We’re out to see the ducks again… It’s a walk down to Ironbridge and back, with a break for lunch, and a tour of the ten ducks. They’re a colourful, if temporary, addition to the local scene. There are other things to look at – there’s a Buddha, and there are people doing strange things in the river…
Orchids – in gay profusion! We have a decent crop in our back garden – a dozen flower heads (it’s probably a sign of neglect…), on plants which just arrived, quite unexpectedly, a couple of years ago. If they’re in bloom, the wild ones must be blooming too. The land near Benthall Hall is now looked after by the National Trust, though whether they’ve done anything to encourage them, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, there are hundreds – ones and twos and small colonies in the meadows, and in the little area of scrubby woodland, great clumps of them. They’re mostly common spotted, varying in colour from almost white to a deepish purple, but amongst them are a handful of (late) early purple orchids. Quite a sight!
Benthall Hall NT
46100 “Royal Scot”, that is, hauling a crew familiarisation train around the route of the “Welsh Borders Explorer”. No passengers today – and only a handful of others out to record the train’s passing. It was moving along very nicely at Wellington, seven minutes early having left Shrewsbury on time. (Note the young lady on the smartphone, oblivious to the scene unfolding before her – then, a moment later, looking up and realising it was something special…)
…at Buildwas Abbey – a quiet spot for a brief Sunday afternoon outing.
A beautiful day! We’re wandering around Benthall Hall and Edge – it’s warm and sunny in the fields, while the woodlands are pleasantly cool. A couple of weeks ago, the bluebells were at their best, but they’re past it now – as is the oilseed rape, and the tatty peacock on the brambles. Perhaps we’re past our best too? Who cares! Maybe, like the emerging orchids in the scrubland, the best is yet to come…
The bluebells are out with a vengeance on the lower slopes. The sky’s blue (with puffy white clouds, and the distant hills are blue (remembered…). And there’s hardly anyone else out (were there a couple of matches going on today?). A cuckoo makes its presence felt, and just off the north end of the hill, there’s a pair of red kites wheeling and diving. It’s good up here – shame to have to come down again.
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