March Challenge 2021

March challenge is to photograph each day throughout the month, increasing the number taken each day by one.  Not an easy challenge when still stuck at home due to lock down regulations.

March 1st

The two Canada geese have made themselves at home at the front of the house, keeping the swans company.




March 2nd

A bright afternoon and this seven spot ladybird was sunning itself on a bush in the garden.


Lots of daisies have opened up this afternoon now the day has become warmer.



March 3rd

A very misty start to the morning and also very chilly.  The popular trees line the edge of a newly ploughed field.


A frequented walk, along by the river, passed sheep that will soon be lambing.


Sheep grazing in the field.



March 4th

A cluster of 7 spot ladybirds still in hibernation.


It was the bright yellow on the bark of this tree that attracted me to it.  On looking closer I realised there were two distinct lichen.  The yellow is Xanthoria or leafy lichen and is very common.  The other known as Crab's-eye (Ochrolechia parella) forms encrusted patches on rocks and tree bark and walls.


This grey squirrel appeared while out walking with my Grandaughter.  It ran along a line of trees and then down the tree trunk for a drink from the stream.  The image is not good quality as I was encouraging my Grandaughter to take an image on her camera and nearly forgot to get one myself.


This flower, that at first I thought was an early bluebell doesn't seem to be quite right.  I have looked through my wild flower books but haven't been able to identify it.  If someone knows what it is I would be grateful for more information.




Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to continue with this challenge due to health issues and not being able to walk every day, but I do intend to try and post at least one new image each day throughout the month.


7th March


Last years swans have remained around the village all the year and are now preparing to start nesting again.


8th March

Today I have managed to complete the challenge.  All the images are taken around Toppesfield Bridge in Hadleigh.


Toppesfield Bridge is a Grade II listed, medieval bridge that crosses the River Brett at the far end of Duke Street.



Bricks and metal that supported the bank have broken away after severe flooding over the winter.


A view along the Brett.


Tree roots exposed after the river level has been aloud to drop.


Dead wood.


Hadleigh's oldest tree.  It does have new shoots growing.



9th March

All of todays images have been taken at Wolves Wood. Wolves wood is one of seven ancient woodland areas in Suffolk.  It is a RSPB site and a range of birds can be seen and heard all the year round.


The trunk of the tree gave the impression that it was wearing a green sock. You can see its toes are covered in leaf litter.


The moss covered stump reminded me of a person kneeling to pray.


I used to go to Wolves Wood twice a year.  Once to see the primroses and the other for the fungi.  Unfortunately there were very few primroses to be seen this year.  


These two trees form an archway that leads to one of the bigger ponds in the woods.


Hazel has both male and female flowers on the same tree making it monoecious. The yellow male catkins appear before the leaves and hang in clusters, appearing around February. The female flowers red and bud like.


The area around the pond has been cleared and a path created around it.  It was much to wet and muddy to go too far round but I was able to go far enough to capture the trees reflected in the water.


There is a lot of standing water in the wood remaining from the very wet winter we have had.  Although there is a dip in the ground at this point it is not normal this fall of water.  The trees are very thick and crowded at this point.  I liked the way the trees reflected in the water and the way the dead bits of branches stood out.


This tree made me think of a hand with its fingers outstretched gathering twine.


The twigs on this tree stood out because not only had they got lovely red buds but also lichen in grey and yellow on most of them.

I have walked round Wolves Wood many times but I have not seen the trees in the same light as I did today.  My eyes have been opened by Gill and her Staverton Thicks walk and tutoring. The extra image below is Laurence and I reflecting on our morning walk.



10th March

A stay at home day. I spent a while this afternoon reading and playing with filters.  It's not something I am familiar with.  I know the image would look much better without all the sky but my aim was to achieve some movement in the willow tree.  I took 9 0r 10 and this was the one I was happiest with.




11th March

A short visit into Hadleigh this morning to photograph just a few of Hadleigh's 246 listed buildings. It is very unusual for there to be so many listed buildings in such a small town.


62 - 66 High Street

This would have been just one building originally. It is the only Grade I listed building in the street. The upper storey has a carved modillion cornice and a range of six windows with original lead glazing. In the lead of one of the windows the date 1676 has been worked.


46 - 48 High Street

A 17th century building with wooden eve cornicing and some interesting pargetting on the upper storey.
There is the Tudor rose, a royal coat of arms and fleur-de-ly's. There is a band of floral pargetting between the two storeys.  The clock in the centre is one handed circa 1795.


106 High Street

106 High Street was a former inn.  It is now three Grade II listed tenements.  The Tuns used to brew its own beer and the well used for this still remains and is under covenant and that it cannot be altered.  The Tun is an English unit of liquid volume.


This little shop has two bays supported by wooden brackets and small panes with original glazing bars. 
For many years these premises belonged to a saddler.  Over the windows you can still see the display pegs for his bridles.




The Monkey

The Kings Arms (once known to locals as the `Monkey`) is now residential, but once was a Pub which closed in 1993. It is of C16 and C17 construction but considerably restored.


The Flying Chariot was formerly an Inn.  It is 16th century but with many 17th century features. It has great ornamental detail on the front as well as pargetting.


The Kings Head

The official listings say the property is 16th century and later.  The building was once two pubs hence the two front doors.  The left hand side was The Angel and the right The Kings Head.


Sun Court

Sun Court is a mid 15th century Grade II listed hall house.  Hadleigh prospered from the wool and cloth industry during the Middle Ages, and Hadleigh town centre still features many timber-framed houses built by successful medieval merchants.





Old Shoulder House

The Old Shoulder House was once part of the Shoulder of Mutton Inn.


The Guild Hall

The buildings known locally as the Guildhall are formed of three buildings. The Market House, The Guilds Halls and The New Town Hall (Grand Hall) and are situated on land that belonged originally to the Manor of Toppesfield Hall.



Deanery Tower

To the south west of the church stands the famous Hadleigh Deanery Towers which Archbishop William Pykenham built for himself in 1495.


15th March

All todays images are taken at Flatford by the River Stour.  The fields by the river have been flooded for almost a month and even now there are places where the water still stands.  There are many trees along the Stour and there are several that have been damaged either by lighting or the elements.


Bridge House

Tolls would have been collected from the lighters passing through Flatford lock and Bridge House would have provided a resting place and somewhere for families to eat.  The meals were cooked on a large central fire[place which can still be seen inside Bridge Cottage today.


One of the many trees that has been stuck by lighting.  Despite the split and bend in the trunk it still continues to grow.


Part of the mangled, burnt trunk.


The banks have received a fair amount of damage due to the flooding.


The branches of the tree stretch out like a fan and give a great reflection in the water.


Another leaning and broken tree.  The sun came out and made a spiral effect from the shadows.


The Stour, framed


Twins


A pair of swans


There are still several  tracks of water such as this across the field where it was flooded.


At the watering hole


Abstract rubbish


There were plenty of water birds about today but this was the only one I was able to get close enough to for a photo. 


A trip to Flatford would not be complete without a photo of willie Lott's cottage.


Valley  Farm

Built in the mid-15th century, Valley Farm is a medieval Great Hall House that was home to wealthy yeoman farmers up until the early 1900s.  Valley Farm was called an 'open hall house' because there was no upper floor, the central hall being open up to the roof rafters. Originally the fire in the room would have been laid on the stone floor with the smoke going up to the underside of the roof ridge and escaping through the roof tiles or through a smoke hole in the gable end wall.

If you are in Flatford and Valley Farm House is open to the public do go and visit.  It is an amazing building with so much history.


17th March

Today I wanted to depict some of the finer pieces of Tudor architecture especially the windows.  They add so much character to the building compared to todays 'all the same' PVUC windows.





18th March

Today was the first time I had been in to Ipswich town since last March. I needed to have my glasses repaired after sitting on them.  The town was deserted and eerily quiet.  So many empty shops. I decided that being in town would give be an opportunity to take some photos while I  was there. I made the decision to look upward and take what I saw.




19th March

It has been a beautiful day so without going too far from home I have been able to complete the challenge for today.  I decided to go out and look for wild flowers and trees and shrubs which are shooting new leaves.







22nd March

Over the weekend I have thought about todays challenge and knowing I wasn't going far from home I decided to see if I could take images of 22 different birds. Living near the river is an advantage as I was able to get some water bird shots, and I also filled up all the feeders over the weekend which encouraged other birds to the area. 
I started with the birds close to home and then I went on a two mile circular walk to find more. The bird song was beautiful this morning. I think they were as happy to have a bright, sunny morning as I was.

 

Although there are three robins above I have done it as a triptych and counted it as one image.














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