Category Archives: lancashire

Chasing Butterflies at Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve.

My sister, niece and nephew have never seen six-spotted burnet moths before, so as I have spied them flying around my local nature reserve, we decided to take a trip to Salthill Quarry this morning. The weather here in the North West is hot and muggy, ideal it seems for butterfly spotting. Here is a small selection of what I managed to photograph, including the elusive and gloriously colourful Burnet Moths.

Brown Ringlet Butterfly.
Caterpillars ~ Are they Cinnabar or Six – Spotted Burnet Moths?
A bee like Hover fly.
Six-Spotted Burnet Moth.
Six-spotted Burnet Moth.
Common Grasshopper.
Meadow Brown Butterfly.
Female Common Blue Butterfly.
Male Common Blue Butterfly.
Small Skippers on Knapweed.

Whilst we were here we decided to use 15 minutes to take part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count. The idea is to note down what butterflies & moths you might see in your garden, local park, field or nature reserve and submit your findings online. It’s a nice way to spend a few minutes of your time and helpful to UK Butterfly conservation too. Here is what we saw.

Brown Ringlet – 4

Large White – 1

Small White – 2

Small Tortoiseshell ~ 1

Common Blue ~ 1

Six Spotted Burnet Moth ~ 4

Small Skipper ~ 6

There were other moths & butterflies too, some that we didn’t manage to photograph and from memory are finding hard to identify. Chasing Butterflies is a warm business, we decamped to a cafe for cooling icecream after. 😁

Will you be taking part in The Big Butterfly Count?

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Entwistle Reservoir.

Sunny April days are perfect for a ramble round a beautiful reservoir. Lancashire has its fair share of man-made lakes that provide water to homes and industry in the county. Some like Entwistle Reservoir at Edgworth near Bolton have a good footpath meandering round them, making a great circuit popular with families, dog walkers, runners and just about anyone who wishes to immerse themselves in some lovely Lancashire countryside.

Inspired by a post on Eunice’s blog , Wil , Hugo and I made Entwistle Reservoir our chosen destination one Saturday morning. There is free parking on the car park on Batridge Road right next to the path entrance. It was a bright morning but a little chilly as we set off on our walk.

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The trail hugs the water and makes for a pleasant 2.5 miles, though there are plenty of opportunities to wander off the beaten track through woodland or up into surrounding moorland. We mostly stuck to the footpath though.

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Entwistle Reservoir has a rather lovely art installation on the Northern shore , a metal heron sculpture called ‘The Wader’ which stands in the water. I love finding sculptures so was very happy to see him. πŸ™‚ As for real life wildlife, we didn’t actually see any heron, though there were plenty of Canada Geese and cormorants.

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The wader sculpture by Marjan Wouda.

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A Cormorant.

And so back to the car park after crossing over the bridge. The Bolton Water Company plaque features an Elephant. Elephants have a connection with the nearby town because of cotton trading links between Bolton and India.

We still had a bit of exploring left in us before lunch. A footpath from the car park leads through a woody valley to another reservoir. Wayoh Reservoir also has a waterside path and seemed quieter than Entwistle. From here you can continue on walking to Jumbles Country park and really make a day of it. An idea for the future maybe…

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Nearby both reservoirs on Overshores Rd is the unusually named Strawberry Duck pub! It is here we headed for a dinner of huge fish finger butties, sat outside in the sun. The area of Entwistle is named from the Old English ened and twisla which means a river fork frequented by ducks. Not sure where the strawberry association comes from though. πŸ™‚

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The Strawberry Duck is very near a request stop train station on the route to Manchester , so we may catch the train instead next time.

Thanks for dropping by. X

Hawthorns Photo Scavenger Hunt~ March.

Hi, it’s been a while, fellow Photo Scavenger Hunters. Today ( Thursday) I was trying to find inspiration to interpret Kate’s prompts, whilst out and about with Hugo the Labrador. I did! For three photos anyway. πŸ™‚

Flat. So I took this picture whilst flat on my back on a dirt track. I’m surprised Hugo’s snout didn’t get in shot. A different perspective of the woodland above me.

Wheel. There are wheels galore at the Lakeland Motor Museum near Windermere. This is one of several penny-farthings. There was even old film footage of penny-farthings racing. It was a thing!

Swing. You wouldn’t believe it but I was actually thinking how I would photograph Swing, then I saw one right in front of me. Can you see it ?

Ragged. The not particularly attractive Butterbur came to my rescue here. It’s raggedy tight-knit flowers are popular with bees in early spring and you can find them close to streams from March to May. The Butterbur’s name comes from the fact that it’s large green leaves were once used to pack butter apparently. Other names for this Spring flower include Devils Hat, Bog Rhubarb and Pestilence Wort. The mind boggles!

Pot. A typical pot of Mint tea from my fave cafe in Clitheroe ` Escape’. πŸ™‚

My Own Choice. Last weekend we went for a walk in Gisburn Forest and came across this old church. Dalehead Chapel was rebuilt after the flooding of nearby land to build Stocks Reservoir in the 1930s. The original church was demolished and this is it’s replacement. I seem to remember that in my youth this pretty building had fallen into disrepair and had a reputation as a haunted church! Happily today it is in use again and there are information boards inside detailing the history of the area.

Thanks kate/Hawthorn for organising the Scavenger Hunt.

Street Art In Blackburn.

Finding myself with an hour to kill in Blackburn on Friday, I decided to check out some of the stunning street art that adorns the Lancashire town. Blackburn Open Walls features both local and international artists , bringing creativity and colour to the lesser known streets of Blackburn. The initiative began in 2016 and new murals have been popping up every year since. I didn’t manage to find all of them, but here is a small selection I discovered before catching my train home.

Colourful Kingfishers and Girl by Mexican Artist Goya Torres ~ above archway by The Mall.
Connect 4 by Boo_Who_Up_North.
Couldn’t find any info on this one. Possibly The BFG ?
Bird Art by Curtis Hylton.
Probably my favourite of the street art that I saw. A giant duck by Curtis Hylton on the side of Bar Ibiza, Mincing Lane.
Not really part of Blackburn Open Walls, but seen on a cafe window ~ Exchange Coffee Company in Flemming Square.
Artwork by Blackburn based Alphahol.
A nod to Blackburns industrial heritage. A fantastical creature on a Loom by Sheffield based artist Phlegm.
Bees by Jerome Davenport ~ Australia.
Mural by London based Dale Grimshaw.
Found some more beautiful birds on a carpark wall, mostly obscured by vehicles though. Artist ~ Alexandra Gallagher.

I find myself wanting to hunt out the rest now. And definitely hoping more artists will add to these incredible street murals in 2019.

Do you have any street art near you?

February Flora and Fauna.

A wonderful few days weather wise. Enough sunshine to put a spring in everyone’s step.😁 Here are some camera shots.. and a few phone photos of birds and blossom taken over the weekend ,and when out and about late this afternoon. The sun shone, bees buzzed and I even saw my first butterfly of the year flutter by. All this as temperatures hit 20Β°c in February!

Rook.
Wild Plum Blossom.
Mute Swan Mum & Offspring.
Gorse in bloom.
Sika Deer in Brungerly Park.:)
White Butterbur.
Pussy Willow.
Hazel Catkins.
Moorhen.
Celandine.
Owl.
Fell Pony.
Blackthorn Blossom.
Meadow Pippit.
Canada Geese.
Crocuses.
Pack horse bridge. Spot Hugo taking a dip in the brook.

What early signs of Spring have you seen recently?

Sunday Sevens 24th February.

Last weekend I joined friends for a walk and Sunday Lunch. The part of the A59 that by passes Clitheroe has been closed at weekends due to the building of a new round-about ( much uproar from residents), so this normally extremely busy road is eerily quiet on a Sunday and you can walk down it ( or indeed sit on it) without being squished by on coming motorists. We managed to walk part of the way to the village of Worston along the road, pretending we were in a zombie apocalypse. πŸ™‚

Meanwhile my other half was decorating the bedroom, and what a grand job of it he has made too. I am super impressed! We went for a teal, mustard and white colour scheme ,which is a change from the pale blue & white it was previously. If your interested, the wallpaper and paint is from Twitter Lane in Clitheroe, the bedding and curtains are from Dunhelm Mill and the free standing lamp is from Next.

At the moment myself and my work colleagues are experiencing an unsettling time at work. Our department will be reducing its hours to Thursday to Sunday in May. My current hours are Monday through Thursday. Oh dear! Anyway we have to apply for the weekend jobs in April ( if we want them) and by then we should also know if redundancy is an option. So it’s looking like come May, I will be either working totally different hours…or be jobless! Neither are a very pleasant thought. I’m going to make the most of my weekends whilst I still have them and am still earning money. πŸ™‚

On Friday I visited Mum in Cumbria with my sister, niece and nephew. The weather was lovely so we had a walk up Askham Fell and made friends with the fell ponies. The sky was blue, the gorse was in bloom and smelt of coconuts.

And yesterday was even more Spring like in Lancashire. It was actually t-shirt and ice cream weather. Wil, Hugo and I did a 12 mile walk and discovered an old pack horse bridge. Long may the sunshine continue!

Thanks to Natalie at Threads & Bobbins for devising Sunday Sevens, a collection of seven or more photos from the last 7 days.

Winter walk in the Centre of the UK.

This afternoon we donned our waterproofs and walking boots, packed a lunch and flask of coffee and headed to the centre of the UK !

The pretty village of Dunsop Bridge in the Trough Of Bowland is the nearest village to National Grid reference SD63770 56550 Hanging Stones. Apparently this area has been determined to be the exact centre of the country.

From the village car park ( Β£1.40 charge for four hours) we walked past the green and took the tarmacked track to the left of Puddleducks Tea Rooms and Post Office. From here we followed the lane through a couple of farm cottages and up through the valley as far as the water pumping station and back.

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Heading toward the Dunsop Valley.

Hugo really enjoyed dipping in and out of the brook and chasing sticks. πŸ™‚

Meanwhile the weather was a mixture of sunshine and hale stones, plus it was blowing a bit of a hooley.

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I think the weather conditions frightened off most of the wildlife. I saw a few ducks and the odd pheasant. Lots of purple catkins on the alder trees gave the countryside a lilac hue.

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I think the scenery in the Trough is every bit as beautiful as in the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District.

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We didn’t venture further than this water tower but I’m sure we will return one day soon and follow the lane up into the fells.

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We turned back and headed for Dunsop Bridge. This walk covered five miles in total.

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It was lovely to see bunches of wild snowdrops growing by the stream and dotted round the village. Hopefully Spring is on its way..

Have you been out and about this weekend?