Hi I’m mixing up my Links & Likes with a few piccies I took on walks at the weekend. April brings sunshine, showers ….and lots of flowers. That certainly rings true here in the Ribble Valley. Enjoy the photos and check out the blog links for some of the posts that I have particularly liked this month. 🙂
Today was glorious and sunny. The kind of sunny that actually feels warm. 🙂 I went for a walk down through the fields to the river. This is one of our usual dog walking routes, but I let Wil carry on ahead with Hugo ,so I could get a few piccies without a black labrador crashing through the undergrowth. 🙂
I also saw Sand Martins , back to reclaim their sandy nesting holes in the river bank, a male and a female Goosander flying down the Ribble and a tiny Goldcrest. I think I may do one post a month,following my wildlife sightings in this tiny corner of the world. 🙂
Despite being a Lancashire lass born and bred, the EastLancashirePanopticons have totally passed me by. Until very recently that is, when Richard’s post ‘ Its Grim Up North’ ( honestly it’s not that bad ! 😉 ) , brought Burnley’s iconic Singing Ringing Tree to my attention. Ever since I have been very keen to visit this amazing structure and its fellow Panopticons. Panopticons. Panopticons. I love that word! 🙂
On the Mid Pennine Arts Website I found this description of a Panopticon.
Panopticon ( noun) Structure, Space or Device providing a comprehensive or panoramic view.
East Lancashire is home to 4 such sculptures and on Saturday Wil, Hugo and I managed to hunt down two of them. Thankfully it wasn’t a bad day weather wise ( unlike Richard’s experience) and my home county was bathed in sunshine. 🙂
First we drove to the town of Rawtenstall in Rossendale and parked at The Whitaker Museum & Art Gallery on Haslingden rd. The museum is set in a pretty park and car parking is free. There is a cafe and a bar in The Whitaker and a children’s playground in the park. Therefore it is a great place to start and finish a walk up to The Halo Panopticon on Top O Slate , in the hills above Haslingden.
My first celandines of the year.
And flowering Gorse.
It didn’t take to long to find The Halo , an 18 metre diameter steel structure , supported on a tripod. It definitely resembles a Flying Saucer don’t you think ??
In daylight this Panopticon is the perfect vantage point for admiring the panoramic views over Rossendale. But it is when darkness falls that The Halo really stands out. The structure lights up at night and it’s blue glow gives the impression that it’s hovering over the valley. Maybe it does get mistaken for a UFO. 🙂 Check out haslingdenhalo.co.uk for more images.
After our spaceship discovery we walked into Rawtenstall , had a nosy around the shops and enjoyed some refreshments at Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar & Emporium. Fitzpatricks Temperance Bar on Bank Street has been serving Lancashire folks alcohol free tipples since 1890. In fact it is England’s only remaining original temperance bar ! Having recently been refurbished, Fitzpatricks now sells delicious cakes, icecreams, floats, coffee & tea , as well as its famed vintage cordials.
We sat outside with a couple of hot cordials. Wil had a Blood Tonic and Orange and I had a Lemon & Ginger cordial. Of course we had to sample some cakes as well. 🙂
These lovely Temperance Bar goodies set us up for our next Panopticon. The Singing Ringing Tree is situated about 15 minutes drive from Rawtenstall at Crown Point above the town of Burnley. Taking the form of a tree bending in the wind, this unusual musical sculpture is made from galvanised metal tubes. The wind whistleing through them creates a humming sound, as though the tree is singing. 🙂
We were treated to a harmonious wailing up there in the Pennine landcape,which I find hard to describe. Think a cross between angels singing in old black & white movies…and a pack of howling dogs. Hugo was most intrigued..
With far reaching views over the urban sprawl of Burnley and to the hills beyond ,this Panopticon gives the town dwellers and visitors a new appreciation of the surrounding countryside……as well as its own personal backing track. 🙂
So thats two East Lancashire Panopticons bagged and two more to go, the others being Colourfields in Blackburn and The Atom in Wycollar Country Park. My Panopticon Quest continues….. 🙂
On the way home from a recent weekend away in the Lake District we decided to stop for lunch in the pretty village of Clapham. This lovely Yorkshire village deserves a whole day out to appreciate it’s babbling beck, it’s little stone bridges and it’s wonderful walks and nature trails. We will return! For now, here are a few snaps I took on a brisk walk round. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by. More posts about my Lake District trip coming soon. X
Common Butterwort with star shaped leaves out on the hills near Haweswater.
Red Squirrel at Formby Point in January.
Little Plovers on Ballantrae Beach, November.
Hi there and Happy New Year everyone! I’ve decided to have a couple of weeks off blogging whilst a bit of decorating gets done ( hopefully!) but first here are some of my favourite wildlife pics from 2016. Looking through my photos, I hadn’t realised there would be so many great wildlife moments captured on camera.
I loved seeing the Red Squirrels at Formby Point and Haweswater and later in Scotland. Being so used to their larger grey cousins, it was a real treat to hang out with the little tuftys.: ) Hillwalking near Haweswater in Cumbria also gave me my first sighting of a wheatear ,it was perched on a craggy stone wall singing. And spotting Grey Seals on the rocks below Corsewall Lighthouse in Dumfries & Galloway was a joy. 🙂
Of course there were also the moments closer to home when I didn’t have my camera with me. I know darn it, I should always carry a camera! Earlier in 2016 whilst out walking Hugo, we were accompanied by a silent white shadow gliding slightly ahead of us. I can’t describe how magical it was to witness a Barn Owl hunting in the field.:) And another time I was out with Hugo down by the River Ribble, when we were treated to three Hares boxing on the other side of the river. An amazing sight!
If you click on the photos each should hopefully have a description.I hope I have identified everything correctly! Looking forward to lots more sightings in 2017. 🙂
Female Bullfinch in Clitheroe.
Wild Garlic in May. Bolton Abbey.
Red Deer at Studley Royal in May.
Little Egret on the Silverdale coast.
Common Darter October.
Autumn finds at Lowther Park in October.
Grey Seal on the rocks at Corsewall Lighthouse.
Buzzard Mull of Galloway November.
Canada Geese at Castle kennedy November.
Roe Deer at Castle Kennedy.
Have you any of your own favorite Wildlife sightings from 2016?
As is now tradition, I am posting a quick photo round-up of my year. All in all it’s been a pretty good one! I have been slightly more organized than normal and included some post links. Yay!
January. Woh this seems such a long time ago now. January gave us the only snow of the year. Hugo loved it of course but it only lasted one snow day. 😦 It was still frosty and cold however on our visit to Formby Point where we saw Red squirrels 🙂 And yep thats me with a naked man at Another Place , the Anthony Gormley Art Installation on Crosby Beach.
February. It was a pretty quiet month in February. We did manage a day out in Manchester however and I had a fun time photographing the Street Art in the Northern Quarter. I also attended my God daughter Mady’s sons christening. I’m not one for holding babies but baby Jason was very chilled. 🙂
March. Wil and I had a weekend away in Coventry and stopped at the lovely Coombe Abbey Hotel & Country Park. We also visited Coventry itself which had lots of surprises. And later in the month I was in Manchester again , this time for a friends birthday. You can read my post about it here.
April. Spring arrived at last ( hurrah! ) and I couldn’t wait to get out and about with my camera and my Ladybird Book Guide To spring. 🙂 A day out at Bolton Abbey in the Easter Holidays was great fun and I treated Wil to a trip on a steam train ( with lots of Real Ale involved 😉 ) on the East Lancs Railway.
May. The weather was great in May and included a day out in Kirkby Lonsdale with my sister and her family. We even managed a paddle in the river. 🙂 A walk along the banks of Derwent Water in the Lake District was made all the more interesting , when Wil, Hugo and I came across a giant hand sculpture! Our Holiday Season started in May.:) A camping trip in the Yorkshire Dales , not too far from Fountain Abbey. And a stay in a hotel looking over Haweswater. 🙂
June. I loved our day out in Malham where we walked up to the Cove and paddled in Janet’s Foss. Think that was Hugo’s favourite part.:) We also went camping in Silverdale and Hugo enjoyed his second ever boat trip, on Lake Windermere.
July. Clitheroe has had lots of great new eating and drinking venues open in 2016 and the biggest surprise is probably Bowland Beer Hall at Holmes Mill. It’s an amazing space in an old textile mill, host to a listed steam engine and what appears to be England’s longest continuous bar. I attended the opening evening with Wil and some friends in July. I also crossed Llama Trekking off my Bucket List when myself and some of my family enjoyed a half day with these adorable animals here. Oh and Hugo found himself inside the July edition of The Simple Things Magazine. 🙂
August. In August there was a holiday at Spring Park in Cornwall. We stayed in ‘The Duke’ , a beautifully restored Showman’s wagon. On the way down to Cornwall we stopped one night in the spa town of Bath.I would love to return to both places. 🙂 Hugo has been busy bagging lakes all year. Here he is in Grasmere, over the bank holiday.
September. The poor pooch wasn’t quite sure what to think of The The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. as it involved a lot of doggy paddling. I got pretty soaked too! The new Bridget Jones film turned into a bit of an event for us ladies.:) And if you like cake ( doesn’t everyone) you will like my post about my friend Nicolas Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.. She certainly didn’t scrimp on her baking. 🙂
October. We had an unseasonably dry October so this month’s posts are full of Autumn colours. 🙂 I joined in with #30dayswild, and enjoyed fun days out at Lowther Castle & Gardens and The Forbidden Corner with family.
November. November is my Birthday month so it was great to get away with Wil and Hugo to a holiday cottage in Scotland . The Afternoon Tea in Portpatrick was a Birthday treat courtesy of Wil and it was also nice to get together with friends. 🙂
December. This month has been all about meeting up with family. 🙂 I’ve included a piccie of my cat Slinky as she does tend to get overshadowed by a certain Black Labrador. And I took part in Janet’s ‘Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap’ which I will post about separately I’m sure.
Despite the radical changes in this country and abroad in 2016, I guess the best thing to do is just carry on and LIVE. Life is just to short to get depressed about it. So all the best for 2017 guys ….. and see you soon. X