A delightful spring-like day for a walk, this time with all of the kids, to Woodwell and Jack Scout. Sam was once again in the backpack. His brother and sister were on their Like Bikes.
These Ink Caps were growing on the trunk of a tree on the ginnel that leads to Spring Bank. Because I photographed them Amy and Ben set about finding me more subject matter.
“Dad, look a feather! Aren’t you going to take a picture?”
“Dad. Dog poo.”
From Stankelt Lane we took the path down to Bottoms Wood. I remember reading, with some envy, about the appearance of Wild Garlic in the New Forest a couple of weeks ago. But now there are Ramsons thrusting through the leaf litter in Bottoms Wood. These early leaves add a wonderful garlic flavour to a salad or a sandwich. Later this wood will be carpeted in great phalanxes of green spears and white starburst flowers. The smell is almost overpowering.
Bracket Fungus on mossy log. On a sheltered green lane near Welton last weekend I noticed that the Cuckoo Pint and the Celandine were ahead of the plants at home. Or so I thought. Judging by these Cuckoo Pint growing in an equally sheltered spot near Woodwell (with Hart’s Tongue Fern with the striated leaves), I was wrong.
This is Amy at Woodwell. It’s has become a favourite destination for our family walks. As well as the spring emerging form the cliff, there’s a stream and a pond with fish and newts (not that we saw either today). Amy was disappointed by the lack of Lilypads on the pond, but I was able to point out to her the red unfolding new leaves just beneath the surface.
There’s also a Geocache in the vicinity, which the kids find very exciting, and as I’ve said before – anything that helps to make walking a fun activity for them is ok by me.
Bottoms Wood from Woodwell.
We bumped onto Ben and Amy’s friend Charlotte and her Grandma, which was an unexpected bonus causing general excitement. The children proceeded to run around, make mud-pies and then tried fishing for pond weed.
Despite the noise they were making I could hear at least two Woodpeckers drumming in the woods nearby. Charlotte and her Gran accompanied us as far as the Wolfhouse Gallery, but then headed into the village, whilst we continued to Jack Scout. Like Bottoms Wood this is a small National Trust property. It also had lots to keep the kids occupied, with Molehills to jump on and dig fingers into, and rocks to clamber on. Even before we could see Morecambe Bay the evidence of discarded Mussel shells indicated that we weren’t far away.
Half a dozen Oystercatchers were feeding on the edge of a large pool below the cliffs. Seconds after I took this photo, the tide came racing in. The speed of it is astonishing. The Oystercatchers took of together and then wheeled and darted low over the sands, showing alternately white and black as they turned.
Posing on the stone seat. Limestone with Blackthorn. Molehills.
In the woods there had been much more birdsong then I have noticed on any of my other walks so far this year. At Jack Scout every scrubby bush and small tree seemed to have an attendant Robin announcing their territorial primacy in liquid song.
The Hazel catkins have opened, the birds are singing, fresh shoots of green are everywhere, the Honeysuckle has new leaves on it. In today’s sunshine, as ridiculous as it seems in February, it’s hard not to conclude that spring has sprung.