Thursday, June 07, 2007
A Quiet Ramble
Janet was nice enough to invite me out for the day. She suggested a walk along the Great River Ouse, near the village of St. Ives. We walked through meadows, with the grasses and wildflowers dancing in the breeze, through the deep, lush woods, and down village lanes bordered by thatched cottages and typical English gardens.
Nature Notes by Derwent May, is featured in a newspaper here. I'm not sure if it runs daily or weekly, but it really captures the mood of the season and I thought it was perfect for this walk. This is today's entry and I hope he doesn't mind if I include it:
'Skylarks are singing over the fields. They look down on bluish-green wheat fields, with their ears of corn standing stiff and erect, and on light green barley fields with their drooping, spiky ears. Both crops are well advanced this year. The oilseed rape fields have mostly lost their yellow flowers by now and are a jungle of hard seedpods.
Now that the corn is growing tall, some of the skylarks will build a new nest and rear a second brood on beetle banks and skylark plots, which are strips of grassland in the corn deliberately left unsown by farmers for skylarks and partridges to nest and feed in. The young skylarks leave the nest as early as a week or so after they hatch, because of the danger from predators. They lurk in the vegetation, still unable to fly, and are fed by their parents, for some days afterwards.
Oilseed rape has proved to be a habitat where some birds are prepared to breed. Sedge warblers sometimes move out of the reeds into the rape to nest, and whitethroats can sometimes be seen singing on a telephone wire above a rape field, with the nest in the tangle below.'
This is where we began our ramble, at the Old Mill.
We were fortunate enough to see this 'narrow boat' going through the lock.
"Have a great trip!"
We chanced upon Manor House, the home of a popular children's book author, Lucy Boston. This house is similar to the house she wrote about, Green Knowe. Her son did the illustrations. I was thrilled as I had just read about this place on my favorite blog, yarnstorm.blogs.com
Janet amongst one of the beautiful scented gardens. There are over 200 varieties of old roses.
Branches and sticks are used for supports for beans and peas in the veggie garden.
I couldn't resist a photo of the garden shed, a mumble jumble of garden accouterments.
One of the gardeners staking roses. It's hard to see, but her shirt perfectly matched the burgundy roses behind her.
I wish I could grow delphiniums like this. I think it's just too hot in Maryland, at least it is up on our hill.
But my neighbor, Susan, can grow these beautiful flowers. She sent me these 2 photos of what's happening in her yard right now.
Susan's very special bearded iris. I'm inspired to do a felt flower!
Janet and I stopped for a half pint in the garden out back of this pub, The Cock.
And later had a delicious Coronation Chicken Wrap and salad in this tea room along the river.
It seems turning every corner there was another thatched cottage with a flurry of colorful flowers out front.
The ridge work on the roof line had just been completed.
Notice how thick the thatch is on this home.