- Notes about a few places we pass (see photos below for some of them)
- A couple of speculative discussions of our Snowy River adventure
- Dan losing the rain cover for his bag (does he find it again? oh, the tension!)
- Some annoying kissing gates
- A short interlude of pigeons and bagpipes
- The sound of birds, wind in the trees and rain
Last weekend we headed up to Sissinghurst in Kent. I took a few photos and made an audio blog of our walk.
There's no transcript of the piece, but it includes:
This was a bit of an experiment to see how well the digital recorder worked and if the recordings might be edited into a single piece, so it's not the most polished thing ever. It's probably best to use headphones to listen. But hopefully it gives you an insight into what it's like to go on a walk with us!
Please do let me know if you enjoyed the audio! I'll post a Snowy River adventure update later this week and then the blog will be taking a break until after we return from Australia in late April.
Summer started to quietly settle towards autumn and we went back to work . . .
I made this recording for Allysse's Nature Sound of the Month series.
We started the month with the end of the holidays and another go at Champing with friends. The days grew shorter and the mornings darker, which gave us the chance to see some gorgeous sunrises.
We still made it out for some walks, though, including our monthly outings with the HRRA walking group and our weekly strolls around Arlington Reservoir on the way home from work.
We also walked the whole of our local long distance path, the 1066 Country Walk. Handily, it goes right past our front door (literally, as our front door is directly onto the street) and Battle is slap-bang in the middle. A good place to rest overnight! Allysse came down to join us and she wrote up a blog about it. A few of our HRRA friends came along for the second day, too. It was a fun weekend.
The sights and sounds of summer . . .
To start, why not put some sounds in your ears while you read over this post? Below is a compilation of various recordings I made (on my camera, so not brilliant quality) during June. Originally, I intended to do a recording every day for 30 Days Wild, but didn't manage it. Speaking of 30 Days Wild, it was fantastic to get my pack from the Wildlife Trusts, featuring cards with pictures that I drew! It was very exciting to have my art going out to thousands of people. I talked about the process of creating the cards here.
So, back to our activites in June. We paid a visit to London for a family wedding at the start of the month and enjoyed some green spaces in the city.
The wedding cakes were a sight to behold. All the fruit and flowers inspired me to try something I'd been meaning to get around to for the last few years: cooking with elderflowers. I foraged a couple of flower heads and made them into pikelets (sweet little pancakes), which worked quite nicely.
It's hard to fit in outdoors time around a full time job with a 1-2 hour commute each way, so we decided to start a little tradition of going on a walk on the way home at least once a week. We chose Arlington Reservoir, because it's a one hour circular walk on an easy trail, with a variety of stuff to look at: the water and waterbirds, a bit of woodland, views of the South Downs, animals, buildings, fields. It was satisfying to watch the evolution of the micro-ecosystem that is the reservoir wall over the course of the summer and autumn, until it got too dark to walk any more.
There was a gorgeous Chicken of the Woods fungus growing on Battle High Street, of all places. I didn't want to take it, as it looked so lovely and colourful. Somebody else didn't have any such qualms - it had been cut down when we next went past, a couple of days after I took this photo. (I later heard it was a friend of a neighbour, who presented it to a family member for their birthday!)
We had an amazing microadventure on the South Downs with probably the most beautiful scenery I saw this year. The HRRA walk this month was also on the South Downs, which meant even more fabulous views!
Small tortoiseshell butterflies, which have suffered a population decline, especially in the south of the UK.
And at the end of the month we went Champing for the first time. Despite quite a grey and drizzly month overall, we did manage to make the most of it.
A month bookended by long weekends and packed with the beauty of spring.
We went up to Suffolk for the first May bank holiday weekend (which technically started in April, but I've put it all in the May revist because I can). It was lovely to spend time with a couple of friends, and I posted many pics of cute animals we saw, so go and look at them. Here's some birdsong recorded at the minster ruins (where we wild camped the year before) as a soundtrack.
Dan and I started summer early with a little picnic (i.e. drinking sloe gin, generously provided by one of my colleagues) in the fields out the back.
Again, heading out to take a photo from the top of Lake Field meant taking note of the hyper-local changes in seasons. These frothy white flowers (cow parsley, I think) made a pretty addition to the footpath.
We went down to check out the newly reopened and rebuilt Hastings Pier. You can see a paddleboarder at the right of the frame. I'd like to try it out one day. I think I would be terrible!
And for the other May bank holiday, we nipped off to a very local campsite for a night in the tent.
April was even busier than March - and I took loads of photos. Lucky you.
We started the month in Australia and had a couple of days in the country . . .
. . . before heading to Melbourne. I posted many photos of Melbourne at the time, but here are a few more.
Ceres, a community environment park on the Merri Creek, featuring gardens, chooks, cafe, nursery, green energy projects and more.
And then, all too soon, we returned to the UK - which put on quite a welcome with this sunrise!
We got back as lambing season began and we had the most amazing experience of seeing a sheep give birth in the field beside the footpath on the South Downs. We watched the newborn lamb almost manage to get up on its wobbly little legs, then the farmers came and whisked ewe and lamb away - presumably somewhere they could keep an eye on them.
The springing of spring also meant lots of foragables coming into season. I posted a sorrel recipe and a few other things also made it onto our table.
But it wasn't all sunshine and wildflowers. Towards the end of the month there was a light smattering of snow on the South Downs. Chilly!
The last days of April were part of the May Day bank holiday, which we spent with friends in Suffolk - but I'll post more about that next time.
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