Tag Archives: swans

Sunday Sevens 27th January.

Sunday Sevens is a collection of seven or more photos from the last seven days.

Last Sunday Wil and I were still in Edinburgh, where we had spent the weekend for Wil’s birthday. Sunday morning was spent exploring the monuments on Calton Hill. Well worth a visit! I will have to get round to writing a proper post.

Calton Hill.

Our favourite meal in Edinburgh and a tick off my bucket list, was this lamb Wellington at The Witchery by the Castle. Talk about melt in the mouth dining , in a sumptuous setting.

Lamb Wellington at The Witchery

Back home to a foggy England. I have actually had the week off work, due to having some holidays to get in before the end of March. Wil took Monday off and we went for a misty wander round the Pendle Sculpture Trail.

Tree Nymph on the trail.
Swans on the Riverside path. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Clitheroe had one gorgeous bright cold frosty day which Hugo and I made the most of , with a long walk by the Ribble. I was amused when these two swans emerged from the river and promptly plonked themselves on the path in front of us.

Cranachan.

Even though I have been in Scotland this week, I didn’t try Haggis or the traditional Scottish dessert Cranachan. Made from double cream, honey, oats, whisky & raspberries, cranachan is a simple pudding to make….even for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Delicious not only on Burns Night.

Noticed a few clumps of snowdrops whilst out and about this week. And discovered some hiding in my flower beds, once I tidied them up a bit. If your interested, here are a few links to snowdrop walks & weekends. Not sure I will get to go to one myself this year, as were on with decorating the bedroom.

Lytham Hall, Lancs.

Hornby Castle, Lancs.

National Trust Snowdrop walks.

Goldsborough Hall, Harrogate.

Hopton Hall, Derbyshire.

National Garden Schemes snowdrop days.

Ruby red Amaryllis.

I will leave you with this cheery amaryllis, a Christmas present that is now blooming beautifully. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Natalie at Threads and Bobbins for devising Sunday Sevens.

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30 Days Wild ~ Days 17 to 22. Swan babies and water for bees.

These past few days have been pretty hot weather-wise, with temperatures even hitting thirty degrees,  here in the North West. Here are my latest ‘Wild Moments.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 17 ~  Bonnie Babies.  On a shopping trip in Skipton , I came across these beautiful babies. ๐Ÿ™‚ Four gorgeous silvery cygnets with their proud parents. Talk about adorable. The Mute Swan pair didn’t seem threatened by the humans gathered at the canal side. Maybe they were showing off their bundles of joy. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is said that Mute Swans mate for life and usually have one brood a year, between March and June.


Day 18 ~ Breakfast with the Birds….and Squirrels.  This morning I decided to take my breakfast to the castle grounds ( a drink and a cereal bar, no less! ) and sit near where some kind soul leaves bird seed for the park’s population. I counted 2 Jackdaw, 1 Wood Pigeon, 3 Dunnock, 2 House Sparrow, a Robin, 2 Bluetits, 1 Chaffinch, 2 Blackbirds and three Grey Squirrels, in the half hour I was there. Here in the Ribble Valley, as in most of the country, it is the Grey Squirrel that has taken precidence , over our native Reds. In fact the Grey’s carry a disease that will destroy any Red Squirrels, they come into contact with. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Later in the week I read an article about a ‘Gun toting Granny’ in Cumbria , who shoots Grey Squirrels from her car window. I hope someday soon , a vaccine can be developed to protect the tufty reds..

 

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Harlequin Hatchling.

Day 19 ~ I D an Insect.  Another HOt Hot day.      Saw quite a few of these unusual looking insects with orange markings. They were sat on the leaves of some garden escape forget-me-nots, near where I live.  Anyway after a quick look online, I found out that they are the larvae of the Harlequin ladybird.  Harlequins are apparently an invasive ( yikes, more invaders! )ladybird species originally from Japan, first turning up on our shores in 2004. The larvae like to gollop up not only aphids, but insects too, including other ladybirds larvae. So maybe not so happily co-existing with our native species. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Day 20 ~ Water for the Bees.  Bees and other insects need  a fresh water supply , especially in hot weather.  Taking inspiration from a few other #30dayswilders , I filled a saucer with marbles and stones and poured in some water. Bees can rest on the marbles whilst taking a sip and there is less danger of them drowning, than if I just simply put a saucer of water out.

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Day 21 ~Fledgling Visitors.  Until today my only visitor to our bird feeders, has been a solitary bluetit. This morning she brought two fledglings along!  A happy moment. There was lots of chirping as she tried to persuade her two offspring to investigate the half coconut shell. Eventually one of her babies had a go. Hopefully they will all continue visiting. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Day 22 ~ Blissed Out. A very grey drizzley morning. But look who loves the weather! I must admit I felt a bit fed up as we started our daily venture into the fields. But just seeing how Hugo embraces the outdoors, always makes me smile. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

0ff camping tommorrow, so fingers crossed that the sunshine reappears. โ™ก

 

 

 

 

 

Coombe Abbey Hotel & Country Park.

Last weekend Wil and I and my sister and her hubby enjoyed a mini break away at a luxury hotel in Warwickshire. ย ย Coombe Abbey Hotelย near Coventry is a historic grade I listed building which was founded as a monastery in the 12th Century. Over the years the abbey has been added to ,with a West Wing designed by Captain William Winde , who also designed Buckingham Palace. And gardens and a lake constructed by Capability Brown. The hotel is set in a 500 acre public Country Park where an arboretum features a collection of 100 year old trees and a heronry is apparently host to over 60 breeding pairs. Sounds great right. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a few pics from the interior including the room which Wil and I stayed in with its four poster bed ( very romantic!) and there’s my decoupaged vintage suitcase on its first ever trip away, despite me buying it over two years ago!

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Blue Sky and a moat. ๐Ÿ™‚

The weekend threw all sorts of weather at us including rain,snow,hail and bursts of sunshine. On the Saturday we had a bit of a walk round the park. We didn’t see the whole of it but if you’re ever in the Coventry area, it is well worth a visit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy the pictures below.

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Coombe Abbey from the Hotel entrance side.
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Lots of these birds at the front of the hotel. Any ideas?

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The Swans were very friendly. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Abbeyย is even more beautifulย from the Park Side.

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Lots of geese make their home here including Greylag geese and….
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Egyptian Geese.
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Red wood pines in the arboretum.

Butterfly carvings in a tree stump. ๐Ÿ™‚

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After our Saturday walk Wil and I had an Afternoon Tea to go to. I can tell you’re not surprised! ย Coombe Abbey’s Afternoon tea is served in the lovely Garden Room Restaurant and I must say I think this one might just be the tastiest of all the many many Afternoon Teas that I have tried.

 

We decided on theย Knight’s Afternoon Teaย which comes served on a miniature picnic bench and features an assortment of goodies that includedย a warm shepherd’s pie served in a bucket, a very tasty homemade sausage roll,kilner jars of piccalilli and sweet pickled onions, a slice of the most scrumptious cheese & onion quicheย andย a yummy beef & horseradish roll.

Don’t forget the sweet treats too. There’s aย large glass of creamy tiramisu, a slice of Lemon Meringue Pieย and aย delicious light and buttery scone served with strawberry jam and clotted cream.ย The Knight’s Afternoon Tea also comes with as many tea or coffee refills as you require and a halfpint ofย Coombe Ale. ย ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you ever visited Coombe Abbey or Coombe Country Park? If you ever feel the need to treat yourself…or just simply explore some beautiful parkland, this is the place to go.x

 

 

 

 

Winter walk round Brockholes Nature Reserve.

Brockholes floating visitor centre.
Brockholes floating visitor centre.

I recently realized Its very nearly the end of December and I hadn’t posted a #take12trips entry for this month. Yikes! Clare from Need Another Holiday started the idea off in the bloggersphere ~ encouraging other bloggers to get up off their behinds and visit one new place each month and write a little about it. Well as I absolutely need to get off mine ( totally over indulged this Christmas! ) I persuaded Wil that a good walk in the countryside was in order. We drove to Brockholes nature reserve just off junction 31 of the M6 near Preston. I have been here before as the amazing floating visitor centre has hosted the odd farmers market and craft fair. But today was all about the fresh air and wildlife. We picked up a free map from the interactive welcome centre and set off to walk the route round the various lakes, ponds and marshes that have become home to all sorts of wild fowl.

Swan in the reeds.
Swan in the reeds.
Canada Goose.
Canada Goose.
If you go down in the woods today.
If you go down in the woods today.
I spy a church.
I spy a church.
Translucent red berries.
Translucent red berries.
Water birds.
Water birds.
a spot of lunch in the restaurant.
a spot of lunch in the restaurant.
Geese.
Geese.
Bull rushes.
Bull rushes.
Heron.
Heron.
Coot.
Coot.
Another view of the floating visitor centre.
Another view of the floating visitor centre.
Lapwing  :)
Lapwing ๐Ÿ™‚

There are various hides along the route if you want to spend more time watching the birds. And if you enjoy cycling the Preston Wheel Cycle Way also takes in the scenery here. The beautiful floating visitor centre has a waterside restaurant with a toasty wood burning stove and there are two gift shops on site. So if you want to experience the Lancashire great outdoors just off the motorway , this might be the place to come. ๐Ÿ™‚