Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #5

I will refer to this month as the ‘Green Month‘ as after a warm spell everything appears to have burst into colour – mostly myriad shades of green. The May fair has been and gone with the usual closure of all the streets in the old part of the town and the spring food festival completely passed me by this year. Apparently it was held last weekend. Which may explain the arrival of more tourists walking around with a camera slung around their necks.

DSCF2564The lime trees are bursting into leaf and various shrubs around the castle grounds now display colour, but I am too late for the cherry blossom and magnolia. The fresh green leaves are very welcome though.

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Date: May 12 2015
Weather: sunshine, cloud and very windy
Temperature: Warm (14°C)
Time: 12:30 – 14:30 PM

Heading back down Dinham I notice the lawns outside St John’s Chapel are full of daisies and dandelions. Gone are the snowdrops and daffodils of previous months. The magnolia still has flowers, though it is not easy to see them through the leaves. Further down  an enormous burgundy-red Norway Maple (possibly ‘Crimson King’) rises above the town walls and I can see the splash of purple of a lilac tree. Edit: I think the red tree is actually a copper beech. I need to try and get a closer look at the leaf.

There are more people on the Millennium Green this month, some picnicking on the lawn, others sitting on a bench and lapping up the sunshine and quite a few enjoying lunch on the patio of the Green Café with its beautiful views of the Teme.  I scan the weir for a heron, but am out of luck. A few ducks vie for attention around the path, but no signs of ducklings as yet. The castle begins to be hidden behind all the foliage.

DSCF2593DSCF2594More notices catch my attention and I see that I missed the ‘Storm the Castle Duathlon’ on 19 April when Ludlow was full of cyclists/runners.

This inaugural run/bike/run course runs through the market town of Ludlow and the surrounding countryside of Shropshire and Herefordshire. Sections of rolling hillside mixed with seriously steep sections make this arguably the UK’s toughest duathlon.

I know two or three of my blogging friends would have been very interested in this had they been in this country at the time. Maybe next year ladies?

For a change I take the Donkey Steps among clouds of flying insects through the green tunnels of broadleaf woodland, enjoying the warmth now that I am out of the wind, though I can still hear it whispering through the leaves and it makes photographing the wild flowers rather more difficult. Along with dandelions, alexanders, alkanet, forget-me-nots, cow parsley, stinging nettles alongside dock leaves and honesty I find what appears to be a crab apple tree, the pinky-white flowers drawing my attention from a distance amongst all the greenery (see the header photo).

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Emerging from the woodland I am struck by the light. The open space has been transformed. I sit for a while on a bench overlooking the town. Swifts scream through the sky in front of me. A robin sings above my head and a blackbird sources nesting material by my feet. The river Teme rushes over the Mill weir below me and leaves ripple and dance in the wind sounding like waves lapping on the shore (though any shore around here has long since gone). It is very relaxing with only the sounds of nature to disturb me. I keep a careful eye out as sulphur-yellow brimstone and orange-tipped butterflies encircle me, hoping one might land nearby, but when a group of elderly hikers pass by I get up to leave.

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Sitting on a bench admiring the view with St Laurence in the distance

My final stretch is along Lower Broad Street where I see that the cherry tree I wasn’t sure actually was a cherry tree flaunts very distinctive cherry blossom. Some gaudy yellow tulips and a Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ add to the increased vibrancy of this street garden.

…did anyone spot the swift?

The Cardinal has decided to have a photo project going throughout 2015 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Find a location near your home, take somewhere between 5-20 photos and post them in a gallery in your blog. Continue to do this every month. The idea is to capture all the changes: the seasons, the weather, different times of the day, some night photography perhaps?

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Heyjude

I now live back in the UK, but spent several years travelling the world and then living in South Africa. I look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

85 thoughts on “Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #5”

    1. Thanks Laura, it is real fun to document the changes over the months. I try to give a feel of what I hear as well as what I see as this is never a silent walk.

    1. I have seen some wisteria out on a house that faces south, but the rest is in bud. We are always a little later than you guys in the south 😉

        1. A northerner is anyone who lives north of Watford Gap – that’s what I was always told. No it is true I am in the West Midlands, though TBH that always makes me think of Birmingham and it is nothing like that here. I prefer to say that I live in the Marches. Though I am truly a northerner as I am a genuine Yorkshire Lass 😉

  1. Your galley is stunning. I had no idea that there was something called Norway Maple.
    I am too late for the blossom season too, but luckily there’s always something or someone to photograph.

    1. I chose this particular stroll as I was aware that the flora changes quite dramatically over the course of a year, I just have never documented it consistently so I thank you for the challenge as it has forced me to be much more disciplined. I ‘think’ it is a Norway Maple, the only one I could find which has this rich colour in spring and is so big!

  2. You really cheered me up with your spring flowers, Jude. I love the forget-me-nots and that inviting bench. I like that idea of posting pictures once a month of all the seasons. 🙂

    1. It is a great way of ensuring that the same places are photographed each month and I am loving seeing the changes. The forget-me-nots are stunning, there is a huge patch near the first bride, but as it was in partial shade I couldn’t get a decent photo of it. I love the soft focus on the ones I found along the path. And I am never far from a bench it seems…

  3. As always, your Ludlow shots bring us the best of what can be found in England. If the coast was that bit nearer, it might well be the ideal place to live. If I ever wanted to show someone what ‘England’ is, in a nutshell, I would point them towards these posts. Great stuff Jude.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. Oh that is a lovely compliment Pete, thank you! For anyone wanting to live in the country with a decent small market town to shop in it is perfect. I never dreamed of living in the country though, it was always by the coast. We shall see…

    1. YES YES YES! You spotted it! A complete fluke, trying to photograph those birds must be practically impossible, they are so fast. I was so pleasantly surprised to see the distinctive outline of a swift in this image 🙂

      And I look forward to seeing what you have decided upon for the 5 photos 🙂

    1. Thank you Andy. There are streets, but my stroll takes me around the river. I may slip some streets in one of the months though, but you couldn’t call this place a concrete jungle, it has far too much history.

  4. Transformation! I think I’ve said before I love this series. It gives me a great sense of your town and its beauties … and also a few flower names as I pootle about in Poland. Your descriptive powers come to the fore too.

    1. I am enjoying your pootling Meg 🙂
      And yes I do get a bit carried away on these posts, but I want to record my feelings as I do this walk as well as what I see. When I am out there I wonder why on earth I want to leave this place.

  5. What a beautiful English spring-fest this is Jude. Your photos are just so beautiful, and I know I always say this, but I mean it!!! Now, where is the swift, I did try to find it….

  6. Stunning pictures, Jude. You certainly know your plants. Crimson King is what woke me up when I read your post. I recognized the name–I used to have one–and forget me nots, dandelions and lilacs. That’s it!
    Thank you for all your wonderful photography. You live in a splendid piece of heaven. ❤

  7. Oh my goodness the colors are beautiful Jude. As always I adore the variety of landscaped combined with the detailed images. The duathalon route looks most intriguing to me. 🙂

    1. Hah! As soon as I read the notice I thought of you, then when I looked up the event I could picture you and Dave on your bikes here! Not so sure about the running bit, but I’m sure you’d find a way. Actually my new neighbour runs cycling tours all around the world and so I think of you every time I see him loading bikes into his truck! How weird is that?

      1. Well it is very heart warming that you are thinking of us. I am set to run a 10km race at the end of the month but I will say my marathon days are behind me. One should never say never but let’s say I am glad to have that ticked off the list. 🙂

  8. Wow I loved this walk ( repeating myself ‘cuz there aren’t any I don’t love!). I did not find the Swift, I want to participate in the bike ride, then sit on the bench and marvel at the numerous hues of green, chagined that May is nearly iver and I missed those festivals … Again !!

    What are those odd trees that look like trunks with a top mop and a few bunches of leaves along their trunks? You might have told me, but if you did, I think the Swift search took all my brain power!

    1. Hi Sammy, your comments do make me smile, you talk so fast! Just like an American 😉
      I’m sure YOU would love the bike ride, not me especially after reading Ms Slaght’s piece on cycling. The trees are pollarded lime trees, the pollarding is what makes them look so odd. Keep an eye on them as the months pass. And the little swift is just an outline shape at the top of the odd tree, top left, 1st gallery. Now go make yourself a nice cup of tea and relax… 😀

      1. LOL Just like an American!! It’s that 2nd cup of coffee combined with my blog-reader enthusiasm 💞. Not like any lime tree I’ve ever seen and I love their ‘African-exotic’ appearance.

        1. Well these are common limes as in Tilia / linden not the citrus type. It is done to preventing trees and shrubs outgrowing their allotted space or reduce the shade they cast or so they don’t interfere with street lights / telephone cables.

        2. I see. I figured they weren’t lime producers.

          Just read Ms. Slaght’s wonderful biking post and will follow her to see what else we have in common. I’ve ordered you an electric bike (it’s the least I can do to have you along as designated photographer). 😎

        3. Now I think I would quite enjoy an electric bike. Must give one a go. And Sue’s blog is wonderful – great photos and humour!

        4. Yes, I enjoyed her humor in that post. Obviously an intrepid traveler and raconteur!

          The only thing about electric bikes is the added weight of the motor – because the idea is still to pedal when possible (I think I’d just succumb to the motor fulltime). Biking’s versions of a self-ridden apparatus like self-driving cars!

          OK going out to plant my flowerbed before weekend’s rain!

    1. First gallery, top left image, above the tree. You can only see the outline shape of a swift, but that’s a miracle given how fast they swoop.

    1. Hahaha… that made me smile. I have seen quite a bit of California and you do have a lot to be proud of, but you don’t do seasons like we do 😉

  9. Loved your Spring photo gallery, Jude. The flowers are really gorgeous, but my very favourite pic is the tree with the face and the fancy headdress. I zoomed in and found even more faces peeping out from under the hat band. (Yes I also spotted the swift) 🙂 Your weather sounds sort of okay, but as you know, I’m not into wind and 14ºC is not what I would call warm. 🙂

  10. Sighh … If I had places like this to walk through, rather than tar and cement, I would bloody walk all the time ! How heavenly, Jude ! – and yes, heavenly in spite of the indisputable fact that winter will be ’round again.
    Of course, the fact that your photos are top quality means that we all think this is paradise …
    Still, were it not in itself paradisical, you wouldn’t be able to show it to us so well !
    BIG hugs !

    1. I totally agree – it’s not a bad place for a walk, a bit on the hilly side, but otherwise very pleasant. When the sun shines I can forget about the winter months 🙂
      Hugs back dear friend. Hope you are keeping well. And thank you for your kind comments.

        1. Why not? I have taken photos throughout the year of where I am living right now, but not consistently recording the same subjects. I have learned a lot by doing this, I would never have said before that trees were still bare in April!

  11. It’s nice to see the lime trees beginning to green up at last. I was thinking how lovely and warm it was all looking until I read “Temperature: warm 14 degrees”….I would be wearing all my winter gear! Brrrr

  12. What a delightful stroll through the English country side you have taken us on Jude. I must admit I get a small pang of home sickness when I see so much beauty. Again you have excelled in naming all the flowers and trees, well done…

    1. I find the trees so hard to name as many look very similar. I have started to photograph leaves and then look them up when I get home! Still puzzle me…

  13. I love spring for all the flowers and you’ve captured nature’s full bouquet ❤
    Thank you especially for the lilacs – they just make me so happy!

    As usual, beautiful photos Jude … even the dandelions! Those bright sunny flowers are really quite stunning. Too bad they're a scourge in our lawns and gardens.

    1. Thank you Jo. It is certainly much more colourful now and the blossom has been perfect this year. I love the dandelions on the verge, but as you say they are a bit troublesome in the garden 🙂

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