Saturday, 26 April 2014

the field - april


Horse Chestnut
 Fresh greens, blue skies, wildflowers starting to bloom - I just love spring. The field is changing daily with new things to spot. Butterflies are about too - Orange Tip, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood. 

The first Bluebell
Bugle : Germander Speedwell : Common Dog Violet

Thyme-leaved Speedwell

And what is this tree I wonder, next to the Horse Chestnut? It seems like a Sycamore or a Sweet Chestnut but I'm not so sure. Any suggestions welcomed...

The Field in January : February : March

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

easter in the mountains


Over the long Easter weekend, we took the caravan over to one of our favourite campsites near Dolgellau to spend some time in the wonderful mountains of southern Snowdonia.


The weather was glorious, the cuckoos had returned, violets; bluebells; wood sorrell were in flower. We scrambled up and down mountains passing waterfalls, old ruins, beautifully constructed stone walls, farmers in the middle of lambing, lizzards basking in the sun.





We passed old slate mines that make you stop and wonder... what huge amounts of effort and activity were once here all now eerily quiet.





The boys enjoyed an interlude at the beach in nearby Barmouth.


Before some more mountain walks in the foothills of Cadair Idris, joined by family and friends.



We returned home sun-kissed, windswept and refreshed... with mountains of washing to get through! 

We also explored an old ruined chapel which you can see here over at Christ Church Welshpool

Monday, 7 April 2014

the hawthorn tree - april

The hillside was full of the sound of chiffchaffs (recently arrived for the summer) and as I approached the hawthorn tree, a pair of jackdaws also wandered towards it. A great tit was sitting in the tree itself, calling. Spring definitely is in the air.

Spot the bird...

The silhouette of the tree is looking different from last month with the leaf buds bursting into life and the fresh green leaves emerging.


One of the many country names for hawthorn is the 'Bread and Cheese Tree' as the young leaves are edible. The 'bread' refers to the leaves and the 'cheese' the flower buds. I have yet to try them! A lady in her 80's recently told me that as a child she would eat young hawthorn leaves in a sandwich. I have also read of a liquor being made of the leaf buds with brandy (perhaps a little more tempting to try!)


It was a delight to discover growing underneath the tree, a cluster of violets amongst the grass. Violets are one of my favourite spring flowers.

And this plant was growing in amongst the grass. I couldn't find it in my wildflower book when I came to identify it, so maybe it is a grass or plantain? Any ideas as to what it is would be most welcome!

Joining in with Loose and Leafy's 'Tree Following' project - do check out other trees being followed here

The hawthorn tree in March