Monday, 28 April 2014

Growing nicely

It is amazing what a bit of water and sunshine does to a garden:
And just 10 days later:
Ain't nature just grand!


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Bircham Windmill

Our walk this week saw us parking for free at Bircham Windmill, having our own coffee and biscuit before setting up. We didn't feel bad as planned on eating our lunch in their cafe!

You can click here to plan your own walk:

We turned right out of the car park, walked down the lane, then turned left. A little bit of our walk was on the road but in reality, we walked 4 x 1 mile sections, turning left each time, until we came back down another lane, leading to the Mill.

The hedgerows and lanes were full of apple blossom, both crab and general eating varities:
As you can see, the sky was clear blue with lots of aircraft con trails streaking about. Temperature was around 17C, a slightly warm breeze but unfortunately, down some bits, lots of pesky flies. We had T. with us this week:
We walked for 1.5 hours and did just over 4 miles. By the time we got back to the car, we were all very hot, thirsty and hungry.

I finally remembered to bring sandals to change into and was I grateful, my feet were boiling! We all had a quiche and salad (some dispute about the price as we thought we were charge too much compared to their price list).

The cafe has a longer serving area than last time we visited, but unfortunately, they have so much stuff on it, there is only about 3' of clear serving space. It took ages to be served and the place was quite empty. Not sure how long it would take on busy days. They really need to get it sorted, maybe waitress service would be better as it would free the area more!

Back to T.'s for tea and biscuits, a good natter before walking home. All in all, a lovely day.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Wayland Wood

DB and I,  drove over to Wayland to take a look at their bluebells and wood anemone's:
We arrived around 10am, the second car to park and off we went. Although the walk is basically circular, it is very easy to go off piste. You can't get lost as such, just need to listen out for the traffic - that will guide you back to your car.

The wood was full of birdsong and fragrance, most of which, almonds, came from the flowers of the wild bird cherry:
There were small patches of wood anemone, not nearly as many as Foxley Wood:
This white bluebell, all on its lonesome:
We could only see small clumps of bluebells in the distance but halfway around, we took a narrow path, which looked as though it had been trodden recently. The sun popped through just as we arrived, bluebell fragrance lifted into the air and we arrived into an area, heavy with bluebells, as far as the eyes could see:




We saw several small area's of orchid, again not as prolific as elsewhere but beautiful anyway:
We eventually found our way back onto the correct path and arrived back to a full car park. A lovely, peaceful and refreshing interlude to the Easter holidays.

Happy Easter Sunday!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Syderstone Walks

This week, we walked one of several available, in and around the village of Syderstone. Parking at the village hall, there was a map of several routes on its wall. We did the purple and orange walk, totalling 9km. You can download a pdf for a map of all the walks here

Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera and asked DB to take some photographs on his phone. This is a relatively new wood, quite large and we walked through the middle of it:
Two large groups of free range chickens:
And another one of our lovely wooden village signs:
All in all, a lovely walk. The only thing that spoiled it was travelling to the newly opened food hall and cafe at Creake Abbey.  Considering the cafe has a deli attached to it, they offered just one sandwich (cheese) or one panini (BLT). Other than that, it was meals. We walked out without sitting down and drove for lunch at The Lord Nelson at Burnham Thorpe.

Sandwich choice there was far better. Unfortunately their coffee was not good. I had asked for a latte and was presented with a small cup with white froth on the top. So far so good, although I had expected a larger version for the price (in the end, thank goodness it was small). I checked underneath the froth as I was surprised to be given cold milk with it. No milk in the cup, therefore not a latte.

I think it must have been an espresso as it was dark and bitter. By the time I had added enough milk to make it drinkable, it was stone cold. Its saving grace was a chocolate on my teaspoon!

Previously I had had fruit juice to drink. Still, we have been there more than once and their food is always lovely. Maybe next time, I'll be brave enough to tell them about their coffee.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Gressenhall and Beetley Walk

Our walk this week was around Gressenhall village and Beetley. It was 4.5 miles and took us around 90 minutes to complete.

We parked at Gressenhall Museum (for free) although there was quite limited parking spaces. We initially thought this was due to the Easter holidays. It wasn't, it was due to 4 conferences being held.

If you want to do the walk yourself, it can be downloaded here

The first part of the walk took us through the village of Gressenhall, where DB noticed a shop selling ice cream - he can never turn one down so off he popped to buy one:
The shop was situated near the common/village green, on which sat one of those lovely wooden village signs:
Nearby was the Swan Pub, which was to be our second choice for eating in if Gressenhall Cafe was too full - (it wasn't as it happened). Once we left the village, we were soon surrounded by fields of spring wheat and rape seed:
As the day was warming up, the 'scent' of them was heavy on the air. We must have heard at least 10 skylarks singing, high in the air. I managed to spot one, it was hovering around 100' or so!

We walked down soon to be leafy tunnels:
Past numerous clumps of primroses, daffodils, and huge banks of what I think was Lesser Stitchwort:
Eventually, we crossed the final field and arrived back at the car to take off our coats and walking boots. Gosh, it does feel so nice to change footwear!

We walked through to the cafe. E. had chips, beans and a sausage roll. DB had pasty, chips and beans. I was good - having a slice of one of the best quiches I have tasted, chips and salad (plus a glass of cold milk for a change from coffee).

We wandered around the free bits of the museum, the cottage vegetables patch looked lovely.




Sunday, 6 April 2014

Stradsett Country Fair

This weekend, Stradsett Hall hosted a country fair. It was only small, a few wood-turners, dog events, local farm where you could meet and greet the animals they had bought. We greatly enjoyed the 'Sheep Shearer event' - the chap in charge had his gift of the gab just right. We were nearly crying with laughter at times.
We really wanted to stay and watch his sheep dog herding ducks but it was a tad too cold and we would have had to have waited a long while.
There was a nice display by some Shire Horses pulling carts.

A lovely display by the Owl foundation people, we particularly loved this little one.
Some fairground rides for the children.
A little train to drive you around with a dummy driver!
And a few small traction engines, a little off on their spelling.
It was around £7 to get in and after spending a couple of hours walking around (and having a coffee and proper bacon bap), we came home. It really was quite small.







Thursday, 3 April 2014

Brisley

This week for our walk, we parked again at the village hall in Brisley, had our usual coffee, dash of Tia Maria and biscuit then began our walk. Instead of walking down the side of the hall, we walked down the road to the left, ( our backs to the hall0 then turned right up School Lane/Road.

Although there was a mist high in the air (pollution we think) we were not adversely affected by it. Everywhere smelt fine. We came upon a huge water tower, next to a farm of some kind. Lots of buildings but no noise so we assumed they were empty. I was a little too close to get all its top in.
Reaching a junction, we turned left onto Back Lane and headed down the road for a short while before turning right towards Tuttle Mill House and Farm. Although it seemed deserted, we thought it probably wasn't. It had lots of farmyard machinery and old pig huts strewn around, plus numerous old cars.

A very long track took us between fields with rape seed and wheat. By now we were all warming up, especially me as I had chosen to wear my winter waterproof so I could carry bits and bobs in my pockets.  Bad choice as it happened so this and the sleeveless fleece were soon removed and tied around my waist.

At the end of this between fields road, we turn right to walk past Grange and Malthouse Farm, in or near Horningtoft.

I think it was on this stretch of road, we saw this beautiful tree in blossom in a garden.
Although I can't remember where we saw these lovely primroses, they were part of the path (in a ditch) but everyone had walked slightly to their right, creating a new path.
There were hundreds of them. We skirted around another field and head towards Harper's Green, a small wooded area. Eventually we reached Harper's Green farm, and were greeted by a barking dog and some horses. We followed the track across a field. I must admit, I wanted to speed up over the field, as the farmer was spraying something that resembled rotten fish. Luckily though, he stayed away from us, for which we were grateful.

Arriving back at the outskirts of Brisley, we came across two huge fields of these.
Hundreds and hundreds of tubes containing some sort of tree or hedge specimen, lots of different varieties. We couldn't discern what they were though, as not one of the ones we peeped into, had enough growth on the sticks to identify them.

Eventually we arrived back at the village hall, this time from the right if we had stood with our backs to it. Grateful to now get our hot feet out of our walking boots, we though we would give the Brisley Bell another go. It had closed recently for renovation - don't know if there were new people in there or not.

Anyone, when we arrived, it was completely deserted to we drove off to Litcham for a quick sandwich lunch, at The Bull.

This morning, we awoke to pollution sitting high up in the trees and could smell it. Made me cough when I first went out to do some gardening but it appears to have lifted now. Apparently it was quite bad at the coast.


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

What have we here then...

I was standing at the front window yesterday, when a movement amongst the emerging flowers, caught my attention.
It was a pair (male and female) of Grey Partridge. They busied themselves for a few minutes nibbling seeds presumably, but left all the leaves alone. They were only passing through, as within 5 or so minutes, had vanished.

Oops, DS has just corrected me, apparently they are French Partridge! Now I know. Apparently, the Grey have grey legs.

Remember me talking about trying the cover the oil tank to make it look a little prettier. Garden netting was applied and in the end, I decided to only plant the none pruning Clematis (the blue one), as mentioned on my previous post. Here it is, planted and lightly tied into place.
A cut open tin has been placed around its stem at the bottom, plus 2 bricks, in the hope that the oil man won't flatten it when filling up the tank!

The ornamental quince bush, is full of buds and one or two blooms are opening. It sits outside the dining room patio doors.

Whilst we all know, that April, and even May, can throw us all some curved balls this time of year, it is so encouraging to see plants springing into growth.