Saturday, 9 April 2016

Wandering, finding and foraging

It has been a typical English April day, alternating sunshine and rain, with a bit of hail thrown in to keep things chilly.
I awoke to bright sunshine and this tempted me to spend the day exploring the local countryside. However, by the time I was ready to leave the house, it was pouring with rain.
Undeterred, I ventured out and by the time I found a nicely situated byway, the rain had stopped and all was calm and cool.





The path went slowly up beside some woods to a ridge, wandered along the top and then dipped down again to the valley. I walked slowly, looking around me and listening to the sounds of a spring day. There were birds everywhere. I saw and heard: Blue Tits, Great Tits, Woodpecker, Thrushes, a Chaffinch and Blackbirds, a quick swoop by of a Jay, the 'kee kee' of a Buzzard and my first Lark's song this year.
The landscape is still that of early spring from a distance but looking closer, I found many trees, leaves and flowers are just beginning to come out.






 
 
Wiltshire feels an old land, perhaps because some of the first people in England lived here. I'm always looking under fallen trees, in Mole hills and by Badger's sets in the hope of finding an ancient treasure.
Today I found this heavy and rusty horse shoe, dug up by a badger. I wonder how old it is?
 
 
 
 
Further down the bridleway, a rabbit had disturbed the earth beneath the hedge and this little flint caught my eye. I can never really tell if my findings are Stone Age tools, or just  pieces of chipped flint. I would so love to find an arrow head. Imagine holding something that was last touched by another human being thousands of years ago?
 


 


On my way home I stopped to pick an armful of Wild Garlic. It's just at its best and I wanted to make some Pesto.
 
 
 
 It is probably one of my favourite 'foods for free' and I love the fact that it seems to arrive so suddenly. Its garlicky smell and lush green leaves mark the true start to Spring for me.
There are various recipes for the Pesto on the internet. I tend to alter them according to what I have in my store-cupboard...
 
 
Wild Garlic and Parsley
 
Pine nuts and Cashew nuts

 
Cheddar and Parmesan cheese

Lemon juice

Quite a bit of Olive oil

All whizzed up together

There! Enough for me and two little gifts to take to my Brother and Mother tomorrow.
 
 
 
 
I have enjoyed myself today.
It feels as if I have had the best of country living
 





6 comments:

  1. I know what you mean about Wiltshire feeling old. I always get a sense of history from the county, all those layers of history just under our feet. I've never found a horseshoe, though!

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    1. It's strange how some places have a particular feel isn't it? That's exactly how I think of it 'Layers of history beneath our feet'- a wonderful thought!

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  2. I love living in Wiltshire, as you say, has an ancient feel to it. I have the same trouble as you, often the morning is sunny, and by the time I get my act together, the sun has hidden and I need to rethink the wardrobe! Love your images in this post. And the cover too! x

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    1. Thank you, I'm so glad you like my photos and my cover. I remember playing in the hay in my grandparents garden. I keep a motley collection of different clothes in the boot of my car to cover all eventualities!

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  3. How lovely! I once found a huge horse shoe on Hampstead Heath, propped up against a tree. I suppose someone dug it up or found it in a ditch and left it there. What a massive horse it must have been! In ye olden days that bit of the heath was farmland. I left it by the tree. I think Wiltshire is brilliant, specially the bits around Avebury, Marlborough, which I know the best. As you say, such a feeling of age.

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  4. This horse shoe is very large too, and heavy. I'd love to know its history!

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