Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Manifold delights

This week (after double checking I'd remembered to put my boots in the car) we set of for the Manifold valley, on a clear, cool morning.
Perfect for walking, and of course, I wore shorts!
We parked up at Wetton Mill (free parking) and crossed the bridge to
walk up the dale towards 'sugarloaf', a limestone promontory at the top.
This is the view from the bridge over the river Manifold.

They say that kissing is out of fashion, when gorse is out of flower.
This just tells you that gorse flowers for a LONG season, but
at this time of the year, it's at its best.
The Manifold valley is a particularly good place to see gorse,
as it carpets the valley sides.
Looking back down the dale that leads up to sugarloaf.
Beautiful, clear blue skies and fluffy clouds.

As we climbed up the dale, we turned left and walked over
the top of Ecton to be greeted with this wonderful view of upper Dovedale.
Looking across to Warslow.
The gorse was the yellowest I could ever remember.
As we dropped down to Ecton bridge, we saw this very unusual
set of garden furniture - carved from wood.
We also saw some fabulous Primula.

There was even a small rhododendron flower out.
VERY early for these.
Some of the hawthorn was beginning to flower as well.

In Derbyshire, there are MANY ruined barns.
I think we should do what Yorkshire is doing,
and restore a lot of them. They look SO sad in this state.

Ladies smock flower.
Someone at Warslow (a small village) has a sense of humour!
Although there was a cool breeze today, the lambs still sought shelter
from the sun, under the trees. Of course, mum was there to watch over them.
I think this is the wood sorrel.
We climbed steeply out of the valley, and up to Butterton. This is the village pub,
the 'Black Lion'. Unfortunately for us, it wasn't open so we sat on a bench
beside the church and ate our butties in the sun.
Lots of dandelions lined the roadside.
I know they're 'just a weed', but I love to see them.
If they were hard to grow, they'd be prized!

The lovely old ford at Butterton.
Not much water in it today, though.
Gunnera. The leaves of this plant are the giant green 'rhubarb' looking things
that carpet the riverbanks later on.
We left Butterton and followed Hoo brook all
the way down the valley, though 'waterslacks',
and back to Wetton mill.
We arrived back at the car in good time for a pot of tea
in the cafe, served by a decidedly surly lady!

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