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Monday, 24 July 2017

GREEN AND LUSCIOUS WOODS!


I have been unable to go for walks lately, due to family circumstances.  I am hoping in September that things will change and I can get back to regular walking, as I do miss getting amongst nature!  Today, I had the chance of going to Harridge Woods with my friend Belinda.  Last time we went there, the wild garlic was in full flower... 


Today, everything was overgrown, green and luscious!  Heavy rain yesterday meant that there was mud and plenty of rushing water in the Mells River, making a lovely sound at the bottom of the wooded valley.

Harridge Woods is a nature reserve that is owned and managed by Somerset Wildlife Trust.  It has nature trails and is 136 acres in area, made up of different woodlands.  It has an interesting history, including mining, forestry and ruins of man-made constructions, glimpses of which can still be seen.  One example is Keepers Cottage (see above), which was an old estate worker's dwelling.  Through the Wildlife Trust, it has become a managed bat roost of at least seven species throughout the year.


Everywhere there was evidence of the work of the Wildlife Trust to create habitats for wildlife and return the woods to native deciduous woodland.  Without this work and the created pathways, it would not be possible to have such fantastic walks, and you would need a machete to hack your way through!

   

Friday, 12 May 2017

MAY IS BLOOMING!


No sun this morning, but at least it wasn't raining or as cold as it has been lately! My companion was Miriam, and as time was tight, we kept our walk local. We had a look at Shepton's Friday market, which was just setting up, and I showed Miriam the window I had recently dressed at the One Craft Gallery (see middle, left pic).   


Our walk took us through Collett Park, which was looking lush and green, and past the allotments, which had many signs of planting activity (see photographs above).


May is my favourite month of the year - maybe because it is my birthday month!  It is named after the greek goddess, Maia, who is also identified with the Roman goddess of fertility, Bona Dea.

May is certainly fertile - it is said, that this is the month when plants really start to grow.  On our travels today we saw plenty of evidence of this - clouds of white cow parsley, loads of blossom and gardens full of colourful flowers...

Monday, 8 May 2017

WILD GARLIC FOR TEA!


This morning, I had another lovely woodland walk with Belinda.  Although there were some bluebells, this wood was all about the wild garlic.  Carpets of bright white star shaped flowers with dark green foliage and that pungent garlic smell!  It was a beautiful sight.  The great thing about this plant is that it is edible - flowers and leaves.  We both collected some to take home to use.  I am going to make a wild garlic risotto for tea tonight! 



Our walk was in Harridge Woods, which we visited this time last year - follow the label below.  This wood is managed by Somerset Wildlife Trust, with pathways, interesting ruins, running water and it is only a few miles outside Shepton...





Monday, 24 April 2017

IN SEARCH OF BLUEBELLS!


It was great to get out again for an early morning walk.  Today I went with Belinda on a mission - to find an easily accessible bluebell wood, that would be suitable to take her mother to!  As she lives in Wells, we drove to Dulcote and took a bridleway towards the city, until we veered off into woods on the right.  There we were rewarded with a result - drifts of bluebells creating areas of beautiful blue/purple haze!


Unfortunately, even on this lovely route, the problems of graffiti and homelessness cannot be escaped.  We passed several structures in the woods, that had signs of occupation at sometime.  As we passed one (see above top right), we could hear the sounds of someone sleeping inside!

We also passed a Romany travellers camp, complete with horse and traditional  gypsy caravan (see above), and in the middle of the woods (see above, middle right), we came across one of the big problems of the countryside today - fly-tipping... 



Although the sun wasn't shining, and we haven't had rain for ages, everywhere looked green and lush.  It is such a lovely time of year with an array of fresh greens, and the delicate colours of the wild flowers...


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

BRIGHT APRIL MORNING!


I had Miriam for company this morning.  It was a great morning for a walk - bright, sunny, but a bit chilly.  We didn't have a lot of time, so we stayed on local footpaths and walked up to Barren Down, where there are fantastic views of Shepton.  On the way home we explored what was happening in the High Street, and walked back through Collett Park.  


Everywhere there were signs of growth, blossom and flowers.  Spring is my favourite time of the year with its wonderful fresh green colours and beautiful flowers...  



Monday, 20 March 2017

GETTING OUT OF SHEPTON!

If I had listened to today's weather forecast of rain, I wouldn't have ventured out for a walk!  However, I had arranged to meet up with Belinda, to explore a couple of villages, not far from Shepton.  We didn't get wet, and we even saw the sun for a short time!

We had plenty to talk about, as I hadn't seen Belinda for sometime!  She has just finished writing her first book, of a trilogy that she has planned, aimed at young people...  


We started off at Nunney Castle, a magnificant, moated, medieval ruin, which is owned by English Heritage.  It dates from 1370, and is open and free to visit.  It is in the village of Nunney, which has a great pub and is very picturesque...
  

We then drove to Mells, famous for its Daffodil Festival, which takes place on Easter Monday.  This year, as Easter is late, and not until the middle of April, I wonder whether there will be any daffodils left!

We walked into the churchyard, and onto some public footpaths for a circular walk, which ended for a cup of tea, in the cafe attached to the village shop and post office (see below).  Mells is a beautiful village, full of wonderful stone properties, and a thriving community, if the bustling village store is anything to go by...




Wednesday, 15 March 2017

YELLOW FLOWERS BRIGHTEN MY DAY!


Today the morning was murky but mild, with the gloom punctuated with flashes of colour, from the Spring flowers.  This time of year, it is the yellow flowers, which really give a show and stand out.  It is no wonder that the official flower of March is the daffodil!

I started my walk by going to Collett Park, photogenic whatever the weather, (see above), and then walked to West Shepton, took a diversion along a muddy bridle path, before heading home...



Unfortunately, I was walking on my own again, so I had the walk but not the talk! The other day on the television, I heard somebody say that he enjoys 'twalking' on 'twalks' with a group of like-minded people!  I have never heard it called that before! I must say, I walk further and enjoy the walks more, when I can chat to a friend...