Friday, 16 June 2017


Oriental Poppy
A Raft of Apples will be quiet for a few weeks as I take a hop skip and a jump over to the Emerald Isle.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017


We've had a lot of elections in the UK recently, last month it was for the local councilors, this month a unexpected snap election for national government which turned out to have an unexpected result of a hung parliament so we have yet more chaos wished on us by the incumbent government.  My local polling station is Cambridge Street Primary School who were enjoying the election because it meant they had an unexpected day off.  There is always something interesting on the wall at the cloakroom entrance to the classrooms, last year there were rather impressive paintings done by the children inspired by famous paintings by people like Van Gogh, Monet and Da Vinci, this year there were balloon wishes
such as the wish "to go to every party I'm invited to"
"Open a Sweet Shop" - "Play in the Yard with My Dog"
"To Have A Sleep In" - "To Be Famous"
"To work at a snake centre"
There were lots more such as "To be able to eat loads of sweets" (not the person to be employed by the child who wanted to open a sweet shop), "Go To France" or someone wanted to go even further and "Go To Asia" although one homebody only wanted to "Go To Southport" (a seaside resort just down the coast) and a sporting enthusiast wanted "To Go To Old Trafford".
Time for me to vote and follow the arrows around the corner and wish we we were not leaving the European Union, wish for better politicians and wish there were not evil psychopaths who blow children up in the city of Manchester, home to the football ground of that last child's wish. But I will not end on a negative note and wish for hope not hate and also wish that our children's dreams can come true. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at W here 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Viewing Platform

A viewing platform set on top of a knoll in Millom Park, in olden times this area was once a deer park connected with the castle, but today it is a forestry plantation.  We had set off for a walk in sunshine but as can be seen from the photograph by the time we reached this point the weather had changed.
The viewing platform is a sturdy structure but with a nice shaped struts. On a clear day there are good views of the hills
and the estuary, but as you see this was not a clear day so I concentrated my happy snapping on the viewing platform.  A few years ago the fir trees had grown tall obscuring some of the view but 
the chain saw has been swung so now the knoll looks quite desolate. I imagine they will replant but this coming summer will soon green it up.
In the meantime the views will be magnificent, weather permitting.  I must pick my day better next time. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet,  this week sojourning at V here 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


A golden brown cow unwinds on a hillside on a warm late spring day
My grandmother told me cows lying down can be a prediction of a good weather, or rain and thunderstorms, depending on whether they lie at the top or bottom of a hill. Pity I can't remember which she said was which.
 It seemed as everyone was chilling out and unwinding
 or under shade.

Take time to unwind as the wandering Welsh poet WH Davies most famous poem says - 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at U here



Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Timber Trees and Tractors

A beech tree felled because of its decayed core is neatly sliced and gives the passer by its last hurrah with a golden red glow, almost the colour of its autumn leaves.  I wonder if a local woodturner is going to be a lucky recipient of some of this timber.

The farmers are busy at this time of year
and this one in his tractor was spreading fertilizer while his dog burned up energy covering more distance than him racing up and down the field.  The white blossom of the hawthorn trees can be seen scattered over the Lickle Valley, although as the morning was full of heavy showers of rain they don't stand out as much as they do in reality.  If I had only taken my walk in what turned out to be a sunny afternoon
like this one was.  Tranquil Broughton Towers pond but I didn't sit on the seat for it was more interesting at the waters edge where the tadpoles were in perpetual motion unlike 
this piece of machinery which looks to be more greenhouse than tractor. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at T here

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Sizergh Castle

The tower of Sizergh Castle in Cumbria can be seen as you walk through the topiary but lets take a walk around the lake to get a better view.
Although it has 'castle' in its name it is in fact a fortified mansion.  The tower on he left is the earliest part of the building being 14th century
but the house is Tudor ( a century later)

with the wings built around a central courtyard. 
Sizergh sits among 1,600 acres of pasture, orchards and woodlands and the house is surrounded by woods, kitchen garden, lakes, a limestone rock garden and flower garden but also the latest addition
a stumpery.  These features take their name from the stumps of trees and reclaimed wood that form a horticultural scaffolding where ferns, mosses and other shade loving plants are grown to look like a natural setting and of course they attract wildlife such as small mammals, beetles and birds.
When it matures and becomes an explosion of green it will be a must see attraction for the fern lover
but there is always lots to see through the lens for a photographer.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet this week sojourning at the letter S here


Tuesday, 9 May 2017


At Wakefield Wharf hangs a jolly recycled figure, from the crown I think that he must be master of all he surveys, here rules King Scrap.
Closer to my home turf is Millom Park plantation consisting mainly of conifers (spruce, larch and pine) where there is extensive logging going on at the moment. Nothing goes to waste when one can build a series of what I can only describe as lean-to wigwams, a nice place to relax and shelter from the weather, made complete with bespoke log seating.  The past winter has been unusually warm, which I consider a good thing. although it does come with a downside when walking (or working) in the countryside, mud, and lots of it.
Not a problem when one can slice a tree up into steps and rise above it all.  |However the photograph was taken this month and things have changed considerably.  This spring we have had a long period without any rain so everything is extremely dry but it was still enjoyable to skip from smooth step to step up the path.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at R here 

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


A quay ring
A quaint cottage in the Lyth Valley, a quiet valley famous for it damsons and Damson Day held in April when the snow white blossom is in flower.
A quaint outhouse in Garsdale, the logs quietly waiting for someone with a strong sawing arm.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at Q here

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Pilot Boat

Liverpool Pilot Boat
One of Liverpool's Pilot Boats zooming past the waterfront and a ROV Support ship, the Fugo Saltire.  The pilot service celebrated its 250th anniversary of guiding ships into port last year. 

The Liverpool Maritime Museum has an exhibition on at the moment called 'In Safe Hands' which charts the service from those days of sail to today's high speed launches.

All the pilot boats are named after seabirds

and this is the Turnstone.  What a pity I don't have a picture of an actual turnstone but here are some beach pebbles
and the turnstones might be around somewhere busy tuning stones to find something tasty underneath.
The preening juvenile herring gull has other things on its mind.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at P here


Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Old Sluice

The old sluice gate on Tarn Beck which once controlled the mill race which would have turned the water wheel  at the Carding Mill further down in Seathwaite. A carding mill combs out wool ready for spinning and at one time this one would have employed about 10 men.  When it was first set up in the 1790s the spinning yarn produced would have been used by hand weavers. The building today has been converted for other uses.    
Tarn Beck flows out of Seathwaite Tarn which nestles at 1,200 ft (365m) on the western slopes of the Coniston fells and as you can see there is always copious amounts of water coming down, the beck has broken its banks.  From old water power to
wind power, this is all that remains the old windmill at Hodbarrow Point, the photograph taken just as the colours were about to turn last September.  The name Hodbarrow is from Old Norse, hafri (oats) and riff (a ridge) so it is appropriate that this used to be a corn mill.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at O here