Category Archives: lancashire

Sunday Sevens 22nd July.

Having had a whole week off ( oh yes! ) , I thought I would share some of what I have been up to, in the form of a Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevensย is 7 ( or more) pictures from your week and was originally devised by Natalie atย Threads & Bobbins

Fun With Family. Last Sunday my brother stopped over, so we headed to our sisters and had an afternoon out at Beacon Fell Country Park, looking for all the sculptures on the trail. Woodpeckers, Owls, Hare and Dragonflies…to name but a few. You can read about a previous visit to the park here.

Before losing my sandals!

Sinking Sandals. Also this week my lovely friend Lou visited us on route to her graduation in Liverpool. Before dropping her off at Crosby Station ,we paid a visit to the Art installation Another Place at Crosby Beach. 100 Iron Men stand looking out to sea, over 3 miles of coastline.

Lou squelching her way over to one of the 100 Iron Men.

We were very stupid and decided to head out over the wet sand to examine one barnacled specimen. Don’t try this at home folks! Lou was fine, but I ended up losing my sandals to the squelchy Mersey mud. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I know it could have been a lot worse. :/ After that we stayed close to the promenade!

Big Butterfly Count. Heres something I was excited to join in with! Every Summer the Big Butterfly Count asks that you take 15 minutes of your time to sit and watch butterflies. ๐Ÿฆ‹ I decided to count the butterflies we saw whilst relaxing by the dunes at Crosby Beach. It was a great location as I spotted Peacocks, Tortoishells, Whites, Six-spotted Burnets, a Painted Lady and a Common Blue. Why not give the count a go and submit your results here.

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#walk1000miles. ย A riverside walk to a nearby village yesterday, brought my miles walked total for this year so far to 909 miles!ย  Think my swan friend here was impressed!ย  Hopefully I should hit 1000 miles in August and then my aim is to walk 1500 miles by the end of the year. That would be pretty awesome!

How are you? Any good plans for today ( Sunday) ?ย  Hoping to head to the coast again. Will try not to lose my sandals this time……

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Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

To ease my England V Sweden viewing angst, I thought I would write this post at the same time. Ha! I am a very nervy audience…

This morning I had a wander round one of my local town’s two Nature Reserves. Salthill Quarry has appeared on my blog a couple times, but as I haven’t visited for over twelve months, I thought I would drop by for a nosy. The Quarry is a designated SSSI because of its geological formations…but I was there for the flowers…and the butterflies. ๐Ÿ™‚

The 7.00 hectare Nature Reserve has grassland and woodland habitats. I was certainly glad of a little shade. The sun beat down as I looked for betony, orchids and scabious. Some of the land was dry and parched. Still no sign of approaching rain here in the North West.

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Roses on the way to the reserve.
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And a Painted Lady on Buddleia.
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Into the Woods.
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A Swallow-Tailed Moth ~ I think..
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Speckled Wood.
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Feeling parched.
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Hmmm Spray painter, if your going to do this , at least do a neat job! This is the Crinoid Seat that looks across to Pendle Hill.
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Lady’s Bedstraw.
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Orchids.
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Almost hidden ~ a blue damselfly.
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Marjoram.
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Scabious.
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Under the Umbels.
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Brown Ringlet.
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Harebell.
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Green Damselfly , maybe?
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Six-spotted Burnett Moth.

Feeling slightly calmer now. …

Thanks for accompanying me on a wander round Salthill Quarry Local Nature Reserve.

Flora, Fauna and a Festival in a Forest.

I haven’t just been spending my time yomping up hills recently. At the weekend Wil and I joined some friends at the annual Cloudspotting Festival in Gisburn Forest, a popular family-friendly Arts & Music festival, set in the heart of the beautiful Forest of Bowland in Lancashire.

As this year’s festival was actually on a smaller scale than usual, with two nights camping and one full day devoted to fun events for all the family plus some great Live Bands, it was called A Break In The Clouds. Being my first ever experience of Cloudspotting, I wasn’t sure what to expect!

Apart from the early evening midgie beasts ( we were in a forest after all) , I loved it. When I wasn’t participating in laughter yoga, noshing on yummy festival food, drinking cider in the Bitter Suite Bar, listening to storytelling by the campfire or dancing along to Sweet Baboo’s psychedelic floor- filling tunes, I was chasing butterflies in the surrounding wildflower meadows. ๐Ÿ˜

Our friends daughters ( aged 7 and 8 ) had a wonderful time too. There was plenty going on for kids including Forest School, The Highway Rat Trail and Interactive Theatre ‘ The Sorrowful Stag’ . What was lovely about ‘A Break In The Clouds’ was the chilled friendly vibe. It felt very safe and allowed the kids a rare degree of independence, that children don’t get to experience so much these days.

Here are a few images that myself and my friend Fiona took. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Cloudspotting Hen Harrier.
Wildflower Meadow.
Bronte & Lydia.
Festival Footwear.
Silver Y Moth.
The Sorrowful Stag.
The Sorrowful Stag.
Festival Food.
Common Spotted Orchids.
Holistic Therapy Trailer.
The Green Canteen.
Damselfly.
Small Skipper.
Forest Camp Fire.
Festival Thoughts Tree.
Headliners, Lancaster Band ~ The Lovely Eggs.
A Break In The Clouds. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Cloudspotting Festival is set to return in it’s fuller form in 2019. ๐Ÿ™‚

Are you off to any festivals this Summer?

A Midsummer Morning.

Today I thought I would post what I saw on this mornings walk with Hugo.

Friday morning walks are favourites of mine, as I don’t have to hurry. With no work to giddy me along, I am prone to dilly dallying. An hours walk takes me two. Though Hugo has more time to play. ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning we ventured up the fields and followed the wall that protects Standen Hall from nosy parkers ( myself included ๐Ÿ˜) and wandered along a country lane for a while. Here’s what I saw. …

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Hugo , no doubt telling me to hurry up!
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Bramble blossom. Can’t wait for the Blackberries. ๐Ÿ˜Š
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Bittersweet or Woody Nightshade. It scrambles over plants in woods or hedges.
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Hogweed. The largest of the umbellifers.
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Rook on a dead tree. I have seen a woodpecker here previously.
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Oxeye Daisies are also known as Marguerite or Moon-Daisy.
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Into the shade.
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The shady Woodland path is surrounded by Enchanter’s Nightshade. Its Latin name is Circara lutetiana , named after Circe, the enchantress of Greek legend who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs by giving them a magic potion. Oink!
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Poisonous berry stalks of the Cuckoo Pint. The berries will change colour to a warning red.

Not sure what these blue flowers are. The closest I have come, when checking my Collins Handguide to the Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe is Jacobs Ladder. They are pretty anyway.

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Field Roses.
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Hoverfly on rose.
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Hugo with Pendle Hill in the background.
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Thistle Flower.

Most of the above photos were taken before 8am. It promised to be a beautiful Midsummer Day. And it is!

Have a lovely weekend.

June ~ Photo An Hour.

Every so often I remember to join in with #photoanhour on Instagram, and yesterday was one of those days. The concept is simple. Just take one photo of whatever your doing every hour and join in with the hashtag #photoanhour. Either Janey or Louisa chooses the date each month.

8am. Wake up to a damp day. So crumpets are a yummy breakfast treat.
9am. Out and about with this guy. ๐Ÿ™‚
10am. Looking round the market in my hometown of Clitheroe.
11am. A few jobs done so shelter from the rain in Escape Coffee Bar. I love the fresh mint tea here ( healthy) and the choolate dipped granola bars. Not so healthy!
12 Noon. Chillin at home with the pets. ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฑ
1pm. Catching up on some telly. Hidden is a welsh detective drama and is pretty good. Reminds me a little of Hinterland..
2pm. And still relaxing….๐Ÿ˜„
3pm. Out with Hugo again. We had planned to walk along the river to a neighbouring village. But it began bucketing down so we stuck to Brungerly park instead.
4pm. Had a shower to get warm after a soaking in the rain.
5pm. Filling in my Nature Diary. I am recording what wildlife I see on my walks every day. I have got quite addicted to it. ๐Ÿฆ‹๐ŸŒน
6pm. The Big Bang Theory is on TV as usual. ๐Ÿ™‚
7pm. Heres a Manchester Tart I bought on the market earlier. ๐Ÿ˜
10pm. Totally missed the past couple of hours photos. We were watching a film. I then had the choice of starting one of these 3 books. Which one do you think I picked?

Thanks for dropping by. X

A Night Away At The Ibis Styles Hotel ~ Manchester.

Sometimes its good to get away to the big city, especially to see a show or a favourite band. As we were off to the 02 Apollo in Manchester on Sunday night, we thought, ‘you know what, lets stay over’. We found a terrific ( and fun! ) budget option in The Ibis Styles Hotel on Portland street, which is centrally located opposite Piccadilly Gardens.

I booked a Queen room , which was bright and spacious …. and like the entire hotel, had a wacky weather theme. ๐Ÿ˜Š The room was furnished with Queen bed, a sofa , writing desk, television, free wifi, kettle and ensuite bathroom. All the usual amenities for a comfortable city centre stay.

It was ‘ Raining Cats & Dogs ‘ in the elevator, the carpets were covered in Autumn leaves and a production of ‘Singing In The Rain’, wouldn’t have looked out of place in the lobby. ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒงโ˜‚๏ธ You really couldn’t help but smile at the decor. ๐Ÿ˜

A tasty continental Breakfast is served in the Jamboree Foodfest Restaurant & Bar , which is also a great place for evening cocktails and has a Happy Hour. Of course I headed straight for the pain au chocolat. ๐Ÿ˜

For a budget B & B stay in Manchester , the Ibis Styles is a great choice. We were a 20 minute walk from the 02 Apollo concert venue and the eclectic bars & shops of the Northern Quarter are a 5 minute stroll away.

Street Art in the Northern Quarter.

Have you ever stopped in an Ibis Styles hotel?

A Mermaid in the Trough Of Bowland.

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Langden Valley.

Bank Holiday Monday was a scorcher wasn’t it! I had been working in the morning so was definitely ready for a little trip out. The Lancashire coast was a possibility, but in the end we decided to nip up to The Trough Of Bowland, a valley and high pass in the Forest Of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. I was quite pleased with this idea as I had heard that a statue of a mermaid resides in the trough, and I wanted to find her. ๐Ÿ™‚ Because of the intense heat we decided to leave Hugo at home and take him out for an early evening walk instead.

But why on earth is there a mermaid living in an inland Lancashire valley, I hear you ask? I was a bit confused myself. Even though the Trough of Bowland is the scenic route to Lancaster and the coastal towns beyond, this is the only connection to the sea , that I know of. Several babbling brooks do meander through the countryside though and three Water Intakes were built in the 1920’s. Langden Water Intake is the home of our mermaid. Her name is Miranda.

Miranda is quite easy to find. Park at the Langden Car Park by the brook. This site is popular with picnickers on sunny days and at weekends there is usually a mobile hotdog/icecream van parked up. Cross the blue bridge and walk down a tree lined avenue, following the track a short way into the Langden Valley. You will see a cottage and the water treatment works ahead. Peer over a gate at the side and you should see a mermaid perched on the wall of the settling pool. Of course, we somehow totally missed spotting her at first…and walked straight past. I then spied the statue through the trees and got quite frustrated, as I couldn’t get a good photo. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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Blue Bridge.
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Behind the Water Intake.

We found ourselves looking over a fence at the back of the property, with lots of No Entry signs. I decided to chance it and climbed over the gate, snuck up to the wall and got a couple of photos. Luckily our camera has a pretty good zoom! Though in hindsight I really didn’t need to do this ( Wil got some pictures from over the gate I mentioned afterwards), it’s great that I now have shots of the mermaid from two different angles. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Miranda sitting on the wall by the settling pool.
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Miranda.

Miranda was sculpted by water engineer George Aldersley in the fifties . She was modelled on his wife Madge and he actually sculpted the water nymph in their front room. She was possibly named after the mermaid in the 1948 film ‘ Miranda’ starring Glynis Johns , in the title role.

You have probably noticed that this mermaid does not have a huge swishing tail. She is apparently a twin-tailed mermaid, the statues legs tucked underneath her, end in flat fins.

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Walking ahead into the Langden Valley.

After my spot of trespassing , we had a short walk into the Langden Valley. The sun was really beating down though, so we didn’t amble very far.

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Looking a bit like the ‘Wild West’ ๐Ÿ™‚
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Brook.
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Oyster Catcher by the water.
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The cottage has a good view of the mermaid.
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Wil’s photo of Miranda.

We soon headed back through the trees to the car park and treated ourselves to an ice cream to cool down. I also noticed a memorial to 25 air pilots who crashed in the Forest of Bowland during the second world war. The airmen were from Britain, America, Poland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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Shade on a hot day.
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War Memorial.
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Time for ice cream.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to know more about the Langden Mermaid , I got my information from mermaidsofearth.com

Have you come across any mermaid statues, anywhere in the world?