Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Garlic, orchids and cowslips.

This Tuesday we had to go to the cash and carry for stock for the cafe, but we got back in PLENTY of time for a walk. We'd seen the bluebells a few weeks ago (see previous blog posting for pics), and now it was time to go and see if the wild garlic (Ramsons) were at their best. We set off from Ashford in the Water just before lunchtime. Here's a shot of the famous sheepwash bridge.

There were plenty of Dandelion 'clocks' along the way.
This one was a particualrly good example.
We walked along the banks of the Wye before turning into Great Shacklow woods.
Very soon, we saw the swathes of white, telling us we had come at JUSt the right time to see and smell the wonderful scent of the wild garlic.

The new ferns were also poking their heads up.
After the wonderful show of the garlic, we left Shacklow woods and turned up into Deepdale.
I know this dale to be very good for cowslips and early purple orchids. Again, we hit it on a good day, with the sun shining and LOTS of orchids & cowslips. This is a nice juxtaposition of the two.

A beautiful group of early purple orchids.

I don't ever recall seeing this before - it's what looks like an albino, or white, 'purple' orchid?
If anyone knows more, please leave a comment on this blog.

We left the dales and struck out on the lanes over the tops to Taddington.
The wall patterns around here are superb.
You have to wonder at the amount of work that went into building them though.

Not a 'clock' yet - this yellow dandelion caught my eye.

We shunned the main street through Taddington, preferring the leafy back lanes.

On a near perfect day, we crossed the fileds and dropped into and out of High Dale. You can see the path up the far side of the dale, to the left of the finger post.

Some farmers just put up wire fences when a drystone wall falls or is knocked down. This one, bless him, prefers to reinstate the drystone wall, with a skill that always will be admired by me.

They say that a drystone waller never puts down a stone he picks up, preferring to find a place in the wall where that stone fits. This results in a tight formation of stone which will, it is hoped, stand the test of time.
Looking back to Great Shacklow woods from Brushfield, above Monsal dale.

A derelict barn, with Wardlow Hay Cop hill in the background.

One of the closed tunnels on the Monsal trail.
I really wish they had 'open days' where the public could see behind these huge metal doors.

After Monsal head, we walked along 'pennyunk lane' and back to Ashford in the Water for a pint in the Bulls head. A lovely end to a smashing spring day.

This little Chaffinch sang us in to Ashford.

And this tree, in full blossom, was our waymarker back to the village.

Ashford church, in the evening light.
The bells were ringing full - what a beautiful welcome back!
You can hear the bells ringing in a short video (below)
Below is a selection of videos of the woods and bells etc.

A look at the profusion of wild garlic.

Deepdale side, FULL of cowslips & early purple orchids.

A walk through Shacklow woods, full of wild garlic.

The bells of Ashford in the Water ring out in the evening light.


Needlelacer said...

Hi Les, I have just been taking another leisurely look at the blogs - this time without the frustration of coping with dial up speed downloads !
Wonderful photographs and descriptions again. I look forward to the next episode. H

Les said...

Thanks H - it really is SUPER around here at this time of the year, probably my favourite time, definately Sue's.

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