Tuesday, 5 March 2019

NT Ickworth with its Rotunda, Ducks, Wildflowers... and Sheep


We had a lovely visit to NT Ickworth earlier this week. There were plenty of ducks about...



Some were upside down while others were more stream-lined!



 We were pleased to see a good number of Tufted Ducks...



 and a few Coots.



The Moorhen below was about to make its way through the newly-planted box hedge towards the lake. The scent of young box was wonderful!


 The photo below shows our first view of the classical Rotunda through the trees...




I decided I would keep an eye out for early wildflowers, starting with [1] Daisy.


[2] Groundsel


[3] Chickweed


[4] Dog's Mercury



[5] Red Dead Nettle



[6] Primrose (plus what I think are the two-tone leaves of Yellow Archangel).


 [7] Comfrey, I think...


[8] Aconite

 
[9] Snowdrop [update: correction - Conehead54 tells me this is Spring Snowflake. Please see comments below]


[10] Wild Arum (not yet in flower)...


I'm not very good at identifying blossom: do let me know if you recognise the species below. [Update: please see comments below - Conehead54 tells me this is a Viburnum.]



There were some fine catkins dangling in the shadowed sunshine. 


There were also quite a few logs lying about, some covered in moss. A pile like this makes the perfect des res for insects. 


We emerged from the woodland area and walked through the parkland towards the church and walled garden, passing the sheep. Apparently it will be another two weeks or so until they lamb. Like fellow blogger, The Quiet Walker, I find sheep so photogenic...









I noticed a couple of queen bees on the wing, but failed to photograph them. One touched down in the woody area in the photo below, and disappeared. The little acorn cup reminded me of a rather charming couple of lines by an American 19th century poet:

‘… the pride of the forest was folded up
In the narrow space of its little cup!’




This Grey Squirrel was rather camouflaged in among the branches. It caught our attention when it moved...


  This is the view of the lake...




 ... and this is the view from the other side, looking back towards the church


 ... and the rotunda.


There are two churches, one (the parish church) dedicated to St Leonard by the entrance to the park and the second, dedicated to St Mary, inside the grounds. St Mary's has some beautiful flint-work.


We have often seen good numbers of ladybirds in this area, but, perhaps on account of the cooler weather, we failed to see any yesterday.




It was time for a cup of tea so we headed back to the area around the Rotunda for Earl Grey and (in my case) a slice of coffee cake.



I particularly like the fact that there is a mini-rotunda carved on the frieze!


We bought a pot of daffodils on our way out to add an extra splash of colour to our garden at home.

#welcomesignsofspring

8 comments:

Kay Weeks said...

Oh, Caroline! What a wonderful journey into spring - with flowers, ducks, and sheep! I smiled at every photograph, and felt that I was walking with you on this adventure.

Kay in Ellicott City, Maryland

L. D. said...

The collection of photos is such a wonder one. I kept looking and looking seeing spring. The buildings are wonderful and love the sheep who pose so nicely for you. Enjoyed all of them.

Conehead54 said...

The pink blossom is a Viburnum, probably Viburnum x bodnantense- very fragrant.

Also the snowdrops aren't snowdrops but Spring Snowflake, Leucojum vernum- understandable mistake though!

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you so much, Kay, Larry and Conehead54, for your kind comments. Thank you, Conehead, for the IDs - much appreciated! There were 'proper' snowdrops in the wood, but this one caught my eye because it looked a bit different. Just goes to show...

Ragged Robin said...

A beautiful set of photos - it looks a wonderful place to visit :) So good to see such a variety of wild flowers too and the sheep are cute!! :)

Cake sounds tasty!! :)

amanda peters said...

Great blog post with stunning photos Caroline, you got to see a good number of wild flowers, and love the sheep photos, looking forward to more spring Lambs in the fields, and thanks for the mention.
I need to find a comfrey plant, insects do like them and they do flower for a long time.
Amanda xx

Crafty Green Poet said...

Looks like a lovely place to visit. Excellent series of photos, specially the first one of the upended mallard! And yes number 7 is comfrey

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely post and great photographs …

All the best Jan