m definitely not counting the squashed ones I’ve seen on the roadside), my first humming bird hawk moth, my first Crossbill, my first ring ouzels and my first slow worm!

I am not always able to get photos though, so it was very special when I managed to snap the barn owl that visits my sister’s croft, be it through a pane of glass. Below are some of the wildlife I have captured on camera..

Peacock Butterfly, Shap, Cumbria.
Harebells, Burnsall, Yorkshire Dales.
Badger, RSPB Haweswater, Cumbria.
Mandarin Duck, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales.
Wild Garlic, Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Greenfinch, Mum’s Garden, Cumbria.
Sundew, Malham Tarn, Yorkshire Dales.
Crossbill, Aitken Wood, Lancashire.
Common Blue Butterfly, Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Vipers Bugloss, Ullswater, Cumbria.
Green Hairstreak Butterfly, Slaidburn, Lancashire.
Sea Pinks, St Bees Head, Cumbria.
Barn Owl, Cowark, Lancashire.
Scarce Chaser, NT Berrington Hall, Herefordshire.
Hoar Frost, Edenhall, Cumbria.
Stone Chat, St Bees Head, Cumbria.
Red Squirrel, NT Acorn Bank, Cumbria.
Stitchwort, Askham, Cumbria.
Kingfisher, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales.
Slow Worm, Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria.

What have been your own favourite wildlife moments of 2019?

A Bird And A Poem ~ Starlings.

Starlings are noisy bossy birds, I know when they descend upon the bird feeder there will be little left, empty coconut shells knocked to the ground and fat balls depleted in the blink of an eye. I can’t help admiring their starry plumage and their cheeky chatter though and would love to witness a murmuration , where flocks of starlings sky dance the heavens . Instead I will make do with this poem by Mary Oliver who perfectly captures the spirit of these characterful birds.

Photos were taken in Melmerby over the wintery wknd , where several starlings gathered & chattered.

Have you seen a murmuration’?

Frost.

Our last weekend at the caravan before we closed it down for the Winter was idyllic. Cold, fine and frosty. This is what Melmerby looked like on Saturday morning. Jack Frost had sprinkled his magic.

We headed into Keswick later that morning. Hugo enjoyed playing with his inflatable in the lake. Didn’t see many other wild swimmers. 😉

After lunch we headed back to the Eden Valley as Keswick was bustling with festive shoppers. We parked up in Edenhall and enjoyed the quiet solitude of a countryside walk. The combination of frost and mist was both eerie and magical.

This morning we left a beautiful winter wonderland for our rather green Lancashire home.

Hello December. ❄️