Like many others in the UK today I woke up to a touch of snow this morning – not enough to cause any undue trouble but enough to make a photographer smile.
We visited our local church, St James, here in Bramley for the 9am service (Alison was leading the service) and afterwards I took a stroll around the church to see what stood out for me. The Daffodils had taken a bashing however when I got down low their beauty really stood out. Needless to say my kids were happy just to ping snowballs at me.
I then took a stroll around our local woods – The Frith and the first spot I found were these two horses in their winter coats nibbling on some hay. I adjusted my angle and got the lovely heart shape effect with their heads which you can see in the bottom right picture.
At this time of year it can be hard to see the colour in the landscape but if you look close enough you can see it. The Hazel catkins were all fluttering in the strong wind but I did get a picture of some hanging nice and still in a more sheltered area – they look delicate and beautiful however they are tough little things ‘hanging on there’ in the wind.
I was hoping to spot some Deer in the woods however they were all out on the fields today. The wind was strong but the Roe Deer were in the fields on the lee side of the woods avoiding the worst of it. They kept a close eye on me as I passed on by – normally they sprint off but not today – there spot was just too good.
I also spotted a few of our feathered friends in the woods from the Kite soaring overhead, the Robin flitting from tree to tree and the Pheasant making his presence felt in its usual noisy way on the woodland floor.
As Bimbles go this was a pretty special one, with lots of wind, snow, life and colour.
It started out so well with the kids wanting to go on a bimble with their scooters. We decided to visit our favourite woods at the Frith.
The Frith is an ancient woodland with a massive electrical substation in the middle of it so we can only wander around the edge.
At the far end though there is a small copse off to the side with permissive paths through it (sign posted saying keep to the paths because of ground nesting birds). When we got there tonight, though, the landowner had put up a fence over all the access points and posted signs saying it was now closed to the public.
I have really enjoyed this small oasis over the years and cannot understand why the landowner has done this.
We soldiered on though and headed on around the Frith to a place where there is a lovely pond. I ended up carrying the scooters but it was worth it.
I spotted my first Meadowsweet of the year – a real plant of the summer.
There was plenty of life around the pond. As the kids had a snack I got down to the serious job of stalking the dragonflies 😉
Catherine spotted the little cricket on the bench she had been sitting on.
We headed off towards home saying one last goodbye to our old paths on the way.
It was a lovely bimble but a sad one none the less.
I was out on a Bramley Bimble a couple of days ago and came across a sad little find. Just by the public footpath in the Frith woods is a bridge under which the kids love to play trolls, but as they were playing I spotted some feathers and called them over – not much stops my kids from playing trolls but the mention of a dead bird got them moving.
I was unsure at first what it was (I thought it was a bird of prey) so just took a couple of pictures and left it there. I put a picture (the one above) up on Facebook and Pablo from Woodlife Trails identified it as a Tawny Owl.
I went back to the site tonight and carefully collected up as many of the bones and feathers as I could find. The owl had pretty much decomposed but I did find the majority of the bones. They were in two piles so something had been along and had a nibble but had not totally destroyed the skeleton.
There were not many feathers left but I did manage to salvage some good ones. These ones will end up on an atlatl shaft one day.
The pads and talons were still attached to the leg bones so were easy to find but when I looked at the skull more closely I noticed damage. The beak was twisted to one side so whatever animal tried to eat it must have chewed the head a bit before giving up.
Below are some close ups of the talons, still looking razor sharp, and the small picture at the top right is all that was left of the spine and the hips.
I have no idea how the bird died but it was great to find it and in such good condition.