Saturday, 28 March 2009

International Space Station

How exciting...we have just watched the Space Station pass across the sky from west to east. A friend of ours put us onto this website that gives the exact time when it goes across. We stood outside at 19.19 and had an amazing view as it passed right next to the moon. It's so fast and wasn't even over the UK tonight but it's so high you could see it. Sometimes you can see the space shuttle too, and a toolbag follows that got dropped by a lady astronaut. Whoops! ( I don't think you'd see that though!)

Friday, 20 March 2009

Studland and a Goldcrest in the garden

This little Goldcrest has been outside my kitchen window in this Silver Birch tree quite a bit lately, if you click on the picture you can see his gold crest. Lovely little bird.
As it was such a great day weatherwise today , my son and I went down to Sandbanks and left our bikes there and got the ferry across to Studland. This is the chain ferry we took which only takes a few minutes to get to the other side.

Once on Studland beach you can walk for miles alongside the sand dunes and look out to sea. We started off walking along the beach for about 1/2 mile then went off on a path through the dunes to the heather covered heathland.

We eventually found ourselves back on the road so crossed it and after another walk ended up here on one of the beaches which was deserted apart from us. We spent a happy hour sat on the beach, Ed listening to music on his ipod (Bob Marley) and me bird watching and doing a watercolour. I saw a pair of Red Beasted Mergansers which I have never seen before, an Egret and several Brent Geese. The headland in the above picture is Jerry's Point which is not that far from the ferry but I think we went a very long way round! The mass of land behind is the south-west side of Brownsea Island (where Autumn watch came from last year).

Walked to the National trust cafe to enjoy a tasty bagette and a cup of tea and then back through the dunes, following a path that was not easy to follow due to lack of signs and trying to dodge the many nudists sunbathing in the dunes. They all seemed to be men of a certain age, didn't see any women...and why do they need to stand up when anyone comes near them!!!!
The above water is called Little Sea and until 1880 was open to the sea but since then the dunes have closed it off and now it is a freshwater lake.

Eventually made it back to the ferry after a walk of about 7 miles! Feet up now!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

The Ice Drove

Sunday saw us up at Bulbarrow enjoying the lovely weather and walking along an old track known as the Ice Drove. You could either park at the viewpoint or just down the road to Hilton and Ansty in a layby just past Bulbarrow farm as you go downhill. Just below the layby is the start of the track on the left. We followed the hedge along the top of this picture as it curved round along the ridge to the right.
It's a high point in Dorset and well worth the effort. This was actually a flat walk of about 3 miles as we stayed up on the ridge. Through several fields of sheep and through the Green Hill nature reserve and then back up through Bulbarrow farm.

Just as we neared the end of the walk we came across this shelter, the sign on the wall exhorts walkers to spend time sitting in it reflecting on people you know who are no longer with us. It is built in memory of a young man called Mark, who was a much loved son and this shelter is surrounded by flower tubs and little bits of memorabilia to do with Mark.

Wrecks used this unexpected stop to rest before we did the final part of the walk. If you are in Dorset and have the time or inclination, do try this walk, although I suspect after rain it could be a bit boggy in places!

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Barry has a baby!!!!

Maybe Barry is a she! If you click on the picture and look under his/her head you will see a young slow worm, very exciting! It's becoming a soap opera, move over Cornation Street.

Here's the first pond skater I have seen this year, skating about on top of the mass of tadpoles that started to hatch out yesterday. The newts are eating the tadpoles so we'll see how many make it to frogdom.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Barry's back!

This is the home of Barry, he lives under this lid which we leave in the garden for him, but this is really his summer residence. I'm not sure where he spends the winter exactly but that's none of my business.
Two things today have made me realise that Spring is on the way;
1- I heard an Ice Cream van
2- I lifted the lid ....and lo and behold, Barry the slow worm has returned!

Here he is, he is rather shy so it was just a quick peep. So it's time to get out the shorts, sunglasses and the garden chairs, spring has sprung!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Tyneham and the Dorset coast

Last weekend we walked along the ridge above the now deserted village of Tyneham, a chilly and windy day but thankfully dry. From the ridge looking East the view is amazing, the patchwork of fields surrounded by ribbons of hedge and trees. The trees maybe started off as a hedge but have been left to grow.
In the distance the headland going out to sea is St Aldhelms Head and the brown topped hill on the left is Swyre Head.

If you click on this picture you can see the ruins of some homes in the village of Tyneham. The residents left in December 1943 so that the military could use the area to practise in, with the promise that the villagers could return to their homes after the war. Well, that never happened and the villagers were never allowed back to their homes. On the positive side the area has been preserved and it is a wildlife haven. I'm sure if the village were still lived in it would have been taken over by holiday homes and second home maybe the Army has done it a favour although not for the people who have memories of it.
I have just read a book called 'Tyneham - The Lost Village of Dorset' by Andrew Norman and Mary Hurst, it recalls the memories of Helen Taylor who grew up in Tyneham and is a fascinating account of life in the early part of the last century when her Mother, Emily was Laundress for the big house and the rectory, and Helen's life as she grew up in Laundry cottage.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


I have decided to divide the blog by putting all my craft stuff on a separate one which I hope people can access via my profile or, if I can do it a link on the side. This will probably mean I don't put so much on either but it will be more streamlined hopefully. Hope to see you on either blog!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

There must be a good caption for this!

This fellow was sat in the doorway of Icelands ( a frozen food shop for those outside the UK) as I went to the shops yesterday. There must be a caption for this, but I can't think of one.
It was quite an interesting shopping expedition as I also saw a traffic warden get his foot run over by one of those electric jobs that some elderly people tear around on! He was not happy!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Yesterday we went down to Exeter for the day and I spent a few hours at the Quilt Exhibition which is on at Westpoint for 3 days. My husband left me to it and went off to Totnes and poked around there for a while. These pictures are of the antique quilts, there were some beautiful modern quilts but I could not reproduce them here without the makers permission. These quilts pictired are between 100 - 250 years old and are hand made and so detailed.
You can imagine the maker sewing by candlelight and snipping old clothes up to create something amazing.

This one is called 'Dresden Plate' and very delicate.
Lots of snow lying on the fields and plenty of Buzzards to be seen. We were able to bring our son home for the weekend from the Marine base where he is a recruit, sadly he has a stress fracture in his leg so will return on Monday to a recuperation troop and for physio and specialist exercises.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Poundbury...The Prince of Wales' village

Last weekend we were off to Dorchester to spend some time with some friends who live there, but on the way we decided to stop off at Poundbury which is a new town built on the edge of Dorchester. The Prince of Wales has been involved in the design of the place and I understand visits it from time to time. This is the view that you see from the by-pass around the town, a rather grand and imposing building which I hear will be offices.
There are town squares and village green type spaces around and houses are clustered around them in mini communities. There are not too many houses that are alike and individualism is nice to see. There are shops and businesses, fire station and other building mixed in with residential buildings. None of the buildings are very old but made to look 'old-style' .

The roads are wide in most parts and paking is as you see in this picture. I liked the look of Poundbury but wouldn't want to live there!The gardens looked quite small ( although I did not see in any gardens) therefore I may be mistaken. I didn't notice any Church there or school but maybe I just missed them or they will come in the next phase.
Well, it was fun to have a peep and see for ourselves, I think it's a lovely place...but not for us!