Tag Archives: wild flowers

Downham & Twiston Circular Walk. 🥾

Another blog post, another local walk. This one is from the picture perfect village of Downham, where in fact many years ago, I went to primary school. The hike is a 4 mile circular route and was a very peaceful one, we saw only one other person out walking until we arrived back in the village at the end for an ice cream. 😊

We set off from the large car park in Downham, following the brook down through the village. You may recognize Downham from the TV series Born and Bred which was filmed here.

A stone bridge over the brook.
All the cottages in the village are owned by Lord Clitheroe’s estate, so the whole village is tenanted.
There are quite a few Stiles and kissing gates on the walk.
A brood of ducklings. 🙂
We head uphill through farmland and find a well placed bench.
Some locals are keen to see us off though.
A pretty wildflower meadow. 🌼
Hugo cooling off in Twiston Beck.
Twiston Mill Pond, though we couldn’t see the pond for the reeds!
Heading past Twiston Mill , which was a busy cotton mill in the past.
Old squeeze style replaced by gate.
You can continue here to Downham Mill, but our route took us elsewhere. I would like to do this walk though too.
The walk carried on past a couple of farms. Here’s a view of Pendle.
Dog Roses and Elderflowers.
Cows grazing as we approach Downham again.
On a rocky outcrop above the village , a 🐝 on mother of thyme.
And Biting Yellow Stonecrop.
Back into Downham. The cottages are stunning and no overhead cables or satellite dishes in sight.
Picture postcard perfect.
The Assheton Arms, Downham’s lovely pub. A couple of days after our walk we heard that the company who owns it has gone into administration, so not sure about it’s future. 😦
Downham pre school, which once upon a time used to be my primary school.
Hugo waiting for ice cream.

We ended our walk at the little ice cream shop on Hare Green, which also sells brews, cakes and sandwiches.

I downloaded this route here. 🥾

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ June.

So I returned as promised to Salthill Nature Reserve in Clitheroe to look for the elusive Bee Orchid. There was a photo of one on a local wildlife group, but could I find it? Well nope! However there was still plenty to see and it was nice to wander round the reserve.

There were lots of Speckled Woods in the woodland areas.
And scented Dog Roses adorned the pathways.
The poisonous Cuckoo Pints green berry stalks cover the woodland floor.
The Common Blues looked vividly blue.
Honey scented flowers of Agrimony were once added to mead.
This rabbit sat and watched me from a woodland clearing.
A new wild flower sighting for me ~ Round leaved Wintergreen. The leaves remain evergreen through winter.
I saw a few Brown Ringlets.
Common spotted orchid.

I snuck into a gated off meadow which might not have been part of the reserve. Whoops! There were vast amounts of ox-eye daisies in there which were buzzing with bees and small dragonflies.

Daisy fest. 🌼
Small tortoishell on daisy.
And on bramble blossom.
Red Clover. This one looks particularly vibrant.
I didn’t have a clue what this was! I thought it may be some rarity, but then someone told me it was a cowslip gone to seed. 😜
Small tortoishell on wild thyme.
Cinnabar Moth.
I always get my Cinnabar’s and Six spotted Burnet’s mixed up. I should just count the spots. 😊

So despite not coming across the bee orchid, it was a successful visit. Have you visited a nature reserve recently?

To The Sea.

I have been craving ‘ a sea fix ‘ for some time now. Today was finally the day that I got my fix. We headed to Heysham on the Lancashire coast and parked at Heysham Nature Reserve behind the power station. After typing Heysham Nature Reserve into Google maps it told me that we had visited the reserve two years ago. Scary that it remembered. 😜

Heysham Nature Reserve is still open , however the car park and facilities are currently closed. We managed to find a spot near the entrance and Hugo had an off lead wander. At some point we ended up on the rocky shore in front of the power station. Un surprisingly it was easy to social distance beside a nuclear power station. 😊

We walked as far as the striking rust coloured South Pier lighthouse and retraced our steps back to the car.

Rocky shore.
Behind the power station.
Yellow Rattle.
Greater Knapweed.
Hugo inspects the thin strip of beach.
Sea & sky.
Lesser black backed Gull.
South Pier Lighthouse selfie.
South Pier Lighthouse.
Oyster catchers brunch time.

It was around 11-30 and already cracking the flags at nearby Half Moon Bay when we parked the car on the small car park there. In fact it was getting a bit too hot for Hugo. After a short walk along the cliffs as far as the St Patrick’s chapel remains, we called it a day. Looking back on my post from two years ago, we had a hot weather visit then too! No beautiful new sculptures at that time though. Fab to see the recent editions. 😊

Oyster catcher sculpture.
Half Moon Bay.
Ship Sculpture looking over Half Moon Bay.
Ship Sculpture.
My first ever sighting of a Whitethroat. 🙂
St Patrick’s Chapel.
Rock cut coffin graves.

Goodbye beautiful Lancashire coast. Until next time. ❤️

Up With The Owls.

Early morning walk with Hugo this morning was well worth getting up for. ❤️

Cow Parsley. Also called Queen Anne’s Lace.
Bunny ears. X
Bistort. Grew up calling this flower ‘ Sweaty Feet’.
Ragged Robin in unmown field.
Little owls. Youngsters maybe….
Little Owl. 🙂
Life’s a hoot.
Yellow Flag Iris.
Nuthatch.
Woody path.
Nice to be out before it gets hot.:)
Goldfinch.

Thanks for dropping by. 😘

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ May.

By midday today it was scorching hot. I had taken our labrador for a riverside walk early morning ( saw my first dragonfly of the year) and then decided to head out somewhere unaccompanied. I love Hugo but he gets a little impatient when I become distracted by butterflies. 🙂

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve is one of two nature reserves in my home town. A mixture of limestone grassland and shady woodland, the reserve is a haven for wild flowers and birds such as black caps and bullfinches. Which I never see ! Haha. Today my nemesis bird ( a gloriously colourful jay) posed for several photographs, promptly flying off cackling before I could get him into focus.

I enjoyed my walk and intend to post a blog in June, when hopefully the bee orchids will be in flower. For now, enjoy these photos. 😘

Hawthorn.
Yellow poppies.
Blue sky.
Cowslips.

Clock.
Small white.
Germander Speedwell.
Robin red breast.
Birds Foot Trefoil aka Bacon & Eggs.
Dog Rose.
Small white.
Wood Aven.
Bugles and Herb Robert.
Bluetit flying in and out of a nesting box.
Crinoid bench.
Milkwort.
Wild Strawberry.
Common Blue.
Chiffchaff.
Common Blue on Buttercup.

I hope I have identified the above correctly, please let me know if I have mixed up my common blues with my holly blues. 😅

Worsaw Hill Walk.

Before the sun broke through the clouds yesterday and all the social distancing sunbathing and street parties commenced, we headed out for a walk up Worsaw Hill. The grassy limestone knoll is walkable from my hometown of Clitheroe, we managed an eight mile circular route before lunch time. 🙂 Here are a few images from our morning.

Lambs and Pendle Hill.
Blossoming Horse Chestnut Tree.
Hello Nanny 🐐.
Sheep sculptures ~ Worston Village.
Bunting ~ Worston Village.
Footpath sign after the Calf’s Head pub in Worston.
Footpath with Worsaw Hill ( I only took one actual picture of the hill itself, doh! ) In the distance.
Curious cows.
Water Avens.
View to Pendle Hill from ( almost the top of ) the much smaller Worsaw Hill.
View of Pendle. We rested and ate an Aldi version of a Tunnocks Tea Cake. Hugo had half an apple. 🙂
Downham Hall and Church from the other side of Worsaw Hill.
And views toward Kemple End and Clitheroe.
Violets.
Pretty path towards Chatburn village.
Tortoishell butterfly.
From Chatburn we headed for the river. Hugo had again rolled in something dead! Time for a dip.
The Ribble between Chatburn and West Bradford Bridge.
Bad dog! 🙄
Mute Swan.
Any ideas botanist bloggers? On the Riverside.
Canada Geese.
Dandelion clocks.
Hanson Cement works on the outskirts of Clitheroe.
Heron doing a Greta Garbo. 😅
Dusky Cranesbill.

This was a quiet walk with great views, wildlife and if done in the future, places to find refreshment. Also for film buffs, Worsaw Hill appears in Whistle Down The Wind , which was made locally.

Thanks for joining us. Hugo is clean again. 😘

Salthill Quarry Walks & A Blue Lagoon.

This morning we had a ramble up to Salthill Quarry which is one of two nature reserves in my hometown of Clitheroe. We also had a wander there last weekend and found a new route back, so here are a few pictures from both walks.

I always look at this sign and think ‘hmmm where are those bullfinches?’. I have in the past seen the Bee orchids though. 😁
Wild Strawberry or maybe Barren Strawberry flower.
Birds Foot Trefoil, I think.
We always try our best to get a photo of Hugo on this fossil inspired seat, with little success.
More cowslips.

I have seen a few photos recently on Facebook of what can only be described as a ‘ Blue Lagoon’. I told Wil I really wanted to see this local landmark/ quarry pit for myself. Apparently as a teenager him and his mates would go scrambling round it. Boys will be boys!

Anyway the aquamarine water is a result of the limestone, which is quarried. Clitheroe’s limestone is made into cement and there has been a cement works in Clitheroe since the 1930s. I remember the town being known as ‘Cement City’ on CB radio. Haha.

The lagoon can be seen from a field off the A59 Link road.
There is no public access to the lagoon. I did see some mallards on it though.

After the blue lagoon excitement we walked back into town on a footpath we found last weekend, also off the A59 link road.

Beautiful Apple Blossom ❤️.
Magic Mushroom Graffiti under a stone footbridge.
Bluebells.
Stitchwort.
Stoney track. Spring flowers on both bankings here.
Daisies.
“I’m watching you “.
Old unlived in farm house.
Heading back through upbrooks, a part of Clitheroe that I didn’t really realise was here until recently.

One good thing about having to hang round home, is new walks found, and new parts of town explored.

Have you found any ‘new to you’ footpaths in your local area?

Seven days of wildflowers. 🌸

For the past seven days I’ve chosen a wild flower that I’ve seen on my daily walk with Hugo, and found out a few facts about each flower.

Saturday ~ Bluebell. There’s nothing more stunning than a carpet of bluebells in the Spring. I saw clumps of these gorgeous violet blue flowers on a walk today through a patch of woodland by the river. Here are a few facts about bluebells.

Other names for Bluebell include Wild Hyacinth, Wood Bell, Granfer Giggle, Witches Thimble, Cuckoo’s Boot, Bell Bottle and Lady’s Nightcap.

It is against the law to pick, uproot or intentionally destroy bluebells.

Bluebells can also be pink or white.

The bluebell is the flower of St George.

In folklore fairies ring the bells to gather together their fairy kin. If humans hear blue bells ring however, disaster will befall them. 😬

Sunday ~ Cowslip. There are lots of cowslips in bloom at the local nature reserve in Salthill Quarry. They tend to thrive in meadows, dry grassy banks, grass verges and in open woodland. Here are a few cowslip facts.

Cowslip apparently means cow pat! It has been noted that the flowers spring up around where cows have ‘slupped’.

Tea made from the flowers can be used to help cure headaches and insomnia.

In countryside tradition cowslips were strewn along the church path at weddings and put in May Day garlands.

Other names for cowslip include Bunch of Keys, Lady’s fingers, Yellowdrops , Freckled Face & Fairies Flower.

Cowslips are the food of the Duke of Burgundy caterpillar.

Monday ~ Germander Speedwell. These little beauties were growing amongst a patch of primroses next to Mearley Brook. I love the bright blue colour of speedwells. 💙 Here are a few facts about the Germander Speedwell.

Other names that speedwells go by include Birds Eye and Cats Eye.

The flowers are a good luck charm for travellers. A speedwell worn in a button hole will ‘ speed you well ‘ on your journey.

The speedwells Latin name is Veronica Chamaedrys. It is said that a St Veronica wiped Christ’s forehead on the way to his crucifixion and an image of Jesus’s face was left imprinted on the cloth she used. Speedwell flowers resemble little faces.

In Germany speedwells are also known as ‘ mannertreu ‘ or ‘ men’s faithfulness ‘. Ironically the flowers wilt very quickly once picked.

In ancient medicine speedwells were used to cure many ailments especially coughs and congestion.

Tuesday ~ Yellow Archangel. As well as bluebells, the woodland floor near Standen Hall is covered in a hooded spring flower , the Yellow Archangel. Though I prefer to call it by one of its other names, the Yellow weasel snout. 🙂

Although it is a member of the Dead-Nettle family, the Yellow Archangel doesn’t sting.

If you want to know what a weasel smells like, crush the plants leaves. The rank aroma will give you some idea apparently.

The Yellow Archangel flowers near the 27th of April, a day dedicated to the Archangel Michael.

The flower has been used in the past to protect cattle against a black magic disease.

Red Dead-Nettles and White Dead-Nettles are closely related to their yellow flowered cousin.

Wednesday ~ Wild Garlic. An indicator of ancient woodland, this time of year is ideal for foraging the leaves of ramsons or wild garlic. They can also flower on roadside verges, where I saw the above. Here are some facts about Wild Garlic.

Wild garlic leaves and flowers can be used in many recipes including garlic scones and wild garlic pesto.

The plant is also known as Bear Garlic. It’s Latin name is Allium Ursinum ( bear leek). On the continent brown bears like to feast on the leaves.

Cats are apparently repelled by the smell of wild garlic.

In Ireland wild garlic bulbs were put into the thatched roofs of cottages for good luck.

If you forage wild garlic leaves , do not confuse with the similar looking Lily of the valley, which is highly toxic and should not be eaten. The best way to know your garlic is to check with your nose.

Thursday ~ Bugle. Down by the brook I spied several bugles. They can be found in damp grassland and woodland.

The Bugles Latin name is Ajuga reptans. Reptans means creeping & crawling, rather like how the plant spreads on underground runners.

The sixteenth century physician and naturalist William Turner described the plant as ‘ a black herb that groweth in moist ground and shadowy places’. It was used in ancient medicine to stop bleeding.

Bugles are popular with bees and butterflies.

The herb was made into a tea in Austria to help with respiratory conditions.

Friday ~ Red Campion. Today’s flower is pretty in pink , one of the first pink blooms of Spring. Red campions grow on woodland edges, in hedgerows and fields. These were by Mearley Brook. Here are some facts about Red Campion.

Red campion is also known by the names of Adder Flower, Red Catchfly and Robin Hood.

On the continent Red Campion are a scorpion scarer! Scorpions are not fond of red campions , throwing one at a scorpion renders it’s sting useless apparently. Don’t think I would want to try this out!

In fairy folklore Red campion is said to have been used by fairy folk to protect their honey stores.

Another name for the pink flower is Bachelor s Button, perhaps the flower was worn in single fellows button holes at country weddings, once upon a time.

Red campions roots were once used as a substitute for soap.

Of course every day more and more flowers appear! It’s so lovely to see them on my daily walks. What wild flowers have you noticed this week?

Life Lately.

How are you doing? How are you coping with this new kind of lifestyle? At the moment everything feels all kinds of surreal, though I suspect at some point it is going to feel like the norm…

Currently I am not working ,though my other half is as he is classed as a Key worker. So we are not getting under each others feet and still getting on fine. 🙂 I have signed up as a community volunteer to buy essentials for the elderly, vulnerable and those in self isolation. Should keep me busy!

Sunshine on Celandines. 🙂

I am so glad we are still able go on local walks. Luckily I live a walkable distance from fields and flowers. Spring is certainly just getting on with it. New blooms appear almost every day.

Wood Anemones.
Hugo cooling off.

Having a pet means exercise is still very much on the agenda. I am so glad that touchwood, I am in good health. I don’t want to think about self isolation when we have an energetic pooch to walk.

One of the nice things about our walks is that everyone always says hello these days,though from a distance of course… 🙂

Books! Books! Books!

Last weekend before the libraries shut, I was able to take out this big pile of reading material. Overdue fees do not apply, as who knows how long it will be before they reopen. I was actually allowed to pick out up to thirty books, but I couldn’t carry that many. 😁

Here are a few things I’ve watched recently.

Le Man’s 66 ~ Rented off BT TV. True story about how Ford pitted itself against Ferrari in the Le Man’s 24 Hour Car Race. Set in 1966 , Christian Bale stars as unpredictable racing driver Ken Miles. ⭐⭐⭐

The Favourite ~ Dvd from Charity shop. Lavish debauchery in Queen Anne’s court as Rachel Wiez and Emma Stones coniving cousins battle it out to be the Queens favourite. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Malory Towers ~ Free on BBC I Player. Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers novels have been turned into a delightful BBC adaptation. Get lost in lacrosse matches, midnight feasts, sea bathing and ghostly apparitions. Pure nostalgia. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Extra Ordinary ~ Free on Netflix. Zainy Irish horror comedy about a driving instructor with supernatural abilities. ⭐⭐⭐

ZombieLand Double Tap ~ Rented off BT TV. Not quite as good (but still fun!)Sequel to Zombieland. Thankfully we don’t have to shoot zombies when we go outside, just avoid humans. 😅 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

So there you have it. Let me know how your getting on and how your keeping occupied/cheerful.

Stay well. x