Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Eleven years on


Apparently today is my blogs 11th birthday.

Trees have been a constant blog companion over the years, so my blog buddies, what is this? We saw it at Burghley we thought it might be an ash, from the leaf shape

Ash- 3

and the  purple-black buds, what do you think?

ash small


But Ash can be complicated, one of those things I only found out whilst writing a blog post. That’s the kind on thing that captures my curiosity and has kept me blogging along for eleven years, what makes blogging a feast and social media a snack.

The flowers appear on the tree before the new leaves in spring. They are small and dark purple in colour, occurring in dense clusters, with the female flowers being slightly longer than the males. Unusually, ash can be either monoecious (meaning that both sexes occur on an individual tree) or dioecious, where any one tree has either all male or all female flowers. Some trees also alternate their flowering, bearing only male flowers in one year and females the next.

ash small 2

It was in the sculpture garden, we had a nice time there, and it did get a little silly from time to time, its what happens when you get a group of mates together who have know each others since they were in the Scouts together, they still think they are sixteen, not sixty; brilliant.

I liked the cattle sculpture


And the detail of some more abstract works.


Then there was the floating swans, that drifted around on the breeze. I’m sure the central hub of this installation was supposed to be more low key than it appeared. A pair of coots, had made it their home, they were very house proud.

nest build 4

we were impressed by the male who was bringing his best sticks to be added to the nest, expertly ducking between the rotating swans,

nest build

it must be a risky job on a windy day, like crossing the M25 at rush hour!

nest build 2

Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

15 thoughts on “Eleven years on

  1. Happy blog birthday 🙂

  2. A good place to celebrate a blogging birthday.

  3. Congratulations on the 11th anniversary of your blog. I love the nesting coots!

  4. Happy blog anniversary. I’ve always enjoyed your posts and pictures, and hope to see plenty more in the future. xx

  5. Congratulations on your 11th! It’s always seemed odd to me that only the “big” anniversaries get celebrated with pomp and circumstance: the 10th, 25th, 50th, and so on. Here’s to the 11th, and the 26th, and the 33rd! And here’s to those coots, who delighted me no end!

  6. Your mystery tree reminds me of our wisteria before the flowers come out, but i could be completely wrong! Happy bloggiversary!

  7. Here’s to the next eleven – although I suspect some other form of social communication sadly may well overtake blogging.

    Thanks for your photo’s and comment, how’s Spud by the way?

    • Who knows? Spud is good, he gave us a scare the other day, two x-rays later and £££££ it seems he had just over done things and has been on bed rest for a week. He is off grid at the moment, gathering adventures to blog about. Watch this space.

  8. Congratulations! I´m glad that you keep on blogging, despite all the”threats” from Facebook, Instagram, and all the other platforms we are attacked by, these years. 🙂 About the tree, could it be a walnut? Take a look at this drawing, at (a Swedish) Wikipedia : https://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valn%C3%B6t?oldid=31166304

  9. Belated blogday greetings, 11 years is amazing.

  10. Not a lot, uphill’….planarchy and the LDNP wore me out, lovely to pop in and see you still blogging though.
    Occasional posts from me at:-

    http://orchardfarmflowers.co.uk/blog/ as we’re Flower Farmers now. 🙂

  11. Ha…no I didn’t. Excellent, must admit floristry remains beyond me but I can grow them. 🙂

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