Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Hambledon Hill...this was supposed to be a flat walk!

These pictures were taken on Sunday. I had done an early shift at work and so when I got home we decided to chill out and see the countryside. Mr G asked where I would like to go....a flat gentle walk, I said. So how did I get talked into climbing up Hambledon Hill then! As you can see it was a bit hazy but still you could see for miles.
These guys came as close as they dared when we stretched out on the hillside to do a bit of cloud gazing.
These trees just caught my attention on the way back down, the light so pretty coming through the canopy. We didn't get right on the hill as there was a large herd of cattle, with horns on ( and a bull ) that we thought we had to go through and they looked a bit scarey. However when we got back to the car and looked at the OS map we realised that the path did not go through that field anyway...yes, I know, we left the map in the car, silly mistake.

Monday, 29 September 2008

I have a question...

Knowing that bloggers are a well travelled lot, does anyone out there know anything about Suffolk and /or Norfolk? We are hoping to go that way soon for a short break but know nothing about the area and where would be a good place to head for. Any thoughts gratefully recieved! Thank You.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

I've seen a Spoonbill!

After a hard day working in the garden yesterday...it's not so much a fork and spade that's needed, more an axe and JCB digger! We decided that we had earned ourselves a nice tea in a tea shop. Off to Corfe Castle tearooms and a trog up to the castle, then we thought a nice walk around Middlebere to maybe see an Osprey. The first picture is taken from a hide overlooking Middlebere channel which is a little part of the massive Poole harbour. We saw a Hen Harrier being mobbed by Martins, Little Egret and a Grey Heron.
After a while we wandered on through the cottages at Middlebere and down to the hide there and there they were, two Spoonbills right in front of the hide, moving their bills from side to side scooping up food. You will have to take my word for it that the two white blobs in the middle of the photo are Spoonbills, I'm afraid my camera is only a point and shoot so not great for this type of thing. A kind birdwatcher in the hide also showed us the Black-tailed Godwits and some Yellow Legged Gulls, and he showed us where the Osprey's sits when they are in the area...wonderful. Just before we had got there some Avocets had been there....another bird I have never seen.
Just as we left the mist started to form over the water and it was the most beautiful ethereal landscape. As we walked back to the road the sunset was amazing and the mist just piled in making it all so lovely and still.
We were supposed to go out to a do, but we missed it, getting so engrossed and not leaving time to get home and change! Never mind, it was a very loose invitation and it won't matter.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

After the dawn...sunset

The last blog was about morning light, and this is the sunset of the same day. We walked down to St Aldhelms head to watch the sunset over Portland and the sea. This little chapel is on it's own with only a line of coastguard cottages and the coastguard lookout near it. The chapel is thought to have been built in the early 12th century possibly in memory of a young couple who drowned here. The church is over a mile away from the village and there is a large church there.
Inside the chapel the only light is from the door and this tiny window, there is no other light at all. there is a font and a huge pillar in the middle which is covered in names carved into it...very old graffiti!
The sunset was wonderful and these photos don't do it justice, you can just about see Portland to the left of the sun.
As we walked back the mile to the car the sky was changing all the time, often when we are here we have seen a barn owl but no sign of it this time. Near where we left the car there were some old barns and buildings but they have been made into holiday cottages by the look of it so maybe the owl lived there before they were refurbished.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Morning light at Baiter

I know I have said this before but after a night shift there is nothing better to wake you up and put the night behind you than wandering along the shore of Poole Harbour. This was the sun coming up this morning at about 8.15. There is a nip in the air now, really autumnal but nice.
It's definitely spider season now and thankfully I was on duty last night with a nurse who isn't afraid of spiders! She removed two for me...she just picked them up and put them out of the window. One was HUGE, so big that I couldn't bring myself to walk past it in the corridor and waited in a side room until she had dealt with it! Sorry, I'm a wimp about spiders!

This Egret was walking in the shallows looking for breakfast. I stood and watched him and he came very close and walked right past me. A friend at work who cycles along Holes Bay to get to work, saw a Kingfisher on a rock last week and stopped to watch it....that's salt water there which is not quite so common to see them. She said it was a really good view. The Egret wandered along then took off showing his amazing orange feet, they just look like he's stood in a pot of paint.....which is what Wrecks the dog did once when I was painting the hall and spread it all round the house, but thats another story which I prefer to forget! Suffice to say he's lucky he didn't get sent back to the dogs home!!!! Maybe that's why we changed the spelling of his name from Rex to Wrecks!
The land behind the Egret is Brownsea Island, where Autumn Watch is coming from soon.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

A secret lane

When we went for the walk in the previous post we found a little single track lane between Wool and Coombe Keynes that we had never been been through before. It was one of those 'Narnia' experiences when you feel you have gone into a secret world. These old farm buildings were unused and derelict but I bet the owls and bats live there and other stuff too. I can imagine cows sheltering there in the past and lots of old farm implements kept in there with some Shire horses, steaming after a days work.
This is the famous avenue of trees near Kingston Lacey, in our local paper there have been reports of how the National Trust are having to fell some of the trees, I think about 21 for safety. This was taken before the felling and there are some quite large gaps now. They have planted new trees further back which will eventually replace the old avenue of 731 trees. It is sad and I think they may be a bit Health and Safety mad and paranoid about it. There has been alot of local debate about it recently. It really is not quite the same now.
P.S. Mr Goose has just been watching a recording of Sunday's 'Countryfile' on BBC1 and he said there was something on the programme about these trees, I haven't seen it yet but will watch it later on the PC.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Coombe Keynes

We returned to Coombe Keynes late afternoon today for another walk. Last time we left it too late in the day to get to the nature reserve but this time we made it. Found this adder as we walked along a bridle path before we reached the reserve, I think it's the first I've seen this year. Lots of bats flying in the evening, rabbits and plenty of deer, we saw two stags locking horns so the rut must be starting.
This was by the pond in our garden just before we left, enjoying the September sunshine. Not sure what type it is, but pretty anyway! ...I think it's a common darter but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!
The views around the Coombe Keynes are amazing and this picture doesn't do it justice. We walked for 5 miles and didn't pass anyone else except a local gamekeeper out with his gun and his five dogs, my daughter walked a few miles away at St Aldhelms Head and it was heaving with folk and she could hardly find anywhere to park. It just goes to show it's worth getting the OS map out and getting off the 'Grockle-beaten track' if you want to escape.
Despite having the OS with us we managed to wander off and only got back to see Strictly Come Dancing with one minute to spare! A near tragedy! Home to home-made Devonshire splits and 2 hours of escapism in front of the telly...Strictly Come Dancing and then Tess of the D'Urberville's...magic. Especially following a walk across Hardy's country and seeing the landscape he wrote about.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

And they call this work!

Today myself and a few others from work went on a study day ( to do with Palliative care ) , it was held in the beautiful house of Kingston Maurward near Dorchester. The weather was wonderful so we were able to spill out onto the terrace for our coffee and lunch breaks...which were quite generous. This was the view from the windows of the house and the terrace, not bad eh?
The college teaches outdoor skills, farming and horticulture amongst many other things which may explain why the borders look so good. We had a good long lunch break after we had been given an excellent meal and managed a walk around the grounds in the autumn sunshine.
This can't be work can it?!?
It is very close to Thomas Hardy's cottage and Stinsford church where his heart is buried. The beautifully filmed Tess of the D'Urbervilles is causing a bit more interest in Thomas Hardy's work at the moment. One thing about nursing is that we are encouraged to keep learning and attend study days....well if they are all like this, count me in!
Oh, and the course was excellent too so all in all a pretty good day.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Back to Arne

We went back for another walk around Arne Nature Reserve last evening and came across this fellow grazing a few feet away from us on the edge of Poole harbour. The deer are so used to people there that they just wander across the path in front of you! It's not too much of a challenge to see them. One field we past had over 100 of them grazing in it.
This is looking across the harbour and the Purbeck hills in the distance. Lots of wading birds about and loads of Little Egrets.
This is for you, Tattyanne! A little fairy had left them on my bike when I came away from work today......I wonder who that could be!!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Home made and recycled

I have been trying to be more frugal lately and so was really pleased to find these curtains in a charity shop at £2, they had been drawn on by a child by the looks of it but I had a feeling I could get it out, which I did. I rehemmed them and here they are! They are Laura Ashley fabric (I think) and the fabric feels new.
These I made from sheets, white and green which match our room now I have redecorated. It looks darker than it is...I should have used a flash.
This is made from odds of fabric and I really like it but don't want to get it dirty so I may never use it!
And the other side...
This is what I bought in Hanson's last week, lovely fabric, to make my neighbour who makes wedding cakes, an apron for Christmas...yes, sorry I said the word but it's still 3 months or more away, I just need time to get organised and make things.
I have made an effort lately to do my housework in the mornings then use the afternoon to be creative and make things for the house or as gifts for people, cards, painting ,etc... Obviously it only works on non working days! Today is a work day!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Rodden

This is a beautiful little place called Rodden which is near Frome. Whilst researching our family tree we came across this lovely place. It appears that there is no village any more and just the church and a farm remain. When you come to see the Church you drive through a farm yard and you think you must have gone to the wrong place but just beyond is this pretty little church where we did indeed find some graves of my husbands family.
As you look out from the church you look across fields, and just a distant house can be seen. The Rodden brook meanders along in front and it is all very peaceful. I think it has not always been so, in past census it shows that there were mills and textiles made in the area. I imagine that there was alot of comings and goings at one time.
I'm glad to have chanced upon this place and now wonder how many other gems are around that we pass by in our cars and never know about.
If you get the chance to visit this bit of hidden England , do take it, there are alot of footpaths around to enjoy.
Another hidden place we have found is The Borough, Holwell near Sherborne again whilst tracing old family roots.
For obvious reasons to anyone who lives in the UK I have resorted to old stuff today...the weather being so rubbish!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Sturminster Newton

I have to say that this photo was taken back in June, but we went here yesterday near Sturminster Newton to walk along the river. When we got there it was raining again and they had obviously had alot of the wet stuff because the river was really high. It hadn't burst its banks but it wasn't far off it so we decided not to do the walking.
Instead we went into the town to the greatest fabric and habadashery shop in the world! Hansons...when I get in there I never come out with my bank balance intact! Yesterday was no different! I bought stuff to start making Christmas presents, I can't think that I need to do that now but I suppose it will be here before we know it....and it's nice to have something to work towards and I do like to make as many gifts as I can.
We drove home via Shaftesbury via villages with such lovely names such as
Marnhull, Melbury Abbas, Zig Zag hill ( thats not a village!) , Tollard Royal, Sixpenny Handley, Gussage St Micheal, Pimperne, Spetisbury...Dorset has some very oddly named places.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A grave matter

This isn't really a macabre or depressing post I promise! When we were in Wales we went to visit my husbands Grandparents grave which is about 3 miles out of the town and up on the hill on a lonely single track road. We were looking around and noticed as we have before how beautiful some of the gravestones are with their etched pictures.
We got chatting to a gravedigger there (as you do!) and he told us that an elderly man in Portmadoc does them all individually and is very skilled at it. The pictures denote a special thing in the persons life. This one above is the view from the cob, which I put a photo on the blog of, last week. They always put the address of the person on the stone, which makes it easier when you are trying to trace your family tree!
I imagine this Church was a special place in Anne Evans life....maybe she married there and worshipped there throughout her life.
The view is amazing although it was a rainy day and you can't see the sea but in previous years we have been able to see for miles from here.