Thursday, 30 June 2011

"Trimphone Calling" (29th June 2011)

“Trimphone calling” (29th June 2011)

In this channel, I can hear, but cannot see beyond this hedge,
In the distance is a train, rumbling, repetitive, the sound we know so well.
It’s a high speed train, probably a Virgin on her way to Glasgow or Edinboro,
Next stop Oxenholme. About now is the time the buffet will be delivered!
It was great passing through all the fabulous countryside on its way to the City.
Soon it will be our turn once again…can’t wait! …

Straightaway going down this footpath your, met with lots and lots of flies!
I wouldn’t mind if they where “May Flies” and danced pretty and hovered.
But they are not that sort at all, they are nuisance flies wanting to attack and bite.
Hedgerows so green, all shades of green, light and dark, like lime and emerald,
Just here and there magenta shows through where Campion hangs its head.

This lane in part, is dark, and canopied where each sides trees have met,
Yet interspersed with dots and dashes of light, some still, some flickering.
If a child so exciting it would be, today I will be a child and it will excite me!
You could be going through catacombs, or the trenches of World War II,
And making such a special memory, as children do.

Sunny so it was at last, and butterflies, graced the air and danced,
And twirled and fluttered all around, like waltzing fairies in the sky.
Large and small fritillaries, Heaths, Ringlets, Skippers and Admirals,
But not so much the Tortoiseshell, who still recovers not so well…

To hear a “trimphone” so many years on, where could that sound be from?
His five minute show was to mimic others, like Oystercatcher and Curlew,
He was a very special Thrush who sang from the highest tree!
How old are you Mr. Thrush? you aren’t that old, but offer a mime so bold.
Will there be more of this to come, maybe on another day.

Chiffchaffs calling like that clock, but winding down so droll a sound,
Buzzards, circling with wings open wide, a good four foot from side to side,
“Pee-you”, is what you normally call, but today you are so silent, so stealth!
Roe deer are barking from wood to wood, honing their contact skills,
Badgers have been scratching or digging to find their beetles for their fills.

I heard a Yellowhammer calling from on the Fell above the Seat!,
Whilst I watched butterflies, on Thyme, and having such a treat,
I searched and searched for Orchid red, but far too early my book said.
I need to check out lots more things, on another day, God willing…

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Whos that? Marsh Helliborine with her frill...

A Lesser Whitethroat was there greeting in song,
It sung and it sung the whole time long.
The Pyramidal was back, again on its own,
Stood there looking much forlorn,
But who’s that I see peeping the corner?
Its Marsh Helliborine showing off with her frill,
Her friends, all 664, where here, there, and on side of hill,
That’s only a sample of what’s to come, co blimey!!

Silverdale to Jack Scout (June 23rd 2011)

Silverdale to Jack Scout (June 23rd 2011) (belated)

Windswept trees, saluting to their right,
Glassworts stand, like miniature asparagus,
Peering out of this muddy sand, just here.
Thrift gone rusty and now well spent.
Closeby, Foxgloves large, pinkish purple and white,
Look so colourful from here as the sun beams down on them.
Climbing over mossy boulders, all shapes and sizes,
Eventually heading up to sit on the “Giant’s Seat”
And to watch over the bay in stir and glee…..

Nowt plain about Plain Quarry, tha nus!
(June 24th 2011) belated

To the old Plain Quarry car park at Dalton,
To call on the good “Maiden Pink,”
Its sometime now since I saw you last,
Its time to come and give you a wink!

Still looking for that “Self Heal” special,
It first made its mark in Dalton,
Its white, and far different and never been seen,
Since last time, two centuries been…

Another special in this prime spot,
A place its rightly made it’s plot,
It looks straight down from its crag above,
And its called the Fairy Foxglove.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Farleton Knott and Holme Park Fell (26th June 2011)

Farleton Knott and Holme Park Fell. (26th June 2011)

I don’t think I have ever seen so much fungi,
Every stride I took, it surrounded me on this path,
Brown and dark brown, about three quarter inch caps.
Just occasionally there is a much larger one with a nipple!
There’s always sheep in this field, and fungi is such a good yield,

Yellowhammers, delightfully called with their jangled keys and more
There were Linnets, Goldfinch, Willow Warblers and Mipits as well,
But it was just sheer bliss, to sit on a limestone boulder, close your eyes,
Taking in the peace and tranquillity amidst a beautiful setting,
Whilst being serenaded by a nearby Blackbird.

On top when your up here, nearby its called the Roof….
Not many walking today, just a couple of family parties on the Knott,
It’s so humid a day, and there is little in the way of sun, more gloomy,
But bright enough to get the butterflies started with lots of Fritillaries!
Dark Green, and lots and lots of Small Pearl Bordered fluttering by.
There’s also lots of Small Heaths and a male Common Blue. All this,
On adjoining Holme Park Fell as well!

It was great to find several clumps of Lesser Meadow Rue,
Eyebright as well, but so small and with a blue tinge!
Still remnants of May flower or Cuckoo Flower, and beautiful blue
Speedwell’s as well.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Some Nice Orchids Photos

Above is a Pyramidal Orchid which was within a new group of seven spikes I had today. And please check out the some of the other Orchids I had. Click over photo to enlarge and click once again to supersize.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A Evening Stroll at the Moss

A Evening Stroll at the Moss (June 22nd2011)

No Beards, nor Cettis or Otters play,
Whilst traversing down the main causeway.
Several Sedges, scratching musically away,
And making sure that they got their say!
Great Blacks where seen at their nest,
Has noisy as ever, and louder than the rest.
Had to be watched closely, by all the others,
Already giving nightmares to the wary mothers.

This paths been trod many times afore,
To watch the Woodcocks rode and pitch!
“Kwa, Kwa, - Tisiwit, is what was said,
at just the time before I headed home to bed.
No more I see or hear, at this spot,
Be hopes they’ve found another plot,
Not far away from here,

A Grebe was seen to catch a fish,
So big it would have filled a dish,
It wriggled about, whilst in its bill,
For what seemed ages, until!
The fish leaped high into the sky,
Whilst probably saying its goodbye,
The Grebe searched hastily for what it had lost,
At the end of the day it will be counting the cost.

A dyke that runs along the back,
A haven for Frogs,Toads, and Sticklebacks.
The little fishes where swimming past,
While skaters above them did their task.
And beetles sent bubbles from bottom to top,
Last year, near here! there was many a stop,
Whilst baby frogs, crossed by.

The best year yet for the Orchids show,
They’re in every ditch and cranny,
Some lilac, some pink, and the odd one white,
All making it such, a special sight.
Not to be outdone, there where others too,
With Figwort, Ragged Robin and Bittersweet,
Yellow Rattle, Bugle and Meadowsweet,

Such a pleasant view…………..

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Up Slippery to top of Fell - It's Rural tha nus!

Up "Slippery" to Top Of Fell - It's Rural tha nus! (June 21st 2011)

Up “Slippery” to top of Fell……
Passed Mi’ Lord and Mi’ Lady,
Like Red Grapes or Green Grapes on a stalk,
It hums round here to-day,
Well! It’s Rural tha nus!

Goldies, jingle jangling all around,
On wires, on trees, its premium sound.
The Thrush is singing to its peak,
Everywhere it’s mimicking so to speak.
Bracken has grown up to a metre,
Soon it will be harder for the beater…
That’s right! It’s Rural tha nus!

Meadow Browns do flutter past,
Chasing another but its going to fast,
Two Tree Pipits calling near top o’th Fell,
Whilst parachuting down to tree in Dell.
This is the place where Graylings strike,
Play dead quite near to limestone gryke.
It all happens around here,

Well It’s Rural tha nus!

Monday, 20 June 2011

"All Shades of Blue as I look West"....

“All Shades of blue, as I look West.
Where sea and sky do meet.
High up on here, this Ancient Crag,
Where lizards play on Kingdom's seat.”


The sunniest of days with deep blue skies,
Fluttering butterflies survey these terraces,
Admirals, Torts, Blues, Fritillaries, Heaths and Skippers,
And, that special one the Northern Brown Argus….

The limestone shelves are spotted yellow with,
Vivid Rock Rose, Birds Foot Trefoil, and Dandelions,
Stonecrops, Agrimony, Hop Trefoil and Ladys Bedstraw.
With added colour from Clovers Red and White,
Woundworts, Herb Robert, Thyme and Self Heal.
Ox-eyes, Eyebrights, Speedwells and Salad Burnet.

Bullfinches, piping their seranade goes on and on,
Whilst Lesser Whitethroat and Blackcaps Warble,
Just one Willow Warbler in song nowadays, yet
Cousins Chiffchaffs, still sing, so regular a tune.
Greenfinch and Goldfinch make their presence known.

I looked all over for Slow Worms, but none today,
Though Grasshoppers and Crickets are clicking merrily away.
So beautiful a sight as you look West over the Bay.

And here is some of todays photos, please click to enlarge and click again to supersize.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A Orchid Paradise - June 18th 2011

A Orchid Paradise.. June 18th 2011.

Striking wild borders of colour now graced this once thriving.
Sand and gravel pit, with Ox Eyed Daisies, Red Campion,
And much to my delight little party groups of Wild Pansies,
Woundworts, Ragged Robin and Teasels, at this sacred Acre.
Sedge Warblers cracked up with their scratchy, rachety, calls
They came from within the Phragmites which lay to the West.
Oh how I had wanted to hear these special these little birds.

I suppose it can be called a “wet flush area” forever dampish,
Mossy, boggy, with lovely orchids trying to peer above the many horsetails,
There are Bees, Pyramidal, Northern Marsh, Southern Marsh and Common Spotted,
All wanting a piece of the action, whilst trying to fight off the encroaching
Willow trees, or the maurauding Silverweed or the array of horsetails.
The Marsh Orchids have almost gone past their best today,
The beautiful Common Spotted are showing more by the day, and soon,
There will be hundreds of thousands at this very special site….including,
That rare “Pyramidal”. Can’t wait……..
(please click over photos to enlarge - and click again to supersize)

Friday, 17 June 2011

An Echoing Canyon of Coloured Carpet

"A Echoing Canyon of Coloured Carpet" 17th June 2011.

Walking up that incline I am always looking for Birds Nest Orchids,
Never found any yet at this spot!, been told that they will come…
It’s always dark here. You could hear the clapping wings of a Woodpigeon.
After only some 200 yards, it’s light again, opening up into,
This “echoing” northerly canyon, well perhaps I should say old quarry,
The notable squabbling sounds are Jackdaws but much amplified!
Loud repeated “Eh, Eh, Eh, Eh” overhead, shows a pair of Shelduck,
Their call diminishing down the scale of volume while passing over.

A Chiffchaff is calling, so regular like a timepiece on the wall.
I checked out the Fly Orchids, which by now had seen their best,
No photo today could do them any justice, for them another years passed.
The Common Spotted are all over with some lovely spikes,
Pink, or less pink or more pink, each one different never two the same.
Twayblade’s here are poor, they always are! What’s nibbling them?
Not far from this spot are the best specimens in the whole of Lancashire.

The Bee Orchids are so friendly, giving off their furry beaming smile,
My friend told me about them this year, or I would never have found…
The floor is covered like a magic carpet, with all colours, from,
Trefoils, Thyme, Self Heal, Stonecrops, and peeping through is the,
Scarlet Pimpernel, still with closed petal, but you can just make it out.
It was nice meeting up with “old hand birder” Keith.

Swifts above, with silent cause, like stealth bombers taking aim!
Its stayed fine! So they got it wrong, so off I go in cheery song…….

Thursday, 16 June 2011

No Broomrape, But Wet Bee Orchids

(Please click over photo to enlarge and click again to supersize)

“No Broomrape, but wet Bee Orchids” (June 16th 2011)

I crossed that green or soccer pitch where children happily meet,
Wettened by those regular showers, which must have raised the worms,
For I did count no less than ten mixed thrushes of all size, each
Tucking in to their spoils, that rain, made welcome to these birds,
Blackbirds of Black and Brown, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush
Partying without a cross word! No bullying, just scoffing!! So rare.

For Broomrape was the plant I hunt this very day,
I searched and searched the spot I knew, that same spot!,
Where It faired last year, although I was late to see it born,
So splendour gone but saw it dead or spent and coloured rust,
But this year I could not find it anywhere close or thereabout,
amongst the many mixed clover or vetch well spread here.

Serenaded by the Finch, so green was its colour,
On and on it made that regular repeated drawn out nasal call,
“seeeeeair” “seeeeeair” as if it was doing its best to swear!
Willow Warblers “Wit” and Blackcaps rushed their garbling sentences,
Song Thrushes mimicking, Young Tits squabbling everywhere,
Trying to jump the queue for food, shouting to their mums,
And the loudest gets the grub! (“It’s a green caterpillar”)

This is a haven of flora at its best, and today I recognize so many,
Trefoils, Birds-Foot, Lesser and Hop, attracting Heaths and Blues alike,
Ox-Eyed Daisies everywhere, stood together in groups, swaying in the wind,
Looking down with eyes so full of subordinate grin to the lower rank..
Restharrows, Self Heal, Centaury just starting to come through, and
Whats this? Its new to me at this Old Quarry Site, its Blue Fleabane.

Let me check the orchid site! Which orchid do you mean, ah! For now,
The Bee Orchid, well I did have one spike last year, Has it survived?
Let me check, if this is it, Oh yes! It’s survived alright, today,
I counted no less than sixteen separate spikes in that area,
And that’s to the North Side on the sloping short grassed gravely bank.
Its catered well for these fair Orchids, but more to the South I later found.

Common Spotted everywhere but most in stunted spikes, just
Now and again a nice plume, and one white variant surprise.
The Pyramidal wont yet be showing, but the Marsh Helliborine will!
My favourite of all the smiling faces, so majestic with her frill.
Well on her way for flowering in the next three weeks. Ah!
Must check on the ones in the pit, or the old quarry up there,
the ones that take on the ash from the long gone camp fires,
suprising just how much of a redder version they take on! Stunning!.

On that top where old concrete quarry foundations are still on view,
Surrounded and hemmed in by crowded huddled together,
Rosebay Willowherb, still in green and taking over if given the chance.
A Pied Wagtail calls and gives its catwalk parade on the old concrete.
It was mentioned to me that Bladder Campion is up here, can’t find it today,
But yet I know its on the lower deck, or it was last year.

Across the mighty Crag looks down.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Force Falls Fish Pass Near Levens

June 8th 2011. (Walk through Levens Park alongside Kent – Circular) - "A belated blog"

Starting at Levens Bridge and following the twist and turns of the Kent,
Two salmon fisherman at the large pool to our right,
Its obvious they’ve tangled with their casted flies, I wonder,
What would they have been fishing with?
Would it have been a “Jock Scott” or what other colourful fly….
To our left the parks “Black Fallow” herd is huddled beneath the fence.

Before long we are going beneath the concrete jungle of pillars,
Supporting the bridge of the By Pass running overhead, so noisy, so amplified!
The river here is strong, deep with steep valleyed sides.
The “Force Falls Fish Pass” is reached on our right, lets go and take a closer look!
Wow! Did you see that! A salmon of over a metre leaped out of the cold,
Brackish waters, with such mighty strength, ruddered by its magnificent tail!
So high it climbed but yet it failed, to gain the necessary height to clear.
Down again and again and again….. Other much smaller fish tried also,
But they also failed and tried and tried again, with energies draining on each attempt.
We witnessed attempt after attempt, so worried that they might crash!
Into the precarious large jagged limestone sides which channelled this mighty water course.

Why did they not use the fish pass (ladder )which lie so close,
Did they not know it was there?, we watched and watched, but
Nothing was seen to use the pass, maybe we should have given it longer!
We pray you will make it to your goal, and thank you so much for,
This most beautiful spectacle, you have given us today..

Over the bridge and circled around to join the Kent on the other side.
Stopping to rest above such a mighty drop, where Swifts, Swallows, and
Lots and lots of Martins both House but mainly Sand flew up and down and
In and out with “clicking sounds, Screeching sounds and twittering sounds alike.
There must have been 50 Sand Martins, probably using this bank of this river.
All of a sudden the mountain goats came up the steep bank towards us,
I don’t think they was aware we were there and on standing up above them,
They quickly, cowardly scampered away…….

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

"Pearl Bordered With A Difference"

“Pearl Bordered with a difference”
(Slape Lane and Lancelot (Hutton Roof-Cumbria) – June 14th 2011 1000hrs-1330hrs).

Hedge Woundwort is showing proud,
Whilst fighting your way thro hoards of dancing flies.
Young Tits and Robins can be heard with weak “Tit” calls,
Its long gone, those lost avian introductory “shouting” calls.

The Apple tree is weighted down with crab,
Oval green, with shape (more like plums) with a red spot,
Soon will provide the aroma to intoxify the air of strong apple,
When they will have fallen by hundreds and pulped underfoot.
More tits, here, there and everywhere, with just a,
Finch “bleat” in between them.

Blackbird alarm calling while crossing my path within one foot!,
Attracted to the footpath verge, some grasses of difference,
Like a weeping willow, bent over, lovely green with 3 or 4 seed husk per stem!
I can hear you Mr. Willow Warbler, your so quiet now, with just a low “whit” call.

Marsh Tits around here, definitely young birds
enjoying their newborn freedom, but being kept in check.
Dog Rose flowers looking straight with stare,
Showing some inviting grace, within their pinky face.

Large Skipper checks out the Trefoil beneath my feet,
Another joins in and off they go tusselling one another in flight,
Are they fighting or are they courting?
Now more Skippers, but feeding on deep rich red Clover,
Nearby is this large limestone boulder with dimples,
One of the dimples is filled with water, like a bird bath!

Near Pickles, the field is uncut just like it should be, and
How they always used to be,
Its neighbour a small patch full of nettles and Buttercups.
The Red Dock shows its best here, with clumps and clumps
Of majestic blue marked “Speedwells”
Yet not to be outdone the White Clover host its bumblebee.

Chiffchaff calling with “half its steam”,
Two Buzzards display above my head, so quiet,
And aeriel display of excellence!
At last a Blackcap’s speedily “warbling” to catch up.
Speckled Wood’s are everywhere, you know its their glade.
They parade just like roding “Woodcock” on this Woodcocks path.

Now it’s the turn of the Garden Warbler, so sweet its song,
So quick its call, not to be outdone by any “Blackcap”.
So musky a smell of recent fox gone past.
Betony is on its way and holding to the drives.
Lacewing, greeny blue yet almost transparent,
Hugs the stem and then searches around like a fairy treat.
And more Large Skippers take to the air.
And perhaps over fifty, yes fifty Pearl Bordered Frits.
Common Blues, both blue males and brown females,
Tackle the Trefoil mix……..

Small Heaths in plenty also at this rich spot.
Whats this? Whats this? I know it’s a Frit! But
Its sort of rusty colour with white in it! It must be a oddball!
I dash all over to try and catch it for a photo, Wow
Got it, its white in one wing and part white in another.
It’s a male, it’s a cocky one, its flying into lots of others, and
Looks like its attacking them, very lively indeed, but,
What a treat before I take the seat……..