Tuesday, 27 April 2010

ABC Wednesday - Old Rectifying House

When I saw this old tyre on the beach back in January I thought what a perfect letter of the alphabet to head a page for ABC Wednesday.

The Old Rectifying House in Worcester. Who could resist an intriguing building and name, despite the fact this is the farthest away I could get for a front-on photograph.

Whoever in past times was being rectified it sounded like an unusual punishment, but no souls were being rectified only spirits. Part of the rear of this building was used in the to rectify spirits from the main distillery across the other side of the river, which in the 18th Century was one of the most important distilleries in the Midlands. Williams' Gin was supposed to be unsurpassed in 18th Century England.

The inn was always in floods way and every year the beer casks had to be rescued and placed above flood level.  Provisions had to be supplied by boat and taken in by way of the upper windows. The balcony must have been very useful. The River Severn is tidal as far as Worcester but in the 19th Century the river was dredged and locks and a weir constructed to manage the tide.

These measures did stop the Old Rectifying House from its annual flooding although after the 2007 deluge, which was in the wettest June every recorded (some areas having a months rain in 24 hours) Worcestershire was especially hit and this meant that the building flooded once more.  Its a rather dull photograph of the weir although it was quite exciting in real life (I must get out more).

Almost as dull as a picture of a old tyre on a beach

which would probably look better on an old car like this.

Pop Over to the ABC Wednesday meme to see more words beginning with the letter O

Monday, 26 April 2010

By The River

Kendal's Miller Bridge spanning the River Kent  In April 1818 the Lancaster Canal Committee asked Francis Webster to submit plans for a replacement bridge here.  The plans were accepted and within the year he had contracted the builders and the three arched dressed stone bridge was complete.  They have been digging up the road and then fiddling around with stone sets in the  main shopping street in Barrow for longer than that time span.  If only it was possible to time warp a few Victorian in to help them finish the job.
But returning to the peace of the River Kent where the trees are springing into life.  It was a pleasant stroll by the riverside,

and calling in at the Abbot Hall art gallery where the Barbara Hepworth ovals, Trezion, stands between it and the Kendal Museum of Lakeland Life. I liked the contrast between of this form and the old Parish Church in the background.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

ABC Wednesday - Nature in the Neighbourhood

No matter where your neighbourhood whether city, town or village, nature is in bloom. Cherry trees are at their peak; the pink ones are my favourite. This was one of two in the garden of an old house in Borwick, near Carnforth, Lancashire. It is only a small hamlet of about 200 souls which lies by the side of  Borwick Hall (an Elizabethan manor house, now an outdoor education centre) but it has some lovely old houses which settle round the green in such a way that a person with a camera could click away for hours.

Nature on a bridge, one of John Rennie's smaller aqueducts, lined with daffodils and a scattering of celendine.

Nature in a churchyard, St John the Evangalist, always known as Woodland Church is part of the Living Churchyards project, the dead necropolis providing a haven for native flora and fauna. As part of this scheme thousands of churchyards have been surveyed and are nurtured by local communities and wildlife trusts in cities, towns and countryside. By the gate of Woodland Church are a list and photographs of the species found both a celebration, a guide and an education.
Baptismal Font, Woodland Church
And churches always bring nature inside. 

Some parts of nature like the early flowering camelias are adored by gardeners
but some like this ancient plant are not.  The Common Horsetail making an early appearance, on the banks of the River Keer.  Looking like an alien invader, nothing like the branching plant it will become, hiding in the middle of bushes until it has become tall.
These plants are one of our oldest and have been here for millions of years and will probably still be here long after humankind have gone.

Gorse nestling in the corner of a field, in flower for most of the year, and so the saying "When gorse is in flower, kissings in season"

A coot nesting while seagulls nonchalantly perch. The park lake has this rather unsympathetic netting round the reeds, the Victorians who built the park would have come up with something much more artistic and elaborate, but it serves the purpose of protecting the nesting birds and flowering reeds from nautical types in rowing boats.

A large Number of other words beginning with the letter N are over at the ABC Wednesday meme.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Flowery Friday

I do like the riparian reeds and if a boat floats into view so much the better. Away from the coast on the Lancaster Canal, the weather was warm with hardly a breeze.

As you can see I was so mesmerised by the reeds I have managed to cut off the reflection of  the tree as we walked away from Carnforth towards Borwick.

Like the reeds the lesser celandines delights a riparian bank although there are a few dandelions in there as well, great survivors,  who will grow anywhere and in profusion but here

  the celandines outnumber them. And perhaps at the moment

also the daffodils, here in front of a canal mile post.  This side shows the mileage to Lancaster and on the other, unseen side, how far to Kendal.

A lone Blackthorn in flower always of interest if you are fond of making Sloe Gin, although I have my own favourite tree closer to home, which was weighed down with fruit last autumn.

The people that live and leisure by this canal would agree with the sentiments of Ratty the water vole in The Wind in the Willows -  "there is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as

simply messing about in boats"

Monday, 12 April 2010

Tarn and Hills

Wonderfully warm April weather, the roads were lined with Daffodils as we journeyed to Coniston.  Everyone was enjoying the weather and taking a stroll round Tarn Hows with dogs, children and push chairs. Wellington boots were the footwear of choice for small children, ideal for paddling in mud. Though nobody human was paddling in the tarn

probably because like me the weather had come as a surprise, my day sack still had its winter contingencies.

  Looking towards the Coniston Range
The views from Black Crag were extensive, but very hazy

though later in the day they cleared slightly. The view from Tom Heights looking towards the Langdale Pikes,

 the view from the south is completely different from the iconic Langdale Valley view

which I don't have a digital version of so here is one by Mark Jobling from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

ABC Wednesday - Lime

Lime Street Station takes you right into the heart of Liverpool, this is the station I usually arrive at after travelling down the north west railway line.  The crane and boarding give the clue that the surroundings are still undergoing a major reconstruction.

Lime Street is a mainline station and is still covered by the iron and glass roofs dating from the 1880s. The first part of the roof was constructed in 1849 and was a bargain at £15,000.

 Photo by Chris McKenna (Creative Commons)
Here is a view of the roof taken from platform six from where you walk outside into

Lime Street. The Empire Theatre, Lime Street on the right, part of the huge St Georges Hall on the left. In the background the Walker Art Gallery. The horse rider is Albert, consort to Queen Victoria who gave her name to a whole era, she was on the throne for so long and through a time of great change.

Lets move out of the city and back to my home ground and the valleys of Lakeland where lichen grows in profusion and in many colours

including this colourful lime green.  I could gaze at this all day but

the local sheep were more interested in lunch.  I think I might have some

chocolate-limes instead, sheep lick not being my thing. 

Look over at ABC Wednesday for more words beginning with the letter L

Monday, 5 April 2010

All Abuzz in Woodland

After saying last week how slow spring was in coming things seem now to be moving at speed. The bright yellow male brimstone butterfly (one of our earliest species to appear) was too fast for me as it fluttered along the wayside, but this Large Red-tailed Bumble Bee, still drowsy with Spring and pollen, was easy to capture.

Lots of pristine white lambs on the pastures of Woodland, mother was keeping a wary eye on me as this one, oblivious, fed.

The snow only lies in gullies on the southernmost of the Lake District fells and soon these trees will start to bud.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Furness Abbey

A gloomy Good Friday but the daffodils provided enough sunny yellow at the ruins Furness Abbey, a 12th Century Cistercian monastery.

The wise old owl knows many things, such as

if you have your own woolly jumper then why not have a plastic coat on top.
Lamb protected from the cold and wet.