Last two days of Feb

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Sunday 28th Feb

Walked to Turnerwood and back the pretty waymap link – about 13Km – nearly 8 miles – including shopping at the end. Might have overdone it a tad – hip ached by the time I got home. There’s links to the pics on the map.
For reasons best known to my subconscious I’ve got these pics in exactly the wrong order – last to first. Can’t be arsed to change it now so …

There’s a footpath posted from the Sports and Social club that is covered with snowdrops … and goats … on its way to Shireoaks Road. I’ve been so far along it several times but never had the nerve to enter the goats’ paddock; I assume they’re friendly but just look at those horns. The snowdrops are rather nice bloody beautifulStop pussyfooting around, Roj. Say it like it is..


Hall & environs

Hall & environs

Shireoaks Hall (grade II listed) is all that’s left of what was obviously a majestic house and outbuildings, see the header*. There’s evidence of ornate gardens – a hahalink down one side and an artificial long lake or ‘canal’ facing the front door give some indication of what used to be. The (oak?) tree for which the village and hall are named is also in the park: “… anonymous visitor of 1727 also noted that there was ‘a Tree in the Park that hangs its boughs over Nottinghamshire, Darbyshire and Yorkshire” … from Historic England’s article.
*I just found out that the header doesn’t show on a mobile/cellphone version so here it is:
Header pic of Shireoaks Manor

Header pic of Shireoaks Manor


Lichen again – it’s often the only colour around at this time of year.
Crows are ubiquitous but not often seen this close.
Bare trees against the cloudy sky – very moody. The haha’s just visible on the right of this picture.
There’s often a heron or two on the lake, I think there was one in the distance here.


Cinderhill to Turnerwood via Brancliffe Farm is a favourite short stroll.
The Turnerwood flight vies with the Thorpe flight for “most scenic section of the canal”; taken together there’s no competition; even boaters who have to work the locks, there’s over twenty of them, agree.
A lone snowdrop at just the right height to photograph.
Blue tits are often seen but rarely take a pose long enough.
At Brancliffe Farm there’s banks of snowdrops at the roadside and in the small orchard.
The trees silhouetted against the cloudy sky are attractive whatever the time of year.


The long tailed tit feeding flocks are definitely becoming smaller as food supply reduces and, presumably, members die off.
In Shireoaks there’s a butcher’s shop with this blue plaque proudly fastened alongside its door.
A legacy of the mining era. A capped off pit shaft on The Woodlands ‘Country Park’.


On The Woodlands itself there’s an increasing wildlife presence, both animal and plant(and fungus – which are apparently neither(?)).

Furry pussy willow catkins are showing. Their silver sheen fair glows in the sun.
Last year’s alder cones and this year’s catkins await spring.
Here as elsewhere there’s plenty of blackthorn blossom.


At the pond there’s a great tit and a dunnock singing happily to welcome springtime.


Monday 29th Feb ’16

February 29, also known as leap day or leap year day, is a date added to most years that are divisible by 4 … A leap day is added in various solar calendars (calendars based on the Earth’s rotation around the Sun), including the Gregorian calendar standard in most the world. Lunisolar calendars (calendars based on the rotation of the Moon) instead add a leap or intercalary month.

In the Gregorian calendar, years that are divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a leap day. Thus, 1700, 1800, and 1900 did not contain a leap day, 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not contain a leap day, while 1600 and 2000 did, and 2400 will. Years containing a leap day are called leap years. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of the year. In the Chinese calendar, this day will only occur in years of the monkey, dragon, and rat.Wikipedia


Grebe number one on the pond.


Grebe number two about to leave his/her plank and then paddling away


Up at the overflow there’s an elder stump with now ageing jelly ear fungus.
The mallard pair were walking up Morse Lock’s bywash, dabbling as they went.
Gotta have a Hugin panorama picture. This one’s from the path alongside Redlands Primary.

That’s February done

6 thoughts on “Last two days of Feb

  1. The snowdrops are bloody beautiful and make the ones in my garden look pathetic. The pussy willow is a real sign of spring. Those goats look as though they would yield interesting wool but as you say – look at those horns. There are lots of crocuses around. My garden is full of wild ones that have spread themselves – all purple. I’m still throwing windfall apples from last autumn out for the blackbirds though the squirrels often run off with large pieces. The last few nights the owl has been calling and calling. Spring seems a little more advances in Worksop than in Altrincham which is odd since I would have thought it was colder east of the Pennines but I suspect you have more sunshine and less cloud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s LOADS of snowdrops around – I’ve only included a few photos here. There’s few crocii around in the wild – quite a few daffs though that are starting to show. Our local yobs take delight in beheading them!
      Don’t get much (any?) owl calling around here – pheasants are harshing around though. The goats are reasonably friendly but I’ll give ’em a miss.
      We’ve had a milder winter this side o’ the country I think – not a lot of rain and only one slight snowfall that was cleared within a few hours. Wind generally from he South-west has been quite warm most of the time.


  2. I carefully lifted a triangle of turf with a spade and put snowdrop bulbs beneath it. But they turn out to have been eco-friendly cultivated ones; flowers the same if they do flower, but great thick fat leaves, not at all like the “proper” grass-like ones.


    • Last year I came upon (actually across the canal) a couple of “Poles” (could be Rumanians, Latvians …) armed with spade & bucket – about to dig up, and presumably take away, a small patch of snowdrops. I remonstrated with them at length & even pretended to get out my ‘phone to call the cops. When talking to foreigners I tend to break out with my schoolboy German – which couldn’t have helped. The snowdrops stayed & are still there.
      What’s an eco-friendly snowdrop?


  3. The above turns out to be unsubstantiated nonsense. Not sure where I got that particular gem from, but it seems that most varieties of snowdrop have broad leaves. There are hundreds of varieties, and some people will pay hundreds of pounds for one bulb…
    And I now know that one bulb can be cut into 32 bits and, if properly looked after each bit will grow a bulblet.
    I tried to do this with an amaryllis bulb but couldn’t cope with the success. Where to keep 32 baby bulbs? And how many of the things did I really want?
    I have had similar problems with baby date palms, baby mangoes, avocado, kiwi …



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