Walking in the World

Rural Walking

Rambling in Ramsholt

RamsholtChurchSometimes I doubt that I’ll ever get used to the weather here, nor fully accept the fact that it changes hour by hour most days rather than day by day. We started out with sunny skies while we were having our morning coffee, then had a wet and rainy mid-morning drive up to Ipswich. By the time we were finished with our appointments there, the skies were clearing and the wind was picking up as we headed out to the coast for lunch. As I sit down at home to write this evening, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and the air is soft and gentle. Something for everyone, I guess! The one constant throughout the day has been the incredible array of blossoms and wildflowers that grow against the backdrop of a brilliant green landscape. England at its springtime best!

RamsholtDoor

We ate a marvelous lunch of pork belly and bubble & squeak at the acclaimed Ramsholt Arms overlooking the River Deben, then made our way to the old Ramsholt Church nearby.

RamsholtChurch3

One of only 38 round tower churches in Suffolk, it was built in the thirteenth century and is still in use today, though it was derelict for a while with restoration beginning in the 1950’s.

RamsholtChurch2

I was particularly taken with the box pews, which I hadn’t ever seen before. Outside, the churchyard was both wild and serene, with a profustion of wildflowers growing amongst gravestones that date to as far back as the 18th century.

AngelTomb

12 May 2015

An Evening Stroll

Track

We drove down to Two Tree Island for an evening stroll to take advantage of the warming weather and lengthening days. Hoping to hear the resident nightingales sing their famous song, we were rewarded with both a song and a sighting as we wandered along the track that leads through their territory. Further on, the cuckoos were also out, calling to each other as they flew about in twos and threes.

Samphire

The track ends at the edge of the Thames estuary, a muddy networks of waterways that fill and empty as the tides move in and out. We found this little patch of samphire growing right at the water’s edge. Samphire is a salty sea asparagus that grows in coastal marsh areas around Northern Europe. Originally called sampierre, the name is a corruption of the French St. Pierre (St. Peter), the patron saint of fishermen. Samphire has always been a local delicacy, but its fame is growing and it’s not unusual to find it on the menus of some of London’s finest restaurants.

11 May 2015

Sedge in the Woods

Sedge

With May nearly upon us, we are enjoying our sport of nosing around gardens and woodlands in search of the local flora and fauna. While many of the flowers we find are beautiful and showy, some are just downright strange – but still beautiful in their own right. We found these pendulous sedge flowers (Carex pendula) growing along the path leading through an ancient woodland. It looks like a wily old bird sticking its neck up out of the grass, doesn’t it? Quite the personality!

Graminoids are the flowering grasses, rushes, and sedges that are found across the British Isles, and are frequently indicators of ancient woodlands. They have small or no petals because they are wind-pollinated, so don’t need to attract insects for pollination. The Woodland Trust gives this easy way to tell graminoids (sedges, rushes, and grasses) apart. Sedges have edges, rushes are round and grasses are hollow right up from the ground.

28 Apr 2015

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