Shrewsbury Flower Show

It has been a few years since I went to this show. But, with a decent weekend forecast and having lots of other events in the area cancelled due to the appalling weather this summer, I decided it was time for a visit. The gate tickets are not cheap for sure but, the firework display is always phenomenal so we made a day of it.

As always, there were fabulous flower displays in the tents and a host of other entertainment.

Some was definitely geared towards the younger visitors but, we both enjoyed the quad bike stunts.

The Dingle looked as beautiful as ever although, I have so often gone down there with my camera at lunch, it seemed strange to see quite so many people!

As well as the military band, this year for the first time, they also had a folk group playing ~ the Oysterband. I confess to being quite surprised, I always think of the flower show committee as being a little er “set in their ways”! It was most enjoyable sitting on the bank with a glass listening to some lovely music.
Finally, of course, the fireworks! These have always been spectacular and this year was no different. They did put them to music which contributed hugely to what was already a fabulous atmosphere……

I have chosen three to provide you with an idea but there are a dozen or so in a Flickr album for anyone else that loves fireworks ……

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Moving into May

Although, it doesn’t really feel too much warmer. However, there are plenty of new arrivals. Last week I saw the first swallows and this week the first swifts. The recent weather has meant that for much of this week, we have had flood alerts here in Shropshire. The River Severn is very high right now so after a winter where it was below normal levels, in the image it is well above. Normally you can walk under this bit of the bridge.

The butterflies that I would expect to see by now are still absent and the Orange Tips are the only one that I have seen in any number. This one very kindly posed for me in the garden.

But, an old friend did materialise on a trip out over the weekend. This is the first damsel that I have spotted for the year, newly emerged, a week later than the first spotted last year.

On the same trip, we also saw two Mistle Thrushes hunting for worms.

The bluebells are now in full flower:

Whereas, these Ramsons flowered only this week:

Have a great week!

….and it was all Yellow

Actually it has been a very wet rainy day here in Shropshire and so to brighten the day, I am choosing some of my most recent “Yellow” photographs. Besides, this one should be bright and cheery, it is my 100th blog post! I always think that colours seem to change throughout the year and often become predominantly one whether this is due to nature or man-made. The daffodils have all but finished now but, these Narcissus have been brightening up my days this week from a neighbour’s garden.

Whilst in our own garden, the birds have been the most active on out feeder that I have seen for ages. They all look very smart in Spring I think. No doubt they will look a little more ruffled at the end of the breeding season.

Meanwhile, a little further afield and the first primroses are blooming in the woods and on the grass verges.

For miles around we can see bright yellow fields of rapeseed for oil.

The first Yellow Wagtails are arriving and looking around the hedgerows and you can spot the Yellow Hammers dive to the ground as you drive past.

Finally, for the house I bought some Yellow Chrysanthemums, it cheers it up whilst it is raining!

Have a great weekend!

The Nature of April

The nature of April here in the UK is showers! Despite an earlier warm week and some area’s of the UK experiencing drought conditions, here in Shropshire April has been pretty much as it usually is. It heralds the return of many old friends which I delight in seeing again. After several months of catching a rare glimpse of a butterfly, lots of insects emerge, the sound of the Chiffchaff is heard on their return from Africa and the first Spring flowers appear like magic.

Wood Sorrel

Different birds seem to be arriving daily and this week, I saw my first Swallow.

Despite the showers we have been out and about watching and listening to the new arrivals. The butterflies arrived very early on the South Coast but here in the Midlands my first spot of Speckled Woods was actually a few days later than last year. On the same day I caught the first glimpse of a Brimstone and Orange Tip. I normally have to wait a while for my first image of an Orange tip, they fly at an incredible rate. However, down by the river on Sunday, one rested a while under cloudy skies.

A little patience waiting for the cloud to move over was rewarded:

A little further afield just into Staffordshire on Saturday and this was the first Green Veined White:

Almost on cue, I spotted the first glimpses of the Cuckoo flower or Ladies Smock which is a favourite of both of these butterflies. It always fascinates me how nature know the right time!

Meanwhile, we have a pair of Robins feeding each other in the garden. How I would love to get a picture. For such a feisty bird, they are so gentle with each other!

Skywatch Friday ~ Bridgnorth Walkabout

I am so bad for forgetting about Friday when it is a Thursday…yes I can see people rolling their eyes and rightly so!!! So my apologies for being a little late..
However, I do have some lovely blue sky images from the weekend from a walkabout locally. Some of you may have seen some pics on my better half’s blog but, we never see the same things ~ the joy of photography is that it is a lot like art…and we all see a different picture!

No sky here but this sign outside a local pub…just because it made me laugh 😀

Followed by some flowers because I can… 🙂

Finally, if there are any funicular railway fans…here you are complete with blue skies and fluffy clouds.

Other skywatch images from around the world can be found here
Happy Skywatch to everyone 🙂