Thursday, 9 August 2007


I had a great time over in Colchester on Tuesday. Melissa had visited a place called Welsh Woods with her school some time ago so we decided to try and find it ourselves. We walked to Mel's school and then kept asking directions from people we saw until finally after about an hour we found the woods. The woodland was beautiful and was surrounded by open fields and we had plenty of opportunities to take photos.....this one is of Leanne taking a photo of us.....We were so lucky with the weather as the forecast had threatened some rain but we'd all taken the risk of leaving our coats and brolleys at home. It wasn't until Kirsty mentioned it that we realised Leanne and I had matching coloured outfits on!The woods were full of bird song .......but most of the birds hid in the trees so I could only get a photo of one solitary pigeon and a penguin. Yes a PENGUIN! was just lying there on the edge of the path....Mel has taken it home with her to look after. There were loads of ripe blackberries...they kept us going until lunchtime. The other photos in this next collage are Oak Gall, Rose Hips and Sloes. (note to self........don't forget to make Sloe Gin again this year for Christmas)I did a bit of butterfly usual they moved quicker than I did!Squirrels were scampering up and down the trees and jumping from branch to was ages before I could get one to pose for me......Mel was fascinated by the Rosebay Willowherb's so soft and silky
Nicole was so lucky...she almost stepped on this anthill....
After all the walking we'd done we were glad we'd brought a picnic lunch with us.............There's a small stream running through the woods and Leanne & I spotted this tiny frog having a sunbathe.............There was a beautiful house on the edge of one of the wonderful to live there so close to the woods......We thought it would be more interesting to find a different route back to Leanne's than the one we came by......not sure if we would have remembered it anyway! Leanne asked a lady walking her dog if she could point us in the direction of the Beehive Pub as once we found that we would only be 15 minutes from Leanne's. Well would you believe it was down a track a mere 100 yards away.....that 1 hour trek we did to find the woods would have only been 15 minutes if we'd walked another way!The journey would have been more interesting too as it goes along the edge of Salary Brook rather than through a built up area of houses and streets....we'll know next time!I know this is a terrible photo but do any of you bird spotters know what this bird could be? There were loads of them on the grass but they flew off every time we got near them. They were a greeny yellow in colour, about the size of a blackbird and had quite long beaks.We were also lucky enough to spot this small water vole...........

I'm not sure if this is some sort of gall on this acorn or an example of fasciation.....While I had a walk around the two ponds..................the kids had some fun in the playground.......(there are 2 or 3 of them along the route).......
I spoke to a couple of lads who were fishing...they said that the ponds hold carp up to 20lb in weight!..............One of the ponds had the most glorious bed of water lilies in it.........We got back to Leanne's with an hour or so to spare before we had to catch our bus home. She's doing so well with her garden...her Busy Lizzies look better than mine!...and the Strawberries are coming along a treat............. The girls had a cool off in the paddling pool....I was SOOOO tempted......

and then it was time to go home. We all had a great time even though by the time we got off the bus the heavens had opened and we got absolutely drenched walking home from the bus stop......

Now although this is what I did on Tuesday I mustn't forget it's Thursday today and time for my Thursday Thought; this idea was created by Mrs Nesbitt; she comes up with some fabulous ideas; last week I was lucky enough to win her Friday Fun competition and received this lovely award a thought for Thursday



dot said...

Ruth, I always enjoy your walks. You capture the most interesting things on your camera!

david mcmahon said...

Wonderful to follow your footsteps, Ruth.

I see voles are bad news in Europe at the moment ....

Akelamalu said...

Reading about your walks is just like being there Ruth. Love the photos.

Allotment Lady said...

Its great to get out and about with the children isn't it, making the most of the fresh air and lovely weather.

So exciting finding all those things in your photos and having a lovely magical mystery tour too.

Thanks for sharing them with us - its just great.

A wildlife gardener said...

What a lovely walk I had, by proxy, Ruth. Fascinating woodland, amazing wildlife, excellent photographer, as always. Wondered if the bird might be a greenfinch, because they go around in flocks, but it looked bigger than them. What it really looks like is a green woodpecker, but I don't think they go around in large numbers!

RUTH said...

So kind of you all to take the walk with me. I hadn't heard about the problems with voles David...I'll check that out. I think Wildlife gardener that you could be right...Thanks

gledwood said...

20 lb carp that is 10 kg... MASSIVE!

what were those black berries (not blackberries) ... round black berries .. alder berries? or blueberries? do you happen to know ..?

frogs is a big reason why i wanted to get tropical fish again so i can have a frog in the tank they are so enteraining!

RUTH said...

I must admit I did wonder if the boys were kidding me but it is more than possible. The back coloured berries were Sloes.

Shaz said...

Nice outfits, note to Ruth not to forget to invite Shaz down to sample that slow gin! . . . .lol

Chris said...

Great walk, Ruth, with great pics. You must have been exhausted :-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Your thought for Thursday made me laugh! Congrats on winning that fab award, well done Ruth!

Thanks for that wonderful collage of your day out. It made me feel like I was with there with you all. Truly great pics Ruth and a excellent story to boot!

BTW what is your recipe for sloe gin?

RUTH said...

Shaz; note taken :o)
Chris; I was tired but in a nice way and didn't know I was tired till I stopped.
Yolande; Take a bottle of gin - the cheapest is fine - and pour half into another bottle for later use.
Prick 9oz of sloes to make the juices run, then drop one-by-one into the bottle. Pour 4 and a half oz of granulated sugar in, screw on the cap and shake the contents well.

You can also add a few drops of almond essence if you like, but this is optional.

You should now have a full bottle. Shake the bottle every day for a month. Then, strain out the mushy sloes. The gin should be left for at least another month before drinking.

Now, if you have been clever, and added sloes to the other half of the bottle of gin, you can put the two together and hey presto! You've got a full bottle of the most delicious pink gin!

Jeanette said...

Hi Ruth. Now you have worn me out with long walk when we only needed to go past the pub, but then I would have missed out on the berries, thanks for sharing a very interesting walk....

Mauigirl said...

What a lovely day you had! You really had me going when you said you saw a penguin! LOL!

I don't know what that bird was since I'm sure it was an English bird and not one of ours! But it did remind me a bit of either a Flicker or a starling. But the color wouldn't be right for a starling and flickers have a black band on their breasts which you would have noticed, and I don't think England has flickers. So I am at a loss!

Mauigirl said...

I see "A wildlife gardener" thought the bird might be a green woodpecker. Perhaps that is correct, since our flickers are a type of woodpecker.




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