Dandelions, a red dye plant, Cow Parsley and a poem.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Silent Noon

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.

 

 

Great Bardfield Bridleway Walk

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.

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Orange tip (folded back wings)

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Orange tip

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Holly Blue

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Speckled Wood

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Bridleway in Great Bardfield, Essex

Paycocke’s House and Garden

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 windowsuntitled (2 of 33)untitled (1 of 33)The 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?untitled (12 of 33)The Tudor dining room I was particularly taken by the teasels on seats attached to the place setting, so simple but beautiful.

untitled (15 of 33)Coggeshall White,  a product of the time.

untitled (29 of 33)untitled (26 of 33)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.

Melford Hall, Little Cat and a Big Pig

Today’s excursion was to Melford Hall in Suffolk,  we didn’t go into the house but wandered around the outside area and gardens.  In the adjacent fields there were some big sheep, no lambs and one of them posed for his photograph.untitled (3 of 50)

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untitled (5 of 50)untitled (17 of 50) The weather was a little changeable so the blue sky in the above picture was not evident later on.  It was nice to see the tulips and daffodils still hanging on in there,   in lots of places they are now past their best.untitled (36 of 50)The garden we walked through was lovely and give it a couple of weeks the colours and varieties in borders will be amazing.untitled (28 of 50)Little Cat came along for the ride and true to form got into some photographs.untitled (35 of 50)

On our exit we saw the stand alone banqueting hall with its interesting staircase and architecture, at the moment it is also housing a small exhibition about Beatrix Potter as she used to visit here quite often to see friends.untitled (26 of 50)

On our way home back to Cambridgeshire we called in at a farm shop for some supplies and in the field next to the car park I met this ‘Big Pig’.  |He seemed very friendly and was happily munching on grass as I took his photographuntitled (47 of 50)

Anglesea Abbey, a Water Mill and spring flowers.

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.Anglesea Abbey 2017 (41 of 60)Anglesea Abbey 2017 (56 of 60)

We spotted a yellow wagtail bobbing about on the edge of the water and I could have watched him for a long time.

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A very relaxing stroll with lots of spring flowers and new foliage

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Wicken Fen

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.

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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.

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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.

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Brimstone

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Peacock

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Speckled Wood

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.

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Moorhen

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Long tailed tit

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Marsh Harrier