Tag Archives: wild flowers

Wildlife Moments in 2017.Β 

I thought I would post a few of my favourite wildlife photos that I have taken whilst out and about this year. There have been a few special moments! I finally managed to photograph a kingfisherΒ  ( not once, but twice! ) and I was thrilled to spy a Green Woodpecker by the river Wharfe in Yorkshire.Β  A holiday on the Norfolk Coast proved an amazing experience for wildlife spotting and even a few days away in London gave me some photographic opportunities. πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy my pictures.

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Small Blue ButterflyΒ  , Old Hunstanton sand dunes.
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Pied Wagtail eating lunch , Brotherswater.
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Kingfisher perched above a rowing boat on the River Nidd in November.
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Foxgloves in Sandringham Country Park.
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Comeront , River Esk, Cumbria.
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Tawny Owl, Muncaster Castle.
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Sea Holly, Rossall Beach, Fleetwood.
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Nesting FulmarΒ  in the stripey cliffs of Hunstanton.
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Fallow Deer, Dalemain Estate, Cumbria.
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Grey Heron in Hyde Park, London in April.

 

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Moorhen in Hyde Park.
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Green Parakeet ( another London Park regular).
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Vallarean flowers amongst the beech huts, Old Hunstanton.
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Wild flowers on the banks of Ullswater.
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Kingfisher on the river Nidd.
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Sea Asters, Cromer.
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Six spotted burnet moth, Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve.
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Common and Grey Seals, Blakeney Point, Norfolk.
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Green Woodpecker next to the river Wharfe in the Dales.
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Pheasant in the Dales.

What wildlife have you enjoyed viewing in 2017?

 

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Hawthorn’s August Scavenger Hunt.

Hey there, it’s time for another bash at Hawthorn’s Photo Scavenger Hunt.  Looking at this month’s pictures makes me realise, I have been out and about quite a bit in August. Not that I’m complaining!

1. Relaxed.  A friend’s cute Bedlington Terrier is supplied with her own cushion in the pub , on our camping trip to Ingleton.

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2.  It begins with an M.  This curved sculpture on the beach in Cleveleys is called Mary’s Shell.

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3.  Time For…… a delicious slab of moist ginger cake in a cute cafe bar in Sedbergh called ‘The Three Hares’.

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4.  Tangerine.  Ok this photo is a bit of a stretch!  I am seeing a slight hint of tangerine colour here , in a waterfall on the Ingleton Falls Trail.

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5.  It begins with an O.  The Old Fashioned Traditional Sweet Shop on Blackpool’s North Pier sells all sorts of goodies. πŸ™‚

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6.  Whiskery. Ok he’s not really that whiskery, just scruffy and cute. I met this sweetie in The Three Hares in Sedbergh. His name is Tigger!

7.  Lace.  Cow Parsley in a local meadow. It’s also known as Queen Anne’s Lace.

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8.  Bridge. Well how about this bridge! Ribblehead Viaduct is Europe’s longest viaduct and its in our very own Yorkshire Dales, not far from Ingleton.

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9). Letters.  The letter appears prominently on these colourful Collins hardbacks in a book shop in Sedbergh. Sedbergh is a Book town in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

 

 

10.  My Own Choice. My two god daughters with their camping breakfasts. πŸ™‚

 Please check out Hawthorn’s Blog for more Scavenger Hunt posts. πŸ™‚

 

 

A Dales Camping Trip. 30 Days Wild ~Days 23 to 25.Β 

Day 23 ~ Set up Camp.  Less than a week to go now, of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. It is becoming a challenge to find new things to do in the wild, but a camping trip can surely help with that.  However looking back to my wild moments of 2015 , I can see we went camping then too. And to the same place! Still, you can’t go wrong with a firm favourite, and Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is somewhere we have returned to again and again.  Howgill Lodge Campsite is a 30 minutes walk along the river from the village, and is a great little site, popular with families and walkers. And it’s dog friendly too. πŸ™‚

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The chickens usually arrive whilst camp is being set up. πŸ™‚
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And bunnies play their part at keeping the grass short.

Howgill Lodge tries to do its bit for the environment and encourage wildlife. There are bird boxes around the site, wildflower areas, and solar panels for water, heating and lighting in the shower blocks.

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There is a Wildlife Board near the site entrance.

After setting up camp in the Yorkshire drizzle, we walked along the River Wharfe and ended up in one of the pubs in Appletreewick for a few drinks. Then we got comfy , the rain got worse, so we stopped for tea and more liquid refreshment! If you find yourself in the area I can definitely recommend the Craven Arms and Cruck Barn  for real ales, ciders and amazing food, adorned with wildflowers. πŸ™‚

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Pan-fried Cod with Mussels. Spot the cornflower.

And the walk along the river is always beautiful, even in the rain. Some things reassuringly never change. Lots of glorious Common spotted orchids in bloom and a young Wild Swimmer, forever immortalised by a poignant plaque, as the Wharfe winds it’s way  through the woodland.

Day 24 ~ Wildlife along the River Wharfe.  As is tradition when we visit these parts, we decided to walk to Bolton Abbey and back.  With a lunch break, and me forever stopping to take pictures ( much to the annoyance of my other half, tee hee) , we were probably out walking for about 6 hours. Anyone else would be much quicker!  Here are a few million photos from the day.

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Giant Bellflower.
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You don’t need a wrist watch on this walk.
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Common Sandpiper.
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Not sure about this striking blue flower, maybe a garden escape.
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A lesser spotted Hugo.
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Nuthatch.
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Bolton Abbey.
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Grey Heron.  
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Goosander.
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Great Tits.
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Betony.
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Willow Warbler.
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Hugo has a Wild moment !
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Skippers on Scabious.

Day 25 ~ More from the Riverside.  Before heading home we took Hugo a walk from nearby Burnsall village to Hebden.  There is a choice of wibbly wobbly suspension bridge or stepping stones to cross the river.  Which would you choose?

And look out for these beautiful yellow flowers that adorn the river bank. I have seen them on previous visits, but only just managed to Id them.

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Mimulus aka Monkey Flower.

How is 30 Days Wild going for you? Thanks for joining me in the Dales. πŸ™‚

30 Days Wild ~ Days 2 to 6. I β™‘ Norfolk.Β 

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A hastily arranged ‘Wild’ of Fir Cones.

Having recently arrived home from a holiday in Norfolk, thrown some washing in, greeted the cat and waved off my Other Half to the pub, I thought I had better do some catching up on blog posts. πŸ™‚ Firstly it’s time to update my progress on #30dayswild, which The Wildlife Trusts have organized to challenge people to experience 30 random acts of wildness in June.  On Day One I made Wild Watermint Tea here  and since then I have been staying on the coast in Hunstanton , aka Sunny Hunny. πŸ™‚ Here are some Wild Moments!

Day Two.  Red Striped Cliffs and Nesting Fulmars. As soon as had we settled into our accommodation , we headed to the beach with Hugo. The first thing we noticed was the extraordinary red and white striped cliffs. The red chalk is due to iron staining. They are certainly a stunning sight.

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Red and white striped cliffs.

The tide was out and below is our view toward the Sea. Rock pools have formed in between the boulders. Hugo is out there somewhere!  We did not find even a solitary crab in the pools, but they do have rather a lot of predators. Looking up to the cliffs once again , we couldn’t fail to see ( and hear ) hundreds of pairs of Fulmar, nesting in the craggy rock face.

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Rocky pools.

Fulmars look like Gulls but are apparently members of the Petrel family.  They are able to drink sea-water and have ”tube-noses” enabling them to excrete excess salt through their nostrils. You learn something new every day!  We wish our labrador had a Tube Nose, he does tend to take the odd sea sip, when he thinks we are not looking….

Day Three.  Coastal Butterflies & Wildflowers.  On a walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path from Hunstanton to Holme , here are some of the plants and butterflies that we spotted. Now despite studying a couple of Collins Guides , I’m not confident with all my IDs. So if you know better, please let me know. πŸ™‚

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 Vipers Bugloss 
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Orange Hawkweed.
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Pink Valerian.
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Painted Lady in Holme.
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Sea Bindweed.
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Saw lots of tiny blue butterflies fluttering around. Possibly Small Blues.
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Maybe a Tree Mallow.
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Lots of these tiny red moths. Possibly Cinnabar.
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Phacelia.

This walk was a dream for me. Some of these flowers and insects, I have never seen before. I just couldn’t stop smiling. πŸ™‚

Day Four.  Eating Lavender.  Norfolk Lavender is one of the country’s largest Lavender Farms and as it was only down the road from us at Heacham , I persuaded Wil that we needed to try their Lavender Cake!  Lavender has been used since Roman times ( indeed it was the Roman’s who probably brought this fragrant flowering herb over to our shores) in medicines, lotions and potions. I for one had never tried it in cake….. or in Lemonade.

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Cake!

The cake was quite nice ( in a fragrant flowery way) but even though Wil and I shared it, we couldn’t finish it. Now that wouldn’t happen with Chocolate Cake!  The lemonade was refreshing but very very fizzy, so I couldn’t drink all of that either. Most disappointing was the fact that about ninety percent of the lavender isn’t in bloom yet, so if you are planning a visit, wait a few more weeks.

Day Five. Collected Shells on Brancaster Beach.   On Day Five we took Hugo for a walk On Brancaster Beach.  Norfolk is great for Pet Friendly Beaches and Brancaster is just one of many lovely stretches of sand. Our walk was incredibly windy so we got somewhat sandblasted.  I’m not sure my photo really does the conditions any justice!

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Brancaster Beach.
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Sea Campions.
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Shells.

I probably gave up collecting shells after about five minutes , so my little collection is a bit sad. What you can see are a couple of oyster shells, a razor shell, a couple of cockle shells, pebbles and a couple of trough shells. I think they are all quite common on British Beaches.

Day Six. Rainy Walk In a Country Park.  This day was wet and windy so we decided to have a wander round nearby Sandringham Country Park. The canopy from the woodland offered some protection from the elements.  At this time of year the Royal retreat is adorned with flowering Rhododendrons and Foxgloves. We spied a Roe Deer, several squirrels and a couple of cheeky Jays. They were all very camera shy. So here are some facts about foxgloves. πŸ™‚

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Dead Man’s Bells and Witches Gloves. 

Other names for Foxgloves include Fairy Thimbles, Floppydocks and Goblin Gloves.

The  name Ffion is Welsh for Foxglove.

Foxgloves , though highly toxic, are used in Heart Medicines.

Plant Foxgloves in your garden and you will attract fairies.

The White Spots in each bell are marks left by fairies.

Fairies apparently taught foxes to ring the bells, warning other foxes of hunters in the area.

Bad fairies told foxes to wear the flowers on their paws ( like slippers) so the hens in the hen house wouldn’t hear them coming.

In mythology the Roman Goddess Flora touched a foxglove to Juno’s belly, so she could conceive a child with Jupiter.

Thanks for reading my update. More to follow in a few days. πŸ™‚

 

#30dayswild:)

Water Mint by Mearley Brook.
A refreshing Mint Tea !

Hey there, I thought I would do one quick #30dayswild post before I go on my jollies to Norfolk tommorrow. Its a bit of a cheat because I actually collected the mint yesterday afternoon. But I did make the tea this morning. I had a refreshing wild moment. πŸ™‚

All I did was steep the leaves in hot ( not boiling) water for about 5 minutes and pour into a teacup. I don’t like my mint tea to sweet so didn’t add sugar. Water Mint tea has a pepperminty taste and I must say, I really enjoyed it. 

Look out for Water Mint by streams. You will probably smell it’s minty fragrance first!  At the moment you can identify Water Mint by its green leaves tinted with purple. From July there will be lilac flowers to admire too. πŸ™‚

If you haven’t heard about The Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild yet, check out their website. They are challenging everyone to get involved , by doing something Wild every day in June. This could be anything, from taking the dog  on a different walk route, sowing a patch of wild flower seeds, eating a picnic up a tree or identifying a bird call…..

As I’m off to the Norfolk Coast tommorrow, I am really looking forward to spotting  wildlife there that I don’t get to see in Lancashire. I look forward to updating my blog and reading everybody elses Wild posts on my return. πŸ™‚

Bye for now.x

 

Clapham Nature Trail and Ingleborough Show Cave.

The village of Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales is a delightful place to visit.It contains a  handful of pretty stone cottages, a pub, a couple of cafes ,a village shop,  an eclectic vintage store and a Mountain Rescue base for nearby Ingleborough,  one of the Three Peaks. If you don’t fancy a spot of hill walking or climbing , then I recommend the pretty nature trail through Ingleborough Estate and a tour of Ingleborough Cave instead. πŸ™‚

We parked on the National Park’s Car park in the village, which is quite expensive so bring plenty of change. From there we walked past the church and followed the brook to the beginning of the nature trail, which is well sign posted. There is an honesty box for contributions toward its upkeep.

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Trail Entrance.

 

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One end of the lake.

There is a slight incline before you get to a lake. The lake is man- made and was created by an ancestor of the family who own the Ingleborough estate. Reginald Farrer was a renowned botanist and explorer. He collected many new species of rhododendrons, shrubs and alpines in China, Burma and Tibet in the early 1900’s.  Most still survive today. His unusual gardening technique of firing the seeds with a shotgun at a cliff face to distribute the rock plants , seems to have worked. πŸ™‚

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Lords & Ladies.
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Rhododendrons.
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Bluebells.

We put Hugo on his lead in the woodland and kept to the main path, as he is one for wandering !  I would have loved to have explored a bit more and discovered Reginald’s collection of exotic plants.  Instead we made do with our own beautiful native wildflowers, which are abundant on the trail.

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A throne of stones.. πŸ™‚
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Water Avens.
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Any guesses?
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 The Grotto..

The building above is known as ‘The Grotto’  and was built in the 19th Century to shelter those who wanted to sit back and admire the scenery.

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Wood Sorrel.
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Think this sign is meant to say 400 yards to the cave. πŸ™‚

After the woodland, the landscape opens out onto limestone pastures ,so we let Hugo have a play in the babbling brook. πŸ™‚ As you can see the path is pretty decent and is so all the way along. I would definitely say that it is suitable for prams, pushchairs, wheelchairs etc.

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Path to the cave.
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Limestone Beck..
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Wet Dog !

The Entrance to the Cave soon comes into sight!   I go and investigate the little shop and it seems a tour is about to start in 5 minutes. There are only two other couples putting on hard hats , so we decide to go for it. Hugo does not have to wear a hat , though I think it would have suited him. ;).

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The Cave Entrance.

Our Guide ‘Jude’ was really enthusiastic and regaled us with the history of Ingleborough Show Cave and how it to was first explored in 1837 by members of the Farrer family, after a massive flood revealed it. The intrepid Victorians made their staggering discoveries dressed in tweed and carrying candles! Stalagmites and stalactites galore. Today the cave retains its treasures for  everyone to view and the interesting tour is well worth the Β£9 charge.

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The’ Mushroom Bed’.

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The ‘Elephant’.
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The ‘Sword of Damocles’ 

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 ‘Queen Victoria’s Bloomers.’
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The reflection looks like a tiny city.
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This part of the cave is where Santa has a Grotto at Christmas. Hugo is looking at Jude who took the photo. I think she is saying ‘Biscuits!’

We really enjoyed our exploration of Ingleborough Cave.  The tour is well lit and there is a concrete path to follow. There is quite a bit of head ducking , so be warned if you are pretty tall!  Afterwards we warmed up with hot drinks and made our way back to Clapham, via the trail.  It was wonderful to catch the odd glimpse of dippers darting up  the stream. πŸ™‚  Of course if you want to carry on over the pack horse bridge and up to Gaping Gill ( a natural pothole cave), there is more to discover…….

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packhorse bridge.
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Violets.
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Daffs.

Once back at the trail entrance I happened to glance up at the wall and saw a male pheasant perched there. It was so completely still that I actually thought it was a plastic model at first !  What beautiful birds pheasants are. πŸ™‚

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Cock Pheasant.
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Pug Pups. πŸ™‚

And two inquisitive pugs woofed their goodbyes from a Clapham Village Garden.

 

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™‚

Bluebells.
A Lesser Spotted Hugo !

 

Pheasant.

 Thanks For Dropping by. πŸ™‚