Woke up this morning feeling so much better than yesterday. A little fragile but much more alive. I went walking with the dogs on the back field and was very taken with the dandelion seed heads, they were everywhere and looked so perfect. The picture above is a moment in time, the seeds will probably all been distributed on the wind later today from this one puff ball head. The Dandelion is supposed to be the one plant which signifies the three celestial bodies, the yellow flower the sun, the round puffball seed head the moon and the individual wind born seeds the stars.
Also seen this morning were these beautiful blue flowers of the plant called Green Alkanet ( Pentaglottis sempervirens), on researching this lovely looking weed I found out it was introduced to this country hundreds of years ago as it very large roots can provide a rich red dye and its use of it can be dated back to Egyptian times. All a little odd as the flowers are blue!
Cow Parsley is abundant along the lane to the field and it looks so delicate. It is mentioned in the poem “Silent Noon” by Christina Rossetti or by her brother Dante Gabrielle, no one knows for sure. I will leave this post with the words of the poem.
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, –
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
‘Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
‘Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: –
So this wing’d hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.
We went out for a short walk to Great Bardfield and parked up and walked down a marked bridleway. It was butterfly heaven and I was treated to seeing ‘Orange-tip’ ‘Holly Blue’ and a ‘Speckled Wood’ butterflies. This was especially great for me as the ‘Orange-tip has been an elusive butterfly as they never seem to settle for long. It was so lovely walking along the path and seeing the countryside and hearing wonderful birdsong.
Orange tip (folded back wings)
Bridleway in Great Bardfield, Essex
The Paycocke House was built around 1500 and we visited it this afternoon and looked around the House and garden. The Thomas Paycocke family were greatly involved with the cloth trade and the wonderful restoration of the inside is a testament to the wealth that was around during the 16th Century, The inside had beautiful stained glass windowsThe beams inside the front of the house show intricate carvings and a small face was carved in one of them. I wonder what things he could have seen over the life of the house?The Tudor dining room I was particularly taken by the teasels on seats attached to the place setting, so simple but beautiful.
Coggeshall White, a product of the time.
The view of the house from the back garden.
Paycocke’s House was well worth a visit and it was a joy to wander around the garden which has beautiful lawns and flowers and a working vegetable garden.
Today’s outing was to Anglesea Abbey and it was a great walk out in the sunshine. We didn’t actually go into the house but did the winter trail and called in at Lode Mill.
We spotted a yellow wagtail bobbing about on the edge of the water and I could have watched him for a long time.
A very relaxing stroll with lots of spring flowers and new foliage
I spent an hour this afternoon at Ickworth, the National Trust property and went around the Italian Garden.
The scenery was amazing and I also loved seeing the forget-me-nots (such a vivid blue) and the ferns unfurling.
As we were leaving the property I was impelled to take photographs of these adorable lambs.
Earlier in the week I headed off to Wicken Fen with my sons. It was a wonderful weather and from the moment we left the car we saw some amazing stuff. First up was a couple of tree sparrows having a dust bath and then a muntjac deer mooching about under a hedge.
A newly dusted Tree Sparrow
It was really good to see the sun and walk on the board walks through the reeds, chatting and taking in the sights and sounds.
The Wicken Fen Windmill Pump through the reeds
We saw lots of butterflies but my favourite was the ‘brimstone butterfly’ it is always one of the first I see each year and up until now I have never managed a photograph of one as they are so fast and never seem to settle anywhere. However my son spotted one stopping and and saw that on closer inspection it looked like a leaf, not the bright yellow but a green.
We saw some birds from the hides dotted around the reed beds and I particularly liked my Moorhen with the reflections in the reeds. The Long-tailed tit is a little blurred, as is the Marsh Harrier. But seeing this majestic bird flying above the reeds was a really spectacular and my picture does not do it justice.
Long tailed tit