Uphilldowndale

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


1 Comment

Slow to germinate part two

Following on from my last post (eventually) where explored the underground vaults of Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank. 

Back up into the life giving light for this post: the setting is glorious,  its both contemporary,

 seed bank ext 2

and  historic

MSB3

not to mention scientific

MSB 17

the precious seeds are nurtured,

MSB 18

given the exactly the right  conditions for their development, hot,cold, damp, dry reflecting their origins from around the globe.

MSB 19

Then lavished with care, moving from the laboratory to the glasshouses.

please leave as you find

where highly skilled staff  cater for their every need

how to water

Oh how I love the shapes,

no water 

forms

MSB1

and colours to be found in nature

how house_

When we’d finished our very special tour, we spent some time in the grounds of Wakehurst, which is in Sussex not London, please note! With its abundant wildlife, look how you can see the colour of the flower through the bees wing.

MSB 15

There is scrumptious sculpture

MSB 16

and wild meadows

MSB2

(oh I’m a sucker for a wild flower meadow).

Moon penny  5


2 Comments

Christmas at Kew

We returned to  the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew last week, you might remember we have a special family connection to Kew.  We attended the preview night of their Christmas at Kew event.

We had a lovely, colourful time.

Kew Christmas Lights_

The candle lights were a big hit with the grown ups, we loved the smell; they had a touch of the pagan about them (the Wicker Man was mentioned) , my photos don’t do them justice, they seemed to go on into infinity, and that was beyond my skills.

Kew lights 4

Grown ups and youngsters liked the curtain of light, very tactile.

Kew lights 3

and great fun even if the photos were a bit hit and miss!

Kew lights_

Mr Uphilldowndale had a go at finding his inner child, I couldn’t keep up (nor would I want too, I can feel nauseous on the Pendoino trains*)

20151124_195330

The palm house is my favourite, from every direction, it makes such a fabulous canvas for the lights.

palm house Paxton

The palm house was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, I think he’d have been impressed by the theatre of it all. 

* The train is forgiven, we can leave Euston station in London and be turning the key in the front door  just over two hours later.


4 Comments

Four birds in the bush

And so it snowed, at first light the birds were on a foraging mission. There were four beautifully plumed thrushes in my precious pink rowan tree.

Thrush_

I’m very happy to share the berries with these gorgeous  birds. Their markings always make me think of spotted dick pudding. But then who wouldn’t think of a steamed suet pudding on a snowy November day, or maybe I’m just a little odd…

There was more snow, and its hung around longer, than I expected. The air temperature has hovered just above freezing, plus a sharp wind chill;  the sheep in a neighbouring field lined up to harvest the sun’s warmth against the drystone walls. Wise sheep.

sheep warming_


4 Comments

Devil May Care

You know what the devil does to blackberries after the end of September? Well he renders them inedible, by one way or another and whilst there is no mistaking Autumn is creeping along, crisp brown leaves were crabbing along the path this afternoon  in the gentle breeze.  The weather has been far warmer and sunnier than one might expect, for the beginning of October. So I decided I’d chance my arm and pick a batch of blackberries. Some were so plum and ripe they rolled off the truss into my hand.

october blackberry

There was no shortage of juice either,

october blackberry 2

Many of the best looking were high, way too high for me to reach, about 10 feet up, amongst the branches; the birds will enjoy.

october blackberry 4

  I tasted them as I went, and whilst not a flavoursome as earlier on in the season they were acceptable to partner with an apple or two, but I didn’t feel driven to  gather enough to make blackberry jelly.

The  best were in the sunniest, sheltered spots, as it seems, blackberries like cats, know where to find the hot spots.

october blackberry 3


5 Comments

Thirty days wild. 22nd June

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_22

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

There was a bit of a buzzing going on in the flower bed this afternoon.  I’ve not a clue what was going on, erm, its rather embarrassing to admit, but I’m must confess, to not knowing much about the birds and the bees (well the life cycle of bees and most insects, come to that).  I’m sure other bloggers would be more knowledgeable than me .

Answers on a postcard please…

insec life_

 

Sorry for the spasmodic delivery of posts, I’m having a few technical difficulties, help is on it’s way


1 Comment

Thirty day wild. June 19th

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_19

 

The best thing that you can do for nature is too make it part of your life. That’s why we’re asking thousands of people to make room for nature in their everyday lives this June. Please spread the word amongst friends, colleagues and family and get them to sign up, too! After all, all our lives are better if they’re a bit wild… ‘

I’ve signed up to 30 Days Wild with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust,  with the aim of blogging each day, a little bit of the nature of my world.

 

The garden ferns are fully unfurled now. Such verdant greens

fern fronds_

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 634 other followers