Perkley skyscapes

Weds. 9 January: a cold but bright afternoon. It’s far too good to stay indoors, and it’s been dry for a few days – we’ll head across the fields to Perkley and back. Shouldn’t be too bad underfoot. It’s wide open country here, at the northern end of the Wenlock Edge – with big skies…

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Distractions

Weds. 5 September: The London and North Western Railway used “Blackberry Black” paint on its locomotives – black with just a hint of colour. It’s probably that hint of colour in the fruits that makes them attractive to eat – a hint of something tasty, perhaps, and at present they’re ripe and juicy in great profusion in local hedgerows. They all had to be sampled, and as a result, we probably took a little longer walking around this enjoyable route on the quieter side of Much Wenlock. It’s not just blackberries that are fruiting – there are all kinds of fruits and berries ripening nicely, though we didn’t try nibbling the sloes or the crab apples, and certainly wouldn’t touch the toadstools. There were just a few sugar-sweet damsons within reach too…

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Mid-May in Bannister’s Coppice

We’re following what has become a favourite route – from Much Wenlock, down through Homer to Bannister’s Coppice, and back along the old waggonway route. There may be some deer about, and perhaps some early purple orchids? Down beside the brook, there was a group of perhaps a dozen deer, well-camouflaged amongst the trees, and only visible when they moved (away, of course). There were a few more in the field when we left the coppice – they didn’t hang around either.

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April on the Edge

Friday 20th April: It’s too good for indoor chores. Lots of other people had the same idea – the little NT car park was full – though we only saw three others as we walked these quiet fields and woods. Little more than a week ago, it seemed spring would never come, but there’s no doubt now.

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Spring at last

After lunch, the clouds cleared (as forecast) and instead of rain, warm sunshine fell on Shropshire’s sodden fields. We’d better make the most of it, it may not last… The no 18 bus to Much Wenlock gets us started, on a route which we’ve chosen in the hope of avoiding the worst of the mud (by avoiding field paths, a policy that nearly caught us out on the very quiet road near Wyke). Leaving Benthall Edge (last gasp of the Wenlock Edge) we find ourselves at Benthall Hall, where it’s warm enough to sit outside, in shirt sleeves, for tea and cakes… Suitably refuelled, it’s not far home now.

Benthall Hall NT

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An unseen kite

The clocks have gone back – it’ll be dark early, and we’re making the most of a fine sunny afternoon. Wenlock to Bannister’s Coppice will be a pleasant stroll – perhaps we’ll see some deer? We did – a sizeable herd, in the depths of the wood, just distant shapes moving quickly but quietly between the trees. No chance of a photograph. What we did achieve was a photographic record of a red kite, quite accidentally. I only saw it when checking through the photographs later – that speck in the sky has a pretty distinctive shape…

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Wenlock to Benthall…

…and home for tea. It was a last-minute decision – let’s go to Wenlock on the bus (the no. 18 double-decker – top deck, front seats) and walk back – via Benthall Hall for refreshments, of course. It’s not the most encouraging weather photographically – there’s some sunshine, but also some grey skies and a shower or two (which we weren’t expecting). It’s a pleasant outing anyway, calm before the storm perhaps (Aileen is coming tonight, apparently)

Benthall Hall NT

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