Posts Tagged woods

Bluebells at Otterhead Lakes

This lovely little nature reserve in Otterford has some nice footpaths taking you along the two lakes and the River Otter. The two lakes which remain are all that are left of a series of pools in the landscaped gardens of Otterhead House which was built in 1845 and demolished in 1952. The site includes woodland trails with snowdrops in the Winter and bluebells in the Spring. There’s also lots of wildlife to look out for. This is one of our favourite places to go for a walk in the Spring for the beautiful carpets of bluebells.

On leaving the car park you walk down some steps to the main path down to the lakes. The sun was just glistening through the newly formed leaves of the trees.DSC03089

On the way down we saw the first of the carpets of bluebells.DSC03092

Reaching the first lake we walked down past the bridge to see the waterfall.DSC03095

An then later to a smaller one.DSC03097

Other plants were coming out too, the pink flowers of Campion and the ferns were just unfurling.DSC03106

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I stopped on a smaller bridge across the water.DSC03100

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On the way back we could see more bluebells, so lovely.DSC03110

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Come and stay with us at Lodge House and you too can visit Otterhead Lakes, its just 5 minutes drive away. http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Wood scavenging

Neil has got himself a wood scavenging license from the Forestry Commission.  This allows him to take wood that has fallen, but not to cut down wood and not to use his chain saw, but only to use hand tools.  The area covered is near here on the Neroche estate.

So on Monday he went off to Staple Park and loaded the car up with logs, some small, some larger.

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He unloaded this in front of our stables ready to be sawn into fire ready pieces.

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This wood will then have to dry out and will be ready for next Winter, to keep us nice and toasty warm.

Want to visit our nice warm B&B see http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

 

 

 

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June walk at Otterhead Lakes

We  had friends stay with us over the weekend and as the weather was sunny we went for a walk at Otterhead Lakes.

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The walk down to the first lake was through woodland that was dappled with sunlight.

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We passed lovely rhododendrons still in flower.

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The water on the first lake was calm as a mill pond as they say.

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The water level was low and not enough to cascade down the steps, only the bottom couple.

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We stopped at the little bridge over the stream and our friends took our photo.

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We remarked on how beautiful the ferns were along the stream.

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When we reached the second lake we noticed how low the water level was.

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The swans were standing on the lake bed.

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This is the first time we have done this walk in June so we are not sure if low water is the norm or not.

Want to visit Otterhead Lakes for yourself? Then come and stay at our B&B.

http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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Bluebell walk

The Bluebells are absolutely lovely at the moment, and near us is an ancient woodland area called Otterhead Lakes, where there are also 2 lakes.  On Monday we took ourselves down there to walk amongst the bluebells.

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Just the woodland path was beautiful with the fresh green of the emerging leaves, so fresh, so luscious.

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The path follows a stream that runs from one lake to another.

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On our route we noticed a tree trunk that had been sawn and yet was regenerating little shoots.

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There were also some late white narcissus in clumps along the pathway.

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On the road down to the carpark was a Devon Bank or hedgerow just full of bluebells.  They are so lovely to see growing wild like this.

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We also have a few bluebells in our garden around the base of a bush.

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All we need now is a lot more sunshine to bring on all the Summer flowers.

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Moving the bees

During the cold spell we have had, Neil decided to move the bees into the woods.  It is best to move them when they are more or less dormant and there is no activity outside the hive.  He moved them from the side of our field, near to where the hens are just about 100 yards into the woods. This will enable us to extend the hen run without being too close to bees.

He made a special stand for the hive at waist height, so as not to have to bend down to examine the hive.  He made it big enough to take 2 hives so when he gets another hive of bees later this year, he can also position them there.

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The above picture is taken looking down the slope into the woods.  You might wonder what the green bags are for either side of the hive. Well that is to flap about and put off any woodpeckers from pecking the hive and eating the bees.

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This is the front of the hive, where you can see we have strapped the hive down to the stand, this is to stop any deer from dislodging it.

Even although today it is a sunny day, the hive has not warmed up enough for the bees to start flying again.  But now that Spring is on its way hopefully they will start flying again soon.

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STOP PRESS:  we still have availability at the B&B for Easter Sunday 31st March and Bank Holiday Monday 1st April

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Mystery red fungus

We were gathering wood that had blown down from the trees in our woods and I came across this branch on the ground with 2 round cup fungus growths on it.

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We asked a friend who is very knowledgeable about these matters and he advised that this is an Ascomycete Sarcoscypha austriaca also known as the Scarlet Elf cup fungus.  It is not uncommon and is very similar to Aleuria aurantia the Orange peel fungus. So now we know.  Anyone else seen this recently?

Look us up at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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STOP PRESS:  we still have availability at the B&B for Easter Sunday 31st March and Bank Holiday Monday 1st April

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January walk up Staple Hill

Today the sun was shining and as most of the snow has cleared we took ourselves up to Staple Hill for our favourite walk.  It is about 900 feet high at Staple Hill and some of the snow was still lying in the hedgerows and on the paths.

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There was quite a chill in the air.  I think you call it bracing!!  As we rounded the corner we saw more lying snow.

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As we walked up the hill we saw that 2 trees had fallen right over the path, probably weighted down by the snow and then the winds we have had.

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One of the trees you could easily walk right under as I did.

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On the upper level the sun was peaking through the trees.

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Freshly invigorated after our walk, we made our way home via The Candlelight Inn in Bishopswood, where we stopped for a quick lunchtime bevy!!  And the best bit was that as we had the car we didn’t have to walk up the hill back home.

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