Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A Weekend Surprise

Well Saturday we visited Stokesay Castle -below is the North Tower and my header pic was taken from the ramparts of the South Tower-zoomed in of the River Onny - I loved this view it was cold up there - the wind blowing strongly.
Stokesay is not so many miles from us - but somewhere we have driven past but never stopped - Stokesay is an English Heritage site and we have just become members so we thought why not and what an hidden gem-it does not have a history of wars and battles but was more a wealthy family home and manor house- built in the 12th century by Laurence of Ludlow a wealthy wool merchant and land owner.
I am posting a few pics taken on the day - click on the pictures for a larger view

This is the North Tower and below from a different angle

I was fascinated by the shapes and angles of it - below- this room is a haunt for the Pipistrelle bat - I hope that is the correct spelling - anyway I could not see any evidence of the bats but there was a few old swallow nests up in the eaves I like bats - apparently they return in the evening

The buildings are impressive and so is the church of St John the Baptist this shot below was taken from the South Tower over the roof of the Great Hall and towards the church
I was fascinated by the steep stone stairways all around the castle and thought sadly of those poor sevants long ago trundling up and down those stairs and up and down again
We were given audio tapes at the entrance gate to listen to as we moved around the castle and they were very good - describing what would have gone on in the hall (see pic above) - the colourful clothes - jesters - singing and dancing - best silverware on the tables laden with food as guests were entertained.

 I have added a link which gives you a little more history of Stokesay and a fantastic pic - taken from the bottom end of the churchyard - anyway itis much better than mine - so we shall have to return to get that shot without a doubt!!-it really is a must.

The above shot looks out from the Great Hall to the Gatehouse and below is a complete look at the Gatehouse
The garden was beginning to wake up ready for Spring 


and Hellebores
We talked to a warden - she said she had worked at Stokesay for a number of years and had fallen in love with it over the years - she told us the gardens had so many changing faces throughout the year - herbaceous plants - the apple trees - roses - providing colour throughout the year. I am sure we will return - thankyou for calling linking to Our World Tuesday- Jane  

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

January Walk

Out and about breathing in the crisp air -the  dogs enjoying their early morning run -
 the trees  are bare
- but look at those shapes -
soon each tree will be covered in summer colours - but for now  now each one is different -
standing proud,

We were watched from above by a haughty crow

- who was lazilly  drinking in the rays of sunshine and in the tree above a woodpecker tapped furiously - but I didn't spot him and then a reply from the trees beyond another bout of furious tapping

Shropshire has escaped the snowfall so far this week  in the UK - except on the higher ground - look at the distant hills in my pics.
- just frost for us and muddy fields when the sun wages war on the frost.

Not much colour to report - but I did glimpse a flash of gold
from the broom and the teasels stood out above the bushes  - click on the pics for the bigger picture

-see my header pic - the route that I have taken has not been accessible for a few weeks - to muddy - especially with a predominately white dog who loves to run like  crazy through all the wettest of places  - so until next time - I am linking to Our World  Tuesday today - Jane

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Out and About

A great way to brush away those cobwebs is to get out and about in the countryside and to link up to  Our World Tuesday - so pulling the socks and boots on - hats and scarves being essential - here are a few pics to give you a birds eye view uf our weekend.

A  walk on the Clee Hills in Shropshire was the choice - we have only ever driven through this area before - it is approximately 40 miles from our home - such freedom
- Brown Clee is the highest point - height being 540 m -
yesterday it was bitter cold with a brisk wind and sharp showers  - but even so the sheep were up for a photo shoot -
posing I swear
for the camera.- click on the pictures for a closer look

We returned home yesterday and watched silently the peoples march in Paris on the television our hearts and thoughts were with each and every  one of those people on the crowded streets

 Earlier in the week we had taken a stroll along the canal towpath at Cheswardine - a bit of a murky day with a few sunny spells
It was pretty muddy so care needed to be taken not to land head first in the canal 
It was lovely to see that the swans had managed to successfully  bring 3 cygnets through the winter months - almost grown .... and that song - how does it go  -There  once was a ugly duckling ,,,,,
with feathers all stubby and brown
And the other birds said in so many words - Get out of town - well not any more for this one and his or her  siblings  - what an elegant bird this will be come Spring  

Enjoy your week - Jane