Category Archives: wildlife

Heather and Haweswater.

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Haweswater is a reservoir in the valley of Mardale in the North East of the Lake District. In the 1930’s this four mile stretch of water was created from the original smaller lake and the flooding of the picturesque Mardale Valley. Two villages, various farms and ‘ The Dun Bull Inn’ were destroyed, so that Manchester and other urban areas could benefit from a decent water supply. The reservoir still provides a good percentage of the North West’s water.

At the moment Haweswater’s water levels are much lower than usual, so it is possible to see the remains of the sunken village of Mardale Green, at the top end of the lake. However after parking at the Haweswater Hotel ( the only residence on the lakeside) and enjoying a spot of lunch, time restricted our planned walk to the ruins. Instead we ambled a couple of miles along the road to a heather strewn viewing point, the purple blooms are just coming into flower, and make for a beautiful backdrop. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Possibly a Silver Y Moth, but please let me know if I am wrong…

The Haweswater Hotel was built in 1937 by the Manchester Corporation, after the flooding of the valley. Inside it is decorated in an impressive Art Deco style, harking back to it’s 1930’s beginnings. We actually stopped there in 2016 for a couple of nights…and it was almost empty of guests. Happily this Summer’s beautiful weather and the ‘reappearance of the village in the reservoir’ have peeked tourists curiosity, concerning this lesser known (though still idyllic) area of The Lake District….

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Have you seen any heather blooming yet? Its still quite early, so it was lovely to see this pretty plant already flowering on the banks of the lake.

Have you ever been to Haweswater?

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Sunday Sevens 29th July.

A compilation of my week…..in the form of a Sunday sevens, 7 photos from the last 7 days, as devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins .

Seaside. My week started with a mini trip to the seaside. Just look at the gorgeous colour on the Heysham coast. Plus I managed not to lose my sandals in sinking sand on this excursion. So that’s a relief!

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In Hiding. It was my nieces 8th Birthday recently and as she is a mini David Attenborough in the making, her Mum & Dad gave her camouflage gear and a Hide. As she lives in the countryside its not unusual for Roe Deer, Hare and even Stoats to pass through this meadow next to the house. Yesterday we just got blown around in the wind..but it was a good giggle. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bee In The City. If you find yourselves in Manchester over the Summer, the colourful Bee In The City Art Trail has flown in. 100 Big Bees are dotted round the city, as well as 130 Little Bees. I captured a couple on camera whilst out in Manc with the girls. As ours was a shopping/drinking type of trip we didn’t really get involved in the trail, but there’s plenty of time to return. They will bee in the city until 23rd September 2018.

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13 Years. Wil and I celebrated 13 years of being together this weekend. Here we are yesterday evening at my nieces Birthday Meal. XXX

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Happy Blogversary. And this one crept up on me ~ hence the not terribly original photo of a piece of Rocky Road with a candle stuck in it ( Very nice Rocky Road btw, from Betty May’s Kitchen in Clitheroe) ~ its actually 6 years since I started this blog. Wow! I am still loving my little space here on WordPress, and would like to thank everyone who stops by occasionally. Thank you!!!!!

Here’s to another great week!

Sea Air ~ Heysham.

On Sunday we found ourselves on the Lancashire coast, sipping Nettle Beer and surrounded by vikings!

We drove to the sea, passing through the brackened moorland of the Trough Of Bowland.

Heysham Power Station.

Then on through Lancaster and toward Heysham, an ancient fishing port, now more widely known for it’s ferry terminal and power station.

We had decided upon Heysham as a dog-friendly beach destination. One that hopefully would not be too busy with daytrippers. Fellow blogger Christine had mentioned that the area has a Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, so we used it’s small free carpark and went for a wander.

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Gatekeeper.
Common Blue.

Heysham Nature Reserve covers 17.00 Hectares of various habitats, leading down to a rocky beach, lorded over by a whopping big power station. Beauty can be found in industry. Numerous butterflies fluttered busily around the reserve, the shore was a sea of pretty purple, and snowy white egrets pecked for tasty morsels on the strandline.

Stunning Sea Lavender.
Little Egret.
Lighthouse near the ferry terminal.

Popular with dog walkers ,the nature reserve has walking trails, plenty of dog waste bins and even provides drinking water for thirsty hounds. There is a dog-free portion to explore too, for those of you who prefer to wildlife watch in relative peace. ๐Ÿ˜‰ After our walk we ate a packed lunch at the small picnic area by the car park.

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Picnic Area at Heysham Nature Reserve.

We then decided to drive round to Half Moon Bay on the other side of the ferry terminal. The car park here was very busy. It soon became apparent we were visiting Heysham on it’s annual Viking Festival Weekend! The cliff top walk into the village was teaming with tourists, admiring the far reaching views over Morecambe Bay. You can’t tell from my pictures how busy ( or warm! ) it actually was..

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The coastal walk to the headland with views over Morecambe Bay.
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Next to the ruins of St Patricks Chapel are six coffin graves cut into the cliff. An image of them appears on the Black Sabbath album ‘The Best of Black Sabbath’.
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Relaxing on the headland.
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Small Copper Butterfly.

Heysham’s Viking history dates back 1000 years , with the grounds of St Peter’s Church in the village containing both Saxon and Viking remains. I wrote more about the area on a previous visit ~ Heysham and Half Moon Bay.

Once in the Village it was obvious that everyone had embraced the Viking connection!

Feeling rather thirsty at this point, I decided to try a glass of the local delicacy ‘Granny’s Home Brewed Nettle Drink’. After Wil and I visited Heysham last year, I was telling my Mum all about our day there, and it turns out Heysham holds many happy childhood seaside memories for her. One of those was drinking a non-alcoholic tonic called Nettle Beer. It turns out a well known local personality called Granny Hutchinson used to brew the drink in her cottage, using nettles found round and about. Today the old recipe has been passed down through the generations and is still on sale in Heysham’s cafes. Keen to sample this traditional fare, I bought a ยฃ1 glass of the unassuming brown liquid. It definitely has the Famous Five ‘lashings of ginger beer’ factor!

Below are a few photos from the Viking Festival.

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Spirit of Heysham sculpture.

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We did not stop to long at the festival as it was incredibly warm, especially for Hugo. I’m not sure how the people in Viking costumes fared in the heat!

Have you ever been to Heysham?

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……

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.

Hawthorns Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ June.

Phew! What do you think of the Hot Hot weather we are experiencing here in the UK at the moment? I am definitely not used to this kind of heat. I find myself only truly enjoying the temperatures either early in the morning or after 8 at night. Reaches for a tub of Ben & Jerrys! Here are my photos for this month’s Scavenger Hunt….

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Yellow. I was definitely tempted to post a flower picture here, but instead chose this photo of band member Holly Ross of The Lovely Eggs on stage at Break In The Clouds Festival ,

which we went to last weekend. Not everyone can rock the colour Yellow…but I think she can. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Starts with a T. Has to be this Tiger I saw chilling in the sunshine at Blackpool Zoo a few weeks ago.

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Lilac. My Mum’s garden was buzzing with insects when we visited earlier in June. I forgot to ask her what flower this was. Any gardeners know the name of it, feel free to let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Starts with a G. Back to Blackpool Zoo and a group of Giraffes. Apparently a Group of Giraffes is called a Tower. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Silver. After checking on the #30dayswild facebook group, I discovered that this busy moth I photographed in Gisburn Forest is called a Silver Y Moth. You can’t really see on this photo , but it has silver y-shaped markings on its forewings.

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My Own Choice. Cute socks worn by my goddaughters at the festival we went to at the weekend.

Thanks for dropping by and stay cool…X

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?