May photo diary & a new season

31 May 2022

The seasons are coming around quickly with spring soon to be merging into summer. More wildflowers will spring up in the meadows, bats will appear in the late evenings circling around gardens in search for food, dragonflies will be seen darting across ponds, lakes and rivers, more swifts will be seen dancing in the skies and grass snakes and common lizards found basking in the summer sunlight. Summer's heat isn't my favourite, I've always been more of a cold weather person preferring to be wrapped up in layers as I adventure, but each and every season has its magic and the abundance of flowers and wildlife activity brings me joy throughout this season.

Last month Alex and I encountered a number of wildlife. Some highlights were deer, great spotted woodpeckers, speckled wood butterflies and fluffy goslings at Wollaton Park, we saw treecreepers and had a magical nature moment when we saw a grey heron land gracefully on a tree log as we wandered beside the babbling brooks of Endor (Wyming Brook), not to mention robins and wrens singing in the pine trees. 

And so as spring fades into summer, I'm looking forward to our next wildlife encounters during the new season.  

Puffins, fossils & beach walks

13 May 2022

Waking up to the sound of birds singing in the trees amongst our secluded log cabin, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore as we wandered along the beach, spotting puffins perched on the cliff rocks and searching for fossils at the beach.  A long weekend away to the Yorkshire Coast was just what was needed.

On our first day we went for an afternoon walk along the beach of Hornsea. The tide had started to come in and so it was interesting to see just how powerful the waves were as they crashed against the seawall. As always, I'm up for learning about nerdy environment things and so Alex was teaching me the coastal flood defenses, groynes and how erosion is formed at the beach as we walked along the seawall. I also spotted what I think were sanderlings, they were searching between the pebbles for food and then flew off when the waves started to get closer to them. 

The next day we drove up to Bempton Cliffs and Flamborough Head, two of my favourite spots for wildlife watching. I was determined to lookout for puffins for Alex to see and after a while of searching, we finally saw a number of them perched on the cliff edges and flying across the sea in search of food to bring back to their nests. Gannets, kittiwakes, guillemots and razorbills were everywhere, but there was no sign of the black-browed albatross, which unfortunately showed up the next day, typical! 

Next up was a walk along Robin Hood's Bay, this beautiful stretch of coastline is perfect for fossil hunting! No dinosaurs were found, but there were a few little shell fossils that we found amongst the pebbles. We looked up to find sand martins zooming above our heads, swopping low across the rock pools and then back up to the cliff edge to their nest sites. 

Our final trip was to Whitby Bay, where chips followed by an ice cream was a must have. We walked along the pier up towards the lighthouses where we watched the boats and pirate ships make their way back into the harbour. In the distance we saw people walking up the 199 steps up towards the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey.

I'm missing the sea, although I'm looking forward to our next coastal adventure.

Calm Walks by the Water

26 April 2022

So far April has been a month of strolls beside reservoirs and rivers, first wildlife encounters of the year, "almost" spot on plant ID, road trip planning and much more. There's been a few ups and downs, with a few moments that have tried to bring me down, but I've had Alex, new adventures and positive plans that have kept me going and also reminding myself that I'm not going to let anything or anyone make the anxiety worse and take the positivity from me.

This month Alex and I have explored many different places, mostly walks by the water which I always find ever so peaceful and a joy to see plenty of wildlife. We've had wanders along the River Trent, Middleton Lakes and Linacre Reservoir. We've heard a bittern "boom", seen grey herons, tufted ducks, little egrets and great crested grebes. Being out in nature, no matter where it be, is always something that makes me feel calm and relaxed, but there's just something about being beside water that amplifies that even more. For me I think it's the sounds of the water gently rocking back and forth, the reflections rippling in the water and the sounds of dabbling ducks and other waders.

We've also visited a few woodlands too, which are all part of the connecting landscapes we've visited. It was amazing to see another great spotted woodpecker right in front of us, tree creepers, nuthatches, blackcaps and never getting tired of hearing the chiffchaffs high up in the trees. Another highlight was seeing bee flies at Skylarks nature reserve, I don't think I've ever seen that many before! I look forward to sharing more adventure photos soon.

Spring Adventures

28 March 2022

Happy spring! March has been a month of spring weather, bumblebees and butterflies emerging, a chorus of chiffchaffs wherever I go, lighter evenings, going to my first ever gig, the search for nuthatches, new adventures, excitement and feeling happier than ever. Last month I said I was looking forward to new beginnings and that's exactly what has happened. 

Adventures with my boyfriend, Alex, have been my favourite of all. We've walked around reservoirs, along canals, amongst woodlands and upon historic limestone grassland. We've seen the largest flock of siskins we've ever seen high up in the pine trees of Sherwood Pines, long-tailed tits gathering moss and lichen for their nests, oystercatchers gliding across the water, nuthatches scaling head first down trees, kestrels perched on a branch right in front of us, great spotted woodpeckers flying from tree to tree, a rabbit suddenly appearing in front of us at Ladybower Reservoir and so much more. 

There's truly nothing quite like being out in nature, exploring off the beaten track and magical encounters with wildlife. I'm looking forward to sharing plenty more photo diaries from our new adventures to come.

February's New Beginnings

19 February 2022

I've been contemplating what to do with this little space on the internet as it's been a while since I've shared a post here. Instagram is my go to place for sharing my adventures and mini blogs, I find it an easier and more convenient platform to use amongst other goings on. But then after some thought and looking back on my previous blog posts, I just couldn't part ways with this site and the adventures I have shared. So maybe I might try to write a blog post once a month. Maybe I'll share more adventures and photo diaries and maybe I'll share more on mental health. I've had this site for too long to give up on it now.

The start to 2022 certainly hasn't been the easiest. My anxiety was sky high and I couldn't focus properly. Until eventually I took myself away from that situation that was bringing me down and since then a sense of freedom from all that stress has been shining through. February has become my January; my new start to the year. I realised that self-worth is important, I realised that you should never feel ashamed of struggling with mental health. And most importantly I realised you should never underestimate just how strong you really can be. 

Spring is on its way along with all of natures new beginnings. Green leaves soon to appear on the trees, the first blooms appearing along hedgerows, parklands and woodlands, birds building their nests and much more. I say this every year, but after a long winter I'm very much looking forward to spring arriving. I'm looking forward to my own new beginnings.