There was an Open Day at Berkswell Windmill on Easter Monday so D and I went along to have a look round.
The Windmill which is a four-bladed Tower Mill was first built in 1826 on the site of a former post mill. Historically, it was used to ground flour and animal feeds. It closed in 1948 when the last Miller, John Hammond died.
Its a Grade 2 Listed Building and Scheduled Monument. It was restored between 1973 and 1975 but fell into disrepair again following the death of its owner. A restoration which cost £200,000 has recently taken place and the windmill is open on certain dates throughout the year.
This camelia was absolutely covered in bees - sadly it was in somebody's garden so I couldn't get close enough to get any bee photos.
I fell in love with these planters.
The following three photos were taken by D with the Canon Bridge.
View from the top floor of the windmill
After a tour of the windmill and tea and cake we carried onto Temple Balsall to visit the Nature Reserve there.
The hedgerows were full of Lesser Celandine
The main reason for visiting the reserve was to see the Butterbur in flower. I've been fascinated by this plant since seeing it in a wildflower book (either one of the Ladybird series or The Observer's Book of Wild Flowers) when I was a child. The last two years I have managed to visit when it was past its best but on Monday it was in full flower. D was, however, singularly unimpressed and couldn't see why I was making such a fuss! Unfortunately, most of the photos were blurred - I'd turned down the ISO to take photos in the sun and then forgot to turn it back up when I entered the very dull and gloomy reserve!
Butterbur Petasites hybridus
The plant is Dioecious meaning male and female flowers occur on separate plants. The leaves continue to grow after flowering and can reach 2 feet across - they were once used to wrap butter (hence the plant's name).
I think this is Scarlet Elfcup
I'd parked the car round the corner from the reserve near the entrance to the Cemetery and there were several Peacocks and Brimstones fluttering round. I've noticed before this is a good site for butterflies.
Somewhere right in the middle of this photo is a male Brimstone - I hadn't got the telephoto zoom lens with me and I just couldn't get close enough to get a picture. I chased one butterfly into the Cemetery disturbing a pair of Green Woodpeckers who were "anting".
Good to see signs that trees will soon come into leaf.
More Lesser Celandine
Some photos taken by D with the Canon SX50 bridge.
The built in zoom came in handy and he managed to get a photo of one of the Peacocks after a great deal of patient stalking!!
Along the lane we came across a bank outside a cottage covered in Primroses, Primulas and Wood Anemones
and a trio of Easter bunnies!
Halesowen Butterflies 28th May
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