Category Archives: seasons

Spring has Sprung.

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Chaffinch.

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. 🙂

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Delicate Blackthorn blossom.
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Blackbird.
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Barren Strawberry Flowers.
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River Ribble.
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Male Mallard.
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Robin.
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Ivy.
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Male Bullfinch.
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And another shot….just because it’s very rare that I manage to photograph a Bullfinch.  🙂
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First Butterfly sighting. A Small Tortoiseshell amongst the celandines.
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Wild Garlic Leaves.
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Wood Anemone.
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Spring Lamb.
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Mistle Thrush.

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. 🙂

Links & Likes March. ♡

Starlings and Hares by Rob Barnes.

Hey and welcome to March Links& Likes. I thought I would include some pretty pictures of mad March hares frolicking around with not a care in the world.  If only our lives could be as carefree as these beautiful illustrations.  Anyway without further ado….

Gina put   The Kelpies

 

 in Falkirk on her visit list. I would love to see these Giant horse sculptures for myself. 

Fancy a walk that meanders through a pub and ends with a Waterfall?  Let Jo  show you the way.  

Naomi tells us about  The Joy of Gorse and how the shrub’s sunshine yellow flowers  can be made into a fresh and delicious cordial. 🙂

Illustration by Lucy Grossmith.

Louise  follows in the footsteps of  Peakland writer Roger Redfern and finds that things haven’t changed all that much ,since he published his own rambles in the 1960s.

One of my favourite travel boggers ‘Mary’ from Travels with the Blonde Coyote hasn’t posted in a while, but hopefully that will all change now she’s introduced her gorgeous new dog pal ‘ Vida’. What a beauty! 🙂 

Erin has visited the vibrant and colourful city of Lisbon. Me too please. 🙂 

Illustration by Louise Scott.

This fab post by Baked by Mummy Iris explores London’s Covent Garden. It looks like foodie heaven and certainly makes my tummy rumble. 🙂

 Hey did you know that there is a A Cat ~^^~ who actually works in B & M Bargains???  Check out this cute Kitty ! 

And if your planning a trip to Iceland this year , here is a very useful blog to consult I ♡ Reykjavik.

Wendy Andrews ~ Dreaming of Spring.

Thanks so much for dropping by. If you have any blog recommendations, that you think I will like, please let me know. ♡

 

 

Hygge and enjoying the Winter months. 

The tree is down and the decorations have been put away. Yet the happy times don’t have to end. Winter is so often dark and cold but maybe we should embrace our longest season. Maybe we should do as the Danish do and bring on the Hygge!!  Hygge ( pronounced hoogah) is a Danish word that describes a feeling of cosiness and joy. It embodies the pleasures we take in simple things such as enjoying a mug of hot tea whilst the rain beats at the window, reading a favourite book by candlelight, getting together with friends in a cosy pub or snuggling on the sofa with a pile of blankets and cushions and a good film. It seems that people in Denmark cannot wait for Winter to arrive and their contentment with this time of year surely contributes to their nation being ‘the happiest’ in Europe. 🙂

 

Snuggly Socks. Image via Pinterest.

With this in mind I have consulted ‘The Little Book of Hygge’ by Meik Wiking of The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen ( yes there is such a place! ) and written a list of ideas to help us get through the rest of January and February. No two months need the concept of Hygge more, I feel.:)
Indoors. 

Light candles. The home always feels so much cosier by candlelight.

Feel toasty. Snuggly socks, slipper boots, cozy cushions & throws all add to that super cozy feeling.

Hot drinks. Your favourite coffee, tea or hot chocolate in a lovely new mug. Why not try an unusual  tea , add a flavoured syrup to your coffee or some ginger to hot chocolate.

Bring Nature Indoors. Treat yourself to a few plants or flowers. Or when your out and about look for fir cones, greenery, berries etc and arange them inside.

Take up a creative hobby. I’m always saying I will learn to crochet! Or how about rag rugging, knitting or cross stitch.

Bring out the boardgames. Invite friends or family round for boardgame fun. Remember Scrabble, Monopoly, Connect 4, Kerplunk?

A good book. Hunt out your library card and take out some stories by  your fave authors to read over Winter.

Old Movies. Oldies are the best I think. Some of my faves include Rebecca, The Ghost & Mrs Muir, To Catch A Thief and Roman Holiday. Snuggle down with some of your fave films.

Slow Cook. Make Winter warming stews and fill the home with amazing aromas. Oh and invite  friends round for a hearty supper. They can always bring pudding. 😉
Discover a New Boxset. There are so many! Currently enjoying Orphan Black and just caught up with Black sails. Any recommendations?

Dig out old photos. Or print out some of your favourites  and put in a photo album to enjoy flipping through on a cold Janury evening.

 

Snuggle down in your own Hyggekrog. Image via Pinterest.

Create a Hyggekrog. This is cozy nook in the home where you can snuggle  in a blanket with a good book and a brew.

Build a Hygge Emergency kit. For those times you just want to curl up with all favourite things. Add candles, a book you love, notebook & pen, chocolate, your fave film, some snuggly socks, pjs, a face mask, a pretty teacup and your tea of choice. Or whatever makes you  happy. 🙂

Daylights at a premium in January and February so  I will try and make the most of it. 🙂 Here are  a few ideas.

Out & About.

Blustery Beach Walk.  The UK is full of almost deserted beaches in the Winter , so why not wrap up warm and blow those cobwebs away with an invigorating walk along the coast. Look out for wintering water birds and big skies.

Hire a Beach Hut for the day. Why not rent a base for your day out at the seaside. Be sure to take essentials such as warm blankets, hot water bottles, flasks of hot chocolate and your fave board games. Heres a Beach Hut day rental site in St Annes.


Hunt out Street Art. Fill a flask with your favourite hot beverage and explore your neighbourhood on foot.

Find a Cozy Cafe. There’s nothing more comforting than finding a cozy cafe to relax in when the weather is miserable outside. You can even get that Hygge feeling in one of the many Scandinavian cafes that are popping up around Britain such as Baltzersens in Harrogate and Nordic Bakery in London.
 

 

Snowdrops. Image via Pinterest.

Snowdrop Walks.  January & February bring out carpets of snowdrops. A sure sign that Spring is tentatively on its way. The National Trust has information on Snowdrop walks near you. 🙂


Book A Weekend Away. The great thing about booking a few days away out of season is the price! Look for somewhere with a wood burning stove or open fire for that extra Hygge feeling. I used Sally’s Cottages to find a cozy cottage for a weekend in January.

Borrow a Dog.  If you don’t have a four legged friend, borrow a pooch from a friend or family member and take them out for a long country walk. Fresh air is honestly one of the best cures for the Winter Blues and your new companion will be very appreciative.There’s even a website Borrowmydoggy.com that you can sign up to.

Spa days. Look out for pamper package offers at local spas and treat yourself.

Iceskating. Find your inner child and get out onto the Ice. Some outdoor rinks are open throughout January.www.cntraveller.com.

January & February Celebrations. Take note of winter celebrations such as Burn’s Night at the end of January, Chinese New Year, Shrove Tuesday or ‘Pancake Day’ , Candlemas/Imbolc and Valentine’s Day. Or make that Galentine’s Day to celebrate the girl pals in your life!


 

The Little Book of Hygge.

Hope this post gives you a few ideas of how to combat those Winter Blues. Oh and if it does actually snow, make sure you dig out that sledge!! 🙂

 

 

Our stay in the grounds of a Scottish Castle.

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Icehouse Cottage.

I can hardly believe that only last week, we were staying in a beautiful cottage in Scotland. A cottage in the grounds of a Castle no less. Two castles in fact !  Lochinch Castle in Dumfries and Galloway is  home to the Count and Countess of Stair. The castle was built in the mid 19th Century some years after their original residence ‘ Castle Kennedy’ was burned to the ground. The ruins of Castle Kennedy can also be found on the Lochinch Estate and the Castle Kennedy Gardens are open to the public. Seventy Five acres of sculptured gardens and woodland to wander in. In November we more or less had it all to ourselves!

Our home for the week was the cosy single story Icehouse Cottage situated close to the original remains of a Victorian Icehouse. With it’s pretty furnishings, toasty wood burner and idyllic location, we couldn’t have wanted for more. Hugo was especially happy led in front of the fire after long walks around the grounds. 🙂

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The ruins of Castle Kennedy.

On our very first walk we came across three deer just wandering through the forest. 🙂  In fact every walk, thereafter, we would spot roe deer, red squirrels , woodpecker, pheasants, buzzards and other wildlife amongst the canopy of the trees. They became such common sights that it wasn’t even a surprise when we spied deer along the treeline of the woodland  behind the back of the cottage. I’m sure if we had erected a trampoline, the John lewis advert would have come to life there and then!

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Lochinch Castle.

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There are two Lochs on the Lochinch estate poetically named The Black Loch and The White Loch. Both hold lots of wildlife and the White Loch is a site of Special Scientific Interest due to its winter waterfowl and rare invertebrate  fauna and flora. I’m not quite sure why my dog has two tails in the above photograph….

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I think my favourite part of the Castle Kennedy Gardens is The Walled Garden, which somehow reminded me of a Secret Garden. Autumnal colours were out in force and flowering shrubs still bloomed. So beautiful.

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We loved our time in South west Scotland and Lochinch Cottages  ( there are two more in the castle grounds) provided an ideal base to explore Dumfries & Galloway. And a Winter Break there?  Well why not! Being out of the tourist season means you can (almost) imagine your lording over your own estate. 🙂

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As we left we saw a deer wading through the Black loch. 🙂

Wildlife photos in October. Week 4.

So October is at an end. And what a beautiful one it has been. Here are my wildlife photos from the last week of a rather glorious month.

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22 October.  On a wall Ivy – Leaved Toadflax which is a common trailing wallflower. It is also known as ‘Mother of Thousands’ and usually flowers from May to September.

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23 October. I make some Foxy Leaf Art from a Sycamore Leaf. 🙂

24 October. On a walk with Hugo I notice this Fungi with it’s orange colouring. Looks like it’s been nibbled on. In an old almost dead tree I spot a Carrion Crow  which makes a spooky silhouette.

25 October. Colourful purple berries and crimson leaves in the park.

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26 October. I notice the changing colours of this Virginia Creeper   on my way to work.

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27 0ctober.  Another flower that lingers in the hedgerows is Bindweed with its papery white trumpet-like blooms.

28 October. An afternoon at Lowther Castle  in Cumbria saw myself and my little helper spotting lots of wildlife. 🙂 More Fungi , if anyone can id them?  Imogen found lots of autumn leaves, berries and nuts, including Sweet Chestnuts . Once cooked , these are the chestnuts that can be roasted on an open fire. I love their fuzzy shells. The bird ( another silhouette I’m afraid) is actually a Buzzard with something in its beak. Apparently it is our most common Bird of Prey here in the UK. I still felt privileged to see it.

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29 October.  Poisonous red climbing berries from the Bryony plant.

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30 October. A male Blackbird singing in a bush. Blackbirds appear in the nursery rhyme ‘Sing A Song Of Sixpence’.

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31 October. Find a late bloomer in my back yard. Think it might be a Dahlia. 🙂

So there goes October. Hopefully the mild weather will continue on into November, and so will the beautiful colours. 🙂

 

 

 

Ghostly Movies….of the not to scary kind. ….

Oh I was going to reblog a post about Screen Witches, but somehow WordPress won’t let me……so here is a list of spooky ( in a not to scary way 😉 ) films, featuring g g g g g ghosts. Happy hauntings!

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As I had such a wicked time compiling my spellbinding screen witches post, I thought I would assemble a list of ghost movies.Bare  in mind though I’m a bit of a scaredy pants when it comes to ghosties and ghouls , so most of my films contain friendly apperitions.

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Blithe Spirit (1945). ~ Noel Coward’s madcap comedy is given the big screen treatment with Rex Harrison playing an author whose late wife’s ghost comes back to haunt him and his present wife. Margaret Rutherford plays the ditzy clairvoyant house guest who appears to have summoned her over from the other side.

The Corpse Bride (2005). Bittersweet fairy tale, animated in Tim Burton’s kooky style. A nervous bridegroom to be accidentally finds himself betrothed to ‘the Corpse bride’ , when practising his wedding vows in the forest. Johnny Depp stars.

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Scooby – Doo (2002). Scooby, Shaggy and gang are reunited…

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