Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mogshade Hill

As we were walking this morning a lot of ponies were calling and running.When we got to the pond on the top of Mogshade Hill, there were just a few ponies there. By the time we left there must have been 50 or more ,around and in the pond.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A late Afternoon Walk and a Visit to Cadmans Pond

We are busy decorating this week , so just some quick posts. We went for a walk at Ocknell this evening. Plenty of little foals are beginning to appear and we saw three close together. The dogs enjoyed Bunny hunting and we also saw a small group of Fallow deer. Before coming home we stopped off at the pond . These cute little dcklings were sitting on the No Fishing sign that had been vandalised and thrown in the reeds. No goslings yet but plenty of honking!

Three different foals on our walk this evening at Ocknell

Canada Geese

Ducklings on Cadmans Pond

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A beautiful Sunny Morning

The weather forecast for today was a wet morning ,brightening in the afternoon. Well they got it wrong! This morning was lovely and sunny and the rain is starting now, although it isn't amounting to much! We drove through the forest and eventually arrived at Longslade Bottom . A slade in the forest means a little valley between wooded hills. The gravel track leads down to horseshoe bottom and the photo here shows us looking back as we go up towards Hinchelsea wood. The wood is fairly small and it wasn't long before we were descending again and going towards Hinchelsea bog.their are many lapwings in this area and they were circling overhead. much of the bog is impassable and it is a good area for them to nest in. Their were lots of tadpoles in the bog and also a Horse leech. I had never seen one of these before and we spent some time watching it trap the unsuspecting tadpoles. In places there were so many tadpoles they could hardly move.
200years ago Thomas Gilpin described this area in the following words. " A beautiful valley, about a quarter of a mile in breadth, opened before us, arrayed in vivid green, and winding two or three miles around a wood. On the other side the grounds, wild and unadorned, fall with an easy sweep into it. beyond these a grand woody scene spreads far and wide in the distance... the valley was no other than a vast bog, Longslade Bottom. The nimble deer trips over it in summer without inconvenience, but no other animals of heavier bulk dare trust themselves upon it. "
Little has changed although the drainage has improved and it is easy to cross the bog and walk up the slope to the wood. In the valley it is still too boggy to walk.
Just past the bog there is a disused railway and now you can walk along the track which is shaded by trees, however this morning we stayed out on the green and in the sunshine. We came across a group of ponies and another little of course we stopped to take some photos.
Missy and taivas in Hinchelsea Bog

The swamp monster lurks in the reeds

A Horse leech eating the tadpoles . despite its name the Horse leech (Haemopis sanguisorba feeds on frogs and fishes. They have suckers at both ends so they can anchor themselfs and eat their prey.
Plenty of tapoles about

The dogs pose for us by the Gorse.

Todays little foal at Longslade bottom.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

From The High Corner Inn in search of bluebells

This Morning we went to High Corner Inn and walked down to Broomy Inclosure, to see if the bluebells were out. In parts of the forest they are flowering. However here they were few and far between, but there were lots of wood anenomes. These flowers close their petals at night and legend has it that this is because the faiies sleep wrapped up in them. We then left the Inclosure to walk along Dockens Water to Splash Bridge. It is only a couple of weeks since our last visit here , but it looked so different now the trees have their leaves. We found a few Marsh Marigolds growing in the stream.
Although it was a little damp and misty we decided to climb Hallickshole Hill, before making our way back to the car via Woodford Bottom. Half way up the hill the dogs disturbed a herd of fallow deer and they ran quite close to us , but somehow I managed to miss them in the photo! The Cuckoo was calling all the time and letting us know he was watching us!
We will be back in a couple of weeks to see if the Bluebells are out.
Splash bridge

Marsh marigold

Splash Bridge and Dockens water.
Dockens water at Woodford bottom

Taivas leads the way back to The High Corner Inn

Pony with an itch

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A slightly Hazy Walk at Deadmans Hill

It is still very warm here in the South of England and it has been unseasonably dry with no rain at all in April.Walking at Deadmans Hill this morning we soon found it too warm for our jackets. Down in the valley we were sheltered from the wind , we could see the heat haze shimmering on the slopes. The Sunny weather has brought the Gorse out in full flower and when the sun shines on it , the air all around has a pleasant smell of coconut. There is still a little water in the streams and the dogs were glad to have a refreshing dip. This little woolly coated calf did not seem to hot , but he was grazing by the stream. There are some lovely views over the valley here and although some of the heather had been burnt off and looked a little bleak , the cheerful gorse gave a lot of colour to the scenery.
Looking across the Valley

The little bridge over the stream, is so pretty nestling in the valley

Raffles cools off in the stream

Missy has found a ball and she wants to play

Now the gorse is in full flower and it scents the air with the smell of coconut.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Quick Look at the Garden

The warm sunny weather has brought all the flowers out in the garden. last spring we covered the flowerbeds with gravel to help keep the weeds down and also to help keep the moisture in the soil. With our dryer weather we are constantly being threatened with hose pipe bans . it seems to have worked. Although we had a wet winter this year and rainfall was above average , spring has been dry and warmer than normal and already the garden is very dry. here Missy is taking time to smell the flowers
More flowers from the garden, Love lies a bleeding with its pretty little heart shaped flowers is a favourite of mine.

Three different Clematis flowering in the garden

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Sunny weather continues

We walked at Fritham this morning. It was another beautiful sunny day. After such a wet winter it is surprising how quickly the little streams are drying up.Just before we reached the strem we saw a heron flying and later we heard the cuckoo for the first time.When we go back to the top on Fritham green we saw another foal, this time a little girl. I stayed back with the dogs so karen had a chance to get some photos , without disturbing Mother and daughter.

Trying to get a good photo of the dogs took a while but in the end we managed!
Todays foal was at Fritham

I love their cute little tails

Karen gets nearer to take some photos, she was very pleased we found a foal as this is the first time she has been with me when we have seen one. I stayed back with the dogs so she could snap away.