The weekend just gone, we packed our camping gear and headed for the Yorkshire Dales and a little site that has featured several times on this blog, Howgill Lodge Campsite near Appletreewick. Even though we have been there several times, we had never walked along the nearby river Wharfe to the village of Grassington before. In fact we almost always head the other way toward Bolton Abbey. A lovely route, but time for a change!
The Dales Way is an 84 -mile long footpath from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness-on-Windermere in Cumbria. Sorry folks I’m not really up for trekking that far just yet, so instead we did 13 miles ( pretty impressive I thought! ) from Howgill to Grassington and back. Here are a few pictures of things we saw on our way. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed our mini Dales way ramble. I’m sure it actually was mini to my other half, but I’m quietly impressed with myself. Of course our pub stops probably cancelled out all the calories we burned!
Another post from the Yorkshire Dales coming up soon. x
Hey , I totally missed putting up a Links & Likes for June, so without further ado, here’s my Summer Edition. It will most probably come in two parts, as we have some way to go yet, thank goodness! There’s definitely a bit of a travel theme going on here. So hopefully a bunch of holiday inspiration. 🙂 . Enjoy!
Know where to find the best Ice Cream Parlours in the North East? Chloe has put in some serious research!
Paul is galavanting round Iceland , ticking off Game Of Thrones filming locations. 🙂
Here are my ‘Wild’ moments from the last few days of June. 🙂
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.
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. 😦 Most successful is our little bird feeding station. We now have bluetits and a Tree sparrow, as restaurant regulars. 🙂
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….
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. 🙂
Hurrah I found a Photo Scavenger Hunt recently, courtesy of Hawthorn at I Live, I love, I Craft, I am Me. So I thought I would join in for June! I must admit, I have borrowed a couple from the archives, on this , my first attempt. But mostly my photos were taken in the past four weeks. 🙂
The Setting Sun. Crystal Cove near Tofino on Vancouver Island. Wow 11 years ago! Oh to go again and look for bears, whales and giant woodpeckers. 🙂 You can see some of my memories of Canada here.
Local Wild Place. I guess if I am not walking the dog down the fields, my nearest local wild place is Clitheroe Castle and it’s park. I’m lucky enough to live a stones throw away, and its a great place for watching birds , squirrels and butterflies.
Mug of your favourite drink in the garden. There is actually a drink in my mug. Honest! I wouldn’t say coffee is my favourite drink, but I certainly consume more of it than I ever used to. In fact before I met my other half ( many moons ago) , I didn’t drink coffee at all. Now I am on the hard stuff. Strong and Black! 😉
My kind of beautiful. My beautiful nephew and niece.
Look to the skies. A holiday snap from our stay in Norfolk. Taken from the pier at Cromer. I love the slightly moody sky in this picture.
Rain. A Yellow Flag Iris covered in raindrops. This was in Norfolk too, on the Sandringham estate. A very rainy walk !
Mini Beasts. Spot the shiny green beetle. Out with Hugo on a miserable rainy afternoon, a glistening green jewel caught my eye.
Something Summery. Beautiful Beach huts at Old Hunstanton in Norfolk. I love Beach Huts! There are not many in lovely Lancashire , though St Annes has some. The Norfolk coast has it’s fair share though. 🙂
Urban Wildness. Swans and cygnets on the canal in Skipton. 🙂
My Own Choice. My family! Minus the crazy cat. Its me, Wil and Hugo outside The Golden Lion in Hunstanton, Norfolk.
If you wish to join in too in July , check out the blog link above . Catch you soon!
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.’ 🙂
Day 17 ~ Bonnie Babies. On a shopping trip in Skipton , I came across these beautiful babies. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 😦 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..
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. 😦
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.
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
0ff camping tommorrow, so fingers crossed that the sunshine reappears. ♡
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. 🙂
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.
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. 🙂
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…
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. 🙂
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!
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.
After our ramble we had earned coffee and cake at Puddleducks! A tearoom complete with ducks on the Village Green. 🙂
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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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