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?

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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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Of Bees and hens and pheasants in the snow

None of the snow has cleared today.  It’s such a cold day, it’s just sitting where it fell.  Neil went down to clear the entrance to the beehive which was blocked with snow.  Not that the little bees want to come out and fly today, but they need air to circulate so they don’t suffocate.

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We’ve tried to entice the hens outside, but they don’t like putting their feet on the snow, so we cleared an area just outside the henhouse to encourage them out to scratch around and at least eat their food.  Big Chook was eating the snow.  Their water had frozen up so we put another smaller container of water nearer the hen house.  We still got 8 eggs today.  I thought they might go on strike in this bad weather, I’m surprised they are still laying.

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We have been feeding the birds, hanging up nuts and seeds. In particular we  want to ensure that the woodpeckers have sufficient suet and nuts to eat so that they won’t attack the beehive in search of honey and bees to eat.  This has happened to one of the beekeepers in the village last year.  The seeds disappear at the rate of knots, so we have also sprinkled some on the ground for the ground feeding birds like the blackbirds to peck at.  And then alongs comes Mr Pheasant thinking he will have a go at the seeds too.  He’s just like a big chicken scratching around on the ground, only he doesn’t mind his feet in the snow!!

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Our little monkey puzzle tree covered in snow looks like a mini snowman, very cute!!

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The woods look so beautiful with all the snow…..

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I particularly like this view of one of our gates in the snow.

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On the stables the snow has dripped, then frozen again, so there is quite an overhang.

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The forecasters say we are in for several days of this cold spell, so we may be snowed in for quite a while, but luckily we have plenty of supplies.

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Winter walk up Staple Hill

Today the sky is clear blue and the sun is shining even tho’ it is only 1 degree C – a real change from yesterday when it teamed with rain all day.

Being such a beautiful day we took ourselves up to Staple Hill for a brisk walk to take in some cold but fresh air.

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This view is taken as you start the walk from the car park.  You then reach a kissing gate.

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Through here takes you onto the loop walk which is popular with dog walkers, runners and walkers alike.  It’s a short walk but takes in wonderful views.  On a clear day you can see over to Wales.

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Today was a bit hazy but still a lovely view.

We met a man walking a lovely Newfoundland dog.  It was big, he said 9 stone, but quite gentle and friendly.

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The sun was shining through the dense pine woods.

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When we left Staple Hill, rosy cheeked and invigorated we made our way to our local pub, the Candlelight in Bishopswood, and called in for a quick drink.  Neil had a pint and I had a Winter Pimms, lovely…

We are only 6/10ths of a mile from the pub, although it is an uphill walk home.

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Lovely walk up Staple Hill

Yesterday was a glorious sunny Autumn day, clear and crisp, but also bright.  We went for a walk up one of my favourite places called Staple Hill. There is a thick pine forest wood, with such densely spaced trees that there is only a little light that can be seen through them.

There was still a frost about and I got a picture of these leaves on the grass still with their white frosty covering.

We bumped into some friends as we were walking along the path.  They  had their dogs with them and we stopped for a chat as the dogs chased each other.

When we got through the woods we were delighted with the view, it was so clear you could see right over to the estuary and then to Wales.

Neil’s sister was with us and took a photo of us two:

It was a glorious day to go for a walk and just breathe in the fresh clean cold air.

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