Five Photos

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A wasp’s nest on the underside of the roof of our summer house (glorified shed). It was a little bit larger than a golf ball. The has been empty for weeks – it was right by the door, perhaps too busy a spot, and the wasps seemed to have abandoned it – but just today we noticed that the nest is once again occupied.

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Orchids on the Lots.

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A double rainbow from our garden; a fair indication of the weather we’ve been having this ‘summer’.

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A roe deer buck on our garden.

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He has very lop-sided antlers. I wonder whether that will put him at any disadvantage during the imminent rut?

Five photos taken on different days, aside from the last two obviously.

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Five Photos

Easter Miscellany

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I’ve decided to combine a hotchpotch of images from a sequence of local walks into one ragbag, catch-all post. These first few photos come from a very short outing, a circular route, but essentially to Lambert’s Meadow and back.

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Once at the meadow, I was mesmerised by the abundance of flies on the flowers along the edge of the field, beside a drystone wall. I was particularly surprised and delighted by the ubiquity of Bee Flies, a species I didn’t know about until relatively recently, but which I now realise are, at least in early spring, extremely common.

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There were lots of hoverflies about too. I keep promising myself a field guide and will surely get around to ordering one soon. Probably.

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Comma butterfly.

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Ash flower.

Later, I was out for a slightly extended version of my standard wander to the Cove and across the Lots. I was too early to catch the sunset from the Lots, but it was setting as I turned for home near Hagg Wood…

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The next day, I took B, some of his closest friends and Little S down to Preston for an early birthday treat for B – some indoor go-karting. I hadn’t intended to take part in the racing myself, but one of the friends had to drop out at the last moment, so I ended up taking part by default. Sadly, all of the boys were faster than me with the exception of Little S, who was in an underpowered ‘junior’ cart.

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This is our glamorous post-race lunch: sandwiches out of the car boot in the car-park on an industrial estate.

That evening, I managed to get out for an ascent of Arnside Knott.

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I love the fact that the powerful zoom on my camera brings Ingleborough so close…

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…and the light and shade which it revealed.

This tree…

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…which must have fallen a long time ago, but which has continued to grow despite that set-back, has featured on the blog before. It’s very close to the trig pillar on the Knott and the boys used to like climbing on its branches.

It’s a beech and on this occasion was liberally festooned with buds which looked like they would imminently burst forth with fresh green leaves.

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Nearby Sycamores were slightly ahead in that game…

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By the toposcope, I stopped for a brew, something I don’t do nearly as often as I should.

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A couple of days after that, a Sunday, and I was in Garstang with B for a rugby match. Whilst both teams were warming up I had a short wander by the River Wyre and looked at some sculptures in a small community park there.

We were impressed by our hosts score board…

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…and by the final score in what had been a very close match.

That evening, I was back on Arnside Knott.

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Willow catkins.

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Birch buds again. Possibly the same ones.

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Roe deer buck.

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Kent Estuary.

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Larch flowers and…

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…cones.

 

Easter Miscellany

Nevermind

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Over Christmas, as I think I’ve said, we regularly had a number of Roe Deer in our garden. I didn’t often photograph them, but when this buck ventured close to the house it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss him and his lop-sided new antlers.

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I suppose they will even out as they grow?

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The weather was generally dull and damp, with quite a bit of fog, and we took it in turns to suffer from an unpleasant cold, but, on the plus side, my mum and dad came to stay with us and we enjoyed all of the usual treats of the season: over-indulging in food, playing family games, watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ etc.

I know that I’ve also mentioned before the highlight of the Christmas period for me, which was my present from TBH – a night away in Glasgow with tickets for the Craig Charles Funk and Soul show – but that isn’t going to deter me from banging on about it again!

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Here’s TBH in the curry house we went to before the gig, which was just across the road from the hotel. We weren’t up very early the next day, we aren’t really used to 4am finishes, I think we just made check-out at midday. It was the first bright and sunny day we’d seen for a while and, since we’d already paid for parking, we had a walk to a vegan cafe/bar, which TBH had found online, for a Full Scottish Vegan Brunch, which was surprisingly good.

The hotel was right by the Clyde…

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…the building slightly right-of-centre in the picture is BBC Scotland.

This intriguing building…

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…had a twin on the far bank of the river. Apparently these originally covered shafts which led to a tunnel under the Clyde.

This…

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…is, I think, part of the SEC centre.

We walked along St. Vincents’ Crescent…

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I thought this rather elegant terrace might be Georgian, but a bit of lazy internet research reveals that it’s actually a bit later, built from 1850 onward, so definitely Victorian.

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Still very handsome though.

Obviously, having mentioned our dance-athon again, it’s only fitting to finish with another memorable tune from that night. How’s this:

 

I love a cover which is radically different from the original, so Blue Mode’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ is right up my street.

Nevermind

Deer Prudence

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This winter, we’ve frequently had four Roe Deer in the garden, three female and one male. Two of the does seem to like to sit under the kids trampoline.

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You’ll have noticed what I did with the title? Feeble isn’t it?

I know it’s a Beatles Song, but I always hear this version in my head. At this point Robert Smith was the Banshees’ guitarist, which apparently came about when The Cure toured with the Banshees as their support act. I wish I’d been at one of those gigs! I did see Siouxsie and the Banshees shortly after this, at the Apollo in Manchester, by which time they’d recruited a new guitarist; but I never saw The Cure, which is an odd omission, because I was quite obsessed with them for a while.

Deer Prudence

Yewbarrow Woods and Boretree Tarn

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Rusland Pool and Border Moss Wood from Crooks Bridge.

The prospect of this day, and the one to follow, had loomed large in my thoughts ever since B’s rugby fixture list was sent out back in September, because this Sunday showed no match and no training. A day off! In the few days running up to the weekend I kept sorting through weather forecasts and maps and guidebooks; dizzy with the countless possibilities, but also concerned that the weather was expected to be universally dreadful.

As the day approached and the forecasts for persistent rain didn’t improve, I decided that I better find something which didn’t venture too high into the hills and settled on visiting a couple of places between Windermere and the Rusland Valley which I’ve had my eye on for a while.

I drove up to the Lakes in very wet and grey conditions, wondering whether to call it quits, turn tail and head home again. After I’d found a spot to pull off the road in the Rusland Valley, I realised that I’d managed to come out of the house without my OS map. Fortunately, I’d spent a long time during the week staring at this part of the map and had a pretty clear memory, I thought, of the route. When I found an information board featuring this map…

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…my mind was made up: I took a photo on my phone, donned my waterproofs, girded my loins and embarked.

This is the map I should have been looking at…

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…although my copy doesn’t have the green dotted line through Yew Barrow Dale and Skinner Pastures which must be a recently created right of way.

My route took me along that path to Border Moss Wood, where I did an out-and-back in order to visit Rusland Pool and Crooks Bridge. Rusland Moss, a little further up the valley, is a good place to see Red Deer and I hoped I might see some on this occasion too. As I stood on the bridge, admiring the misty views, three deer ran down to the river, swam swiftly across and quickly bounded away again.

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The woods on this walk were an absolute delight, even in the rain, and I’m really looking forward to revisiting in the spring and the autumn.

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I’m afraid my photo doesn’t convey how impressive this tree was: it must have fallen down a long time ago and now four of its branches have grown strong and tall like individual tree trunks in their own right.

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Yewbarrow Woods.

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A tiny unnamed tarn in the mist.

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Boretree Tarn.

I’ve never been to Boretree Tarn before. It’s not too far from High Dam and I’m wondering whether it might be just as good for swimming when the weather and water temperature are both more clement. On this occasion, I found a comfortable spot by the edge of the tarn and tucked in to some very welcome cabbage and chorizo soup. There were a couple of swans and a few ducks to keep me company, but otherwise it was a quiet and tranquil spot.

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The view, such as it was, from Rusland Heights.

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Approaching Hall Brow Wood.

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Skowbarrow Beck.

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In Hall Brow Wood.

It was a relatively short walk, about six and a half miles, and by the time I got back to the car I was drenched, but I’d enjoyed my self none-the-less. I shall think of the trip as reconnaissance for future visits in better weather.

Towards the end of the walk the cloud had been lifting a little and beginning to show signs of breaking up. Just as I started the engine to set-off home, literally as I turned the key in the ignition, the windscreen was suddenly suffused with lovely golden light from the low winter sun, and I wondered if the weather was going to play a dirty trick by improving now that I’d finished walking, but I needn’t have worried: the sunshine was extremely short-lived and it was soon raining again.

I’d managed a good walk, despite the weather, and still had another iron-in-the-fire….

Yewbarrow Woods and Boretree Tarn

Roe Deer in the Garden Again

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Roe deer continue to be frequent visitors to our garden. In fact, we see them increasingly often. Partly, perhaps, because the kids seem to have rather lost interest, for now at least, in the trampoline, so the garden is quieter than it has been. We saw deer almost every day last week, but these photos are from back at the tail-end of October.

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This buck was in the garden when we arrived back from our walk to Arnside. Red Deer are also found in this area, but they are considerably larger than Roe Deer. The white rump patch is also a good distinguishing feature of Roe Deer.

The next day we had three deer in the garden. An adult female…

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Notice that she has a short tush, unlike the male. With this doe were two smaller deer, presumably her fawns from back in the early summer.

They were still smaller than her, but catching up. We’ve had visits from a doe and two fawns on and off through the summer and autumn. Were they always the same three? Hard to know – I like to think so.

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Roe deer commonly give birth to litters of two or three young. These twins are brother and sister…

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…she’s on the left here, with a tush like her mum.

It’s hard to see, but you can just make out that he has the beginnings of antlers sprouting on his head…

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There are photos of this, or another, Roe Deer family scattered through this post, if you want to see them in their gorgeous golden summer coats.

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Roe Deer in the Garden Again

Northern Sky

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Early October, (am I catching up?) and an early, pre-rugby outing to watch the sun rise over Ingleborough.

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And to admire the fungi in Eaves Wood.

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As I’ve noted before, by dropping down the hill a little, I can experience the illusion of multiple sun rises.

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At the circle of beeches the light was lovely…

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…and the ground sprinkled with small white toadstools.

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Long before I began to piece together some knowledge about other local flora and fauna, I tried to get to grips with fungi, mainly for culinary purposes; if I could identify the species of toadstool then I could safely find the ones which are safe and good to eat.

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I even went on a foraging course and learned to take spore prints.

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But Britain has thousands of species and I find them almost impossible to distinguish between, so these days I generally settle for taking photos and buying my mushrooms from the supermarket.

On the other hand, I know where I stand with deer, and this pair…

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…are unmistakably Roe Deer.

 

Northern Sky