Snowdrop walk at Lytham Hall

Exploring the snowdrops at Lytham Hall

Exploring the snowdrops at Lytham Hall

Here are some pictures of my Monday child rearing duties the other week that included a nice trip around the wooded grounds surrounding Lytham Hall. I’ve wanted to visit there for ages because at this time of year they put on a series of snowdrop walks. The Lytham Town Trust have secured significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the hall and grounds, and this was particularly evident where the South prospect garden and parterre are now under reconstruction. The footpaths through the woodland and up on the prospect mound have been upgraded which made lugging a buggy around much easier than before.

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Reminiscences of sunnier climes

Ponte della Maddalena (Ponte del Diavolo), near Borgo a Mozzano - on holiday 2008

Ponte della Maddalena (Ponte del Diavolo), near Borgo a Mozzano – on holiday 2008

The weather outside is turning grim as I sit in the office. My desk is on the top floor of a cavernous mill building and whilst the long-johns don’t seem to be working I shiver slightly as I weld my hands onto a small fan heater. It may be hypothermia setting in but my mind wanders back to sunnier times!

I would normally be feeling sorry for my site colleagues around now as they are mostly all out digging in the snow/rain/mud, but the central heating in here has been broken for several days.

So I post here a single image, the Devil’s Bridge north of Lucca in Tuscany. It evokes fond memories of ice cream, hills, sunshine, lemoncello, scorpions, and badly-built Fiat hire cars etc etc. Depending on how long the heating is off I may post further holiday snaps.

Snippets of the garden at Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby

Cherub and dolphin

Cherub and dolphin

Here are a brief selection of images from the small formal gardens I have been out surveying on the National Trust property at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria. Unfortunately the weather was seasonally gloomy and there was a distinct lack of exciting plants and foliage as the gardens are now closed for maintenance and sprucing up ready for the 2014 season. The photos are really just snippets of detail that caught my eye as I wandered around. I will have to revisit the property in Spring/Summer next year when the garden is back in bloom and the nearby restored corn mill is also open.

A wintery week surveying at Acorn Bank, Temple Sowerby

Expired parkland tree

Expired parkland tree

It truly felt like winter had arrived in earnest this last week. I have been out surveying the parkland and formal gardens at Acorn Bank, a National Trust property located on the outskirts of Temple Sowerby, near Penrith in Cumbria. The daylight has been limited with it being so close to the shortest day of the year, and the weather has mostly been cold, overcast and drizzly. Wednesday turned out to be a fine sunny day so I will post a selection of images from that day in the parkland below. You will notice that I was interested in the bare leafless winter trees and hedges in the parkland.

Gloomy light in the Pass of Llanberis

Pass of Llanberis - December 2007

Pass of Llanberis – December 2007

One of several half decent landscape shots taken that winter when we were out surveying in the mountains above Bethesda.

Preston …. and beyond, the gateway to adventure!

Preston & beyond

Preston & beyond

Another day, another new upland project and another 5am start. I was quite taken by the thought of to ‘Preston & beyond[!]’, and the potential for adventures to be had ahead after my commute. I should have called my blog something similar in a cryptic fashion.

It is also pleasing to see that winter has arrived with some nice blasts of icy rain this morning. Not of course because I’m obsessed by the weather or anything 🙂