Tuesday 17 February 2015

Positivity Month Post #17: No Pancakes!

Hello, thank you for calling in.  I have seen SO MUCH today which has made me happy: when we got home there were 108 photos on the camera.  108!  Don't worry, I am not going to show you all of them, just a judicious selection. 
When we opened the curtains this morning, the sky was blue.  AT LAST.  So, we headed off to Shipton in the Corvedale to visit St James' Church.  It's a very quiet place, I think that only about one hundred people live in the parish, but there are extra visitors at this time of year - a chap with a camera was leaving as we arrived but other than that, we didn't see anyone.  Can you guess why they come here in February? -

SNOWDROPS.  Lots and lots of snowdrops, all over the churchyard.  It was absolutely stunning in the sunshine.  But the Fair Maids of February are not alone, they have friends here -

ACONITES.  Most of these hadn't yet opened up their yellow petals to bask in the sunshine, but there are lots of them there.

Would you like to have a look inside the church?  It was built in the 11th century and restored in the 16th century -

The font is thought to be Norman -

The church stands next to Shipton Hall, the present building being Elizabethan - can you see it through the willow tree?  And the dovecote to the right?  It is open to the public on Thursday afternoons from Easter to September.

Like many grand houses in this area, it was built on the wealth of wool, so I think you know what's coming next -

It was incredibly beautiful and peaceful there today.  There are several lovely places to see snowdrops in Shropshire, but this one is free (we left a donation in the church, but far less than the £11.80 it would have cost for the two of us to visit the National Trust property here.)

We then drove back towards Much Wenlock and stopped on Wenlock Edge to visit a bird hide, another free visit.  The National Trust looks after the woodland here and maintains a feeding station, and we sat in the hide very happily for forty minutes watching our feathered friends including blackbirds, a siskin, a dunnock, great tits, blue tits, robins, chaffinches, a nuthatch and something rather special as well as a couple of mice and a squirrel.  Here are some of them -

a robin - there were three of them
Mr Chaffinch - there were several misters there with their wives
four great tits on this feeder, we saw lots of them
and who's this?  Do you know?  Shall I show you some more? -
Do you know yet?  Need to see more? -
Great Spotted Woodpecker!  Care to come in a bit closer? -
Can you see the blue tit flying in on the left of the feeder?
So there you go, 17 of today's 108 photos.  It has taken me HOURS to choose them and write up this post.  This blogging-every-day lark can be tough.  And now the Best Beloved has just told me that he could crop some of the photos so you could get a closer view of the birdies - grrr!  I wish I had waited! 
And now shall I let you in on a secret?  I only took 2 of these photos.  The Best Beloved took the other 15.  He was a keen photographer until his work took over his life but he says that my getting a new camera has renewed his interest.  So that's another thing which has made me happy today!
See you tomorrow for another dose of February happiness.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x

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