Saturday, 17 August 2013

The early bird(s)

Today's weather forecast was for rain starting around 11am so we went for an early jaunt to Dunham Massey. It's a National Trust property: huge house, lake, parkland... there's also a nice gift shop and cafe and it's usually quite busy with families and dog walkers.

Because we were there early in the morning (and no doubt because the skies were grey and ominous-looking) we pretty much had the place to ourselves. That's a lot of space.

The lavender was growing in a tiny walled garden and smelt lovely. The rowan berries hinted at the approach of autumn.

There are deer everywhere at Dunham. Most are used to the visitors and carry on with their business until you get that little bit too close. This one was very pretty.

So were these ducklings. We stumbled across duck HQ - lots of them snoozing together. I said we were there early...

We had a chat with one of the rangers too. There was a display with lots of deer skulls and antlers for people to touch and look at. Joe wasn't allowed this for too long (he tends to shove everything in his mouth at the moment).

The estate includes the surrounding village too. We didn't walk around it today but some of the cottages in the park are let out to people. Jay said he didn't know whether he's like to live in a place with so many visitors nearby. I think I'd cope...

There's a really good play area too, where children can learn to make dens and climb on a natural playground made from fallen trees. I suspect Joe will love it in a year or two.

We headed home after a long walk through the trees. People were starting to arrive and we'd had the best of the weather - in fact, we got in just as the rain started. Home and dry. It seemed only right to make a rhubarb and apple crumble (there's something comforting about cooking on a wet day with the back door open, listening to the rain). The weekend's shaping up just as we'd planned...


  1. I have a deer skull from Dunham on my kitchen windowsill just now. A gift from the only female NT ranger (in training) at Dunham, who is my eldest son's partner. I shall share this post with her, she'll love it :)

  2. I just realised that Wendy was the duty ranger this weekend ... I wonder if you met her!

    1. Hello! We did indeed - and very nice she was too. She was happy for me to photograph the skulls and antlers, and gave us lots of information about the deer. In fact I came away thinking how friendly she was... and how I envied her job!

      Speaking of envy, I wish I had a deer skull - great subject for drawing and gazing at. Without wishing to sound too macabre I always keep an eye out when we're up on the moors in case I spot a ram's skull...

    2. Not macabre at all ... I am fascinated by all skeletal remains and am always on the look out for animal bones when I'm up on the hills. I have a tiny bird skull somewhere ... it's almost weightless!

    3. You'd have loved it at the museum where I worked - the stores were something to behold (particularly zoology, entomology and botany). You could quite literally get lost in there - the place is like a maze - but it was like entering another world.


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