Silent Sunday

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Walking to the mill

One of my favourite  short walks takes me along the mill leat in the Riverside Valley Park. There are three bodies of water in the Valley Park, the canal, the river itself and the mill leat running roughly parallel, for about a kilometre. My walk begins less than a kilometre from the quay, at Salmon Pool Lane, where I pause on the bridge over the leat, hoping to spot a kingfisher.

No such luck.

There’s some major flood prevention work taking place on the river, so I head over to check it out.

This is the view up river.

And this is down. I can’t make any sense of it, but the work’s been going on for  several years already. Retracing my steps I pause to admire what I call the photo posts ( they make a great setting for family photos).

Then it’s back to the path.

Where I find this Hairy Dragonfly lady, quite happy to pose for me.

The flora and fauna get together, and give each other a helping hand.

Now, I hope that someone can tell me what this wildflower is, Jude perhaps? I only saw one.

Flora and George are keen to get going now, it’s such a hot day, they’re tempted by the water.

As it’s shallow they give it a try.

But not for long.

Someone’s been busy.

Next we cross the wooden footbridge.
This is the point where the North Brook joins the leat, just before it re-joins the river.
So we walk across the wooden footbridge.

The dogs know there’s rabbits around, but they have no hope of catching them.

The bright green plant intrigued me, it’s further away than it looks, could it be a Gunnera escaped from a garden?

We’re getting close to Mill Road now, the Mill was an overgrown ruin when I was a child. A grade 2 listed building, it belongs to the city council, and quite a lot of restoration has taken place. The first mill was built in 1284 by  Countess Isabela. It was powered by the leat and was used to grind corn, but from the 1630’s paper making using rags began. Through the 18th and early 19th century, the quality of paper produced changed to good writing paper, notes for private banks and news print for the Times of India. In 1816 a fire destroyed the old mil and this replacement was built.

At it’s height, 200 people were employed, the Industrial revolution was here and it was one of the first to install machines.

Once rag paper was replaced with wood pulp, the mill went into decline, such a shame. I’ve always been interested in the building, it’s so striking.


I think it would make a fabulous hostel, for walkers on the long distance South West Coast Path, just a hop, skip and a jump down the road. With a café and interpretation centre wouldn’t it be nice? If only the council thought so too!

I’m sharing with Jo, for her Monday Walk, the  first time for ages, Jo save me until another time, you’re probably all set for tomorrow already.  🙂

Saturated and then some

Lovely Paula has managed to find time to set us a Thursday Special challenge, despite being overworked. I really like the theme she’s chosen, saturation, it’s something I dabble with from time to time. I’m aware that it’s all too easy to get carried away and usually I reign myself in. No such self restraint this time, how green is your valley?

Probably more subtle like this original.

Hey, everyone goes OTT sometimes!

 

Millenium Lines

The Guildhall shopping centre in Exeter was created in a historic area right in the middle of the town in the 1970’s. Although there’s a lot of concrete, there are a few little gems ,like the tiny church of St Pancras, first recorded  in 1191 and the former Turk’s Head tavern building that’s at least 700 years old.

A mosaic was created, for the shopping centre at the turn of the millennium, by schools and community groups. Somewhere around a thousand 10 cm wooden squares were decorated and mounted in eleven lines on a shop wall.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to be involved in something like that, and still see your square eighteen years later?

This is my post my the weekly photo challenge of lines.

Awakening

There’s something about transitions and thresholds that I find fascinating, yet I can’t pinpoint it. Walking the dogs today, I saw this very handsome, but still very sleepy tree.

Then  further across the fields I spy this blossom.

Last year’s oak leaves hanging on.

This little wood wasn’t here the last time I came to Eastern fields.

Hooray for hawthorn, creamy flowers in May, Hawthorn Jelly later in summer.

The tops of these trees are waking up, I must re-learn the tree names that I knew in infant school.

Oh the limitations of a phone camera!

A serpent awakening?

Let’s end with damsons – or sloes?

We’re all observing the late arrival of spring in the UK, and this is my second post for ‘Awakening’, this weeks photo challenge.

Traces of the past

Next to mine own Shippe
I do love most
that old Shippe
in Exon a tavern
in St Martins lane

These are the words of Sir Francis Drake, a sea captain and slave trader, he carried out the second circumnavigation of the world in 1577 – 1580. In 1588 he helped defeat the Spanish Armada, but only after he’d finished his game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe. His home in Devon, Buckland Abbey is owned by the National Trust.

The Ship Inn pub is now sadly part of a chain but it still retains it’s character, who knows maybe Sir Francis still visits. This post is for Paula’s Thursday Special, Traces of the past, she has a beautiful photo of lake Bled this week.

#MarchSquare 16

I had the chance to pop into town today, so armed with phone i kept my squares eyes for any images that you might like. I’ve tried to photograph this mosaic before, but in the evening in poor light. Today it worked okay.

 

Isn’t it pretty? Do you have square eyes this month to join in with Becky? She likes circles inside squares too, if you look hard enough there are some here!