Right now it’s stormy outside – the wind has picked up and the skies have darkened. But yesterday was a different story: blue skies and sunshine, and the first day of the year where I’ve felt too hot. (This happens early in the year for me: I don’t like being too hot, and I burn easily so spend the summer months under a large hat, or indoors where the sun’s rays can’t reach me.)
We knew the weather would be nice on Saturday, so we’d made plans ahead of time: get up early and go to Wollaton Park. We wanted to be there early so we could enjoy it in peace and quiet – it’s a popular place and a sunny Saturday would soon draw the crowds. Wollaton is owned by the local council, and so it’s free to get in to both the park and the house itself. I find it amazing that you can simply walk up to a building of this age and potter around it as much as you like – it was built back in the 16th century, which means Queen Elizabeth the first was on the throne. I wonder if she ever visited this place?
There’s a little cafe with a decent selection of cakes, and not for from the park’s entrance is a new pub that we’ll have to check out on a future visit – the Wollaton. I hear they do afternoon tea, which is the ideal thing for a pub near such a big park to offer.
Above us, in those sunny blue skies, we saw the first swallows of summer. Just one or two, but it’s a start. We also saw a family of ducklings on the lake – again, the first we’ve seen this year. I made a (very) short film of them on the water. Other sightings included a sparrowhawk, buzzards, jays, and a little wren. There are deer in the park too, but we only saw them from a distance on this visit. From our garden yesterday we saw a heron flying overhead, as well as a couple of swans – not something we see that often. It’s been a busy weekend for wildlife around here.
If you’d like to see more of Wollaton, you might like to look at the rest of my photos from our visit.