Countryside


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We’ve had some lovely days out during my Hb’s time off work!

There have been visits to parks, woods, the seaside, gardens, mountains and canal tow paths.

We’ve played in mazes and with sun dials (I liked the human one best), we’ve looked down on the city from on high and over the sea towards Scotland, we’ve walked through trees, up mountains, beside rivers and canals and the sea. We’ve had lovely meals out, picnics and ice creams, there has been sunshine and showers but most of all we’ve taken time to smell the roses (and other flowers too)!

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sun dial Collage

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black mountain flora Collage

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bangor castle Collage

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bangor castle 2 Collage

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I wish it could be summer all the time!!! :)

Photos taken at ~ Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, Co Antrim : Black Mountain, Belfast, Co Antrim : Newry Canal Tow Path, Co Armagh : Groomsport, Co Down : Bangor Castle Walled Garden, Bangor, Co Down : Clare Glen, Tandragee, Co Armagh

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At this time of the year my husband always takes some time off work, it’s a stay at home holiday with lots of days out and about.

On Saturday past we had a lovely picnic in a country lane among honeysuckle and wild roses and then visited the lovely Antrim Castle Gardens, a favourite of ours, which we enjoyed in a mixture of sunshine and showers.

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We have another nine days stretching out in front of us with lots of little outings planned, fingers crossed for lots of sunshine! :)

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I think if I were to be asked what my favourite month of the year is the answer would have to be May, all that greenery, all those blooms and blossoms and all that promise!

Nowhere better to see all of this than a walk in ‘my park’, would you like to join me for a little stroll?

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Beautiful cow parsley, loved by all!

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Still lots of bluebells.

Bluebell May14 Collage

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Wild garlic, not as pretty a scent as the bluebells but stunning all the same.

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Conkers in-the-making!

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Dandelions, before………………

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………………..and after!

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And the one arrival that says it’s definitely May, the beautiful hawthorn or mayflower, so, so pretty!

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How could that amazing blossom not inspire a new bunny!

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This is May, named after the month she was ‘born’ in and the gorgeous mayflowers that this lovely month brings!

Happy Tuesday lovely people! :)

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The fields of oilseed rape are in full bloom at the moment and I have to say they are quite spectacular, the road that this field is on has fields of the crop on both sides and the colour is quite breath taking.

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The smell of the crop is not quite as nice as the colour though, it has a strange scent and I have to say I’m quite glad I don’t live beside the fields.

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I am a big fan of the oil that it produces though and as a vegetarian I think it makes the best roast potatoes!

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Lots of yellow in the garden too, which is just as well as the skies are still grey!!

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I found plenty of yellow in my latest park walk too.

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So why so much yellow today, well over on Facebook this week the lovely Emma of Hole House has been having a rainbow week with each colour of the rainbow being featured on a different day. I was asked if I would like to join in and as much as I would have loved to have had something for each day, that wasn’t possible so I picked Wednesday which was ‘yellow day’ as I have had a little girl that I wanted to make in my head for a while now and this was her time!

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I’d like you all to meet Suzie Sunshine!!

If you’re on Facebook why not pop over to Emma’s page and join in rainbow week, everyone is welcome.

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So if you are like us and the sun has been missing for a day or two I hope this has brought a little brightness to your day!

:) Happy Yellow Wednesday!!! :)

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This is Slieve Croob, the highest peak of the Dromara Hills in County Down and the source of the River Lagan which starts there as a little spring and then makes it’s 40 mile journey mostly along the border of County Down and County Antrim to Belfast where it flows into the sea at Belfast Lough.

On one of our days out this week my Hb and I decided to take a walk up Slieve Croob to once again (we’ve been before) find the source of the Lagan and to enjoy the wonderful view from the top.

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This is as far as you get on four wheels from this point onwards it’s on foot.

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Lots of mums and babies on the way up!

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There’s always a little black one, isn’t there! :)

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And here we are at the top!!

Now where does the River Lagan start??

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Is it this little spring?

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Or maybe this one?

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This is a good one, maybe this is it!!

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Truth is I’m not sure which one is the actual start of the river but they all seem to make their way to this channel which is most definitely the beginnings of the River Lagan.

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You can the river channel zig-zag it’s way down the valley on the start of its journey.

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Being up Slieve Croob is not just about finding the start of the river though, the views are stunning! On the day we were up last week it was a bit hazy, so my photos are not as clear as I would have liked them to be. On a really clear day you can see the whole of the County Down coast from Belfast right down to the Mountains of Mourne.

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This view is looking south towards the Mountains of Mourne, the peak on the left is Slieve Donard, Northern Ireland’s highest peak, I’ve been up there too and the view from there isn’t at all as good as it is from Slieve Croob.

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This is looking out towards the centre of the province and towards Lough Neagh, which can’t really be seen very clearly at all because of the haze. I live over there!!!

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This view is looking out over Belfast, where the river eventually ends up!

We were also up the mountains in the distance in this photo this week too but we were in the cloud for most of the time and the photos weren’t great but we plan to go back there on a lovely sunny clear day in the summer because the view over the city is amazing.

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More woolly friends on the way down again!

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And evidence that they were there, in case we didn’t spot them!!!

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So a lovely day out, good exercise, lungs full of fresh air and wonderful views even though we’re still not quite sure where the River Lagan actually starts! :)

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Today is the autumn equinox and traditionally the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere (although not according to the GRD calendar, we have another week to go yet)! This year, though, it looks like the Green Rabbit calendar is correct because it has been like summer outside today, so warm and sunny, not at all Keats- like.

Our mild weather has something to do with the end of Hurricane Humberto and it’s warm sub-tropical air out in the Atlantic, I’d like to thank Humberto very much and if he would like to hang around out there in the Atlantic until Next March, that’s fine by me.

I thought it was time we had another little walk in the park and check out the change in nature, it turned out to be a very pleasant walk indeed and I think I could get to like the change in season if the temperatures remained like this, the autumn colours look so much better in the sunshine and its lovely not to have to wear a coat!

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So some autumn colours are beginning to appear but there’s still quite a bit of green around.

Hope you enjoyed yet another little jaunt around ‘my park’!

Have a great new week, lets hope it’s a warm and sunny one. :)

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Honeysuckle and roses, they just speak summer don’t they!

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The hedgerows have been full of them this year, I think the recession has helped with our wild flowers, as the councils don’t seem to have the resources to keep the hedgerows trimmed and as a result all these beautiful flowers have been allowed to run riot!

Every cloud!

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I love how honeysuckle and roses love to be together, growing beside each other and often around each other.

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And the scent, two of the prettiest scents on the planet.

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They’re not just in the hedgerows either, I have them both in my garden too.

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They’re growing just below my bedroom window and the scent is amazing especially in the evenings.

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Just like the hedgerows they’re growing side by side in my garden too.

Honeysuckle Collage

Is it any wonder then that I was inspired to create two new little summer girls. I think Honeysuckle will become one of my favourites, as I just love her cardie and skirt.

Rose Collage

I actually surprised myself that I hadn’t yet made a ‘Rose’, there has been a Lavender Rose, a Rosa and a Rosebud but never a Rose until now!

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And here they are together in the garden as all honeysuckle and roses should be!

Happy Tuesday ! :)

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I have finally got around to sorting out my photos from last week’s outings. We had lovely weather for my Hb’s time off work and we made the most of it by getting out and about, a lot!!! Be warned this is a very picture-heavy post!

These first lot of photos are from Antrim Castle Gardens, Co Antrim.

antrim gardens 1 Collage

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antrim gardens 2 Collage

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antrim gardens 3 Collage

All the following pics were taken at Gosford Forest Park, Co Armagh. Gosford has a huge castle which is now, believe it or not, used as apartments, quite a grand place to live!!

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gosford 1 Collage

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gosford 2 Collage

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gosford 3 Collage

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And finally our day out at the seaside, at Groomsport, Co Down.

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groomsport 1 Collage

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groomsport 2 Collage

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So that was last week, if you are still with me, thank you, I just needed to get it all recorded.

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The weather has been absolutely wonderful, not only last week but this week and by the sound of things next week too! Happy days!!

Thanks as always for dropping by, have yourselves a wonderful weekend! :)

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Today was St Swithun’s Day and according to the rhyme…….

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain nae mare

……we should be enjoying 40 more days of sunshine, in this neck of the woods anyway, I hope so in your neck of the woods too!

This was the last day of my Hb’s holidays and we decided to pay a visit to the Rose Garden at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast. This is Rose Week at the gardens and there are lots of events taking place including the rose trials when the roses are judged. I wouldn’t like to be a judge as how anyone could possibly pick one above the other, I don’t know!!!

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There are thousands of roses and this year they are particularly beautiful because there hasn’t been the usual rain to destroy them. So many years when we have visited the poor flowers were fading before they had even opened up but not this year.

Rose week 1 Collage

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There was even a harpist to serenade us as we walked around! Sunshine, roses, a beautiful scent in the air and harp music, pretty perfect, don’t you think!

Rose week 3 Collage

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Rose week 2 Collage

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So a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon, now I’m looking forward to the next 40 days of sunshine!!

Have a great week! :)

I love of flowers!

This statement will come as no surprise to those of you who visit here regularly but it’s not just garden flowers, I love wildflowers too!

During the summer I have been photographing wildflowers wherever I found myself ~ country lanes, seaside, park!

Looking back at the photos I do wonder where the summer has gone. Some of these photos I took over 2 months ago and yet it only seems such a short time ago.

Just some of the many flowers I’ve photographed during the summer and lovely to see that it didn’t rain all the time!

I have lots of books on wildflowers too, some of them from my childhood. One of them is the Ladybird Book of British Wildflowers, the one above though isn’t my original one it’s another one I picked up a little while ago in a secondhand book shop.

Why did I want a second one??

Well I wanted it so that I could send it to the very clever Fee to work her magic and make me these beautiful blocks ………………………

Aren’t they brilliant??


I think I’m right in saying that Fee enjoys a commission, her blocks are also available from her shop.

Her work is amazing!!

I don’t suppose there will be many more opportunities for sunny wildflower photos from now on, at least I have my blocks to look at!

The air is definitely a lot cooler but at least the sun shone today, let’s hope it continues to do so over the weekend.

Happy weekend and as always thanks for visiting! :)

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