Close Bosom-Friend of the Maturing Sun

More mists:

This is from early on Saturday morning. We’re lucky in that our house has a slightly elevated position and when these mists develop, sometimes in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings, we get a view over them to the woods beyond and to Farleton Fell on the horizon.

Saturday developed into a beautiful day, part of which we spent at Brockholes visitor centre on the shores of Windermere. It has a great playground for the kids:

And views of my favourite playgrounds too:

Close Bosom-Friend of the Maturing Sun

Come Into My Parlour…

Suddenly it seems that encounters with spiders are dominating my life and my blog. This morning I walked out of the front door and straight into a web.

I know next to nothing about these engaging little fellows, but s/he looks like a close relative of yesterday’s spider, but possibly different from Sunday’s feasting duo.

Come Into My Parlour…

Seasons of Mist

On Tuesday, with the boys at a birthday party and their sister dining at her friends’ house, I found myself at the station on the way home from work with a couple of hours to kill. It wasn’t raining, although it had earlier. In the woods with the steady drip from the trees it might as well have been. It was damp and murky however.

I followed the edge of the wetlands at Leighton Moss, and since the vistas were obscured by the gloom, focused on the close at hand.

I’ve posted a few pictures of bindweed flowers, but this one had twined itself up a sapling, almost out of reach, so that I was forced to shoot from an unusual angle. So much the better.

In the hedgerow many leaves are beginning to turn. But adjacent trees of the same species can be in complete contrast to each other – one with leaves edged with brown, the other green and vibrant and apparently unaffected by the proximity of Autumn. Sometimes the contrast could be seen on the same tree. On one Hazel there were…

…leaves in camouflage motley, but also pale bright leaves which looked like they had just emerged from a bud…


From Leighton Moss I took the path that skirts the edge of the Golf Course. It follows the Trough a natural fault line which crosses the area and here manifests itself as a small cutting closed in by rock walls and roofed by the leaves and branches of nearby trees. It’s said that in the time of the Border Rievers the locals hid their livestock here from the marauding Scots. Where the path leaves the Golf Course it passes through a gate into Trowbarrow Nature Reserve, formerly a quarry. Fittingly, the gate resembles a Karribiner…

…which is appropriate, since the quarry is part owned by the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) and is very popular with climbers, and because the the gate is also a memorial to a climber.

Colourful Bramble leaves on the floor of Trowbarrow Quarry

The path from the Quarry took me onto Moss Lane which I followed to Haweswater.

Crab Apples in the woods near Haweswater.

Wildflowers in the meadow by Haweswater.

Turning Horse Chestnut leaf:

From Haweswater a path through Eaves Wood brought me home.


A woodland floor leaf.


Yesterday I made an slight detour on the way home to try again to photograph the Spindle leaves.


This morning it was misty and the grass was silvered with dew. As I walked to the station, the sun was low in the Eastern sky ahead making the mist was glowing orange. Behind the sky was already blue, a blue interrupted only by a luminous three-quarter Moon.

Having caught the earlier train home, I had time to put Sam into the baby carrier and whisk him off for a wander to the Cove and round the Lots. A few tractors were cutting the hay. Sam was delighted. He also enjoyed the lambs and chickens that we saw, whilst I seem to have been looking for spiders a lot recently:

Seasons of Mist

Doddington Hall

Almost next door to Whisby is Doddington Hall. Mum and Dad had won a family entrance ticket in a raffle, so that’s where we went after lunch in the cafe at Whisby.


The inside of the House was interesting, and the kids loved the leaflet that they filled in by searching for things in each room. And they especially enjoyed the bag of goodies reward for when they had finished. But it was the garden that really interested me. In the walled kitchen garden Artichokes were flowering:


And pears and apples had been trained up the walls:

Another Comma on a Dahlia:

A squash:

I’m not sure what this is, but it must be related to Bindweed:

Look at this seedhead Granddad:

Pictures of children climbing trees seems to becoming a recurring theme of this blog:

But who could resist this wonderfully gnarly…

…Sweet Chestnut:

And for those of us who didn’t want to climb, there were always the Cyclamen beneath to admire:

A Tortoiseshell butterfly and a bee on a Sedum:


More tree climbing action:

Old wagons in the stable behind the cafe and farm shop:

We even had time to take a short walk across a field to the pond before we left. A got in on the Nature Photography act. No doubt she’ll soon have her own Blog.

White dead nettle:


Fancy fretwork clouds:

Heading back to the car park:

It was a fabulous day and particularly good to see my Dad making progress after major surgery a few weeks ago.

Doddington Hall

Whisby Nature Park

On Saturday afternoon we drove down to Lincoln to visit my Mum and Dad and on Sunday morning we went to Whisby Nature Park which is a little haven of peace and tranquility just off the A46 ring road. After a cloudy start the sky cleared and the sun shone. It was warm. Briefly, we could remember again what it is like to have a summer.

Strolling the paths together there was so much to see that we were spoiled for choice.

There were toadstools of many different shapes and sizes.

These ones seemed to have had a hem stitched around the bottom of the cap:

I’m afraid that I don’t really know what any of these are. (Any hints welcome)

Perhaps this could be a Shaggy Inkcap?

And this one an Earthball?

I was quite happy with the abundant fungi, but the insect world was putting on a show to entertain us too.

I managed to get several intimate shots of this Comma butterfly. There were whites and Red Admirals and Speckled Woods sunning themselves on an information board. When we arrived, everything was still drenched in dew, which revealed spider’s webs everywhere. Later, near to the Comma, my mum spotted two spiders both eating the same insect caught in a web:

Look at those hairy legs:

Bees were ubiquitous, this one  on a Teasel:

This damselfly was a surprisingly patient model:

It’s stunning isn’t it! Again, I have no idea what sort of damselfly it is, nor what kind of Dragonfly this is:

It was a beautiful morning. A little to my surprise, I’m really relishing the beginning of Autumn, so I’ll finish with a little Autumn colour in these bramble leaves:

Whisby Nature Park

Three Seasons in One Plant

“I’m Nature Girl!” A announced, flourishing her stick as we set off on our Saturday morning walk. We were taking a circuitous route along Bottoms Lane into the village, to the coffee morning, where their mum was helping out. Both ‘Nature Boys’ were in the double buggy, neither looking remotely inclined to do the decent thing and have a nap.

Later I asked her – “How are you doing Nature Girl?”

“I’m good,” she said “but we haven’t seen any Nature yet.”

Well, we can’t have been looking properly, because from that point on I made sure that we found lots of nature.

There were quite a few flowers – Woundwort and Limestone Woundwort, a single Meadowsweet, Bramble flowers and still some fragrant Honeysuckle:

Most prominent though were the Ivy flowers and the attendant hordes of Bees:


The spiders were wise to the possibilities that the ivy provided and we found several webs. In one web a bee was struggling furiously. B was very excited by this and although I managed to dissuade him from touching the bee, he managed to free it by repeatedly twanging the web.

We saw numerous snails, a dragonfly and a couple of quite beautiful green and black bugs. Sadly, for reasons that now elude me, I took my point and snap camera and the photos didn’t come out well.

There were blackberries, haws, elderberries, rose-hips and spiky burrdocks to spot and examine. Several spindle bushes caught our attention, and became firm favourites when we realised that the outer layer couple be peeled away to reveal a bright orange fruit within. Some of the spindle leaves were fading to a pale yellow rimmed with a delicate pink. (I shall have to return for some shots of those).

The sycamore leaves have had black spots on them for a while.

I can imagine zooming in on those slim yellow borders and finding a riotous fractal complexity with all of the colours to match.

Since finding Tutsan on Beetham Fell back in July, I’ve been finding it all over – we must have at least six shrubs in our garden. At Silverdale Green, on the same plant, we found flowers:

Shiny new berries:

And dried up husks with turning leaves:

The best Autumn colour was provided by a garden spilling out over its boundary wall with lemon Wisteria leaves and scarlet Virginia Creeper (I think):

Nature Boy and Nature Girl had by this point decided that their legs were tired and were taking it in turns to join their baby brother in the double buggy.

Three Seasons in One Plant

Town’s Field Sunset

Didn’t manage much of a walk today – my walks to and from the station don’t fit in with my daughter’s swimming lessons. Just after I put her and her brother to bed though I did saunter down to the end of the drive, lean on the dry-stone wall of Town’s Field and drink in the aftermath of the sunset.

My ‘new’ camera had finally returned from Olympus and seems to be in full working order again. It was nice to have this opportunity to play with it.

I’m quite pleased with the results, although they are not a patch on the real thing.

Town’s Field Sunset