Happy Ostara – the Vernal Equinox

To celebrate the Equinox today we took a short drive out to Sprotbrough Flash (nature reserve) for a walk along the river and up the hill into the woods to see what we could find – we didn’t get higher than the woods because walking up hill is even more difficult when you’re trying not to waddle underneath a big increasingly baby-filled belly.

Nin insisted that I try to take photos of all ducks that we came across (not that many to be honest).

Limestone rock face from across the river.
A mysterious tunnel (a train line runs above).  Nin and Ted wondered how they could get over the water to investigate, but that would’ve meant backtracking quite some distance back to the bridge.
What I’m guessing is ground ivy?  I’m ok, but not wonderful at identifying wild flowers and other plants, but sporadically I do try to learn more, plus Nin shows a great interest in this sort of thing and whilst I know there’s plenty of schools of thought to say that children should be given space to make up their own names, etc – and certainly I am of the belief that children should be given space to freely explore and observe without an adult providing a constant running commentary or questioning them every 2 seconds (for crying out loud, can’t they just enjoy looking sometimes? –   however, I am of the rather firm belief that the identification of plants is pretty handy (especially when it comes to recognising things that are edible – because you never know when that sort of thing could come in massively useful!)
Various waterfowl taken from a distance (from a hide) at Nin’s insistence – even though I did say that you could barely see them even with the zoom.
Nin took this photo of a swan, which was much, much closer than any of the other birds!
The limestone rock face again, taken from further up the hill.
Anyone have an idea what flowers these yellow ones are?
Part of the way we walked is part of the Trans Pennine Trail.
Lesser celandine (again – if I’m wrong, do please let me know!)
And a little strawberry hiding away.
Chickweed
I think this is Dog’s Mercury?
Some lovely violets – annoyingly I also took some photos of some dark blue ones as well, but managed to accidentally delete them.
The obligatory ‘boy-has-a-stick’ photo.
And lovely daisies – one of my favourite flowers – I couldn’t ignore them when taking photos of other flowers.
A few sheep grazing by the locks.

As the afternoon was coming to a close we pottered over to the weir to show the children where the sound of rushing water had been coming from at the beginning of our walk.

I have to admit that I was ready for a nap when we got in (but there was dinner to cook instead).  I’d’ve liked to have made more of a ‘party’ of the day, but we’ve been having some issues with tax credits (or rather complete lack of them) and it’s temporarily made a serious dent in our budget, so where I would’ve liked to have made a cake and some special bits and pieces, that just wasn’t do-able today.  We did have some lovely home-made hummus, potato wedges and salad.  I just hope and pray that the tax credits are sorted out soon though, as our store cupboard is almost empty (we’ve even pretty much run out of salt!)  Trying to keep patient and happy!
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