Sunday, 30 March 2014

A different view

Last week we swopped the normal view from our house of streets, houses and distant hills for a completely different view .....

This was our view from the windows of the chalet that we were staying at Bovisand Bay overlooking Plymouth Sound in Devon. We have stayed here twice before and not surprisingly keep returning.

As you can see it is an idlylic spot, there are four separate beaches in the bay (although only one allows dogs out of season!). The weather was mixed too, with sunshine, rain, hail and some strong winds, but that only adds to the magic of watching the ever-changing sea and sky.

This stretch of water has been the departure point for many historical events:-

In 1588 Francis Drake sailed out of here to defeat the Spanish Armada.
In 1620 the Mayflower sailed to America with the Pilgrim Fathers.
In 1768 James Cook left here on Endeavour and sailed to New Zealand and then went on to discover Australia's eastern coast.
In 1815 Napolean was held in a ship in Plymouth Sound for two weeks before it was decided to exile him to the island of St Helena.
In 1831 Charles Darwin sailed on the Beagle and  on this voyage discovered the theory of evolution.

Other voyages weren't so successful there are at least 70 wrecks in the bay.

We did tear ourselves away to revisit some of our favourite locations (further posts to follow), although our planned walk on Dartmoor didn't happen, thanks to me! After a pleasant morning wandering around Tavistock, we decided to eat our pasties overlooking the moor, hoping the rain would stop. Unfortunately I was driving and left the headlights on  - the result a flat battery!

So this was the only walk we got, on the edge of the moors while waiting for the breakdown recovery service to arrive. At least it had stopped raining and we weren't hidden in the moors without a phone connection!

We didn't like to stop on the way back to Bovisand and as way of any apology I treated us to a cream tea at Cafe Bovisands...

Tea pots ready

 Sorry I didn't photograph the food! It's a great place to visit and we can recommend the food, drink and the views. Do you notice that the counter is an old church pew ? There are also some great walks from here along the South West Coast Path in either direction.

Daisy and I looking away from the sea for a few moments.

Thank you for sharing with me the the wonderful creatures you have seen by the sea. They ranged from squirrels to whales, dolphins, sharks, seals, a sea lion and flying fish, I did enjoy reading about them. As you can see we had a great opportunity to look out at sea, but sadly we didn't spot any dolphins. We did however have a few visits from badgers in the evening that made up for it.

In our garden

 I always have mixed feelings returning home after a break, is it the same for you? The blossom from the magnolia  looked so pretty carpeting the lawn. Last night was Earth hour too, did anyone else join in? It was lovely to sit in the peace and quiet surrounded by the flickering flames from the candle light and enjoy an hour without electricity. We should really do it more often.  I always enjoy the clocks moving forward an hour at this time of year giving us lighter evenings for longer walks or more time spent in the garden.

 Wishing you a good week, as always thank you for visiting me.
Sarah x

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Looking out to sea

Looking out at sea I often wish I could identify more of the wildlife along our coast, so when I saw a course being run locally to help identify marine life, it was just too good to miss!

The course was run by a UK charity called  "Marine life" who run an extensive programme of marine research and projects in the English Channel, Bay of Biscay and North Sea. They operate on 14 ferry routes and routinely record the number of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea birds they see on these trips.

Jan 2014

It was surprising to learn how much wildlife there is in the water around our island. What's more with the help of binoculars and knowing the signs and the right sea conditions it may be possible to see these magnificent animals from the shore.

In Dorset there have been recordings of bottle-nose dolphins, white-beaked dolphins,common dolphins and harbour porpoises.

Image West Bay Card

Although it seemed easy to identify the wildlife with the help of picture charts. It is quite different to quickly identify an animal when you only get a quick fleeting glance! 

We saw these dolphins on a boat trip a few years ago in Studland Bay. It was a wonderful experience to see them!  I need lots of practice and better sea legs before I will be volunteering to join in the recording from a boat at sea! On our walks along the coast the camera will now be acccompanied with binoculars too!

If you are either visiting the coast or taking a ferry it would be worth visiting Marine life here and finding out what wildlife you might be lucky enough to spot. Have you ever spotted anything exciting at sea or from the shore?

As the sun was setting one evening last week ,we sat in a harbourside pub and enjoyed these views.

 Sarah x

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Portland Bill

We awoke on Sunday  to blue skies which encouraged us to get out of bed early and we were out walking at Portland Bill almost on our own. The sound of sky larks ( click here to hear the sound)  greeted us as we got out of the car and the air felt so fresh. For once I will just leave you with the pictures!

Thank you for sharing with me your favourite spring flowers and poems in the last post. I have enjoyed discovering some new poems that you have mentioned.
Sarah x

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A host of golden daffodils

 There are not many lessons I remember from my childhood but learning William Wordsworth's poem at the age of 9 is one of that sticks vividly in my memory :-

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Picking daffodils!
Picking daffodils by Harold Harvey taken from pinterest
What poem do you remember most from your childhood?

With all the sunshine we have had in the past week the daffodils seem to have emerged on mass. On Saturday we wandered around the village of Burton Bradstock and everywhere there were daffodils nodding their yellow heads, as we walked by.  They were lining paths to front doors and crammed into tiny spaces to add a shot of spring colour and sweet smell. See if you can spot them in the pictures below :-

 The bench under the tree looks a good place to sit and admire the view.

The pace of life in the village is so much slower. Strangers have time to say "hello" as you walk past. The loudest sounds are of birdsong or the church chiming each quarter of an hour.

The lanes have long forgotten meanings this one is called Donkey Lane. There may be no donkeys in sight but there are views of typical Dorset thatched cottages.

Although my favourite spring flower are tulips, daffodils come a close second. What are your favourite spring flower? Have you come across Ingrid's inspirational blog called Of Spring and Summer  it shows wonderful ideas and images of ways of arranging seasonal flowers.

A house with daffodils in it is a house lit up,
whether or no the sun be shining outside. 
~ A.A. Milne

Thank you as always for visiting me. I hope you find some flowers to brighten your week too.
Sarah x

Monday, 10 March 2014

Moments to stop and stare

What a difference it makes to see some sunshine. It feels as if Spring has finally arrived! This week there has been so many moments to just stop and stare. These are a few of my favourite ones....

This is an area that we pass on the way to work -it has become flooded over the winter and the only ones using the footpath at the moment are the ducks. The reflections and colour were wonderful!

  The following morning again on the way to work a herd on 30 deer were crossing the road en mass. The temperature usually falls a few degrees as you drive inland and away from the coast. There was no frost in the garden at home.We just had to take a detour to marvel at these scenes.

It certainly made a good start to the day!

These flowers - camillias,blossom and magnolia were such a joyful sight on our monthly visit to Abbotsbury tropical gardens. The sheltered environment there gives everything a head start.

Twinkle is also glad to feel the warmth of the sun!

I was going to finish with a few pictures from the garden and then on the way to a night out,we saw this sunset! What have you stopped and marvelled at this week?

Sarah x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Following a tree 2014

 I have decided to once again follow a tree for a year with Lucy at Loose and leafy and many others. My dilemma is always which tree to choose as there is such a selection!

I always admire these trees on the journey to work (I hasten to add I am usually the passenger!). As I took these pictures a friend drove past and was concerned that I had broken down - so I think I will continue to enjoy them from the car window without stopping !

Last year I was intending to follow this avenue of trees. My husband was in hospital just as their leaves started to appear and so I missed the opportunity and maybe it was a bit ambitious! Regular readers will remember in 2012 I followed this willlow tree for a year.

This year I am trying to make life as simple as possible, so I have decided to pick this apple tree, which is at the bottom of our garden. We have a bench close by where we often sit, so hopefully this will give us lots of time to observe the changes through the year. What is your favourite tree in the garden?

We planted this tree in the garden twenty one years ago and  it has brought us so much pleasure over the years and many many delicious apples. The windfalls we always leave for the wildlife. As it has been quite mild there hasn't been such a need for this food over the winter.

This picture in 1993 shows it on the far right of the picture. We planted many trees in the garden and one of the highlights of our gardening has been to see them mature (just like the children!)

The trunk is full of twists and knobbly. Apple trees are the oldest cultivated trees in Europe.  They can be productive for 30-40 years and as the years go by their production declines.  Their life span is usually 80 years. The oldest apple tree in the UK was found in a garden in Beaminster in Dorset.  It was thought to be over 200 years old.

Before planting a tree we went to a local fruit farm and tasted all the apples. Our favourite dessert apple was called "Fiesta", and so this was the variety we bought. It has a similar flavour to Cox, but is crisper and it also stores well. We finished eating last years crop at the beginning of January.

As you can see the buds are only just starting to form. It will look so different in a month's time!

Thank you Lucy, once again, for organising this. It is a wonderful way to celebrate trees! If you would like to join in too, please contact Lucy at the link at the top of the post.

Sarah x


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