Friday, 29 April 2011

Bluebell Day

It was very quite in the town and countryside today, no sign even of the dog walkers, but there was the
buzz of the bees, and the rustle of the breeze 
through the blossom. Was there something happening today?  As we passed through Cartmel Priory churchyard
a father said to his little girl. "The princess is getting married today", to which she replied, " Oh In there?"  "No not there" he said to her disappointment.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Welcome Sign

I couldn't see a crooked birch but it lives on in the house gate sign. They specialise in horse riding holidays here, many bridleways to trot along and panoramic views of the hills in this quiet corner of the Lake District.

An entry for Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

ABC Wednesday - Oak

An ancient oak, with an opening, or perhaps a gate. In Celtic mythology the oak is the tree of doors, the gateway between worlds, a portal.  Its strength and longevity making it a thing of myth. I wonder how old this tree is? There are ways of measuring their girth and estimating their age, but because it is hollow and has gnarled roots, these are signs that it may be hundreds of years old.
Oak avenue in Levens Park, originally a mile long carriage drive to Levens Hall (famous for its topiary gardens dating back to 1694).  It is now a popular stroll by the River Kent, some of the older trees are further on, these look in rude health.There are some wonderful trees in the park, it is a walk for all seasons.
But here is an oak tree just starting out in life and festooned in oak flowers. The wind will spread the pollen, a sunny warm and breezy spring, which we are having at the moment, means that there will be many acorns in the autumn. A wet spring washes the pollen into the ground and then the flowers do not catch the pollen they need to swell into acorns.  The main oak here in the north is the sessile (Quercus petraea), it is smaller and has a narrower crown than the large southern English oak (Quercus robur). One way to tell them apart is the English oak acorns have stalks, whereas the sessile do not and sit directly on the twig.

At this point I was going to show the acorns, however my memory had played tricks on me , the photo I was thinking of was actually of hazels, a tastier, and safer, option, also by coincidence my Celtic tree birth sign. The hazel is the knower, obviously not in this instance. If you are born between 10th June and 7th July then the oak, the stabiliser, is your sign, strong but gentle.

Over at ABC Wednesday there are lots more words starting with the letter O 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Run Free

Lots of places to run free by this small caravan park.

An entry to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

ABC Wednesday - N

Just down the road from Natland is the village of Endmoor and their millennium clock and a little bit of nature surrounding it. What time is it, well look at the numbers. Maybe after a good lunch it will be time to have
a cat nap. Not that this is anywhere near any of the other photographs today for it is way south in the quaint town of Rye. But back on home ground and the
navigable part of Lancaster Canal. Part of the far northern reach is dry because it was cut across by a motorway, but for years there have been plans for it to be re-watered and brought back into navigation, not in my life time I suspect, but it is still pleasant to walk the banks.  This weekend the season for sailing in a 
nifty nautical barge, which has been  laid up for winter, will now be taken up and down the canal by the Lancaster Canal Trust.  If the weather keeps as warm as it has been this week it will be a popular and pleasant trip.  I wonder if the weather will bring nymphs and naiads out on the water, perhaps only the insect variety.

Nip across to ABC Wednesday where there are lots more words starting with N

Friday, 15 April 2011

Rest In Peace

 9 Feb 1925 - 10 April 2011
Winifred Catherine Wilks (nee Gardner), my Auntie Winnie,  She had a love of life, a love of singing, a love of people and a love of quilting and was a member of so many societies too numerous to list.  Her service of remembrance took place in Settle Parish Church on a grey Yorkshire day but the singing in the packed church sent her off in style, the organ thundered and the voices rose, Guide me, O thou great Redeemer and one of my favourites, Jerusalem. She was remembered with sadness and with humour. We journeyed on to the crematorium some 17 miles away and we, and my cousins following, only lost the hearst once, not bad.  A prayer and a meditation from the vicar in the chapel, who had previously said that he fully expects her to arrive in heaven singing and organising the choir, and maybe patch the angels wings with a quilt square. She had a deep faith, the thought would have appealed to her. The coffin disappeared as we quietly contemplated and then the singing of Oklahoma (her favourite musical) rang through the small chapel. She would have loved that touch, I can hear her laughing.
  With her great grandchild.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

24 Hour

No do not even think of parking here.
This is on a garage door in a backstreet near a very small car car park, in the middle of the town where I live. I had never seen it before until taking a short cut during the snow earlier in the year.

An entry to Signs, Signs

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

ABC Wednesday - Miller Arcade

  Now what could I find for this week's letter?  I rooted round some this years photographs and found in a recent visit to Preston I had taken a photograph of the windows ( and balcony) of the Victorian Italianate  terracotta fa├žade of the Miller Arcade.  The Victorian were fond of balconies so there is one on the end
of the building, suitably ornate.  The British Listed Buildings site describes the arcade as being of "an eclectic style with some Moorish elements".  This is probably because until the mid 20th century it had a Turkish Baths on the first floor. The entrance to it was blocked up when it was turned into offices.
In a previous visit before Christmas I had taken a view of the interior of the Miller Arcade, well actually it was the stained glass in the windows, but being a gloomy winter afternoon they did not appear in the photograph as they had to the eye.  I had a search to see if I could snaffle someone's superior camera work but no luck, however the Lancashire County Council site does have one which shows off
its roof.  The building was modelled after the Burlington Arcade in London, however this Preston version got an award in 1895 that may be perceived as rather niche for the 'best planned fire-proof arcade', so rest easy if you are shopping here.

Mooch over to ABC Wednesday where there will be lots more words starting with the letter M

Friday, 8 April 2011

Fair Daffodils

 Near Endmoor, Kendal
This years daffodils seem to be holding up rather well. An icy winter with lots of snow must be just the thing to make them thrive.
And they are everywhere. River banks, country lanes, woods and gardens. Soon will come the next chapter of Spring as they disappear to pour their strength into next years bulbs.
Wood anemones, amongst the wild garlic, with a sprinkling of celandines, a spring salad.  But only one of those things is edible.  

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


The entrance to Oblivion. It was shut when I walked past so cannot testify to the accuracy of its message.

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind" - Humphrey Bogart

An entry to Sign, Signs

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

ABC Wednesday - Llama?

Llama or alpaca? Which of these camelids are they.  Do those ears have the curve of a llama, or are they straight like an alpaca?
Their legs are woolly but the fleece has been shorn, possibly  to make an Andean (or in this case a Cumbrian) hat or jumper.
Do they have the straight back of a llama or a curved back and high tail of an alpaca?
Yes I think they are alpaca as well. Dash it, I'll have to think of something else for ABC Wednesday.
What a about a little horse?
Leave for ABC Wednesday here and see lots more words starting with L