Saturday 30 April 2016

A Walk Amongst the Bluebells

Yesterday was my monthly walk with my walking group. This month we chose a walk that took us through extensive bluebell woods. An ideal location for this time of year. We started from a small village on the edge of Bristol called Portbury. It is only a very short distance from the M5 junction for Portishead and in fact the hum of the motorway is very audible at the beginning and end of the walk.
We started by climbing up out of the village through fields with woods of bluebells on either side. It became more open with isolated trees as we climbed further up. The views were fantastic looking back towards Portishead, the Royal Portbury Docks and across the Bristol Channel to the Welsh Hills.

The walk wound through fields, along lanes, over a large number of rickety stiles and through woodland.

Towards the end of the walk we dropped down into Priors Wood. This is ancient woodland some of which originates from as early as 1600. It was for many years part of the Tyntesfield estate a large estate which was sold up when the previous Lord Wraxall died. The wood supplied the house's large boilers. The house and immediate grounds were bought by the National Trust. This particular area was bought by a Children's hospice and has been subsequently sold to the Avon Wildlife Trust.

The bluebells cover large areas of the woods and it was not long before we could smell their perfume drifting in the air.

There has been quite a lot of replanting where some of the trees are still small.

The walk did prove to be a bit of an obstacle course in places with several streams to be crossed.

And fallen trees to climb over.

It was also interesting to see how in some parts there were no bluebells growing at all possibly due to a heavier canopy of trees.

It was undoubtedly a beautiful walk which I would heartily recommend. The bluebell woods could make a lovely break on any journey on the M5 and if you happen to be there at bluebell time there is a house that opens it's garden for teas at weekends. We headed for the local pub The Priory instead where we had left our cars.

Friday 29 April 2016

Six Word Story: Spring

These week's story to join in with Miriam really speaks for itself.


Thursday 28 April 2016

In go the Spuds

It's time for the seed potatoes to be planted again. They are actually later going in this year than some years. The very cold Spring has caused a bit of a delay. The field preparation takes a lot of time forming a suitable bed for the potatoes to grow in. There is ploughing, power harrowing, drying out and then tilling. Alternative rows are tilled.

This is slow work where a little bit of company is appreciated.

The next stage is another slow job.

This machine is a stone separator which throws all the stones to the sides. It allows the potatoes to grow more evenly and makes harvesting much easier.

The ground is then ready for planting the seed potatoes. These are loaded into the planter.

We always grow a variety called Wilja that suits our ground and conditions.

No pictures of planting but here you can see on the right where some are planted and a ridge formed round them.

They are all planted now so we won't be sorry to see some rain in the next day or two.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Snap: Back to Time

I have returned to the subject of time for this week's Snap. This meme is the wonderful creation of Helena at Helena's Creative Maven. Continuing the theme of sundials from a previous Snap. I found this sundial at Greenwich Observatory.

There were several to be found here. This second one was also at the Observatory high on the wall. There was no sun to throw shadows on either of these.

A clock on the wall at Winterbourne Botanical Gardens at Birmingham University depicts a floral clock. This idea was originally created by Carl Linnaeus in 1751. It shows the plan for a floral clock garden with flowers planted according to the time of day the flowers are likely to be open and thus tell the time by them.

Then finally. How else can you tell the time? The old faithful of the Dandelion Clock. How many of these have you blown in your childhood?

Tuesday 26 April 2016

The Cycle of Life

One of the joys of farming is seeing all the young animals appearing each year.  We have the lambs, new calves and now some foals. We have one field where someone keeps some mares who are either expecting or have had foals. On Saturday I wandered up to see how they are getting on. There are three foals up till now.

Like all animals on the farm the mothers have the distinctive red soil staining their coats.

The backdrop is the Chew Valley and Chew Valley lake.

How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place.

Monday 25 April 2016

Memorandum Monday: A New View

Good Morning at the beginning of another week. Well I have a new view but more about that later. It is indeed time to think again of something new that's happened to join in with Sian at From High in the Sky  That's one thing about being in the countryside especially at this time of year. There is always something new appearing. Yesterday I showed some of the new growth in the garden and the same is happening in the hedgerows. I popped down to one of the fields to see how my daughter was getting on with her tractor work (more about that another day) and this was happening everywhere.

Isn't nature just beautiful?
Oh and the new view. Well to be truthful it's not a new view but a recovered view. It has been getting increasingly dark in our kitchen and conservatory. The hedge of pyracantha has got higher and higher. It does do a good job in stopping folks looking in when taking their horses out but my seedlings have been suffering and become very leggy. Normally I am holding back husband from wielding the hedge trimmer in the garden but yesterday  he didn't need asking twice. Out came the trimmer and the chain saw.

It wasn't long before it was gone.

Yes I know it looks a bit messy and bare at the moment but it will soon improve. The bonus so far is the view of the sunset I had last night. 

Let's hope the seedlings appreciate it too. Have a good week everyone.

Sunday 24 April 2016

New Growth

Everywhere there are shoots of green appearing as the weather generally warms up. I say generally because today it has been very cold. I have seedlings sprouting in my conservatory.

Outside a Mulberry tree that Brian was given for his 50th (a few years ago!) is just showing signs of new growth.

Meanwhile the Medlar tree that he had at the same time is always earlier to shoot.

Saturday 23 April 2016


I do love to see all the tulips blooming in the garden at the moment. I have really enjoyed browsing through JoAnn's blog Scene through my eyes  lately where she had the most fabulous pictures of the bulb fields. I can highly recommend popping over to see what she has to show.
I have been out and about to snap some of the lovely colours and shapes we have this year. Here is a selection of individual blooms.



Some groups.

Then lastly tulips amongst the spring blooms.