I love nature especially plants and fossils, I have always enjoyed finding things on walks and have brilliant memories of the Nature Table at school and searching for treasures to take in for it. I regularly come home with pockets full of shells pebbles rock and fossils, the house has the feel of a museum. I wanted to share the natural world in a diary form and a virtual nature table . Hope you enjoy the finds.
I have just got in from a walk in the sunshine with no coat!! What a lovely feeling. Yesterday we went for a walk in a local wood. It is a patch of ancient woodland mainly oak and ash. There is an interesting understory full of guelder rose and crab apples.
This wood is full of fallen trees covered in moss and lichen . There are thousands of ash saplings forming little low forests.
What was great to see was the signs of spring . There were bluebell leaves up, lords and ladies in leaf. There were dogs Mercury uncurling and primroses galore and some just in flower. A lovely feeling that spring is coming.
On this walk we encountered a stoat, bullfinches and a red kite. Looking forward to more walks where I can ditch the coat!
All walks at the moment are muddy and often through water . It has bought the lake and the river closer and closer together and the path is getting very narrow between them.
The swans were busy on the ‘new’ bank building an area of twigs and soil together.
A walk at Radwell needed the use of the raised pavements as the Great Ouse has burst its banks in a spectacular way. The floods are huge. The water is moving really fast across the fields.
A walk across the pavement
As we were on the pack house bridge at Radwell looking back a Range Rover made its way through the water. I was amazed , it had the high exhaust. We spoke to them as they landed in the bridge. They were grinning from ear to ear and water poured out the car as they opened the door.
Hoping for some drier walks soon and less mud . Thank goodness for welly boots !!
It has been so wet for so many weeks that the level of the local lakes are so high they have literally spilled over and are rushing into the river Nene.
We have been lucky here in this last period of rain that the flooding hasn’t affected houses as it did just after Christmas.
The rise in the level of the lakes has brought the swans and other water birds closer to the path as we walk round.
The woods have literally turned into swamps.
I noticed today that the herons are in the heronry on nests . The great egret flew over us landing on the far bank. There are large numbers of water birds on the lakes . The cormorants have increased in numbers and are always great to watch as the dive or sit drying their wings. I’ve also noticed the large numbers of squirrels running and leaping amongst the trees over the last few weeks.
At this time of year the Moss and the lichen are the high spots of colour . A recent walk at Oundle ( which also had plenty of flooding) had plenty of emerald green moss on the bridge. A high spot of colour on a really dull day.
At this time of year it is often the seed heads and structures from last year that catch your eye . On cold days they look really interesting.
Looking forward to the days changing and the spring beginning. More exploring needed , looking forward to it.
Felmersham Sits on the banks of the river Ouse and has a lovely bridge which in the summer is a spot for paddling, swimming and canoeing. After the rain the river was fast and high and was running a muddy brown colour.
We have often put our canoe in here and paddled up through tall reed beds full of lovely wildlife , dragonflies and kingfishers and people tell me otters( not seen one yet)
We walked along the raised up pavements ( lots of flooding in the winter) to a wildlife trust area of gravel pits that were dug in the 1940’s. They are a long string of lakes ranging from very large to pond size and are really interesting.
There are still plenty of leaves on the trees but the colours are changing daily and the flowers are fading. On this walk there was a lot of mud to negotiate after days of rain.
The fields have been ploughed and looked a lovely colour in the morning sun.
Back along the raised pavement and across the bridge. I though the mosses were really lovely on the bridge.
A nice walk early in the morning after the rain which had been keeping us in the house for days.
We were in London on Thursday around the Paddington area. We were surprised by the canals and the area known as little Venice. The Grand union canal flows into this area. The weather was good and it did not look as if we were standing in the middle of a busy capital city !
The amount of water and wildlife really took us by surprise. There were cormorants diving in the canal.
There were lots of water birds and they all seemed very confident and obviously used to people feeding them. A group of coots followed us along the bank.
This was definitely an interesting place to explore
Most days for the past couple of weeks have included rain. There has been misty, drizzle and down pour varieties . The outcome has been very damp walking. The lakes are high and the river is running fast. The light has been mainly dull but there are some bright colours in the changing leaves and berries.
There have been plenty of slugs and snails taking full advantage of the damp weather and my ducks who live in our garden have been enjoying the rain so much they seem to rain bathe !
The colours are gradually changing and looking lovely especially in the early morning or the evening sun.
The garden still has some colour but it feels as now is time to prepare for winter and trim and set for next year. It has been a fantastic year of gardening. Time to plan for 2021.
A couple of days ago a goldfinch flew into the french windows. It looked dead but after a warm up and ten minutes sitting in my hand happily flew off with its flock. An amazing close encounter with a beautiful tiny creature.
Hoping for less rain in the coming weeks to spend more time out exploring as Autumn move on.
A visit to Kew Gardens is a world tour of plants . We started at the temperate house and moved on to the steamy palm house. The princess of Wales house moves through arid zones and back into lush vegetation.
The areas outside the glasshouses are full of brilliant discoveries . I found my favourite Indian bean tree
The Alpine house sits in a huge rockery area and is an interesting shape and full of beautiful colourful and delicate flowers.
The cacti are fascinating in the Princess of Wales glasshouse.
We visited the hive sculpture for the first time. This is based on bees and their hive and has lights and sound. The sound is generated by the movements of bees in a real hive. This was brilliant , at night it glows. I would love to visit again and see this.
We had a full day at Kew but really only scratched the surface . It has largest plant collection in the world. Here is a selection of discoveries . We will be visiting again soon.