Covid-19 Lockdown: Day 736

Covid-19 Lockdown: Day 736

Needless to say we haven’t travelled anywhere that isn’t local but that doesn’t mean life is in stasis.

One thing that has changed since my last post is that all the surplus water has gone and, in particular, the mud has dried so that one does not sink in up to the ankles in sloshy, sticky mud. There is no water running along Kinsley Road. Spring has finally sprung.

There is a lot of Butterbur growing on the banks of our brook as you can see here. This is on our property.

Our Magnolia Tree is in full bloom.

We have been going out for the occasional walk down by the River Teme and there were some sheep on the other side, some of them with little lambs. This is one of the sheep having a drink. Forget the saying that sheep will drink only from still water because that water was moving quite quickly.

A little further on and the large shingle bank with the river passing both sides used not to be there. There are large lumps of the bank, still with grass on them, laying in the river.

Lesser Celendine is out in force at the moment.

and there is also some Blackthorn blossom. It’s not Hawthorn – too early for that.

On the way back along Kinsley Road I saw a number of other flowers both wild and cultivated,

Suddenly, after a few warm sunny days, there seem to be lots of butterflies around. Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Orang Tips, Small White, Speckled Wood, Holly Blue and Comma.

I had thought of giving you a tour around our garden.

But that is as far as I took it because I couldn’t hold the camera steady enough. I need a gimbal. Who wants to see our garden anyway?

I caught a rainbow and other stories.

I caught a rainbow and other stories.

I won’t be posting about new trips for some time so I expect blog posts will be few and far between. Here are some ramblings,

I found this rainbow in our conservatory and now I don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps I should put it in the freezer for later.

For most of the past week the weather has been good (naturally as we can’t go on any trips) and we sat in the garden in the sun on three different days. After the first day when I fell asleep for about an hour my face ended up being noticeably redder than usual but it didn’t feel like sunburn and this is in March.

We have both been doing some garden maintenance. I am just the manual labourer doing grass cutting, leaf raking (I hate beech leaves) and the like. On my rounds I noticed that part of a stream bank retaining wall on our neighbours property was laying on the bottom of the syream probably caused by the recent flooding. The stream didn’t overflow out of its bed but it was a raging torrent for a time.

We have seen a number of butterflies in the garden (Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma) and some bumble bees during the warm weather which will have over-wintered here. Our Magnolia tree now has a lot of flower buds on it:

and our Camelias are beginning to bloom.

I’ve been doing my usual walk, which includes a stretch by the River Teme, and the ground has become drier to the point that I can now do it wearing normal shoes rather than walking boots or wellington boots and all the water that has been running down Kinsley Road has now disappeared. This is how it was recently:

The road is now completely dry.

We went for a walk recently in Kinsley Wood and discovered this little picnic site which we hadn’t realised was there.

It is not possible to drive here so any picnic would need to carried in a rucsack.

I stopped a little later to take this photograph partly to try the extra-wide angle lens on my smartphone. The little white blob on the left is Amanda’s head and the ‘normal’ view would not have stretched further than the larger of the two trees in the centre. That lens could be very useful in confined spaces such as some interiors.

We have recently registered with our local support group so that we can have some kind person fetch our shopping for us (although we haven’t used it yet) and we have some cooked meals delivered to our door by the local ‘Little Black Sheep Cafe’.

We had a number of trips planned for this season and they are now on hold. What a drag this all is (That’s the polite version).

After all that excitement you will probably need a rest. Till next time.

Where will it all end?

Where will it all end?

This morning I went for a walk along my usual route which runs alongside the River Teme and found this.

The rest of the path was there a few days ago when I did the same walk. It used to curve round a little to join that area of grass to the left. When this river flooded last Saturday it obviously did a little more that just overflow its banks.

It wasn’t that long ago that I posted this photograph:

It was in November and the river had taken a relatively small chunk out of the path then. This time it was a very large chunk and included the small path running away from the camera.

As it says in the title – “Where will it all end?”

How to wear out a pair of old legs very quickly.

How to wear out a pair of old legs very quickly.

As today was dry I decided to try part of a walk that Amanda and I have done before. I say ‘try’ because although soon after we first moved to Knighton we walked from the town, up Panpunton Hill (which is VERY steep) then along the ridge and up to the top of Cwm Sanaham Hill I’m not sure that I could do all that with my current state of health.

So I decided to cheat by driving to the top of Kinsley Wood and start the walk from there which cuts out the ‘climbing Panpunton Hill’ bit. That left me with a 4 mile return walk with plenty of ups and downs. Amanda is not joining me on this one as she wants to get some gardening done.

Having parked the car I set off. I had been walking for a while when I arrived at this point and looked back.

If you look carefully you will see the path (bright green) curving round to the right and eventually disappearing over the brow of a hill in the distance. This is part of Offa’s Dyke Path.

I pressed on and eventually reached the junction where the path from Five Turnings, a very small hamlet, crosses Offa’s Dyke Path. The next picture, again looking back towards my starting point, shows the footpath sign. The yellow pointers indicate the Offa’s Dyke Path and the plain white ones indicate the path from Five Turnings.

I walked on further to the point shown below which gives me a good view of Cwm Sanaham Hill. Um, err, oh! I’m supposed to be going to the top of that one. The path can be seen curving right out of the picture because it follows the side of that valley in front until we meet the valley floor coming up which saves me a very steep climb down followed by a very steep climb up. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any slopes it just means that they aren’t as steep as they might have been.

After much grunting, heavy breathing and sighing I do finally make it to the top and to prove it here is a picture of the trigonometry point on the summit. I stopped for a breather and telephoned Amanda to let her know I’d reached my objective (she worries a little y’ know).

The only snag with this is that I now have to do it all again in reverse. On the way back I stopped to take this photograph just because I liked the lighting effect.

Not long after the above I stopped to take a photograph of Offa’s Dyke itself. There is quite a long run of it here akthough it isn’t as high as it is in some places.

At this point there is a gap in the dyke and the end of the dyke in front is shown by the shadow. The rough ground on my left is the continuation of the dyke behind me. You may notice the inevitable sheep.

I short while later I saw two large black birds fly across my route, at some height, and from the calls they made I would guess that they were Ravens but I’m no bird expert so don’t quote me on that one.

I finally made back to the car after a walk of 4 miles, which took me 2 hours and 20 minutes with an elevation gain of 832 feet. Cwm Sanaham Hill is 1342 feet high ( and feels it).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the local leg shop to buy a new pair – my current ones have had it.

It’s all too much.

It’s all too much.

Rain that is!

We, like some other areas, have had a lot of rain recently and I discovered the results of that recently when I went for a walk.

I went down to the River Teme as I often do but when I got to the riverside meadow I found this:

That is a body of water, next to the river, about the size of a small lake which shouldn’t be there and my normal route goes through that water. I didn’t really want cold, wet feet so I detoured inland slightly to here:

This is the stream which is feeding that lake and that stream shouldn’t be there either. The shallowest part of the stream was a couple of inches deep (and about 4-6 feet wide) so it wouldn’t get into my boots if I walked through it which I did. Having done that I didn’t expect to have to walk through any more water.

WRONG!

That water was running along and across Kinsley Road. Again it was only a couple of inches deep so I could walk through it in my walking boots without getting my feet wet but I’ve not seen it like this before. I need to practice my ‘walking on water’ skills a bit more.

Would someone please turn the tap off before leaving?

Judge for yourself.

Judge for yourself.

Yesterday we went to Presteigne a small market town about 10 miles from us. We also went there back in the summer and photographed this ochre coloured building which is known as “The Judges Lodging”.

It is open as a tourist attraction and entry is by payment of a small fee. However this Saturday was an open day (free entry) and there was also coffee and cake available at a very modest cost and if there is anything that will pique my interest it’s the availability of cake.

This building consisted of a police station, cells, court room and judges apartment all rolled into one and was built in 1829. It was once called ‘the most commodious and elegant apartments for a judge in all England and Wales’ by Lord Chief Justice Campbell in 1855).

We first visited the Dining Room because of its opulence and splendour (or was it because that’s where we were given coffee and cake?)

After finishing our refreshments we went through to the Parlour (literal meaning – talking place) where there was a large christmas tree. There were no christmas tree lights because they did not exist in Victorian times. In both these rooms there were proper wood fires burning in the fireplaces; vey cosy. All lighting was either by oil lamps or gas and this building has both.

After seeing these rooms we went upstairs and the decor in the stairwell was typical of the times.

Needless to say the bedroom was furnished as befits a judge.

This was, after all, a place of work and this shows the court room with the public stalls right at the back. The judge, naturally, had his own entrance direct from his lodgings.

After dark the court room was lit by gas and the next picture shows the ‘Gasolier’; rather like a chandelier but with gas instead of candles. At this time incandescent gas mantles hadn’t been invented so the light came solely from the flames and I can tell you that that makes it very uncomfortable because the flickering flames act almost like a stroboscope.

The servants quarters were in the rather dingy basement together with some cells for the prisoners.

I have not included all that we saw here but more will make its way onto the web site at some stage. It was a very interesting visit.