Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Quiet Winter

Hello Lovelies,
the title of this post is totally stolen form Sarah, who saw it as a hashtag somewhere and liked the idea of it. I like the idea of it too.
I'm enjoying January so far. With the pressure of Christmas over I feel able to relax and enjoy some slow, quiet days. 
Of course life with three teens is never that quiet, but I can always go for a walk.
After years of never having a moment to myself these simple pleasures still delight me.

I love a walk at twilight when the sunset is still colouring the sky and the moon is rising.

Looking at the moon through bare branched trees is rather beautiful.

 Yes, it's chilly but I still find it wonderful to be outdoors as the light fades.

 And then Hurry home to the cosy warmth.

 My Amaryllis has finally flowered. I love the slow process of watching it grow.
 Sadly this year my plant had a encounter with a candle just before Christmas and I had to perform "Life Changing Surgery" as eldest put it. At least it had a second flower stem and if I stand it in front of a mirror it looks like it still has two flower stems :0)

I'm playing safe with fairy lights instead of candles now.

Of course there are a fair amount of grey days, when it's hard to find something pretty to photograph. But there is a sort of calm quietness ( when it's not windy)

I liked Lucy's description in THIS post ..."the pared back simplicity of the winter scenery."

And then there are birds. So much easier to spot in winter and braver because they are hungry. Robins hop around the footpaths.

And in my garden there's almost always a Blackbird. I have feeders in the trees and scatter meal worms on the grass by the bird bath.

and seeds on the picnic bench attract many different birds. How I loved this cute Wren.

Snacking on the sunflower seeds.

 The pictures are not the best but they were taken through the bedroom window. I love having a good zoom. 

 Simple Sunday walks are another quiet Winter pleasure. The gulls and Cormorants have taken over the rowing boats on the lake.

And I was fascinated by these ducks that hardly stopped dabbling. They were so hard to photograph.
 I had no idea what they were, but I've looked them up. They are Teals...of course they are. Just look at their "eye shadow" and the little flashes on their wings.

 Another sight we can only see in winter.

This female mallard was much easier to photograph, it's just a shame I chopped off part of her reflection.

 Twilight by the water at 4pm.

 I'll leave you with a picture of the huge scone I enjoyed for lunch on today's group walk. I'm not sure  it fits in with the quiet Winter theme, but it was very photogenic I thought.

 It was such a treat to sit in a cosy cafe instead of our usual picnic. And winter gives us the excuse to seek out cosy doesn't it.

Winter you are just fine with me at the moment. In a bit I will be more than ready for my favourite season, spring, but not yet. I'm not wishing winter away.
How about you?
Jacquie x

Friday, 6 January 2017

Cold Weather Walking




 Hello Lovelies,
I used to be a bit down on winter. The short days are still a trial, but increasingly I'm finding reasons to LOVE winter.
In the past I heard people say how much they liked cold, crisp days, and I would think "yes, but it's still too cold for me to be happy". Well it is too cold to stand around, or sit by the water. A stroll is not that enjoyable either. But walking briskly always warms me up and that's what I love to do these days.
Yesterday's walk was a brisk 8 mile route that took in lots of pretty lake views. All of these had a frozen crust, at least in parts. They still reflected the blue of the sky beautifully though.
I remembered to take some bird food ( seeds not bread) and the simple pleasure of feeding the hungry ducks and other birds made me happy. The Mandarin Ducks were particularly stunning.

 There's something magical about the light on a sunny winters day too don't you think.
As we walked along I stopped feeling chilly, after a few miles I did not even need my gloves. Walking is great way to keep warm and when I'm warm I can truly enjoy winters beauty.
I do hope you enjoyed the pictures.
Jacquie x

P.S. these scenes are from THIS lovely country park and the surrounding case you were wondering.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Final Walk of 2016

Hello Lovelies,
a few of you may remember that last year I completed my challenge to walk 1000 miles in 2015 on the last day of the year. We enjoyed a walk in beautiful Dovedale to celebrate.
This year I managed to reach the same goal by the end of November but I still wanted to walk somewhere special to round off my walking year.
Luckily hubby was happy to go along with this plan and we loaded the boys in the car this morning and headed to Baslow

I can't say they were too thrilled but happily, right next to the car park is this tempting shop.

The traditional sweets made me smile.

soon hubby and boys emerged with paper bags full of treats, oh coconut mushrooms. It's years since I've tasted these. They were GOOD.

We munched happily and the sign says....uphill

It's quiet a long, steep climb from the valley bottom, first past pretty stone cottages.

 then between stone walls

We climbed steadily, stopping to admire the view, and to say hello to these friends.

 Soon we were high enough to see the view towards Chatsworth House.

It stood out even more as it's partly covered in scaffolding and white plastic.

Then we were on the moor, Yay.

I do love to walk in this landscape. It reminds me of the moorland above where I grew up, particularly THIS place

After the climb it was so nice to stroll along the sandy paths and breath the fresh moorland air. It was breezy but not particularly cold.

Close to the edge there was a great view  over the villages of Claver and Curbar nestled below.

Here it was really windy and hard to take a steady photo.

It was a relief to get back on the main track.

And descend a little.

I loved the changing light as the clouds scudded across the sky and the sun occasionally broke through.

We stopped here and sat on a bench eating snacks I brought from home, washed down by a little  hot chocolate from a thermos.

 Then started off again, descending stone steps

I'm always looking back at the view behind.

Because sometimes it's REALLY pretty.

 The path got a bit challenging here. Hubby and middle son attempted to carry youngest ( who was wearing trainers) through this bog...that did not go well. But was quite amusing to watch :0)

One soggy foot later we carried on. How I loved the sunlit hillsides.

and the Highland cattle, perfecting blending in with their surroundings.


It was not the prettiest of weather and there is no denying that December is often a rather dreary month, but I still loved the landscape.

As the cloud really gathered we arrived back at Baslow. It felt nice to be back on the pretty streets, noticing the quirky touches.

And the Christmas cheer.

 Back home I defrosted some Homemade soup as a healthy lunch.... to hopefully counteract those sweets a little  :0)

It was a lovely day and the four miles we walked today takes my total this year to 1083. Yay

I keep a tally of miles walked by simply noting a running total each month on a separate calendar. This year it was a free one from my walking magazine...and not very exciting. But next year I have this one to look forward to.

Here's to another great walking year for all of us who can. 

Happy New Year Lovelies, wishing you much health and happiness in 2017. Thank you all for visiting here and the kind comments you leave me.
Jacquie xxx

p.s. If this walk seems at all familiar we first attempted it HERE