Friday, 11 September 2020

Lake District, September Day 2.

Although it is now raining heavily it has been a satisfying day.  We had a dry, but dull, morning which allowed us to get the caravan washed.  Despite not being here for nearly a year  it wasn't too bad, even the roof, and it cleaned up perfectly.  We were ready for our soup and roll lunch followed by a snooze during which the forecast rain arrived.  Not to worry, though, minted lamb steakes for dinner and a good forecast for walking up Nicky Nook with Thomas tomorrow.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

We're Back,!! Lake District, September,Day 1

At last we are back!!!  It is nearly a year since we have been in the Lakes at our caravan.  We were due to come at the end of March, but an awkward pandemic and national lockdown took over the agenda.  We opted to wait until September when school holidays were over and the Lakes were used to visitors once more.  So it's  nearly a year since we were here; our last visit was October 2019!
As keen as we were to be here, we broke our journey at Lancaster to visit our son who has just moved into a new house, and help him with his garden which was somewhat overgrown.   It was with great excitement,  therefore, when we pulled up outside reception.  Everything is well-organised and our van had been towed out of storage onto a pitch on our favoured part of the site.  After a year it is filthy, so that is tomorrow's job.  It didn't take us long to get set up and unpacked and relax with a cup up of tea.  We then put some potatoes to bake in the oven and went for a walk out to  'The Tree'!  This is an ancient oak tree naturally bonzaied as it grows straight out of the limestone bedrock on the hillside overlooking Stavely and the Kentmere fells beyond.  I have photographed it many times before but it has become a ritual to visit it at least once each visit.
We are now back ready for our evening meal followed by the Tour de France, another ritual, and, of course, it is beer o'clock!

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

August Weather Report

 August has been yet again a warm and wet month but this time with two storms: Ellen and Francis and three days of 40mph winds.  Temperatures were above normal with a daily maximum average of 21.6C compared to a norm of 20.7C and a night time average minimum of 13.7C compared to an expected 12.6C.  Rainfall has been significantly higher than normal with 81mm of Rain compared to an expected 50mm and yet again, with a warming atmosphere, rainfall has been significantly heavier than normal.



Friday, 28 August 2020

A Wet Walk around the Horsefield and Deadwood

 A cool grey and breezy day today.  Only 14C with a 17mph wind from the north east increasing later to gusts of 40mph.  Yet another incredibly windy day.  It was wet underfoot and undergrowth everywhere was saturated.  Red Bartsia is now plentiful on the Horsefield and it looks like one of the best years recently for hedgerow fruits.  Blackberries are swollen, ripe and juicy, haws are thick on the hawthorn bushes and the pear tree in the derelict garden of the old Peaks Tunnel Farm is laden with pears; in the spring it was thick with blossom.  Sloes are more plentiful than I have seen.  Blackberries and elderberries have been picked ready for making hedgerow jam, but I am leaving to sloes to ripen and become more sweet before picking for this year's sloe gin.  It is interesting to see that young ash trees are marching out into the Horsefield; soon there will be the beginning of a young ash wood.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

A Very Muddy Plodge on the Beach Looking for Sanderling.

 It was a beautiful day yesterday (unlike today) so I decided to walk out to the tide line from Buck Beck car park to look for small waders, especially sanderling.

Cleethorpes was very busy when I arrived with a real holiday atmosphere, however, I did managed to get parked.  Donning wellies, I headed out across the marsh towards the beach, but not before photographing a common darter in the dunes.  I was amazed at how much the marsh has grown up in the relatively short time since I was here last.  Where last winter it was bare mud with the occasional clump of samphire it is now covered with a rich saltmarsh flora with sea aster about to come into flower to succeed the sea lavender which is now gone over.  As soon as I came out through the dunes onto the beach I could see that the tide was a long way out.  When I got to the old wreck that I enjoy photographing and which  often remains submerged, the tideline was still several hundreds of yards away and some creeks would need to be crossed.  Wary of how quickly the tide can come in I opted to walk along the haven outflow and look for waders there.  There were oystercatcher, redshank and ringed plovers, including juveniles as well as a bar-tailed godwit.  I saw no sign of sanderling, though.  Perhaps they were right on the tideline or maybe it is too early for them yet. I nearly came to grief, however, when I suddenly hit a very soft patch of mud and nearly lost my wellies.  I suddenly became aware of how far out I was and what an expensive mistake it would have been to fall over with a small fortune in camera gear around my neck.  Spurn point and the Humber forts looked spectacular in the bright sunlight and through the lens they looked close enough to touch.

Eventually I made it back safely to hard ground and wandered back through the dunes past the lagoon which often holds little egret; a common gull was the only bird today, though.

It felt like being on holiday on such a warm late summer day with large numbers of people and families enjoying a day at the seaside.  It will only be a few short weeks, however, before it will be cold, bleak and empty down here.  I can't wait.

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Common Darter
                                                    Common Darter
                                                        Black-headed Gull
                                          Ringed Plover and Juvenile
                                                        Ringed Plovers
                                                        Ringed Plovers
                                                            Bar-Tailed Godwit
                                                           Common Gull
                                                        Haile Sand Fort
                                                    Haile Sand Fort
                                                    Haile Sand Fort

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Doddington Hall Garden Sculpture Exhibition

 We always enjoy Doddington Hall Gardens, particularly the garden sculpture exhibition.  This year, because of covid, we had to book which we did the day before.  Although very busy it was well-organised even in the coffee and farm shop.

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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

A Back End Feel to the Horsefield

 A Back End Feel to the Horsefield

This morning was overcast and showery but in the afternoon the weather improved to give some warm sunny intervals, although it was blustery.  There was very little about on the butterfly from, although I did find a couple of common darters in the woodland burial ground.  It feels very backendish now with autumn just around the corner.  It is very defintely the season of autumn fruitfulness with a large crop of haws ripening on the hawthorn bushes, blackberries are swollen, juicy and glistening in the sun and sloes are thick on the blackthorn bushes; more than I can ever remember seeing.  We have already picked crab apples and plums for jamming and picked several pounds of blackberries ready to combine with our windfall Bramleys and elederberries (still ripening) to make hedgerow jam..

Woodland burial ground
  • common darter
  • peacock
  • large white
  • speckled wood
  • gatekeeper
Horsefield
  • large white
  • silver y
  • gatekeeper
  • speckled wood
To view large, please click on an image
Common Darter
Gatekeeper
Brambles
Haws
Sloes