Category Archives: wildlife

Bluebells and Benedicts.

I’ve seen some lovely Bluebell walk posts recently, both on WordPress and on Facebook, so I just had to find my nearest Bluebell Wood and go for a wander, whilst these gorgeous Spring flowers are still in bloom.  The nearest such place happens to be just outside the nearby village of  Whalley. Spring Wood  was once owned by the monks of Whalley Abbey and is classed as a semi ancient woodland. There is ample parking, toilets, picnic benches and quite often an ice cream van parked at the site entrance.  We took Hugo for a short walk , as he is on restricted exercise at the moment.

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Speckled Wood Butterfly.

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Wild Garlic or Ramsons.

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Spring Wood proved to be the perfect place to admire the many bluebells and other wild flowers that frequent the woodland at this time of year. A friend even saw a deer last week ,so it’s well worth taking a camera. πŸ™‚

After our wander we drove into Whalley and went for lunch at  Benedict’s  which is a lovely Cafe Bar in the Village ,that happens to be dog friendly.

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There is a varied menu that includes a good selection of free from foods.  Wil chose the Farmers Board ( a tasty combo of cheese, meats & pate ) and I had the Chicken & Smashed Avocado Salad.  My drink of choice was a bottle of sparkling Rhubarb Mimosa and Wil enjoyed an Americano Coffee. Hugo was given some treats from Millie & Ruby’s Dog Bakery.  πŸ™‚

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I loved my salad but it was a bit to healthy for me. πŸ™‚  So I had to sample the Lemon & Poppy Seed cake!  And I tried a piece of Wil’s Rocky Road too. Both were delicious.

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Have you been on any Bluebell walks ?

Thanks for dropping by. πŸ™‚

 

April Wildlife and Links & Likes.

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. πŸ™‚

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Cuckoo Flowers.
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Orange Tipped White Butterfly.

Binny tries out a Chocolate Afternoon Tea and I am seriously envious !

Eliza has had a break in beautiful Venice. 

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Violet.
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Wood Pigeon.
Swallow.

There’s still time to Vote for where Christine should do her next Wild Swim!  I’m thinking Brothers Water. πŸ™‚

More beauty on Laura’s Blog as she Walks among the Bluebells. 

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Hedgerow Blossom.
Robin.

Jo finds a A Glass Menagerie in Sunderland.

Nice to discover another blogger in The Ribble Valley ! Please check out  The Alfresco Family. They blog about all things Green. πŸ™‚ 

Wild Garlic.

Peacock Butterfly.

Janey has set herself the challenge of watching 52 Films By Women this year.

Grenson is enjoying his tour of The Lakes and The Lochs. πŸ™‚

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A Lesser Spotted Hugo !

 

Pheasant.

 Thanks For Dropping by. πŸ™‚

 


 

Photo An Hour ~ Sat 22nd April.

Yesterday I joined in with Photo An Hour on Instagram so I thought I would put the pictures on my blog too. It was quite a sunny warmish Saturday and I went for a  walk with my camera in the morning. Later though the day turned into hours at the pub, so I didn’t post as many photos as I intended . Oooops! 

8am. Wil went out with Hugo and I am lounging about in bed reading this great book called Tiny Islands. Its about all the relatively small islands off our coast. I never realised that there is a tidal island called Hilbre off West Kirby in The Wirral. Might be worth a visit sometime. Slinky thinks so. πŸ™‚

9am. Shower time.

10am. I’m up and about. Have gone for a walk and am noticing the abundance of bluebells in flower.

11am.  Cuckoo flowers and Dandelions are everywhere in this meadow. Lots of butterflies too.Spend a good while chasing them with the camera.

Noon. Heading home now. These wellies are about the only ones that have not split on me in my history of adult wellie wearing..

1pm. Wil has been a star and made lunch. πŸ™‚

2pm. And he has hung the mirror in the spare room.Which means it is officially finished !  Further decorating this year includes the kitchen and the living room. But lets make the most of Summer first!

3pm. A brew and a read of my Wildlife Trust Magazine. Despite being in The Wildlife Trust, I don’t really make the most of my membership. But I am glad just being a member helps a bit.

4pm. Sat outside a Cafe Bar with Wil and Hugo. This is where my photo taking goes a bit pear shaped as we meet friends and I forget to take any pics.

8pm. Yep still out and the pack of Chilli Nuts is in danger of becoming tea ! 

10pm.  Luckilly we are now home and the planned chicken fajitas are happening. πŸ™‚

Thanks as always to louisa and Janey  

for organizing Photo An Hour on Instagram.   

London ~ A Walk in the Park.

Ha the title of this post sadly doesn’t refer to my knowledge of The London Underground! I am still hopelessly confused by the city’s magnificent transport system. This post simply documents a stroll from A to B, through three beautiful Royal Parks.

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Baby Cakes. πŸ™‚

After hungrily devouring these gorgeous and expensive cakes in Harrods, with our eyes, we bought a few less expensive items for a picnic in nearby Hyde Park.  Hyde Park covers 350 acres and it was just so nice  to get out of the hustle and bustle , and  into a lovely green space.

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Spring Blossom selfie. πŸ™‚

Now I’m afraid I didn’t do any research about the Royal Parks. Looking up Hyde Park now, I can see it is full of beautiful sculptures and statues, which we of course completely missed !  I did however see plenty of wildlife and lots of Spring Blossom. πŸ™‚

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Egyptian Geese and their brood.
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Moorhen amongst the reeds.
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Beautiful tulips .
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Anyone any idea what the taller yellow flowers are?

We did spot  two sculptures in Hyde Park.  The marble Boy and Dolphin Fountain was made in 1862 by Alexander Munro, a friend of Alice In Wonderlands creator , Lewis Carroll.  Not far from him is The Huntress Fountain, located in The Rose Garden. Look closely and see that she has made the ideal perch for Mr Magpie.

Our stroll had taken us as far as Wellington Arch which opens into the smallest of London’s Royal Parks, Green Park.  Happily we decided to carry on and enjoy the open space. πŸ™‚

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Wellington Arch was built as a Victory Arch and celebrates Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon.

The Parks are all the more pretty at this time of year , due to the gorgeous Spring Blossom. If you are in London right now be sure to head to the Royal Parks. πŸ™‚ And look out for the city’s population of bright green parakeets! Popular legend has it that  the Ring Tailed Parakeet population was given a helping hand  by rock star Jimi Hendrix , who released two on Carnaby Street in the Sixties….

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Parakeet in Green Park.

We walked through Green Park towards Buckingham Palace,  the official residence of the Queen.  A carpet of stunning colours greeted us as we crossed over the road into the oldest of the Royal Parks, St James’s Park.

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Buckingham Palace.

St James’s Park is a delightful place to stop for an ice cream and admire the water fowl that frequent the lake. There are also wonderful views from the Blue Bridge towards Westminster and the London Eye.

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The Bird keeper’s Cottage and the lake.
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Red necked geese.
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London Eye from the Blue Bridge.
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Grey Squirrel.
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Spotted this very tame Heron watching the lake from under the cherry blossom. πŸ™‚
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Very tame indeed. 

We even managed to spot St James’s most famous residents !   Pelicans have lived in the park since  1664, when the Russian Ambassador gifted some to Charles II.  They are cared for by a Wildlife Officer who feeds them fish every day and makes sure they are in tip top condition. The exotic birds  also snack on fish in the lake and their usual hangout is Pelican Rock below.

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Pelicans on Pelican Rock.

Our walk had taken us through three Royal Parks and the hotel was mere minutes away. Who needs the Underground. πŸ™‚

Which is your favourite London Park? 

Postcard from London. β™‘

This past week I have been fortunate enough to have spent some time in my nation’s Capital London. And what a wonderful week !  Our trip was all in aid of celebrating my baby sister’s upcoming 40th Birthday. We managed to pack quite a bit in. Here are a few photos of what we got up to in this beautiful city. πŸ™‚

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Travel in Style.

Far the best way to travel to London ( unless you have your own private plane πŸ˜‰ ) is by train. You can often find relatively cheap First Class Tickets, so your journey is speedy and comfortable with plenty of food and drink included. We booked with Virgin Β£80 each return from Preston and had use of Virgin’s complimentary First Class Lounge at Euston. ;0).

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Natural History.
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Deinonychus.

The Natural History Museum

 is well worth visiting, if only for the Dinosaurs !  Like many of London’s museums it’s free and is  so vast you could easily spend the whole day here.  I especially liked the moving Deinonychus above.  One of the best ways of getting around the city is via The London Underground and the nearest tube stops are Gloucester Road and South Kensington. Underground travel has gotten simpler with the use of contactless payment. Remember though , the money doesn’t go out of your account until a couple of days later.

Typically I hunted for Green Spaces in the city, and there are plenty. One day  Wil, my brother and I bought a picnic from Harrods ( like you do) and sat down to eat it in Hyde Park. We then walked through Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park , back to our hotel near Trafalgar Square.  It was a nice way of seeing London and the various wildlife that makes the park its home.  Look out for the Parakeets!

My sister wanted to see a show whilst we were away and which better to experience than The Lion King which plays at The Lyceum and has since 1999. Its an amazing piece of musical theatre and we loved it.  Highly recommended.

Even in London it is possible to stumble upon almost secret places.  Colourful Neals Yard  in Covent Garden is an Instagrammers delight with its multi – coloured buildings. Its also a lovely spot for a coffee or a bite to eat. The perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.

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An Instagrammers Delight. β™‘

If you are going to celebrate a special Birthday in the Capital then you might as well go the whole hog and book a luxurious Afternoon Tea in one of London’s high class hotels. πŸ™‚   Claridges  in Mayfair offers a delicious array of finger sandwiches, warm scones with Marco Polo jelly & Cornish clotted cream,  a varied  selection of teas and a tray of delectable cakes and desserts from Β£60 per person. The setting in the grand art-deco inspired foyer and the attentiveness of the friendly staff add to this sublime experience.

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Afternoon Tea at Claridges.

A must for everyone’s London trip is a river cruise down the Thames, taking in all the cities famed landmarks, old and new.  We  used  City Cruises  to plan a return jaunt to Greenwich which is definitely worth a visit.

Another way of enjoying stunning views of London is to go some place high. Very high !  Like The Shard  The Sky Garden  commands a spectacular vista of the city. Unlike The Shard, it is absolutely free !  You still need to book online and tickets are usually available from three weeks before you go.  We enjoyed cocktails ,amazing views and an unusual garden setting from 155 metres above. πŸ™‚

So there you have it, just a small selection of what we got up to in London town.  It was a fabulously memorable holiday and a fun way to spend time with family too.  Hopefully I will try and blog about some of our adventures in more detail soon.

Thanks for reading and a Very Happy Birthday to my sister Yvonne. πŸ™‚

Spring has Sprung.

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Chaffinch.

Today was glorious and sunny. The kind of sunny that actually feels warm. πŸ™‚  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. πŸ™‚

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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.  πŸ™‚
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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. πŸ™‚

Links & Likes March. β™‘

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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚ 

Erin has visited the vibrant and colourful city of Lisbon. Me too please. πŸ™‚ 

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. πŸ™‚

 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 β™‘ 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. β™‘