Short walk with bluebells…

Finally had a short walk today! We went to Cherished Chimneys which is a shop that sells chimneys and pottery at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. and the Waiting Room gallery across the road in the same place. Then we walked round Westport lake, which is just half a mile away along the canal. We saw blossom and bluebells along the canal and round the lake. We avoided heavy clouds as we walked. I think it had rained heavily in Stoke as the path was soaking wet when we got home.

Upright

Upright bottle oven somewhere near the canal in Burslem, from a photo I took on a walk with the closer to home group on Saturday. I didn’t have time to stop and read the sign about it as I was at the back of the group. Today’s #bandofsketchers prompt. Metallic silver pen, metallic colours, dried up black felt pens, black felt pen, charcoal stick.

Walking with closer to home.

I went on a walk today with a group called closer to home. I couldn’t keep up all the way round their five mile walk but I did my best. You know a city is linked by main roads, but we went up old pathways, along the old track bed of a railway, the potteries loop line, and back along the canal.

Towards the end I found I was struggling, it was like I’d hit the wall, but I ket going and finished only a few hundred yards to the rear of the group. A friend walked along with me so it wasn’t too bad.

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Faeries

At Trentham Gardens there are a collection of wire woven fairy sculptures. They are dotted here, there and everywhere. Each time we visit we see new ones. One was even dipping down into the lake for a drink. There seems to be a warrior queen on one plinth and lots of them are holding dandelion seed heads. I tried buying a kit and making my own.. I didn’t make the best one.

Otter sculpture

We are thinking of getting a tree stump carved in our garden. We had to get it cut down to about seven foot high as it was over growing a part of the garden and making it shady.

This sculpture was in Trentham gardens today. There were quite a few other ones but this was my favourite, especially since it is next to the river Trent which has got a lot cleaner over recent years.

It was a short but tiring walk. Trentham gardens is worth a visit for a day. There is also a retail village and a monkey forest on the site. But do check what is open before you visit.

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Black Swans

Seen on our walk round Trentham Gardens this afternoon. Two black swans with red beaks, they were gathering nesting material by the side of the lake. They were not bothered by us being close, probably be ause we were not threatening them and they won’t have seen many people over the last few months of lockdown. I’m not sue what species of Swan they are. They had a few white feathers and a white line on their beaks. I wouldn’t have said they looked and different, it was not obvious whether they were male or female. It was a pleasure to see them today.

Finally walking again

As we arrived at Westport Lake today it started to snow. It didn’t stick, but children were running screaming as it came down thick and fast. We sat and waited in the car till it stopped. I didn’t take a photo of it because my phone was stuck in my pocket trapped between me and the car door.

Then out, a quick visit to the icecream van for a treat and round the latge lake once and the small one twice. No where near as far as I would normally do, but I managed to get enough steps and heart points in to meet my daily challenge. I’m shattered but happy!

Not well

I feel unwell. Grey and cold, achey, tired. Under the weather.

I didn’t go for a walk yesterday or today. Unlike this photo the sun was shining in a bright blue sky, with fluffy white clouds scudding across it. Me? I keep falling asleep. I want to hibernate, like a little cold hedgehog. Tucking my head under the duvet and waiting for the headache and tummy upset to go away. Spikey and fed up, but not well enough to want to do anything about it.

😭

Normal service will resume as soon as possible….. Hopefully!

Hartshill Nature reserve

Although the nature reserve is on a steep slope, there is still a pool on it. The end with the bridge over it might be a dam. I don’t know the history of the place but there are steep steps down into it and in some areas what paths there are, are quite slippy.

I had to lean on my friends arm to get down one section, not socially distanced but I was wearing a mask.

Today was sunny with very warm temperatures, the warmest March day since 1968. Red admiral butterflies were flitting about in pairs and triplets. The bird song was loud and liquid. Buds were bursting and insects humming.

I did another five miles today, that seems to be my upper limit for walking at the moment. Tomorrows planned walk is about the same length!

Boat in a lock

Narrow boat in the bottom of the canal lock as the water started to fill it up. Seen on a walk today.

I couldn’t stop to see the lock fill up fully as my friend had walked further on and I don’t like walking along the canal on my own.

It was quite warm today for a change and the breeze had dropped a bit. We carried on along and I half expected the narrow boat to catch up with us but we got to the next lock and it was still well behind us.

Great to feel sunshine on my face properly for the first time this year. I even took my coat off!