Category Archives: photography

Parcevall Hall Gardens.

Tucked away in stunning Wharfedale, the colourful yet tranquil Parcevall Hall Gardens are an almost hidden gem, which we visited whilst camping at  Howgill Lodge near Appletreewick.  An easy walk from the campsite, through the fields into the hamlet of Skyreholme, brought us to signage for the gardens and tea room. Having heard that dogs are welcomed ( on lead) , we thought we would take a look. There is a £7 entry fee for this English Heritage registered delight. You can also buy a map of the gardens and grounds.

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We decided to follow the suggested route on the map and one of the first places we came across, was a little tarn, which we let Hugo take a dip in. 🙂 There are twenty four acres of formal and woodland gardens to explore, which include many trees and shrubs, collected from West China and The Himalayas.  The then derelict Hall was bought in the 1920s by Sir William Milner ( 1893-1960) , who used his  horticulture skills to create the gardens.

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There are plenty of tranquil resting places to admire your surroundings. One such place is the Rock Garden, where there is a little pond. Also look out for the scattering of turkeys, who peck skittishly round the grounds.

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The Hall itself is not open to the public, and is used as a retreat by the Diocese of West Yorkshire. However the garden terraces in front of Parcevall welcome wanderers. 🙂 Parts of the building date back to the 1600s and the estate itself, once belonged to Bolton Priory.

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From the terraces there are stunning views over Wharfedale and toward Simon’s Seat, a rocky outcrop on the surrounding fells.

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Other areas in the grounds include a camelia walk, a herb garden, a rose garden, a chapel garden and an Orchard.  There is also an additional 8 acre woodland, which is separate from the main gardens. Tibet Wood was originally planted in 1944 by Italian prisoners of war and includes a mixture of Conifers and Bird Cherries.

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I was quite taken with the gardens as they really compliment the house and the marvelous Yorkshire views.  Our only bugbear was the tea room closed early that day, and we would have really appreciated a brew, after our wander round. Not to worry, we walked to the Craven Arms in Appletreewick instead..

Have you ever visited Parcevall Hall Gardens? 

Hawthorns July Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Its the end of the month already, so time to join in with Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt. If you fancy a bit of a photo challenge next month, check out her lovely blog . Here’s the Link up page. 

1. Crane.  Ok this is not a crane. Epic fail! This is a stork that has made a nest on a rooftop in Marakeche. Up high escaping the madness of the colourful souks and busy squares. It is a few years now since our stay in the vibrant Moroccan city.

 

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2. Ring.  Lots of Giant Bellflowers in bloom at the moment, all over the countryside. Imagine if these pretty flowers could ring around the meadows.

3. Set. Found this prompt quite difficult!  Will a Pea Hen and her set of chicks do? We saw these guys when we were getting rid of some rubbish at our local tip in Clitheroe. There is quite a population of peacocks down there. 🙂

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4. Light.  Took this photo one evening on a walk with Hugo. The sun light created shadows in the hay field ,as Hugo zipped round like a mad thing.

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5. Bow.  A shiny  bow ties at the back of a fifties style dress in Annie & Bettys vintage shop/ cafe in Grassington.

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6. Spring. Saw this spring on a gate when walking a tiny bit of The Dales Way in Yorkshire last weekend.

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7.Open. And heres Hugo sat by an old open door.  Obviously Wil is behind the door with a biscuit, or Hugo wouldn’t be so well behaved…

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8. Grand. The old door was in the grounds of the grand Parcevall Hall near Appletreewick , whose lovely gardens are open to the public. Post coming soon! 

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9. Park. The Yorkshire Dales National Park covers   841 square miles. This lady is admiring a typical Dales view. 🙂

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10. My own choice. My beautiful girl ‘ Slinky Malinki’ named after the storybook cat. She is a little madam …and very vocal. 🙂 

Hope you enjoyed my interpretations of the prompts. See you soon! 


 


 

 

 


Riverside Walk ~ Howgill to Grassington.

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Wil and Hugo, River Wharfe.

The weekend just gone, we packed our camping gear and headed for the Yorkshire Dales and a little site that has featured several times on this blog, Howgill Lodge Campsite near Appletreewick. Even though we have been there several times, we had never walked along the nearby river Wharfe to the village of Grassington before.  In fact we almost always head the other way toward Bolton Abbey. A lovely route, but time for a change!

The Dales Way  is an 84 -mile long footpath from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. Sorry folks I’m not really up for trekking that far just yet, so instead we did 13 miles ( pretty impressive I thought! ) from Howgill to Grassington and back. Here are a few pictures of things we saw on our way. 🙂

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Simon’s Seat up on the Grouse moor. Sadly not a place we can take Hugo, as dogs are strictly forbidden .
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Another lovely campsite Masons at Appletreewick.
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Masons is a great place to grab a coffee and homemade flapjack. 🙂
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This horse wasn’t bothered by us as we trundled by.
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Saw lots of pretty harebells on route. Witches were said to use the sap of these pale blue flowers, to turn themselves into hares.
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The Red Lion in Burnsall is the perfect place for a pint. 🙂
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Here’s an informative board about what kind of people have used the Dales Way.
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Due to heavy rains in the morning , the river was pretty wild past Burnsall.
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And the stepping stones at Hebden had all but disappeared , so we used the wobbly Suspension Bridge!
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Here Goes!
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A couple of miles later and we spy Linton Church.
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Anyone fancy a bit of white water rafting? Linton Falls.
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Pretty spectacular I think.
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Soon we are in the pretty village of Grassington.
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The Forester’s Arms is a good place for a chill.
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And there are some cute little gift shops.
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Walking back and we see these Greylag Geese.
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A typical Yorkshire sign!
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A Heron in a tree.
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And amazingly………a Green Woodpecker!  I was gobsmacked to see one….and actually get a photo. 🙂
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I love this sign for the Craven Arms at Appletreewick.
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They always have a great selection of Real ales and ciders. 🙂
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We head back to the campsite in the evening sunshine. 

Hope you enjoyed our mini Dales way ramble. I’m sure it actually was mini to my other half, but I’m quietly impressed with myself. Of course our pub stops probably cancelled out all the calories we burned!

Another post from the Yorkshire Dales coming up soon. x

Hawthorn’s June Photo Scavenger Hunt.

Hurrah I found a Photo Scavenger Hunt recently, courtesy of Hawthorn at I Live, I love, I Craft, I am Me.  So I thought I would join in for June!  I must admit, I have borrowed a couple from the archives, on this , my first attempt. But mostly my photos were taken in the past four weeks. 🙂


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The Setting Sun. Crystal Cove near Tofino on Vancouver Island. Wow 11 years ago!  Oh to go again and look for bears, whales and giant woodpeckers. 🙂  You can see some of my memories of Canada  here.

Local Wild Place. I guess if I am not walking the dog down the fields, my nearest local wild place is Clitheroe Castle and it’s park. I’m lucky enough to live a stones throw away, and its a great place for watching birds , squirrels and butterflies.


Mug of your favourite drink in the garden.  There is actually a drink in my mug. Honest! I wouldn’t say coffee is my favourite drink, but I certainly consume more of it than I ever used to. In fact before I met my other half ( many moons ago) , I didn’t drink coffee at all. Now I am on the hard stuff. Strong and Black! 😉

My kind of beautiful. My beautiful nephew and niece.

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Look to the skies. A holiday snap from our stay in Norfolk. Taken from the pier at Cromer. I love the slightly moody sky in this picture.

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Rain. A Yellow Flag Iris covered in raindrops. This was in Norfolk too, on the Sandringham estate. A very rainy walk !

 

 

Mini Beasts. Spot the shiny green beetle. Out with Hugo on a miserable rainy afternoon, a glistening green jewel caught my eye.

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Something Summery. Beautiful Beach huts at Old Hunstanton in Norfolk. I love Beach Huts!  There are not many in lovely Lancashire , though St Annes has some. The Norfolk coast has it’s fair share though. 🙂

Urban Wildness.  Swans and cygnets on the canal in Skipton. 🙂

My Own Choice. My family! Minus the crazy cat. Its me, Wil and Hugo outside The Golden Lion in Hunstanton, Norfolk.

If you wish to join in too in July , check out the blog link above . Catch you soon!

A Dales Camping Trip. 30 Days Wild ~Days 23 to 25. 

Day 23 ~ Set up Camp.  Less than a week to go now, of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. It is becoming a challenge to find new things to do in the wild, but a camping trip can surely help with that.  However looking back to my wild moments of 2015 , I can see we went camping then too. And to the same place! Still, you can’t go wrong with a firm favourite, and Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is somewhere we have returned to again and again.  Howgill Lodge Campsite is a 30 minutes walk along the river from the village, and is a great little site, popular with families and walkers. And it’s dog friendly too. 🙂

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The chickens usually arrive whilst camp is being set up. 🙂
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And bunnies play their part at keeping the grass short.

Howgill Lodge tries to do its bit for the environment and encourage wildlife. There are bird boxes around the site, wildflower areas, and solar panels for water, heating and lighting in the shower blocks.

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There is a Wildlife Board near the site entrance.

After setting up camp in the Yorkshire drizzle, we walked along the River Wharfe and ended up in one of the pubs in Appletreewick for a few drinks. Then we got comfy , the rain got worse, so we stopped for tea and more liquid refreshment! If you find yourself in the area I can definitely recommend the Craven Arms and Cruck Barn  for real ales, ciders and amazing food, adorned with wildflowers. 🙂

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Pan-fried Cod with Mussels. Spot the cornflower.

And the walk along the river is always beautiful, even in the rain. Some things reassuringly never change. Lots of glorious Common spotted orchids in bloom and a young Wild Swimmer, forever immortalised by a poignant plaque, as the Wharfe winds it’s way  through the woodland.

Day 24 ~ Wildlife along the River Wharfe.  As is tradition when we visit these parts, we decided to walk to Bolton Abbey and back.  With a lunch break, and me forever stopping to take pictures ( much to the annoyance of my other half, tee hee) , we were probably out walking for about 6 hours. Anyone else would be much quicker!  Here are a few million photos from the day.

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Giant Bellflower.
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You don’t need a wrist watch on this walk.
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Common Sandpiper.
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Not sure about this striking blue flower, maybe a garden escape.
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A lesser spotted Hugo.
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Nuthatch.
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Bolton Abbey.
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Grey Heron.  
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Goosander.
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Great Tits.
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Betony.
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Willow Warbler.
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Hugo has a Wild moment !
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Skippers on Scabious.

Day 25 ~ More from the Riverside.  Before heading home we took Hugo a walk from nearby Burnsall village to Hebden.  There is a choice of wibbly wobbly suspension bridge or stepping stones to cross the river.  Which would you choose?

And look out for these beautiful yellow flowers that adorn the river bank. I have seen them on previous visits, but only just managed to Id them.

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Mimulus aka Monkey Flower.

How is 30 Days Wild going for you? Thanks for joining me in the Dales. 🙂

30 Days Wild ~ Days 2 to 6. I ♡ Norfolk. 

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A hastily arranged ‘Wild’ of Fir Cones.

Having recently arrived home from a holiday in Norfolk, thrown some washing in, greeted the cat and waved off my Other Half to the pub, I thought I had better do some catching up on blog posts. 🙂 Firstly it’s time to update my progress on #30dayswild, which The Wildlife Trusts have organized to challenge people to experience 30 random acts of wildness in June.  On Day One I made Wild Watermint Tea here  and since then I have been staying on the coast in Hunstanton , aka Sunny Hunny. 🙂 Here are some Wild Moments!

Day Two.  Red Striped Cliffs and Nesting Fulmars. As soon as had we settled into our accommodation , we headed to the beach with Hugo. The first thing we noticed was the extraordinary red and white striped cliffs. The red chalk is due to iron staining. They are certainly a stunning sight.

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Red and white striped cliffs.

The tide was out and below is our view toward the Sea. Rock pools have formed in between the boulders. Hugo is out there somewhere!  We did not find even a solitary crab in the pools, but they do have rather a lot of predators. Looking up to the cliffs once again , we couldn’t fail to see ( and hear ) hundreds of pairs of Fulmar, nesting in the craggy rock face.

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Rocky pools.

Fulmars look like Gulls but are apparently members of the Petrel family.  They are able to drink sea-water and have ”tube-noses” enabling them to excrete excess salt through their nostrils. You learn something new every day!  We wish our labrador had a Tube Nose, he does tend to take the odd sea sip, when he thinks we are not looking….

Day Three.  Coastal Butterflies & Wildflowers.  On a walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path from Hunstanton to Holme , here are some of the plants and butterflies that we spotted. Now despite studying a couple of Collins Guides , I’m not confident with all my IDs. So if you know better, please let me know. 🙂

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 Vipers Bugloss 
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Orange Hawkweed.
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Pink Valerian.
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Painted Lady in Holme.
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Sea Bindweed.
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Saw lots of tiny blue butterflies fluttering around. Possibly Small Blues.
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Maybe a Tree Mallow.
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Lots of these tiny red moths. Possibly Cinnabar.
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Phacelia.

This walk was a dream for me. Some of these flowers and insects, I have never seen before. I just couldn’t stop smiling. 🙂

Day Four.  Eating Lavender.  Norfolk Lavender is one of the country’s largest Lavender Farms and as it was only down the road from us at Heacham , I persuaded Wil that we needed to try their Lavender Cake!  Lavender has been used since Roman times ( indeed it was the Roman’s who probably brought this fragrant flowering herb over to our shores) in medicines, lotions and potions. I for one had never tried it in cake….. or in Lemonade.

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Cake!

The cake was quite nice ( in a fragrant flowery way) but even though Wil and I shared it, we couldn’t finish it. Now that wouldn’t happen with Chocolate Cake!  The lemonade was refreshing but very very fizzy, so I couldn’t drink all of that either. Most disappointing was the fact that about ninety percent of the lavender isn’t in bloom yet, so if you are planning a visit, wait a few more weeks.

Day Five. Collected Shells on Brancaster Beach.   On Day Five we took Hugo for a walk On Brancaster Beach.  Norfolk is great for Pet Friendly Beaches and Brancaster is just one of many lovely stretches of sand. Our walk was incredibly windy so we got somewhat sandblasted.  I’m not sure my photo really does the conditions any justice!

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Brancaster Beach.
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Sea Campions.
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Shells.

I probably gave up collecting shells after about five minutes , so my little collection is a bit sad. What you can see are a couple of oyster shells, a razor shell, a couple of cockle shells, pebbles and a couple of trough shells. I think they are all quite common on British Beaches.

Day Six. Rainy Walk In a Country Park.  This day was wet and windy so we decided to have a wander round nearby Sandringham Country Park. The canopy from the woodland offered some protection from the elements.  At this time of year the Royal retreat is adorned with flowering Rhododendrons and Foxgloves. We spied a Roe Deer, several squirrels and a couple of cheeky Jays. They were all very camera shy. So here are some facts about foxgloves. 🙂

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Dead Man’s Bells and Witches Gloves. 

Other names for Foxgloves include Fairy Thimbles, Floppydocks and Goblin Gloves.

The  name Ffion is Welsh for Foxglove.

Foxgloves , though highly toxic, are used in Heart Medicines.

Plant Foxgloves in your garden and you will attract fairies.

The White Spots in each bell are marks left by fairies.

Fairies apparently taught foxes to ring the bells, warning other foxes of hunters in the area.

Bad fairies told foxes to wear the flowers on their paws ( like slippers) so the hens in the hen house wouldn’t hear them coming.

In mythology the Roman Goddess Flora touched a foxglove to Juno’s belly, so she could conceive a child with Jupiter.

Thanks for reading my update. More to follow in a few days. 🙂

 

May Links & Likes. 

It has been a week that has been particularly hard on many. Life must go on and we must live life to the full, God knows, life is short. Here are a few blog posts I have enjoyed in May.

Mrs Bertimus and family stay in this very quirky and eclectic seaside Guest House at the Whitby Goth Festival.  I have actually spent a night here too…many moons ago. 🙂

Grenson the dog is always on holiday! This time in ‘Mostly’ dog-friendly Yorkshire…

Ever thought of  ‘Gin tasting’ or visiting the ‘Wild West’ in Edinburgh? Lucy shares her  alternative Guide to this beautiful city.

Speeking of beautiful cities, our hearts go out to everyone in Manchester at the moment. City Jackdaw has been writing about the incredible generousity of spirit in his home town.

Laura has been admiring Japanese Cherry Blossom….in Kent.

And Christine found a Secret Valley Of Bluebells.

Duck in a Dress  shares her Geocashing Adventures!

Here’s a nostalgic glimpse into one bloggers magazine reading history. Remember Bunty anyone? From Bunty to Betty on ‘Typewriter Girl’.

And this lady has nostalgia in buckets! Am happy to have discovered Forties@Heart here on WordPress, where Julie, a Mum in the Outer Hebridees ,atempts a 1940’s inspired Lifestyle.

Cumbrian Blondie has been walking the beautiful Ullswater Way. 🙂

And here’s a blog from my little corner of the world. Lovely recipes and beautiful interiors ~ My Grandma Taught Me To Cook. 

Can I show you a few snaps from beautiful Brotherswater I took only yesterday.  This is one of the smaller lakes in The Lake District and is situated in the eastern region of the Lakes.

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The Lake.

 

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A Nesting Swan.
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Bogbean, I think..
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Pied Wagtail.
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Hawthorn blossom.

 

 

There’s still time to join in with #30dayswild in June. If you fancy signing up and doing something wild every day next month, go to action.wildlifetrusts.org and join in with the challenge.  Here are a few ideas for your Random Acts Of Wildness.

Sow some Wildflower seeds.

Identify a Bird Call.

Collect some Elderflowers and make a cordial or champagne.

Tell the time with a Dandelion Clock.

Read a Nature Book outdoors.

Go Barefoot in the grass.

Play Pooh sticks in a stream.

Record the birds who visit your garden.

Visit a Nature Reserve.

Make a Bee Hotel.

Thanks for dropping by.  Let me know if you are joining in with #30dayswild.