An Eventful Walk Home

On Friday after work I got off the train one stop early, at Carnforth, and walked home from there. I’d had a peek at the map in the morning and so knew that in Millhead if I took the first turn after crossing the river Keer I would find a footpath across the fields to Warton which was both shorter and more pleasant than walking along the road. I walked through Warton, admiring the old cottages which line the main road and then entered Hyning Scout Wood. It was very different than when I took the boys there back in April – the trees are all in leaf now and the wood was deeply shaded. It was a bright and sunny day however and I enjoyed seeking out spots picked out by sunshine which got through the canopy. I was hoping for a good display of bluebells, but I think that I was a little too late: there still were plenty of bluebells but they were beginning to be swamped by brambles and ferns and saplings which were now in leaf.

Light and shade in Hyning Scout Wood…

 

I left the wood at its far end, crossed a field, a road and another field which brought me to the top of Summer House Hill, above Leighton Hall.

There are several benches on the hill and the view – over the hall to Morecambe Bay and over Leighton Moss and Arnside Knot to the hills of the Lake District – is superb. I didn’t have sandwiches with me (something to consider for next time) but I did have a large juicy braeburn apple in my bag and stopped to savour it with the view.

Leighton Hall

My onward route took me under a copper beech by the hall…

…and past Leighton Hall Farm, where there seems to be a major renovation underway, and where I knew I would see and hear swallows. This one was just about to leave the telephone wire when I caught it…

  The path to Yealand Storrs winds away from Leighton Hall Farm (next time?)

As I walked closer to Leighton Moss I began to notice fluffy seedlings blowing in the wind, it was only when I got the the causeway that I realised that they were willow seeds.

  I’m not sure what this umbellifer is (I’m still hopeless at umbelliferae) but you can see that it is coated with willow seeds and that some are escaping in the wind.

Glowing alder leaf.

Reed.

I was pretty preoccupied with the light, and the way it was catching things, but remembered to stop to take a photo of the deer tracks which had been pointed out on Wednesday night…

I looked up from taking that and saw…

Three deer. There really are three here, but the middle one is very well hidden in the reeds. So much so that for awhile I lost it.

I took lots of photos. Mainly of the deer…

…but also of this heron which was fishing nearby…

…and which was much more spooked than the deer seemed to be.

A fourth deer appeared, and then a fifth by the edge of the water. How many more were hidden away in the reeds? Eventually I decided to move on and give the deer an opportunity to cross over the causeway.

 Yellow flag irises.

Unlike red deer, I often see rabbits on my walks, but they are rarely as accommodating as this youngster was when it comes to posing for photos:

In amongst alder trees I was led on a merry dance by a large group of long-tailed tits. It was gloomy, and they never seem to sit still for long so I didn’t get any even half decent photos, despite my best efforts. There were young in amongst the flock – I saw a bird pass food to a fledgling.

The best of a bad lot (of photos that is).

Getting close to home now, I joined my usual, much shorter walk home from the station, but made a slight diversion ( as I have several times recently) to visit the lady’s slipper orchid…

…which is extremely rare in the UK. (Hopefully I will have more to say about this later in the week)

Blackbirds, which are noisy, vociferous birds at the best of times, seem to get even more excitable as the shadows length into evening and I was regaled by several on the final leg of my journey…

And finally…

…this is one of the many bunnies which I normally encounter when I’m on my way home. When I walk past they leap effortlessly on to the drystone wall which borders Hagg Wood and then wait for a further move from me.

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An Eventful Walk Home

2 thoughts on “An Eventful Walk Home

  1. Hi Mark, Great set of pictures – I particularly like the lighting on the bluebell and those orchids are exquisite. Yellow flag iris isn’t out on my side of the Pennines yet….

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    Thanks for visiting Phil and for your comments. I haven’t been over to County Durham for a while, but we do regularly visit – I think that I will be using your blog for research purposes before our next trip – I’m already thinking that we’ve neglected the Durham coastline in the past.

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