Sunday, 28 February 2010

A walk round the lake..

On my first day off this week, although I had lots of outstanding things I needed to catch up on, we decided to go for a walk first, to blow the cobwebs away, so we headed over to Decoy park, where the woods hunched greyly over the wind ruffled water, and the birds were pleased to see us..

The Coots formed a small posse to take the bread, and the black headed gulls lurked in the background, I noticed they`re getting their black hoods again

We set off on the path around the lake, the air filled with birdsong, and the odd robin flitted across our path. The chestnut palings pierced the water like a row of teeth, and the reeds rustled dryly in the breeze.

Amongst the leaf litter, beneath the trees were patches of snowdrops, like tiny white candles..

and in the hedgerows, golden catkins danced

shaking their golden tails in the wind..

It was lovely and peaceful, with everyone at work and the children at school. We came to this little babbling brook which gurgled between the ferny banks, Pete scattered crumbs on the bridge

and in an instance a little robin flew down ready for his breakfast.

We walked on, noting the rather splendid wooden seat..

and the gnarled tree dancing by itself..

till we reached the sweeping Beech walk, where last years leaves lit up the gloom of the wood

at the base of a tree was a fairys bathing pool, mossy lined and hung with leafy towels for drying

The little waterfall at the head of the path gushed noisely over the smooth boulders, we`ve had a lot of rain recently, so the rivers and streams up on the moors are swollen, and pouring their icy waters down all the waterways..

The path leading to the higher wood was thick with mud, and scattered with leaf confetti..I noted some of the trees chose mossy green coats to keep warm..

I love Ivy, its one of my favourite plants, so I was pleased to see this lovely red pointy one..

and further along, another reddish one with more rounded leaves, I think they look so pretty growing around the trunks of tree..

other adornments the trees picked for their winter wear were a nice frilly fungi coat

and a rather grand bracket fungi like a small stage

The path wound downhill till we arrived at the Magazine pond edged by dense twiggy shrubs and overhung by skeletal trees, the water reflected the grey overcast sky..

but even so....there were signs of Spring...a honeysuckle breaking into small leaf..

and sharp buds on a nearby tree...

and of course there was a patch of gorse in flower...isnt there was a lovely walk, a good start to my days off.

Friday, 26 February 2010

A trip to Occombe.

Hello again, its a while since I`ve been here, winter hibernation maybe, I hope you and your families are all keeping well, and looking forward to Spring as I am. As we woke to lovely sunshine for once, we decided to go to Occombe farm, it has a lovely organic farm shop, tea room and walks.

After delicious coffee and fruit scones, we braved the sharp northerly wind which cut across the fields.

The sky was the prettiest forget me not blue, and in the hedgerow the ash was knotty with buds.

Fortunately theres some well made paths, as the ground was very wet after yesterdays rain, and thick with red mud. We stopped to admire the geese which were pottering around their little pond, they seemed to have an interesting pond-mate...

A nice shiny prehistoric creature, probably left over from an exhibition last year

Across from the pond is this lovely unusual seat carved and twisted and covered in a twining leafy pattern, ideal for resting on a hot summers day.

Down the bottom of the field is a grand hen house, and all the occupants were out and trotting about, with the cock, cock-a-doodle-doing every so often. Behind, the lovely Devon hills roll, with slashes of red fields breaking up the dun colours of winter.

In the centre of the grass is a rather nice sculpture, theres always something interesting to see

We followed the winding path down to the entrance to the wood, the wind tugging at our hair, enjoying the skeletal beauty of the trees, and the yellow catkins dancing in the hedges.

In the wood someone has used their imagination and commissioned some paintings of the views which adds to the delight of walking around

They are beautifully done, and show the area as it would appear in another season.

We followed the boardwalk through the wood with birdsong all around, the trees held their bare smooth branches to the windy sky, some cloaked in shiny green ivy, and this rather magnificent oak....

had a ferny handkerchief in his top pocket

We stopped at the bird hide, where theres always nuts and seeds on hangers for the birds, only to discover this rather naughty squirrel dangling from one of them, obviously enjoying the nuts too, when he jumped down blue tits and great tits flew in like bright jewels amongst the beige twiggy bushes, and also this rather nice Nuthatch

We walked on, the sun shining warmly on our faces..

Past little streams that gurgled icily beneath the mossy clad tree trunks

Down little winding paths dappled by the morning sun

where some of the trees were made of silver...

and others wore green mantles...

and the odd one sported fancy crimson fungi.. the wind moaned and sighed amongst the tree tops, lifting the leaves of the ivies..

and some trees danced to the tune...

Just before we left the wood, we came across this rather nice stream..

where the residents were having a early morning paddle, it was an enchanted place to be, so lovely and peaceful...

and when we walked through the gate into the open again, I was delighted to see in the hedge, the first Pussy willows breaking out silver along the branches.