Monday, May 25, 2009

High Green to Oughtibridge

Once again flowers were the top attraction of the walk. Bluebells still very much in evidence as well as field pansy, crosswort, ladies' mantle, self-heal, and red campion. Lapwings and greenfinch were the main birds of note, and painted lady and this beautiful delicate green veined white the butterflies. The first part of this walk was mainly field and meadow walking - very pleasant for the most part. The best bit was the section of Wharncliffe Woods between the Hollow and Oughtibridge, which was magical in the dappled sunlight. I got a bit worried that I wouldn't be able to spot where I had to break out for Oughtibridge and the bus home because once past this point, there is no escape for several miles as the path turns north and tracks the River Don and the railway line with the road on the far side. . It was faily clear, as it happened, and I emerged at a point which was the nearest that BBW passes to home. The next leg should be pleasant and straightforward, but the problem with the final sections will be transport, as the route sweeps out into a hard-to-reach part of the Peak District.
At home, the garden is growing furiously, and soon my favorite section will be in bloom. The combination of a warm and dry April and a mild and wet May have meant that things are growing quickly. The thuggish rose on the arch has more flowers than ever before and I'm just hoping that the squash plants, which have been disappointing for the last few years, will take off and produce some fine crops.
There have been lots of swifts overhead recently, and on the feeders there seems to be a proliferation of house sparrows, and great tits. There has been high drama over the last 2 days, firstly as an unfledged blackbird looking very sorry for itself, found itself on the patio. Not sure what was its fate, but I think it might have managed to get under cover of the undergrowth. Then today, the presence of a very bold little tabby high up in a neighbour's tree caused pandemonium with a number of blackbirds and magpies collaborating successfully to drive it away. Calm has now been restored.

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