"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

Sunday, 22 March 2020

A short walk in the Countryside

Yesterday I really did feel the need to escape for a while so D and I did the mile circular walk not far from home which we have done many times before and I am sure some of you will remember. It was good to spend an hour in the countryside when for the first time in two weeks I actually forgot all my worries and anxiety and just lived in the moment.

Apologies in advance if some of the photos are a bit rubbish - it was windy making it difficult to take flowers aand on top of that I stupidly didn't wear my wellies so didn't venture much onto the grass verges.

Lesser Celandine could be seen everywhere

and there were several patches of Dog's Mercury also in flower.

Luckily there was now no sign of a flooded road.

White Dead Nettle and

Blackthorn in flower.

Dandelion flowers are appearing now.

This is one of my favourite cottages with a rather charming gate in the hedge.

Record shots (to put it mildly) of a Red Legged Partridge and Pheasant running along the roadside in front of us.

A flock of dozens of Fieldfares descended in a tree in front of us silhouetted against the sky. i.e. a rubbish picture!

A species of Wild Strawberry - last time I guessed the exact species I got it wrong. I am sure Stray Rambler gave me the correct species but unfortunately I can't find the post to check.

Wild Arum leaves

I hope you are all well and staying safe. I don't know about everyone else but I find I am hardly sleeping - waking up hours earlier than usual and just lying there. I am going to try and make myself wander round the garden each day.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Recent reading, garden wildlife and latest knitting project.

We live in a very worrying world at the moment. I do hope everyone is well and ok.

Recently, rather than going out unless I have to do a food shop, I've been reading a lot and escaping into other worlds as this is my way of coping with worry.

The first books are all fiction as I continue to work my way through various detective series - thank goodness for kindles where you can buy a book without leaving the house. I really enjoyed all the stories and Hidden on the Fen by Joy Ellis was particularly addictive - I read it in two days and had to keep charging my kindle!!

Tales of Old Herefordshire was interesting full of old tales, legends and folklore.

I have been waiting for "Orchid Summer" to come out in paperback and bought it a month or so back from Kenilworth Books. This is the story of the author's quest to spot all species of British orchid in a year and it also contains loads of information on orchid species. Highly recommended - I loved this book.

Another book on the subject which I read a few years ago called "The Orchid Hunter - A Young Botanist's Search For Happiness" by Lief Bersweden is also well worth reading.

I bought Timpson's Country Churches secondhand some time ago from Astley Farm Bookshop. I really enjoyed reading about the churches he had visited - he has a wry sense of humour and there is lots of information about each church and many excellent photos.

Garden Wildlife

This jay visited the garden twice last week perching in the whitebeam tree. My son managed to get a few record shots.



Frogs started appearing in the garden pond last week although there were a lot fewer than usual. I suspect the common newts are eating a lot of tadpoles each year. Frogspawn appeared on the 11th but sadly only a small clump this year.

Last year we had a eucalpytus tree that was getting out of control cut down to about 7 feet and the tree surgeon left a few logs which we placed around the garden. A few weeks ago I spotted Turkey Tail fungi on one of them. A new species for the garden.

Bumble Bees are starting to appear and a pair of Blue Tits have been in and out of the nestbox which has a camera. We haven't seen the pair of Ring Necked Parakeets for a while so I was thrilled last week when 5 alighted briefly on Silver Birch trees at the end of the garden.


At the end of last year I started to make an owl tea cosy for a teapot we are taking to the caravan. Over the last few weeks I have made a real effort to finish it.

I hope everyone stays safe and well.

*D Photo taken by my son with the Canon SX50 bridge camera

Fest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Edith Holden's Centenary Celebration Day in Olton

Two of my favourite books are 2 nature diaries written in 1905 and 1906 by Edith Holden which were published in facsimile format following their re-discovery in the 1970's.

And this is a superb biography on Edith

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of artist and amateur naturalist Edith Holden and today several events are being held in Olton, where she lived for a while, to commemorate her.

Daffodils in the car park.

The first event at 11.30 on the Warwick Road was the opening of a micro garden with Victorian style public benches restored by Olton Residents Association. The Association together with a Solihull Neighbourhood co-ordinator have reclaimed a patch of overgrown land, tended it and created a small garden.


The second event at 11.45 was held at St Margaret's Church, Olton. It was the unveiling of a stone birdbath by the Lord Mayor and the Vicar of the Church. The birdbath commemorates Edith and has been located in a small and peaceful garden. The stone bath has been at several locations in the past (I am sure it was once at Baddesley Clinton) before being put in storage at Packwood House.


The full inscription reads along the lines of (sorry didn't get the exact order of the words! " To celebrate the life and times of Edith B Holden illustrator, naturalist and animal lover 1871 - 1920"

Edith lived in Kineton Green Road and

the third event at 12.00 noon was the unveiling by the Lord Mayor of Solihull of an owl carved out of an old tree stump by wood carver Robot Cossey. The owl is located just a few hundred yards from Gowan Bank where she lived.

Gowan Bank

Other events today, which we did not attend included the opening of an exhibition on Edwardian life with Edith Holden memorabilia at Olton Library; the annoucement of prizes for a children's painting competition and a concert in the evening featuring the premiere of "The Country Diary in song".


Quite a few years ago I wrote a series of posts called "Following in the Footsteps of an Edwardian Lady" where I visited some of the places in Warwickshire mentioned in Edith's diaries. If you would like to read these please click on "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady" under labels. You may have to go back a bit by clicking on older posts at the foot of the page as some of the more recent labels only mention Edith in passing although they do cover areas she visited.

*D Photos taken by my son with the Canon Bridge SX50 bridge camera
Rest of photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera