Greater spotted

We’re wandering around Attingham this afternoon. It’s a dull grey day, so the scope for photography may be limited. The woodpeckers are having fun, bashing their brains out in attempts to attract mates. One drums noisily in a tree nearby – can we see him? No – until he flies to another branch, and our eyes register the movement. Can the camera see him? We’ll try! He may be a greater spotted woodpecker, but he’s certainly not easily spotted…

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Spectacle of Steam

Saturday 18 March: “More working steam locomotives in one hour than anywhere else” – that’s what the website says, and that’s what the people at Statfold provide. One 18″ gauge former industrial loco – and no fewer than fourteen 2′ gauge locomotives in action. What they can’t guarantee is the weather. The showers were heavier and more frequent than I’d expected. I should mention one more locomotive – 12¼” gauge Victoria on the latest attraction, the Mease Valley Light railway. I visited it towards the end of my intended stay – and got very wet…

Visit “Statfold Showers” on Geoff’s Rail Diaries for the full story, and lots more photos

Impasse II

Same as last week! About a mile and a quarter along Rowe Lane there’s a huge puddle. We’ve met it before, after heavy rain, and last time we got through, but this time it seemed deeper and there was no way along the verge – the hedge would have pushed one of us in (and I’d have been in trouble)… So we’re retracing our steps to head across the fields to Holdgate, and apart from new views, we see one (sadly, dead) fox, one hare (very much alive and too fast for the camera), two herons (flying over) and a tree full of cormorants. We also see the back of Hall Farm at Holdgate, which seems to be built around the remains of a castle, complete with arrow slits (loopholes?) for archers. Like last week’s flooded ford, the puddle did us a favour!

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Cardington kites and rainclouds

Sunshine and showers! An afternoon in the vicinity of Cardington, walking up to Willstone, where the red kites provided quite a display for us, then along the lane to Chatwall. Five minutes on the chocolate seat – and then it rained. We didn’t get very wet, and we’re reasonably waterproof…

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Seasonal signs

It’s grey and breezy, but this time last week we had several inches of snow, while today it’s a springlike 11C and very pleasant around the Willey lanes. One doesn’t need to look too closely in the hedgerows to see many signs of the coming season – primroses and celandines, and the leaves of bluebells and garlic, whose time will come in another few weeks

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It’s a regular route for us – until we come to the ford. The mid-week snowfall has been melting rapidly since yesterday, and there’s no way we can reach the footbridge over Bullhill Brook. “Let’s try the path through the fields, and hope it’s not too muddy”. It isn’t, and it proves to be a very enjoyable way through pleasant farmland. Ascending through the woods, a couple of deer quietly trot away from us (no chance of a photograph). Now we’re on the quiet road from Kenley, with views to Wenlock Edge, heading back to the start.

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Scary stuff!

We’re at Cosford, at the RAF museum.  The cold war is a major theme here (on this appropriately cold day), with displays of redundant equipment from that era. The possible use and consequences of all those planes and missiles doesn’t bear thinking about, but the shapes and colours make an interesting subject for the camera – and it’s perfect for keeping an energetic visiting four-year-old amused and entertained…

RAF Museum


We’re ‘in’ – it’s cold and grey again, and a little while ago it was drizzling gently. We’re also at home because we’re expecting visitors – they’ve got a long journey (I don’t envy them). A call from the kitchen – “He’s back”. There’s a sparrowhawk on the fence, glaring evilly in all directions, looking for a tasty (blue?) titbit. Nature isn’t always pretty. (Hope he doesn’t eat my friend the robin, who comes to see what I’m doing whenever I’m in the garden).

He’s gone now. Didn’t eat anyone.