A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Books, Shopping, A Canal and a Church plus a cake
Some recent reading.
Having got up to date with the Shetland and Vera Stanhope series of books, I thought I would try some more of Ann Cleeves' work. This book was totally different and I suspect one of her earlier novels? I enjoyed it but there again I've been a birdwatcher for years and years and even attend the occasional twitch. I am not sure how a reader who doesn't know much about twitchers would get on with story as there is an awful lot of the book taken up by the subject. But it is an easy and entertaining read and I will try the next in the series.
This book by Martin Edwards is, in my view, the best so far in the Lake District Mystery series.
Really loved this second Nikki Galena story.
Rosie from "Corners of my Mind" blog recommended this book after I had finished reading The Dinosaur Hunters by Deborah Cadbury. This is a super book detailing the life of Mary Anning - a famous fossil hunter from the early 19th century. The book has made me want to return to Lyme Regis and also do more research on this remarkable lady.
Ramble through the Heart of England was on sale in a local bookshop for just £2. I bought it because it includes some fairly local places such as Lichfield, Bosworth Field and Shugborough Hall. It is an interesting "slow travel diary" and contains snippets of information about churches, canals, birds, trains, pubs,famous people in the localities visited, wild flowers and butterflies etc.
Towards the end of last year I had planned to go to an exhibition at Compton Verney featuring the illustrations in the book below. Sadly, for one reason and another I never went so decided to treat myself to the book instead. This is such a beautiful book with wonderful illustrations and "spells" written for various species in the countryside. The words such as acorn, bluebell, otter, fern, dandelion and bramble, are sadly disappearing from the vocabulary of young children and this book aims to bring them back to life. Every primary school, if not every child, should have a copy of this excellent book. I cannot praise it enough.
Determined to read more of Mary Anning I bought this book - it is very short but it is informative and worth reading if you want to learn more about Mary, early geologists and fossils.
E was on holiday last week and, on the spur of the moment, decided she wanted to visit a shopping village at Trentham which had been recommended by a friend of hers.
It was good to discover Natural World as our local branch shut down years ago.
There was a very good pottery shop which had Portmeirion pottery and ranges by Hannah Dale plus some pieces of Moorcroft. I do love Moorcroft but sadly it is far too expensive for me to consider buying any.
A bear shop! I decided not to go inside as a purchase might make Timothy rather jealous! but
I did make a few purchases at the Cheshire Cheese Company shop.
We had lunch at the Riverside Cafe - in my case a cheese and tomato toastie.
Timothy posing with the cheese and chutney purchases.
We spent so long in the shopping village and home and garden centre that we didn't have time to visit the gardens and woodland walks - hopefully we will go back later in the year.
On Sunday D and I decided on a canal walk at Catherine de Barnes walking in a different direction to usual and a route taken by Edith Holden in The Country Diary of an Edwardian lady.
Daffodils are starting to flower.
Mr and Mrs Mallard
But as you can see the tow path was very muddy and, although I was wearing wellies, D only had shoes on so we didn't walk very far!
On the way home we stopped off at the hamlet of Bickenhill. I knew the church would be closed as I had tried to visit before so just had a quick walk round the exterior.
St Peter's Bickenhill
Parts of the church date back to the 12th century although there is little left to see from that period. Alterations occurred in the 14th century and the west tower was added in the late 15th century. There was a major restoration in the second half of the 19th century.
Another local church that has marks where arrows were sharpened centuries ago.
17th century graffiti
I made this triple ginger loaf cake a week or so ago and it really is delicious especially if you like ginger. You can find the recipe here
Frogs have started spawning in garden pond today - there has been a lot of activity and thankfully no sign of the heron! I will try and get some photos tomorrow.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.