Thursday, 5 March 2015

Early March Nature

Hello Lovelies,
I'm enjoying the lengthening days that March brings. It's even light when I finish work at six pm.

On both Monday and Tuesday I was thrilled to see a wonderful acrobatic murmuration of Starlings as I walked through the car park at the end of the day.........

Such an unexpected treat in this most urban of settings.

Once again the promise of Spring and a new month has encouraged me open up my copies of the lovely Country Diary books. If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know of my love of these books ........ 



I adore these beautiful illustrations..........


and I enjoy  reading Edith's  nature journal....so carefully recorded over one hundred years ago.......


Like the 4th of March 1906, yesterday was sunny. I was delighted to see leaves and flowers emerging on the flowering currant when I went out for a little morning walk.......



There was a lot of birdsong, from Sparrows, Blackbirds, Robins and this little  Dunnock.......


High in a still bare branched tree I spotted a pair of Bullfinches...........


I'm not sure if they were still nest building, or already guarding their eggs........


The countryside still looks wintry.........


But there are more flowers emerging daily.

Snowdrops continue to delight...........


and cheerful, lilac coloured Crocuses peep through lawns........



I was especially happy to spot some wild primroses.....I think they are my most favourite spring flower.........



Welcome March.....with your promise of Spring, and a world of Flowers and fresh green leaves.

Jacquie x


Monday, 2 March 2015

A Windy Walk

Hello Lovelies, 
after I had finished writing my February walk review yesterday morning I realised there was time in the day for a little family outing.
We decided to head to Bradgate park, as it's not a long journey from home.

The sun, which was shining when we arrived, quickly disappeared behind thick clouds....never mind, the landscape is interesting.........


and there are many ancient old Oak trees that boys love to climb...........



Oh and look there's a patch of blue sky, and sun  shining on the hillside.............


Shining on Old John tower.....if I zoom in you can just see it.........


We decide to walk towards it. Climbing  steadily, across boggy ground, then along well walked paths............


Everywhere look brown, due to all the dead Bracken. This is only our third ever visit here and we always seem to choose a time of year when the landscape is rusty. See it looking green  HERE.

Climbing higher now. I'm admiring the view............


Not far now.....It's very windy up here and youngest says he can't stand it.

Breath the fresh air, fill your lungs. Drink in the view and let the wind blow away the cobwebs......it makes you feel ALIVE I tell him.


Look at the view....I'm sure I can see the curvature of the earth.... probably  not ....but that's what it looks like...........


Here we are at Old John..


There are plenty of people around despite the wind....I loved watching this little girl running into the rushing air, arms outstretched.........


a very friendly dog was enjoying the fresh air too.........


The sun is in and out as the clouds scud quickly in the high winds. I like the shadow of the tower that appears and disappears with the sun...........


And the patterns of light sweeping over the landscape...........

How I LOVE to be up high, surveying the view.

It's getting busy at the tower and we decide it's time to head back downhill..........



Youngest  runs off at top speed  :0)...........


Near the bottom of the hill we hear running water and find this little pond......


There is plenty of water in the reservoir too.....it looks really full to my eyes...........


Here, in the shelter of the wall and trees, it's still and suddenly we feel hot..........


It's so nice to get out of the wind for a while, and sit on a bench basking in the warm rays..........


We can clearly see the wind making ripples in the water ...........


 But there's still a hint of spring in the air. The cold days may not be quiet done with us yet, but I'm loving the anticipation of warmer weather to come..........



As we arrive home I notice my purple crocuses are blooming..........

A beautiful splash of colour to contrast with all that brown.

Hope your Monday isn't too hectic lovelies.
Jacquie x



Sunday, 1 March 2015

February Walking Review

Hello Lovelies,
I thought I would do a bit of a round up of February's walks at this point. It will be nice for me to look back on as the year progresses and hopefully it will be interesting and maybe inspiring to some of you.

The February page of my Derbyshire Life "walking calendar" i.e the calendar I'm using to record my miles walked, has a gorgeous sunny and frosty winter image that I've loved looking at all month.........



Though I haven't been mentioning them, I have been on three group walks this month ( just missing the half term week, as I couldn't convince two teens and a pre-teen that they would like to walk six miles in the rain with a lot of adults they don't know....I'm can't imagine why)

Thursday's ( group walk day) have been grey and often damp. Not great for photography. Two of the walks were still most enjoyable....it's great to discover new paths and pretty villages. And stop somewhere sheltered for a picnic lunch........


This mosaic is made from images captured on my favourite group walk this month. Eight and a half miles over rolling countryside with some great, far reaching views, well they would have been on a better day............


But my least favourite group walk was a seven and a half mile yomp around the local airport. True, again the weather was pants, but we didn't see much that you could call interesting or pretty.

There wasn't many planes to be seen.  And when we did spot one the weather was so depressing it just made you wish you were leaving on a jet plane too.........


Lunch, sitting on a wet picnic bench listening to the roar of the motorway and looking at the menacing cloud emanating from the power station , didn't add much to the experience........

golly, I did wonder if I was slightly mad spending a precious day off on that particular excursion.

But on the positive side the company was pleasant and it all added miles to my tally.

It is a shame about the uniformly bad weather the walking group endured last month.

On other days there has been some gorgeous sunny weather and the winter walking has been a joy. Whether it was with family or alone. To a city or climbing a hill. I've loved it all..........


I'm feeling inspired by  my Derbyshire calendar to plan  some Peak district walks this year.......I can't wait to find an edge like this to explore........

Isn't it stunning

But today it's really windy and there is a drippy tap in the kitchen that needs our attention..... I will have to be patient a little longer.

In the mean time I'm enjoying keeping a record of my activity and working towards my 1000 mile GOAL for the year.

February stats are

Miles walked with walking group                             23.5
Days with no outdoor walking                                    3
Longest walk in miles                                                  8.5
Total outdoor miles walked this month                    82.0
Total miles so far this year                                          162.0

Not bad considering it's a short winter month. Here's to March and the arrival of Spring !

Jacquie x

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Midweek Miscellany

Hello Lovelies,
today I'm borrowing Sarah's lovely, regular post title. Do check out her beautiful Mitenska blog if you are not familiar with it...you are in for a treat.

I'm a bit late for midweek, but here are my miscellaneous images from the past few days.

1. Saturday nights moon . I went for a little twilight stroll and all the time I was drawn to the lovely crescent shape of the new moon ( perfect for a cow to jump over)..........


2. Sunday mornings dawn.

I had another walk before the forecast rain arrived. I loved the glimpse of sheep and sunlight through the ancient hedgerow. Apparently it's several hundred years old.............


I liked the sound of my crunchy footsteps on the frozen grass..........


and pondered that maybe this is the nicest sort of walking weather.........


Chilly but bright..........


The wintry landscape looked lovely............


In a quiet sort of way..........



and it makes for great exercise as you walk quickly to keep warm. 

3. Baking
Back home the kitchen felt a little chilly so I decided to bake some buns...........


Or cupcakes if you prefer. You can see from the crinkled and stained page in my book this is a well loved recipe...........

 As Delia says, it's pretty fool proof and very easy. It's on line HERE 

I was happy in the cosy kitchen, baking and cooking our roast dinner. I loved the fresh greens radiating from the little tray of living salad leaves on my kitchen windowsill.......

they were bought cheaply from the supermarket,  such a great idea

As predicted the weather turned to rain and I was so glad to have made the effort to get outside early in the day...........



4. Reading about walking.

Last week I ordered THIS book second hand from Amazon. It said the condition was " used-good", when it arrived it was pristine....and obviously unread. It only looks a little creased now because I'm reading it...........


the seller was a Hospice charity.....Recycling, a Charity donation and a Cheap Book delivered to your door.....how great is that.

I'm only about a quarter of the way through it so far, but it's certainly  living up to the Telegraph's review on the cover........" so observant, so funny and so intensely likeable"
I'm trying to ration myself and spend some time digesting all the brilliant descriptions and comical, touching moments rather than rushing to the end.

5. And last but not least....Snowdrops.

My lovely sister in law gave me these as a thank you for driving on our trip to see wild snowdrops last week............

I love having a few of these pretty and delicate blooms by the kitchen sink, where I can easily admire them up close. They make me smile every time I walk into the room.

Happy Thursday lovelies.
Jacquie x