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For Those with Eyes to See and Ears to Listen

Updated on August 4, 2015

Notes from a Lancashire Countryman.

My forays into the beautiful exhilarating countryside of West Lancashire often encounter a diverse assemblage of habitat. One obviously has a choice of which habitat one wishes to remain in , but my personal preference during a days rambling is to take in as many habitats as possible, for each and everyone of them has something new to offer to those with the eyes to see and the ears to listen.

In the early morning my preference is to be by the lake. I like to observe the reeds along the lakeside which are currently vibrant and gracefully plumed. Among the reeds ducklings, not long of this world, paddle their fluffy bodies between the tall stems. The pendulous branches of the weeping willow reach out to the waters shimmering surface twinkling in the early sunlight. I like to look into the water's depth's, with its cavern's of shade and dappled light and long strands of emerald vegetation. How many eye are looking back at me as my shadow invades their watery kingdom?

Gallery of Countryside photographs

Photograph by D.A.L.
Photograph by D.A.L.
Pathways are lessened by vibrant summer growth. Photograph by D.A.L.
Pathways are lessened by vibrant summer growth. Photograph by D.A.L.
The variegated grasses among the sedges give cover to wildlife. Photograph by D.A.L.
The variegated grasses among the sedges give cover to wildlife. Photograph by D.A.L.
The tranquil waters of the lake. Photograph by D.A.L.
The tranquil waters of the lake. Photograph by D.A.L.
The weeping willow caresses the water's surface. Photograph by D.A.L.
The weeping willow caresses the water's surface. Photograph by D.A.L.

Around the lake

The large spreading leafy boughs of a sycamore overhangs the water as a myriad of insects dance in the shafts of sun light just below the foliage. Countless numbers of insect eggs are hatching among the foliage many of which will succumb to the ever alert eyes and hungry beaks of the birds, if this were not so, there would be plagues of insects in every part of the country. This is the haunt of heron , coot, mallard,waterhen and tufted duck, and a catalogue of their ilk , that visit, the length of their stay varying from just a few minutes to a few days. Among the tall sedges and reeds where the industrious dragonfly make his living, there are tall grasses with variegated foliage beautiful and cooling to gaze upon.


Fertile Farm land

During my day long forays, after leaving this tranquil setting, my next location through which I like to ramble, is the fertile farm land , which in west Lancashire is never far away. Arable land in our region offers a quilt work of contrasting colours from the delicate greens to the darker greens of brassica crops, the yellow oil seed rape and the golden corn that stands serene. Meadows that are ablaze with floral exhibitions, a kaleidoscope of tones and a diverse range of sizes from the tiny trefoils to the thugs of the plant world such as hogweed, thistle and docks.

Gallery of farmland

The golden flowers of oil seed rape add to the quilt work of colours.Photograph by D.A.L.
The golden flowers of oil seed rape add to the quilt work of colours.Photograph by D.A.L.
Orchids are numerous in the meadows these are the queens of grassland flora.Photograph by D.A.L.
Orchids are numerous in the meadows these are the queens of grassland flora.Photograph by D.A.L.
Flowers of the common hogweed these are the thugs of the plant world. Photograph by D.A.L.
Flowers of the common hogweed these are the thugs of the plant world. Photograph by D.A.L.
The farmhouse basking in th summer sun. Photograph by D.A.L.
The farmhouse basking in th summer sun. Photograph by D.A.L.

Around the meadows

Around the meadows hedgerows display vigorous summer growth and act like "motorways" for small mammals and birds in which they can move around in comparative safety, secluded from prying eyes. The sweet smell of newly mown hay, the rutty cart track baked iron hard by the sun, whose bankings played host to numerous flowers and bees hummed around their blooms, in search of the sweet nectar which they will convey to the honey factory from whence they came.

Butterflies flit among the flowers before dancing away across the ripening corn. It is a pleasure to see the corn ripening in this golden zone. The meadows are fresh and green but open to the suns relentless rays. By mid afternoon I make a bee line for the inviting coolness in the heart of the woodland where I pass the hottest hours leaving the meadows to the bees and butterflies.

Although the hot sun tried to penetrate this cool paradise, the living canopy that forms the roof of this sylvan refuge kept it at bay. Under these shady boughs within this leafy serenity one is connected to nature, the nature lover is content with the quiet of the summer woodland. During this period I eat my plough man's luncheon washed down by a cup of tea {well I am English}.

Although bird song still cascades from feathered throats the intensity of the choir has diminished, for most will be feeding their children. During July the song of summer will be over has battle weary parents begin their moult and recover from the hectic schedule they have been embroiled in since raising their families. During this moulting period birds will be less vocal and keep as concealed as possible. The vibrancy of the spring choir I shall miss until the bluebells once again pierce the winter leaf litter.

Top. Woodland stream Bottom. Foxglove in woodland.

This woodland stream is a watering hole for local wildlife. Photograph by D.A.L.
This woodland stream is a watering hole for local wildlife. Photograph by D.A.L.
Foxglove flowering in the heart of the woodland. Photograph by D.A.L.
Foxglove flowering in the heart of the woodland. Photograph by D.A.L.

Leaving with reluctance

Usually I leave the woodland with some reluctance as the evening shadows lengthen and a few wispy rose coloured clouds low down in the west a rubicund sunset seals a perfect day.

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    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi magnoliazz thank so much for joining me on my ramble and for leaving your kind and appreciated comments. Queen Anne's Lace over here is the cow parsley Anthriscus sylvatica. In America do they call the wild carrot Daucus daucus Queen Anne's Lace also.

    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      From one nature lover to another all I can say is "EXCELLENT!" I was walking through the lovely English countryside with you.

      What is a plough man's luncheon? I would assume it would be a sandwich of some sort, maybe cheese and mustard?

      And the Hogweed, we call it Queen Anne's Lace, and use it in pressed flower pictures.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi lucieanne your are welcome to join the rambles any time you wish. The countryside over the "hill" in Yorkshire has always been an attraction for me since I was able to walk.Have you read mu hub Bolton Abbey A Jewel in the Yorkshire Dales. Thank you for the visit and for taking the time to comment.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Hi lucieanne your are welcome to join the rambles any time you wish. The countryside over the "hill" in Yorkshire has always been an attraction for me since I was able to walk.

    • lucieanne profile image

      lucieanne 

      8 years ago from Boston United Kingdom

      I really enjoyed reading your hub - it reminds me of the countryside in yorkshire where I grew up. You have a lovely way with words, I felt like I was walking along beside you. Beautiful pictures too

      Regards

      Lucie

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      McHamlet, nice to meet you, I am humbled by your kind comments, I find nature beautiful to observe and relatively easy for me to find the words to describe the things I am observing.

    • McHamlet profile image

      Paul Buckle 

      8 years ago

      Excellent, you really made the countryside come alive with your vivid and colourful descriptions. You're obviously a serious nature lover and it shines through here wonderfully. I particularly liked these images "The sweet smell of newly mown hay, the rutty cart track baked iron hard by the sun...", which transported me right into the scene...Great Hub')

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Mark knowles, be sure to have one for me. Thank you for visiting and leaving your appreciated comments.

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 

      8 years ago

      Now I am all homesick. There is nothing like England on days like these. Great photos and writing. Booking my ticket home now and looking forward to the first beer in an English country pub.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      B, thank you I will check that out soon as.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 

      8 years ago

      hi do you have the artist and writers handbook. I have, if not there will be one in the library. There are thousands of magazines, just waiting for articles such as yours, believe me, i Know.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      B I wish I could find a publisher as keen as you are. Your praise is reward enough my friend.

      Jule Romans, nice to meet you,thank you for your kind and well appreciated comments.

    • Jule Romans profile image

      Jule Romans 

      8 years ago from United States

      Your work truly IS beautiful. Thanks for writing.

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 

      8 years ago

      well you should be submitting them you really should, i cannot understand why, have you tried to with your articles. So many visitors to the Lake District would surely be interested in your work, go on give it a go.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      joy56, WOW, thank you so much B, Yes I still do the walks as a ranger. Wish I did work for a mag. I could add the pictures to your brilliant poetry.

      tonymac04 nice to meet you . Thank you for calling by and for leaving your kind and appreciated comments.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      A delightful country walk indeed! Thanks so much. Enjoyed the pix very much also.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 

      8 years ago

      oh my god these photos are just brilliant, do you work for a magazine if not why not? dO you still take people on walks, i just read your profile. May come on one some day.......... wow you are brilliant

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      equealla, what a fantastic compliment. Thank you so much for taking the time to say it. Hope we share more walks together in the future.

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 

      8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Most probably we will never meet in real life, and yet you walked with me. You took my hand and led me into your world. I have not only beholden with mine eyes, (by way of the excellent pictures), but was wandering through the seasons and the days, coloured with words.

      You have created a everlasting living moment in my memory. Nothing can erase it now.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR

      Dave 

      8 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Darlene , what an awesome comment. Glad you enjoyed this hub so much. Thank you my friend.

      PeggyW-Thank you also for your awesome comment, it was a pleasure having your company, much appreciated.

      timorous, it sounds like you are lucky too. Thank you for joining me in the Lancashire countryside.

    • timorous profile image

      Tim Nichol 

      8 years ago from Me to You

      I'm there dude! But seriously...fabulous photos and evocative prose put me right into the Lancashire countryside. You're so lucky.

      I'm currently living near a really nice river. There's a section that's inhabited by at least a couple of dozen Canada geese, plus mallards and seagulls. They regularly wander up the riverbank, are not afraid of humans, and enjoy being fed.

      At this time of year the cute little goslings are just getting their swimming legs as they paddle along close behind mum and dad. Very relaxing setting it is.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Oh what a wonderful journey in which you engaged your readers. With your beautiful photos and descriptive words, you made me feel as though I was by your side. I could almost feel the crunch of the leaves beneath my footsteps and hear the insects buzzing next to the reeds and water. Loved it! Absolutely LOVED IT!! Thank you!!! Rating this beautiful.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Dave my dearest friend, this hub is different then the rest, it is do touching and your words flowed like a gentle river, I think this is my favorite hub, I loved the pictures with the trail, reminds for flying dreams when they entered into the deep dark forest. This hub is excellent, I could hear and see everything around me, Bravo, and I also love tea. your fan and friend, rate up and all the above

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