Hello again folks – here are my Rainbird Ramblings for Tollard Royal this month
Hills and Highways
May was a bit of a slow month I hope you didn’t miss me too much! After the wind and not so warm spring (apart from the odd day here and there) we finally appear to have tripped over into summer. The blossom has been blown from the trees like confetti at a wedding and given way to the important part of developing into fruit and berries helped along by being pollinated by our insects, without which we would have no delicious fruit to harvest. Sometimes its worth just sitting and watching how busy bees actually are! I was saddened to see the verges cut so early in the season – really they should be left until much later to give flowers/insects etc. a chance to procreate.
I have had some lovely rambles as a member of the Woodland Trust. I like to explore their protected woodlands – amazingly the nearest to Tollard is Duncliffe Wood, Stour Row, Shaftesbury. It’s one of our most ancient woodlands and can be seen as you drive down zigzag hill to the West, an oak clad hill with winding paths and magnificent views from the top if you fancy the climb! There are guided paths or as I do let your mind just lead you around.
Butterflies and birds are in abundance, it ‘s dog friendly and children can run ahead on the wide paths – a great place to escape the summer heat. It’s hard to imagine that some of the lime trees could have been there for up 1000 years. It really is well worth a ramble and just on our doorstep.
Mr Rainbird and I had a day out rambling or should I say scrambling! up sugar loaf mountain in the Brecon Beacons . Once up on the top the breath taking views of W ales are stunning. We sat all afternoon just soaking up the glorious peace and tranquility, disturbed only by bugs on a super highway buzzing past our heads at speed as we laid watching the white rolling teddy bears, fish and trees (oops sorry I mean clouds). This visit was coupled with a look at the Henrhyd Falls – the highest waterfall in Wales. It’s quite impressive at nearly 90ft. There wasn’t much water going over the edge but it has been used for the Bat Man Dark Night movie and a Bear Grylls advert. I could have done with either of them to get me back up the steep climb to the top – there’s never an action man around when one needs one! Sorry Mr. R.
Back to the village and on my usual rambles I notice little extras have appeared…. We have flowering pots by the bench and Flower Pot Men by Vine cottage what is going on ?
Of course it ‘s best-kept village competition and our very own scarecrow festival. (Note to self do not say hello to scarecrows when strangers are passing) Mrs Rainbird “rambles” in more than one way? It has been a spectacular festival and helped slow the traffic down a lot. All who attended had a jolly good time and I am still seeing people stop to take photos two weeks on. I do get a bit spooked sometimes if I forget where they are especially when rambling at dusk – the wicked witch is pretty scary day or night. Love her ruby slippers – no place like home Dorothy. David and Brooklyn Beckham were in the village during the Festival, I hope they enjoyed the scarecrows. I happened upon them coming up the road as I was going down, I smiled but said nothing (bit tongue tied), I heard Brooklyn say to his Dad – she obviously doesn’t know who you are Dad ! ! !
I also spied some lovely old vintage motors at the pub – ready for the Chalke Valley History Festival – Silver Ghosts are so elegant and they were all really well kept.
On my rambles around the lanes foxgloves, wild roses and honeysuckle adorn the tangled hedgerows. The birds in the garden have had lots of fledglings and are worn out with the endless feeding taking a well-earned dip in the birdbath from time to time. In the meadow, the hares are getting braver as a buzzard hunts daily, the kestrel has two chicks and they are dining out on field voles.
All around the hills and fields are a hive of activity. New life making its debut into the world surrounded by hay making, hedge trimming and the smell of newly mown grass as it wafts up from the gardens as I walk down Church Hill. You forget sometimes on a clear sunny day how far you can actually see , the Isle of Wight in the distance never to be taken for granted. I hear a hedgehog has been spotted in one of my neighbours garden which makes me very happy – they are in decline now due to slug pellets and traffic. Please buy animal friendly ones and be mindful where you put them. They are such useful gardeners if you do have them in your garden.
With a full moon upon us and daylight at its longest its great to make the most of our British summertime. If you can’t ramble during the day then a twilight walk will show you just how much goes on around Tollard. If you are lucky, the odd barn owl up Benches Lane, tawny owls in little wood, foxes, badgers and deer crossing the By-Way on their way out to hunt
Until next month…… Mrs Rainbird.
Mrs Rainbird is famed in Midsomer Murders for knowing everything about everyone!! Every good village has their own special Mrs Rainbird :)