Saturday, 28 March 2020

Cows, Slips and Elves!

This morning's little bit of allowed exercise, took us along the 'Farm walk' and as usual, the herd of White Park cattle were there, munching nonchalantly on their hay...
Snoozing in the sunshine...
or standing up to their ankles in mud and goodness knows what else.
Away from the cows and up towards the farm buildings, we passed a fabulous clump of Daffodils. A mixture of varieties, giving a lovely splash of colour.
Just what we need right now!
Heading for home once more, we diverted through the Wildlife Trust's gardens and were greeted with the sight of these Cowslips.

Nearby, we crossed the stream and spotted, growing alongside the water, this bright red fungus. It turned out to be a Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca). Another new tick for my life-list!
Time for home - now, wash your hands!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Spring Flowers

Sticking rigidly to the rules about what we can and can't do at the moment, Malcolm and I have shifted our usual morning walk, to the afternoon to try to avoid the morning bustle of dog-walkers and others. As per Government advice, we're allowed out for some exercise, only once a day for the time being and as the weather has been absolutely wonderful, we've made the most of it.
Yesterday, we headed along Slack Lane to Mapperley Village and then up Shipley Hill. The early spring flowers there, were wonderful. Of particular note, were these beautiful Wood Anemones.
Just the one patch of them, but no less wonderful for that.
Elsewhere along our walk, things were still not showing much sign of new growth...
but the Gorse along Slack Lane was in full bloom...
and the Hawthorn bushes are beginning to show lots of fresh green shoots.
This afternoon, we set out in the sunshine again for Mapperley, but this time, taking in the reservoir.
It's all quite spooky at the moment with so few people about (away from the main paths) and with no planes in the sky and no background roar and noise from the nearby roads, all was absolutely quiet still. Until the geese started honking! Here too the spring flowers were beginning to look lovely. This little clump of Coltsfoot were gorgeous against the blue of the water.
Hopefully, we'll still be allowed to get out and about in the days and weeks to come. We'll just have to wait and see. But for now, keep your distance and wash your hands!

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Staying Cheerful

In these uncertain times, it's important to keep things as normal as possible and to stay positive and cheerful. There can be no better way of doing that, than to take a good walk in the countryside and enjoy the wonders of nature.
The hedgerows are full of Blackthorn blossom...
which add highlights to the wider view.
Cherry trees are beginning to brighten things up in their own way...
in the pink!
Of course, there are lots of Daffodils right now...
These, were looking particularly good yesterday, as we strolled around Shipley Hill.
So, chin up and soldier on. Stick to the social distancing and now....
WASH YOUR HANDS!

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Wind

Our last full day in Tenby, was notable for the high winds. By this time, we had lost the grey skies and rain and the sun had begun to shine on us again. So, we took the opportunity to have a longer walk along South Beach and on to Giltar Point.
The wind whipped up any loose sand, and deposited it in our hair, eyes, nostrils and clothing as we struggled along, but it was nothing compared to the gale which blew across the headland.
It was impossible to reach the very tip of the rocky headland as it would have been too dangerous. So, we had to make do with these views of it with Caldey Island behind.
The wind was tearing spray from the wave tops, even in the relative shelter of the bay.
In the lea of the wind, lots of Primroses were in bloom, reminding us that it is still Springtime.
Time to head back to town. With the wind now behind us, the job was made much easier.
Just time for a panorama shot.
Back to Castle Hill and more reminders of Spring as we made the most of our last day in Tenby.
We will certainly be back in the future.

Monday, 16 March 2020

On the Sea Shore

Along the beach at Tenby, the rocks were covered with sea creatures, including Limpets, Barnacles and a variety of other molluscs. Among the more colourful, were the Dog Whelks (Nucella lapilus) in a range of colours from grey to bright yellow.
Some stripy Topshells, Flat Periwinkles and lots of huge Acorn Barnacles.
All waiting for the tide to come in again!
The homes of various Tubeworms were common here too. These, constructed by the worm inside, from tiny grains of sand and pieces of stone and shell.
In the sands of North Beach, was the imposing presence of Goscar Rock, with its bands of different algae, seaweed and crustaceans.
Back in the harbour area, adult Herring Gulls were being their usual noisy selves...
 while a juvenile was content just to bob about in the pools left behind at low tide.
More to come...

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Tenby

Malcolm and I have been on a short break to Tenby in Pembrokeshire. As with our trip to Newquay earlier in the year, the weather was somewhat against us, but we soldiered on and in the end, it turned out to be a nice little break. To start with, it was wet and windy as we explored the town.
The drab weather, rather took the shine off the colourfully painted houses along the harbour front.
Plenty of old, narrow streets to explore...
as well as the ruins of the 13th century castle.
Nice views across to St. Catherine's Fort, despite the gloomy conditions...
north along the coast...
and around castle hill itself, with its imposing memorial statue to Prince Albert.
More to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Sunshine!

Sunshine has been in very short supply of late. So, it was nice to be out about this morning, enjoying some early Spring sun. The hedgerows are already bursting with Blackthorn blossom, here, along the Nutbrook Trail, as we headed towards Straw's Bridge.
There are always a few Bullfinches flitting along this stretch of hedgerow, but they are so shy, it is impossible to get a picture. So, instead, we have to make do with the frothy white flowers...
in their thousands! A few days ago, the same blossom, was being taken advantage of by a colony of Honey Bees from a hole in a nearby Alder tree, unusually active for this time of year, but making the most of a warmer spell. This morning however, it was far too chilly for the bees to be out and about.
Further along, there were a few clumps of Snowdrops, flowering alongside the old Nutbrook Canal.
And another.
At Straw's Bridge, all the usual suspects, were there. The swans were busy feeding on seed at the water's edge, a Cormorant was drying itself on an island and several Pochard were diving for their breakfast. The Greylags were occupied with preening and general feather maintenance.
Everywhere is still suffering from the recent heavy rains, so it was a little tricky picking our way through the mud and puddles. But for once, it was nice to get out without getting rained on!