"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, 18 October 2020

Return to Herefordshire - Part One: Pool, Bodenham and St Michael and All Angels


We returned to Herefordshire for a few days last week as the weather forecast looked dry! 

We arrived mid afternoon on Wednesday and went for a walk to the pool at tea-time. Autumn colours are certainly now appearing.

There are still Fly Agaric - some about ten inches in diameter - creating a little "fairyland".

Timothy was not happy and insisted on sitting near the radiator as I had forgotten to bring his jumper and scarf!

There are faint signs of colour appearing on the tree I am watching.

We saw many flocks of "winter thrushes" flying over.  There are a lot of hawthorn berries on the site and on one occasion when thrushes alighted in a tree we managed to get the telescope on them to confirm they were Redwings.  I also saw my first bats at dusk on two evenings flittering over the hedge/trees at the rear of the caravan.

Thursday was dry with sunshine and B suggested we returned to Bodenham Lakes.

When we got to Bodenham the car park was closed - we later discovered parts of the reserve were closed as they were doing habitat work - creating islands.  We parked by the church and decided on a walk round the village.

There was a little sign saying that these are rare examples of an elevated cobbled pavement.

Stump of village cross said to be connected to a weekly market granted in 1378 to Sir Walter Devereux.

War Memorial

Cross Well - a strange, big, solid, stone cylinder dated 1876.

We then went to the church in the hope we could access the reserve from the churchyard as there is a public footpath across to the lakes.

At least I had an opportunity to get closer to the church than on the last visit and to have a look at the exterior and churchyard.

The church of St Michael and All Angels is near the River Lugg. The West Tower was started in the late 13th century and completed in the 14th. It has a pyramidal roof set over the stump of an incomplete recessed spire. Most of the church is 14th century but extensive use of tufa suggests a Norman origin.  The doorways have ballflower decorations.

I am spotting a lot of mounting blocks outside churches in Herefordshire.

I wouldn't fancy being up there doing repair work with ladders!

We went a short walk to see if we could find a way onto the reserve and the parts that were open.

River Lugg

We did find ourselves on the reserve and we did see a couple of people but to be honest after five minutes I didn't feel comfortable or know if we should be there so we left rapidly!

We did stop off at Queenswood Arboretum and Country Park on the way back as the car park looked quieter.  But we had no change and B had problems paying over the phone with Ringo - both the car registration number and debit card details were out of date so you can tell how long it is since we used that system!  Anyway all updated now online which will make it easier in future and we will definitely be exploring some of the trails at the Arboretum.

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


Rustic Pumpkin said...

That Fly Agaric is something else. Honestly, I had no idea they got that big. I love how that cobble path looks but wouldn't fancy walking on it. We've got a cobble path here and it's jolly uncomfortable, and that one looks as if the moss would be quite hazardous, but lovely to look at all the same. How did Timothy's winter woollies get left behind? At least he was toasty warm on the radiator! It will be interesting to see the changes in the tree, and I hope you won't be put in lockdown and miss seeing it. Looks like we go into lockdown again on Friday for a fortnight.

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thank you. They are some of the biggest Fly Agaric I've seen - only rivalled by some I once saw by Thirlmere in the Lake Distric. Cobbles are hard to walk on :( I don't know re: the woollies for Timothy and even worse you had already reminded me!!! He stopped in caravan or car most of the time! If we move up a tier I don't think we shall be able to go to caravan :( Good luck with your lockdown and I hope it works. At least Wales is taking action. Horrid horrid times :(

Pam said...

There's something about seeing Fly Agaric that makes me happy, I know it's such a 'stereotype' fungi, but maybe that's why! It's great there are so many places nearby you can visit, you'll have to try the reserve another time and see what's there :)

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks and I love seeing them too :) I think the reserve is partly closed for a few months so will go back next year :)

CherryPie said...

It looks like a lovely day out despite the setbacks.

Ragged Robin said...

CherryPie - Thank you - it was nice to get out in the sunshine.