For the past few months - an unforeseen intensive work project has consumed my time since I last wrote a post on my blog. During the day my brain cells frazzle and my eyes sting with the glare of the computer screen, but in the evenings I have logged off my PC and spent several sunny hours walking and absorbing the beauty of my natural surroundings.
Although I live on the outskirts of a city, I am fortunate to be surrounded by a beautiful regional park that is designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty. A short walk away from my home is the canal which runs parallel to the river and leads to the Rose Gardens.
This summer, it has become an evening routine to take a stroll along the towpath running alongside the canal and the river.
In the evening sun, the impressionistic reflections of the old stone bridge over the river merge with the leafy trees.
Wildlife abounds on the canal – moorhens, greebs and mallards materialise from the reeds at the riverbank leading their broods of ducklings downstream, the parents fussing as they gather them together again when their fluffy off-spring break away from the orderly procession.
There may no longer be any barges sailing between the locks, instead stately swans glide majestically along the canal towards the river, ignoring the squabbling broods of ducklings.
Swifts and swallows swoop low over the water, crisscrossing from the fields and meadows on the opposite side.
Occasionally I have seen a Kingfisher perched on a low overhanging branch above the river, poised to dive.
Fish (brown trout) create ripples as they break the surface of the water jumping for flies.
Before it can become too idyllic – it is impossible to forget the hordes of viciously biting midges that relish feasting upon any skin they detect even if it is covered up with clothing, thus inflicting misery upon me, (not only on my evening strolls but also recently ruining my enjoyment of the allotment).
En-route to the Rose Gardens, trees overhang the canal creating deep shadowy reflections and a stillness on the deep water beneath the high sandstone bridge.
Hidden in a clearing in the woodland near the stone bridge, the lock-keepers cottage pervades a sense of mystery and of a dwelling that time forgot.
Since becoming captivated by embroidery, I have become obsessed with capturing images of wildflowers.
Cow Parsley, Lady’s Smock and other wildflowers grow in abundance at the side of the path. As I walk, creative thoughts flow of how I can transpose the images onto linen with thread.
One evening our route deviated away from the river and we walked through the rose gardens.
On this occasion it was not the old-fashioned pink roses that caught my eye, but the surprise addition of a wildflower walk.
As usual, I got carried away with snapping images of flowers, floating and dancing; a rainbow of colours.
I will leave you here to wander through the meadows.....
I hope you enjoyed your walk.
So many flowers.... when will I have time to embroider them all?