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So where on earth did all that time go? Happy new 2013 to one and all!

Went off up the hill this morning to take a photy of  the bleak owing to the dull light and foggy conditions.  Nothing too exciting to see however but found a wee bit of colour and an unexpected primrose. In fact it looks like there will be a super bank of them later on. Cheers!

The Bleak!

Decaying Hips - January

Unexpected Primrose - January

Another spring, and despite the “smog” took a set of photys around the top of the hill. Comparing them with those from last year (about a fortnights difference), the same plants are out but there might be a bit of cross over with the primroses still in flower.
After ten years I have finally caught the fabled Duke of Argyle’s Teaplant, the winter conditions and the warm dry spring must have prompted it into flower. Or I have just wandered past it for all those years? Nahh!
The number of orange tailed bumblebees took me by surprise too. At first I was sure that only one was following me around till I came to the whins – there were more than a dozen of them! but would they sit still for me, of course not.

I have included the sign describing the castle, click on it for a large, readable version.

And here is the song Another Spring performed by Nina Simone… enjoy

Duke of Argyll's Teaplant lilac
may blossom - hawthorn wallflower
ivy flowers fern furl
Orange Tailed bumblebee bluebells
red dead nettle and primrose Halton Castle signage
buttercup dandylion

I have to admit that last years photys were brighter and more colourful. Sunnier day, or sunnier photygraffer?

  1. Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant
  2. light colourd lilacs
  3. may blossom (hawthorn)
  4. dark orange wallflower
  5. sinister ivy flowering
  6. fern furl
  7. annoyed Orange Tailed bumblebee
  8. english bluebells
  9. primrose, goosegrass (stickywullie), red deadnettle
  10. Halton Castle sign, click to read
  11. buttercup
  12. dandylion

Off out wi’ the camera since it was nice ‘n’ sunny this forenoon. I had intended heading for a beautiful garden (didn’t snap as it was being worked on at the time) but got distracted by these on the way. They are connected to my previous post As I Walked Out… since it is more or less the same area just shifted forward four months. Spot the differences?

  1. wonderful wildflower end of the Millenium Field… super
  2. closeup of a cornflower, my first
  3. medium sized gowan – big daisy
  4. the brightest yellow – black eyed susan/rudbekia
  5. fluffy thistle heads
  6. fat glossy rosehips
  7. broom pods ready to pop
  8. popped! (sound backdrop of pops, crackles, buzzing bees and thrumming crickets)
  9. bramble view – taste good too!

wildflowerField

cornflowerBlue

gowanFine

sunnyFlower

thistleFluff

rosehips

broomBangers

broomBanged

brambleView

…one early morning. Not so early and with my coffee and biscuit in one hand and wee camera in the other, and I even had to nip home for a new card and batteries. So please enjoy my hour and a half wander round Castle Hill.

  1. whins (gorse)…mmm that coconut scent
  2. broom with their little bean pod shapes
  3. may blossom (hawthorn) cast yer cloots if you wish!
  4. lilacs, unlucky to have in the house?
  5. field of baby ferns emerging from their dead
  6. english bluebells drooping grcefully behind a wall
  7. fern skeleton and new hawthorn blossom, old meets new
  8. a huge and slightly annoyed bumble bee
  9. buttercups from my front door – yes it’s meant to be a patch of “weeds”!
  10. wild turnip, …really?
  11. baby oak leaves unfurling and looking a soft and shiny

Gorse or WhinsBroomHawthorn BlossomLilac BushFern FieldEnglish BluebellsLast Year-This Year Big Bumble BeeButtercupsWild TurnipOak Leaves

primroses blossom dandylion

Here are three examples of Spring arriving around the castle on the 20th Feb.

Spring Catkin 2009

Spring Catkin 2009

2008 Still Hanging On

2008 Still Hanging On

Another Spring Harbinger

One for all Seasons

Tomorrow my mouse hand may be out of action. First time use of a litter grabber followed by a burst of unacustomed knitting can do that.

An enthusiatic group met this Sunday forenoon, in the carpark outside Halton Castle, (the castle ruin is in Halton Village, Runcorn, Cheshire). They were met by council workers who handed out bags, gloves and the essential grabbers. The pathway and undergrowth encircling the castle was to be divested the accumulated rubbish. Being new to this I started on a nice flat bit, then progressed to the foot of the rampart. Grabbers will not pull beer bottle tops out of the ground! think that’s mainly what Time Team chaps will be finding in the future.

I folded after an hour of pulling and collecting, lightweight, and my interest in the social snapshot left by the commited litter vandal was on the wain by then. Those more able than myself were still going at it in the gorse, brambles and on the steep slopes. I salute you and am glad that for a wee while I was part of your number.

The knitting was vain attempt to keep the stiffening arms at bay…probably made it worse.

Halton Castle, sunny day in late 2008

Halton Castle, sunny day in late 2008.

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