I see skies of blue …

It really has been the most glorious Spring week or so here.  The sun has shone, the skies have been cornflower blue and the birds have been singing at top volume from morning till night.  Small daughter went back to school this week and it’s been a joy to be out with the dog in the mornings.

A gorgeous blue Spring sky framed by pink and yellow leaf buds

We’ve been to the Nine Arches end of Sankey Valley this week – actually, the particular part of the valley that we’ve been starting at is known locally as the “Mucky Mountains“; created from the by-product of inefficient soda production in the 1830s, these “mountains” are formed from old chemical waste which in it’s day was apparently so toxic that escaping gases caused teeth to rot and clothes to burn – fortunately, those days are long gone and the Mountains look like this …

A green field with a footpath extending through it towards a large hill

Source: https://newtonheritagetrail.weebly.com/mucky-mountains.html

You’d never know they were the source of such pollution, would you?

Anyway, the dog and I don’t go over the Mountains, we go the other way over the bridge you can see here.  We’ve not had any rain for a couple of weeks now and the water level is very low.

Water sparkling in a brook beneath a metal bridge on a bright Spring morning

This particular walk that we’ve been on this week is a circular walk of about two miles or so – just long enough for the dog to have a proper run and not so long that I end up worrying that we’re never going to get home!  The path goes up through the woods; the morning light has been lovely to walk in.

Shadows of trees on the leafy ground along a woodland footpath

At the end of the path is a huge field of rape which has burst into bright yellow flower since we last walked up here.  It’s such a cheery colour!

A footpath leading towards a field of yellow rape flowers and a wooden footpath sign

A close up of a wooden footpath sign against a blue sky with a field of yellow rape flowers in the background

As we follow the path round, it brings us to another wood, known as Gypsy Wood.  I imagine that once upon a time, it was much bigger than it is now – it’s pretty much just a strip of trees with a footpath through next to a disused road these days – but it’s a good place for the dog to explore and for me to listen to the birds.

There were plenty of blackthorn flowers out.  I first mentioned blackthorn in this post as I’d originally thought they were hawthorn, but Lynne helped me out through the comments and I now know that blackthorn flowers before the leaves come and hawthorn flowers after in May.  And now you know too!

White blackthorn flowers on a tree

The bluebells were starting to come out, and the pink campion, and these white flowers that I can’t identify.  Any ideas?

White Spring flowers in the foreground with bluebells behind and pink ragged robin in the distance

The path goes on for quite a good long way, just straight through the trees …

A paved path through a wood

A paved road extending into the woods beyond a red "road closed" sign

I always quite like being able to walk past road closed signs like this one.  It makes me feel like I’m able to get exclusive access to somewhere 🙂

The forget-me-nots were out in the hedgerows.  We’ve got them out in the garden as well, it’s lovely to see their little blue faces at this time of year.  Sometimes you have to look quite hard or you miss them, but it’s good to have to do that, isn’t it?  It makes you more aware of what’s going on around you and I don’t think that’s ever a bad thing.

Blue forget-me-nots in the hedgerow beneath a hedge and metal fence

And just past them is this field, full of machinery.  It fascinates me.  Why is it there?  Does any of it still work?  There are horses in the field as well, and I wonder if they even notice the horsepower that’s contained within the metal hulks.  Probably not.

Heavy machinery in a grassy field

Just a little bit further along, I spotted this.  Can you see it?  Huge furrowed lines stretching out across the field.  They reminded me very much of the furrows that I spoke about in my post about the new Seasons yarns – the Spring Green pattern is based on the memory of the farmer who lived on my road who was a champion ploughman, and although the furrows didn’t look quite like these because where I lived the soil was clay-based and this is much more sandy, I had to stop for a moment to admire them and let the memories wash over me in the sunshine.

Furrowed lines at the edge of a ploughed field. In the foreground is a bank of grass and to the left are yellow rape flowers

Furrowed lines in a ploughed field that curve to the right along the side of the road

When I was out later in the day, I drove past the same field from the other side and because it was quiet and safe enough to stop, I did.  Oh, those furrows were just fabulous!  I loved how they curved and how they stretched out into the distance around the tree.  

Furrowed lines in a ploughed field with a tree in the centre

Can you see them, those lines and furrows and the turned earth in the cables of the Spring Green socks?  They make me so very happy!

A close up of the cables on a green and yellow striped sock. Around the socks on a board background are a book, some secateurs and some seed packets

This post has come out a bit later than I intended – it’s Friday evening now, the sun is still warm and the birds are still singing.  I hope the weather is fabulous and you have a wonderful weekend wherever you are too!

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12 Responses

  1. Charmaine says:

    Did those white flowers have a strong onion scent? If so, I think they could be Allium Triquetrum. BTW thanks to your blog and book I am knitting my first pair of socks. One down, one to go. I don’t think I could have done it without your clear instructions. Many thanks! Charmaine

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I didn't notice an onion scent but I've just looked up Allium triquetrum and I think that's what they are, thank you! I don't know that I've ever seen them before so it's good to know what they are! xx

  2. maya says:

    What a lovely walk! I think the white flowers might be wood hyacinth? I've been trying to identify something similar in our backyard and this is what I've landed on so far 🙂

    • Winwick Mum says:

      I'm pretty sure that the flowers I saw are Allium triquetum as Charmaine suggested above, if you do an image search on that name do they look like the flowers in your garden?

    • maya says:

      I took a closer look and I think the unopened buds on mine are different from those in your photo. I'm glad you were able to solve your flower mystery, looks like I need to brush up my identification skills! Thank you for your blog, I am very grateful to you for teaching me to knit socks!

  3. ANN says:

    I thought they were wild garlic but agree with Charmaine. What a lovely walk you have in the morning. Always love your blogs, cheerful and the new colours are fabulous. Socks are on the go now.xx

  4. irune says:

    How wonderful there is such a beautiful place near your home to go for a walk! I'm sure you really enjoyed it. Nothing better to make you feel full of energy.

  5. jeanbythestream says:

    A lovely walk. I think the furrows are full of potatoes – there are several fields on our walk in mid-Wales that have recently been planted with potatoes – and they look just like those.

  6. Susan Rayner says:

    What a beautiful walk! Those furrows remind me of when I lived in Schwetzingen, Baden Wurtemberg next door to an Asparagus farmer and his glorious furrows – it was white asparagus as the Europeans don't like theirs green and the pickers would be out every morning at dawn! The blue skies are lovely too!

  7. Judetennis says:

    Keep the blogs coming. Just lovely to see your dog walk and socks. You inspired me to take up sock knitting during the last lock down. I knitted 7 pairs and am now midway through a jumper for my son. I’m looking forward to getting back to socks!

  8. Jennyff says:

    Blue skies should be available on prescription, they are the best tonic ever. The green socks are beautiful too, what a happy post, thank you.

  9. PAM says:

    What a wonderful place to walk Christine. I bet your dog loves it. Not sure mine would come back, theres an awful lot to explore. Loved the blue sky, ours was very black this morning with rain clouds.

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