Well I say highlights but don’t expect me to report on anything earth shattering. With the restrictions now in place we have to be content to enjoy little pluses and they become the highlights.
One such was meeting a chap whose dog was taking him for a walk. We stood yards apart and spoke loudly, so don’t worry. He said that he goes where the dog leads and on that day it turned right out of the house and progressed to Clearwell Meend. We met them just beside the Clearwell caves car park. He had lived in Clearwell as a boy and had many memories and knowledge of the area. He said that back then there were two huge rocks near the lower end of the Meend called the ‘King and Queen’, one was a bit bigger than the other and as children they used to climb up on them and play but they were removed some years ago. Another bit of information he imparted was that one of the paths we walk down that comes out more or less opposite where the little stream in the centre of the village crosses under the road was called the Burial path, they evidently brought the coffins down it and to the church back in the day. He told us lots more, he was not that old, certainly not an ‘old boy’, it was definitely a plus to talk to him. I really don’t know where the notion that ‘Foresters’ are stand offish and unfriendly to newcomers comes from. I have never found this. Maybe it has something to do with who killed the Bears.
Also on that walk I came across a group of Early Purple Orchids, not rare as orchids go but I have never seen them growing on Clearwell Meend before. I do see lots of Common Spotted Orchids and another called Twayblade, these flower later in the year. I have also see the occasional Bee Orchid and once saw about 3 Pyramidal Orchids. As lock down continues I will look out for these again this year. I fear lock down will continue for some time. I certainly do not expect to be going back to the gym this side of the summer.
That was earlier in the week, today our little highlight was seeing not one but two Swallows, these were zapping about over the fields above the castle. So given that there were two and not one does that make a summer.
Also just up from the castle is a rather nice house, in fact there are lots of rather nice houses dotted about when you start to walk around these parts, but the reason I mention it is that they have a particularly nice letter box, It is an old GPO box but it is from George V1′ s reign. I presume it was one that was for sale and they bought it as a rather tasteful letter box…. I want one.
On another day we went for our walk in the afternoon, Anita had been to the supermarket in the morning for essentials, the first visit for 10 days I would add, so we are behaving. It turned out to be a really beautiful walk, the sun and the light was just right and the Spring green colours of the trees, so fresh and bright seemed even better than usual, was it the time of day, who knows.
So these are the little highlights, finally the wildflowers are continuing to delight, gradually new ones appear and others fade. Bluebells are full on now as are the Wild Arum and Dandelions. We have more Ramsons in the woods near us than Bluebells and they are only just beginning to come into flower. Plenty of leaves though, a bunch of which sometimes gets picked as a good substitute for garlic which is evidently in short supply in or local supermarket.
There follows as usual a few photographs of wild flowers I have taken this week.
That’s yer lot. By the way I expect you know but if you click onto one of the names highlighted in blue then it will take you to another page that I have written about that subject.