Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spring in the UK

I wanted to share some pictures I recently took of the UK in spring time!

Volunteering in the chalk grasslands

I had some fun today volunteering with the East Sussex Wildlife Trust doing what they call "practical conservation." At 10.00am today I headed out with a group of nine other people to work on restoring a small patch of English chalk grasslands. Apparently about 97% of the English chalk grasslands have disappeared over the years. Sheep used to help keep the grasslands from being taken over by tress and bushes but people here are apparently razing a lot less sheep then they used to. I was fascinated by this and I was eager to learn more about it all.

We got to our work site about 10.30am and started getting ready to work. I got my first surprise when I discovered that the area we were going to be working on was a very steep hillside covered with loose chalk rocks and soil. Towards the top where I ended up spending most of my time it was practically a cliff face. My next surprise was that it turned out that our task was to remove all the trees that were growing on this hillside! What sort of conservation was this I thought!?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beautiful morning in Lewes

We woke up to a very lovely morning today with the sun just shining on the English countryside with a small band of fog hovering amongst the houses and parks.

The change in the weather is very much welcomed. The past several days have been cloudy and grey with some rain and a near constant wind strong enough at times to almost shake the flat.

Spring is slowly arriving here in Lewes. Spring bulbs are starting to show up and even a few spring flowers. Still getting below freezing at night though from time to time. It will be very nice once the weather warms and sunny days become the warm days.

We did have a nice day though walking through the English countryside about a week or so ago. It was a nice sunny day and crystal clear. We walked along the River Ouse to a small old church that even to this day is still in service (expect in winter).

On our way back though we did have a little adventure with Shelob. Luckily it was only Shelob's webs but we kept our eyes open and moved a little more quickly home.

Even the rain and wind though still does not ruin the day. We went out to the farmers market and a seed swap a couple days ago. It was very blustery and misty day but still a lot of people showed up to the seed swap. We bought some yummy English Apple Juice and some carrot cake n brownies as a treat.

The seed swap was hosted at a the Lewes Grange. It is a very beautiful place with gardens and a stream flowing through the gardens. There is also a crafter's guild there that has arts and crafts produced by the guild members. Its very nice and we are looking forward to going back once the flowers are all in bloom.

Lewes is a very lovely magical place. Seems like every day we are discovering some new secret passage way to a new adventure and sights unseen. *more pictures after the break*