Tag Archives: wildflowers

30 Days Wild ~ Days 26 to 30. A poem and a Nature Reserve Visit.

Here are my ‘Wild’ moments from the last few days of June. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day 26 ~ Pressed Flowers make memories.  After resurrecting my old Travel journal ( it went by the wayside after I started blogging), I thought pressing a couple of local flowers from our Yorkshire Dales camping trip, would be  a nice way of remembering our time there.  I must get myself a flower press though. I just squished a field scabious and a common vetch ( both are numerous along the river Wharfe) between two pages of a book, I was reading at the time. Not very professional!

 

 

Day 27 ~  A Nature Inspired Poem. So here’s my attempt at writing a poem!  I have took inspiration from my recent trip to the Norfolk coast. We stayed in the seaside town of Hunstanton and visited nearby Holme, Wells and Blakeney Point.

Busy Bee , Stop!  Look up….. and rest.

Rust striped cliffs, where fulmars nest.

In rocky pools  limpets cling.

Oyster Catchers peck them clean.

Cinnabars and fluttering Blues.

Sea Holly amongst the dunes.

Bursts of pink wave in the breeze.

Seals play in blustery seas.

So stop…. and look….. and take in

the wild living  amongst us.

 

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Day 28 ~ Feeling Blue. Today was another dreary damp day, but instead of feeling blue, I made a slideshow of the colour blue in nature. These pictures are all from the past couple of months.  They include Scabious, Meadow Cranesbill, Viper’s Bugloss ( aka Sea Thistle), Blue Sky, Small Blue butterfly, Bluebells, Violet and blue in a Peacock Butterflies wing.

Day 29.  Update. Has #30dayswild been a success in our little back yard? Well , it’s a work in progress! The wildflower seeds I planted at the beginning of the month are definitely seedlings.Still waiting to find out what they will become. I have not counted any butterflies, though I have seen bees. It has rained every day since I put out the bee water dish. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Most successful is our little bird feeding station. We now  have bluetits and a Tree sparrow, as restaurant regulars. ๐Ÿ™‚

Day 30.  Visit a Nature Reserve. My last day of ‘Wild’ has been a success! This morning I took myself off to one of Clitheroe’s two Nature Reserves, on the edge of town. You can find them both by using The Wildlife Trust’s Nature Finder App. Salthill Quarry is half woodland and half disused quarry. The limestone grassland is a haven for wildflowers, and even on a drizzly day like today. it did not disappoint. Prepare for about a million photos….

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Any ideas? A ground spreading purple flower in the woodland.
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A snail amongst the bramble.
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Trees Canopy.
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Not sure of this birdie either.
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Agrimony. Used in Herbal medicine.
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How cute is this squirrel. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Self-Heal. Used by Medieval first- aiders for binding up wounds.
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Rosebay Willowherb. Also known as Fireweed.
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Vetch.
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There were lots of orchids. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Ringlet Butterfly. One of the few butterflies that are active in light showers.
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Goldfinch.
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A type of grass.
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Despite the weather,I did see quite a few bees.
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Creeping Cinquefoil.
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Pignut. Has edible roots.
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Scabious.
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Marjoram.  A striking culinary herb.
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Hawkweed and Betony in the background.
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Another Ringlet.
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Thrush.
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Ladybird on Meadow Sweet.

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My favourite spots of the day. But are they Six spotted Burnet Moths or Cinnabar Moths?  They did not move from their blades of grass.

So there you have it! Another #30dayswild ends. It has been a challenge this year, but also a lovely experience. I have taken more notice of insects.  I have visited  new places, as well as returned to some old favourites. I have tried to make the garden area more wild and will continue to do so. As usual The Wildlife Trusts have inspired me to stop, step back and take in , all the beautiful nature that surrounds me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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30 Days Wild ~ Days 10 to 16. Wild-rose petal jam and a walk in the centre of Britain.ย 

Back to my own neck of the woods  now, the lovely Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Here are my wild moments from the last seven days. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day 10 ~ The Running Hare. I have started reading this charming book by John Lewis Stempel. It is  the story of how a farmer attempts to transform a bare ,almost barren meadow , into a haven for the kind of wildlife that would frequent a field, if it wasn’t for the intensive farming methods used  today. This book takes me back to my own childhood, growing up on a farm, when  hare and partridges, lapwing and field mice were much more commonplace  than they are today. I hope he succeeds…

 

Day 11 ~ Wild Rose-Petal Jam. The hedgerows are full of fragrant Wild Rose shrubs , so I thought I would follow this recipe and make Rose- Petal Jam.

2 Cups Wild Rose Petals.

2 Cups Caster Sugar.

1 tbsp Orange juice.

1 tbsp Lemon juice.

Half a cup of Water.

Dissolve two cups of caster sugar in half a cup of water mixed with one tablespoon each of lemon juice and orange juice. Stir in the rose petals and put the pan over a very low heat. Stir continuously for 30 minutes, or until the petals have ‘melted’. Cool the mixture and pour into a small glass jar and seal. Rose-Petal jam is popular in the Middle East , especially with yoghurt.

The recipe worked, though took an awful lot of stirring. Also the jam is incredibly sweet, so I think if I make it again, I would lessen the amount of sugar used.


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Day 12 ~  Feeding the Birds.  Wil very kindly made this hanger for the bird feeders at the weekend. Much less precarious than having them swing about on the washing line! One visitor has taken to the Coconut shell filled with cooked fat and seeds.A bluetit ! Hopefully more will follow. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Meadow Cranesbill.

Day 13 ~  Wildflower Count. My blogger pal  Christine has posted on Facebook about an online Wildflower survey organized by Plantlife  , so I thought I would give it a go on today’s dog walk. Hugo and I followed Mearley Brook through the fields and then on to the River Ribble. I ticked off only 7 of the suggested flowers, which  was a little disappointing . But there were a few I spotted that were not on the list, such as Red Campion, Crosswort, Silverweed and Water Forget-me-not. I also saw the shiny copper coloured beetle below. Let me if know you take part…


 

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Possibly a Garden Chafer.

Day 14 ~ Meadow Grasses.  Flowers are beautiful, but have you ever noticed how pretty wild grasses are?  On an early morning walk with Hugo, I passed through a farmer’s field, which I think is waiting to be mown. Here are just a few of the different grasses that I very quickly took pictures of with my phone. Hugo loves racing trails through this meadow. We ended up soaked with dew and covered in grass seeds. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Day 15 ~ Wildflower Seedlings. It looks like the seeds I received in my #30dayswild pack from The Wildlife Trusts are sprouting in my flower bed. Either that or a variety of weeds. I am intrigued to see what we end up with!

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Day 16 ~  A walk in the centre of the Kingdom.  Did you know the exact Centre of the UK is in Lancashire?  National Grid reference SD63770 56550 Hanging Stones , to be exact!  The nearest village is the pretty Bowland settlement of Dunsop Bridge. We parked our car in the village car park and walked up the track adjacent PuddleDuck Tearooms, past the playground and into the Dunsop Valley. Here are a few photos of the wildlife we saw on our walk.

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A Willow warbler, I think.
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Thistle.
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Heath Bedstraw.
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Pied Wagtail.
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Mallards.
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Elderflower.
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Common Spotted Orchids.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Foxglove.
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Eyebright.
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Mistle Thrush, I think !

After our ramble we had earned coffee and cake at Puddleducks!  A tearoom complete with ducks on the Village Green. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Puddleducks , Dunsop Bridge.

Whoo I think that means we are just over halfway through ’30 Days Wild’ now. I just need to think of some ideas for the next 14 days!  All suggestions welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚
 

 

 

 

 

30 Days Wild ~ Days 7 to 9. Seaside fun.

I am pretty fortunate that my holidays fell at the beginning of Thirty Days Wild , so  I don’t need to think too hard about what to post. I was staying on the wildlife rich  Norfolk coast.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Day Seven.  Rock Pools and Sea Holly.  Today we decided to walk along the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Hunstanton, where we were staying , to Thornham. About six miles or so. The beach at Hunstanton is full of rock pools, so I was hoping to see a starfish perhaps…or maybe a crab. No such luck!  I think these guys had got their spoils before we even set off.

I loved the rocky beach at Hunstanton. I suspect If we had hunted more thoroughly we may have found more, but with a bouncy labrador sniffing out sea creatures, we couldn’t linger for too long.

As we neared the next village along the coast ‘Old Hunstanton’, the scenery changed to a perfect sandy beach, amongst the sand dunes.

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Hugo amongst the dunes.
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The Strandline is a beautiful gift shop in Old Hunstanton. The owner, an artist,is inspired to create by the scenery, seasons and nature here.

I posted pictures of the many beautiful flowers growing between Old Hunstanton and neighboring Holme Next The Sea, in my last 30 Days Wild Post ,but here are a few more on the way to Thornham. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sea Holly.
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An orchid I believe.
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Any ideas? Maybe Annual Sea Blite.

Approaching the village of Thornham, we came across a welcome coffee stop at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s base at Holme Dunes. A wooden walkway over the marshes then led us to the village, where we caught a handy Coast Hopper Bus back to Hunstanton.

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Shelduck.

Day Eight.  Beach Huts and a Bee.  I posted a separate post about today’s fantastic trip to see The Seals at Blakeney Point.  Before that we had a lovely walk along the beach at Wells Next The Sea. A sudden short shower sent us fleeing to the porch of a vacant Beach Hut to shelter, and weather watch.

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Beach Huts at Wells.
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Sheltering with Hugo.
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The sun came out again so here’s a Bumble Bee on a Viper’s Bugloss.

 

Day Nine.  Our last day in lovely Norfolk. Sob!  A quick early morning walk along the beach at Hunstanton, and I find a Heart shaped Pebble. I think this sums up our stay. We will return. X

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Thanks for dropping by. X

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Haweswater and Small water Tarn.

As we were staying at theย Haweswater Hotelย recently, we decided to spend a day exploring the surrounding countryside. There are various walks and footpaths in the area including one round Haweswater Reservoir ( some sections are currently closed after the bad weather earlier in the year) and others that go up into the hills. After looking at a map we decided to head up to a small tarn called appropriately enoughย Small Water. ๐Ÿ™‚ย There is a littleย car park at the far end of Haweswater where we parked. First things first though, Hugo had to take a dip in the lake.

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Haweswater.

Haweswater is actually a reservoir and was built in the thirties. Controversially the valley, existing lake and the village of Mardale Green were flooded to create it. Haweswater supplies water to the city of Manchester, to this day. It is situated in the North East of the Lake District.

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We followed the Nan Bield Pass sign from the car park.
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The sheep here are like mountain goats. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Cotton grass waving gently in the breeze.
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Meandering our way along the rocky path.
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I think this little fella is a Great grey shrike. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Amazing views.

About an hours walk up the path and Small Water Tarn emerges from over a rocky crag. What a rewarding scene! We didn’t see a single person and had it all to ourselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Small water Tarn.
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Hugo after a paddle. Think he’s eyeing up our sandwiches. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The path continues up onto ‘High Street’, yes that is the name of a mountain fell. ๐Ÿ™‚ Another tarn calledย Blea Waterย is somewhere over those crags too. But we decided to head back toward Haweswater and follow some of the path round the lake.

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Heading back towards Haweswater.
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Meadow pippit.
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Any ideas what these flowers are. Purple violet like, the leaves resemble green stars.

From the car park we followed the signpost saying Eagle Viewing Point. Here’s a sad story actually. Until very recently ( only a few months ago in fact) Haweswater and Riggindale , was the home to England’s onlyย Golden Eagle.ย Alone here since 2004, he had been displaying every Spring in order to attract a mate. Not this Spring though. Maybe he has passed away. Or maybe he has finally given up and flown North. What I can’t understand though, is why the RSPB never tried introducing another female eagle into the area. It’s a shame….

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A disused Bothy. It was locked up and looked like it wasn’t really usable though.
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We enjoyed some fresh clear water from this little brook.
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Pretty vivid blue wild flowers.
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The perfect place for a swim. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Looking over the lake.
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Canada Geese family.

Although the eagle is no longer in residence here there are chances to see plenty of wildlife including Peregrines, Ring Ouzels, Red Deer, Goosander, Flycatchers and Dippers.And the countryside, I’m sure you will agree is just stunning. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hugo enjoying the views.
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Red Squirrel enjoying lunch at the Haweswater Hotel.

Have you ever walked to a secluded tarn? Have you ever been to Haweswater?

30 days Wild ~ Days 6 to 10. Dandelion clocks and Wilderness.

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Day6 ~ Barefoot in the grass. On the way to Slaidburn in the car to visit a friend , we parked up on ‘ Waddington Fell’ for lunch.It was the ideal place, I thought, to kick off my shoes and wriggle my toes in the grass.Aside from some funny looks from some passers by and it being very breezy up there, I quite enjoyed it.:)

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Day7~ Hill Walk. Today we took our black lab Hugo for a good walk up ‘Pendle Hill’. The breezy conditions meant we saw people flying kites, model aeroplanes and paragliding. Wildlife was out in force too.Spied two kestrels, many a tuneful sky lark and hundreds of white cotton bud grasses blowing in the wind.

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Day8 ~ Dandelion Folklore. If it takes only one blow to scatter all the seeds of a fluffy dandelion seed head, your true love will love you forever. Hmmm it took me about eight! I could maybe have used it as a clock instead. The number of puffs to disperse the seeds is meant to tell you what time it is. It was 1pm. The fluffy seed heads are also said to be accurate barometers. If the seed heads remain open the sun will shine all day. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Day9 ~ Coffee alfresco.
Today was a sad day as it was my Uncle Tommys funeral.It was also a happy day as the family got together to celebrate his life.Uncle Tommy had a wild life! Up until recently he went out into the countryside on his bicycle every day.For his 90th birthday he rode a zipwire at Go Ape! Today I travelled and remenised so there wasn’t much time for nature. I did manage to drink an alfresco brew in my Mum’s garden mind you.Does that count….

Day10 ~ A patch of wilderness. Theres a tiny piece of overgrown wasteland behind an old disused outbuilding, that I pass most days when I’m out with the dog. Today I thought I would take a closer look.
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The usual suspects grew over the walls, Herb robert and Grandma’s bonnet. Nettles seemed to thrive there unfortunately. Yes you’ve guessed it, I got stung. Luckily where there are nettles, there are usually dock leaves. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Thanks for buzzing by. ๐Ÿ™‚