Friday 30 July 2021

Down In Foggy Bottom

Foggy Bottom is the name of the garden added by Adrian Bloom, son of Alan Bloom who was the founder of Bressingham Gardens. It has much in common with the main garden but there is more emphasis on shrubs, trees and hardy perennials. Because it requires a few extra steps to arrive here, many miss out on its charms. Come on, it's just down here, past where the gardeners are working.....

My father always loved this quieter part of the garden.

Take care.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Bressingham In Bloom

Bressingham Gardens must be one of the finest gardens in the East of England. What started off as a piece of agricultural land, when it was bought by Alan Bloom in 1953, has evolved under the management of three generations of the Bloom family into today's floral wonderland of 8,000 species and varieties of plants. Lets waste no more time and just immerse ourselves in the Dell Garden.

That's only part of the gardens, I'll show you more in the next post. Also on the site there's a steam railway museum, miniature steam railways, a fairground ride, a cafĂ©, a gift shop and a collection of old vehicles used in the Dad's Army TV series. Then right next door there's a large garden centre which also has a restaurant. 

Take care.

Sunday 25 July 2021

Sandy Tracks

A slightly cooler day with temperatures just perfect for a walk, so we made the short journey to the RSPB's headquarters at Sandy Warren, a fairly frequent destination for my brother and me. 

After a journey through the wide wheat fields of South Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire it is always a delight to find yourself in the very different landscape along the Greensand Ridge, an outcrop of sandstone that forms a low series of hills, dominated by woods and heathland.

The RSPB are trying to restore more of the area to heathland, which it is hoped will attract specialist birds like Nightjar, Woodlark and Dartford Warbler - and there has already been some success in this endeavour.

Not that we ever see that many birds on our visits here, but there's always something to photograph. The bracken always interests me as it's a plant seldom encountered in my home area, though it's by no means uncommon elsewhere. In fact it can become a nuisance, overwhelming other plants.

This is Common Centaury, a widespread flower throughout Europe, and flourishing up on Sandy Ridge. Perhaps if people knew it was a kind of Gentian they might pay it more attention.

A pretty, rotting tree stump always will have me reaching for my camera! And even more so if it's backed by wispy dried grasses.

Down near the old quarry the bracken is backlit by the sun just appearing over the crest. But you'd probably like to see some birds....

So here's an Avocet, easily recognised by its upturned bill.

And there's a monstrous owl lurking among the trees!

In a month or two all the bracken will be turning gold. Maybe I'll return to take some more pictures then....or maybe I'll forget like I usually do!

Before then all the heathers will be blooming (though we might go somewhere else to see that spectacle).

But right now we can enjoy the butterflies like this colourful Peacock.

It's starting to warm up and more people are out and about on the trails, so we'll head back to the car park. It's been a pleasant way to spend the morning.

Take care.

Thursday 22 July 2021

Jewels And Treasures

Recently it's been what English people call "hot", but I've managed a few short walks and found some of nature's smaller wonders, none that are rare or unusual at this time of year, but all of which pleased me greatly.

A Large Skipper butterfly,
the sort of tiny thing that I often see as it flits across the path,
but seldom stop to look at.

a plant which has a bad reputation as it's said to be poisonous to horses.
However it's a food source for many insects.

A Common Blue Damselfly.
Very common indeed around some of our ponds in July.
But how can all the necessities for life be packed
into such a slender form?

The Red-Eyed Damselfly may be even smaller.

At the side of the water
a young Moorhen waits for its mother to return.
I was hoping it would step on to drier ground where we could see its enormous feet:
they always look like children who have put on their father's boots!

These are the flowers of Traveller's Joy or Clematis vitalba,
also known as Old Man's Beard from its hairy white seed-heads.
Another name is Boy's Bacca because the dry stems can be smoked 
(other harmful substances are available).

A Comma butterfly.

A Ruddy Darter dragonfly.

Young Swallows have fledged but still wait for their parents to feed them.
They'll have to learn quickly, as they'll be flying off to Africa in a couple of months.

Another quick snap then I'll leave them to it.

White butterflies are everywhere
This is a Green-Veined White.

Banded Demoiselles are also abundant
alongside the stream.

There's another one!

Take care.