Winter at Apedale

We’ve had a fair few walks at Apedale over the winter, but haven’t been great at taking photos (too cold!). Now that spring is coming, we are planning to write regular posts again.

Here are some photos from our winter trips.

A snowy day – looking over Chesterton school to the Staffordshire Moorlands:

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The sun on the snow was very beautiful.

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There are signs of spring though – this photo of hazel catkins was taken on the same day:

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The gorse is in flower, whatever the month. We enjoy smelling the blooms which have the aroma of coconut.

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Some photos of another day in January when there was snow on the ground at Apedale, as well as over the distant hills:

The nature pond looked rather bleak:

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But the pussy willow was starting to come out:

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In the woods we spotted some Jelly Ear fungus:

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This is an edible fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae), but it doesn’t exactly look very appetising. It is growing on an elder tree, which is its preferred habitat.

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Watermills wood was pretty cold and grey.

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But by the time we got up to the area we call ‘the Beech Copse’, because of the large beech trees amongst the elder and alder, the sun was shining low in the sky giving us a beautiful light:

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The ivy seed heads are so attractive at this time of year:

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And we spotted more fungus. We wondered if these were oyster mushrooms, but we are not knowledgeable about fungus to know for sure!

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Here are some photos from a walk in mid-February.

First up some more jelly ear:

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Some very familiar wildlife, having a sniff around:

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Looking over from Apedale towards Wolstanton, which is quite close to where we live:

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The very cheering sight of gorse in the sunshine – it was actually quite a warm day for February, although the temperature has sunk right back down again by the end of the week.

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Mum managed this picture of a buzzard in flight:

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And a better picture of a blue tit, singing as loud as he could, at the top of a hazel tree:

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These are alder catkins, which are darker and longer than the catkins we see on the hazel trees:

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We call this tree, the elbow tree:

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We spotted leaf miner tracks on the bramble leaves:

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The remains of a fox’s meal – looks like it might have been a wood pigeon:

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The ivy, climbing a silver birch, brings a real note of colour:

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And finally more catkins (hazel this time) showing spring is hopefully just around the corner:

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