Sunday, 22 March 2009

Recent walks

I am trying to walk every other day, 3 miles or so - would like to manage more but I am SO busy in the garden right now, which is very time-consuming as it has been quite neglected whilst I had the horses and was nursing mum. By the way, tadpole update, they are hatched, and in little black 'rafts' above the egg sacs in the pond, but starting to wriggle more and some moving away when the sun comes out, but they all congregate together each night.

Yesterday's walk saw me dropped off 3 miles up the valley so I could walk back along the lanes.

The bridge across the river where I was dropped off. I must say, I'm not sure I would have been so keen to cross when it was a rope bridge 50 years ago . . .
Looking upstream from the bridge. Not much colour in the landscape yet, but in 6 weeks' time it will be a hundred shades of green.

This is Orpine, growing on a bank. It's other name is Livelong, and it is one of the Sedum family. It is supposedly fairly common across most of England (not Eastern though), but I have only ever seen it growing here in Wales. It has a mid-pink flower head in high summer.

The silver paws of the Pussy Willow have turned golden with pollen now. They vary in the time of flowering however. I saw some with silver paws in December in Carmarthen, yet ours at the gate is only just starting to put out silver paws now, and these are somewhere in between . . .

Looking like a golden powder puff, this Pussy Willow stands out from the mainly Alder woodland around it. You can just see the faintest maroon-purple haze on the Alders.

A beautiful Beech tree with its graceful branches and smooth silver bark.

The rough bark of the wild Cherry Tree (Gean).

They grow in our local woodland and this one is particularly tall.

These are Marsh Marigolds growing in wet (Alder carr) woodland about a mile or so from home, which I passed on Friday's walk. Council workmen were taking down leaning trees there last week and I was worried that they would trample all over the MM's, but fortunately they were back beyond where they were working.

These are the little wild daffodils which grow in such splendour still in the woodlands at Dymock, Gloucestershire. Little pockets of them still remain in our part of Wales to show how beautiful the countryside must have looked a century or so ago. I sigh at the thought of how our countryside has changed, and for the worse. Imagine how stunning it must have been in Shakespeare's time, with all the flowers of field and hedgerow growing in profusion. Roger Phillips' 'Wild Flowers of Britain' lists 8 "corn" species - Corn Buttercup, Corn Chamomile, Corn Cockle, Corn Crowfoot, Corn Marigold, Corn Mint, Corn Salad, Corn Spurrey and Cornflower. We live a long way from corn-growing areas (Pembrokeshire just about gets away with having enough warm weather), otherwise it's near the English border, and I doubt I would ever see any of these nowadays due to efficient spraying . . .


  1. That is just my kind of walk [with a bit of trepidation over the bridge!] My Dad always brought us pussywillows--he knew where to find the earliest ones. Our spring flowers, all lumped under the heading of "May flowers" were hepatica, spring beauty, adder's tongue, Dutchman's breeches, violets in blue, yellow, white. Also trillium--the common red, white, and painted trillium. [Common name, stink pots.] Marsh marigolds were known as "cow slips."

  2. You are a roving wonder BB :o) I love to think of you bing dropped off & having to troop home,camera at the ready to share it all with us :o)
    That Livelong is lovely,it must have had a medicinal use surely with that name?
    GTM x

  3. Sharon - it used to be a "hanging" bridge 50 years ago - a rope one, but the local kids got across it with their bikes apparently, though the boys would scare the girls by making it shake when they were half way across! No Trilliums growing wild here, alas, but ain't spring grand all the same?

    GTM - being dropped off several miles from home means I can never give myself the easy option and take a short cut! I'll do a little update on the Livelong for you.

  4. What a nice walk, it's so nice to see spring coming all so quickly now.