Thursday: walking with the camera, across the Fiery Fields and Lodge Lane to Benthall Hall. We’ll find a different route home again through quiet back roads.
…with just the odd shower. It soon passed, and then the sky was mostly blue. Spring is happening – white violets, celandines and the odd dandelion in the hedgerows, and the hawthorn rapidly greening. The air’s cold, and there’s a stiff breeze, but it’s good to be out.
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Circumstances (not least the weather) have conspired to keep the camera indoors for a couple of weeks – it was suffering from lack of exercise (so was its owner). Today it’s bright and dry – time for a local leg stretch. Our last outing was to see the cooling towers meet sudden destruction – I’ll look down on the site, and see how it compares with our last view from this position, high up in the woods on Benthall Edge.
It’s too warm for anything energetic, and it will be wise to keep out of the sunshine. A walk from Benthall Hall could be just the thing – we can find shady ways to the dense woodland of Benthall Edge. Who knows what there might be lurking in the shadows? Oh look, there’s a little old man of the woods! Someone has made this tiny chap, and left him on a tree stump to enjoy the passing scene. A little further along the path, another tiny local resident scurries across the path, freezing in the leafy undergrowth for long enough to have a camera pointed at him. There must be thousands of little rodents in these woods, but how rarely we see them.
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We’ve parked at Benthall Hall, and followed (mostly) quiet ways, to Posenhall and Wyke, and back via Benthall Edge Woods. After damp days, and misty days, it’s dry and bright – barely a cloud in the sky, and the air’s clear and cool. Perfect walking weather!
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The sunshine is warm, but the air’s cold today. Fortunately, the outdoor tea area at Benthall Hall is sheltered from the breeze, so we’ll enjoy our al fresco refreshments without a shiver. The bluebell season is just beginning, the chestnut leaves are emerging (they remind me of pale green cormorants drying their wings) and the oilseed rape is brightening the fields – sunshine even when the sun’s gone in…
We’ll catch the bus and walk back… It should have been wall-to-wall sunshine, but clouds are blowing across from the north-east – we’ll have to be selective with the photos. We’re certainly not going to stand and wait until the sun shines – it’s much too cold, barely above freezing. Nevertheless, it’s pleasant when the sun’s out, and there are one or two reminders that spring isn’t too far away.
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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…
Mid-March – any signs of spring? Very few – just a couple of hawthorns with a few buds opening (and possibly wishing they hadn’t), otherwise, the trees are still very bare. We’re walking to Benthall Hall, returning past the bluebell wood. Their green shoots are coming up, but we’re several weeks away from the flowers. At least the days are getting longer – it will get warmer.
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