Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


It's a good while since my last post but recently one or two people have left comments on older posts and I've decided to try and get back into things again. I'm starting with this photo of a water vole seen last week when out walking on the moors with my friend P. The banks of this small moorland stream were full of holes which are the entrances to the homes of water voles. I was aware that they live in this area but never expected to actually see one. I was really close to him (or her!) and he certainly knew I was there but he seemed quite unconcerned and I was able to take several photos. If you enlarge this one you will be able to see his little paws holding what I think is a piece of reed that he is eating.

The water vole is of course Ratty from Kenneth Grahame's wonderful story 'The Wind In The Willows'. Here he is with his friends Mole, Badger and Mr Toad of Toad Hall. The illustration is by Inga Moore who is my favourite of all the artists who have illustrated this classic book.

I didn't take many photos on the walk as is often the case when I'm with someone else. This is cotton grass which is actually a sedge, it grows in the boggy hollows of the high open moors and is a very attractive sight in May and June in what is often a rather barren landscape.

Towards the end of our five mile walk we were looking down onto the Wyming Brook which is rather spectacular and beautiful, and there is a lovely three mile walk along its banks which we've done in the past.

I never did get the final post from my trip to Berlin done so I think I'll try and do it over the next few days. This is another of the chocolate sculptures from Fassbender and Rausch's wonderful shop. It will be rather fun to go back through the photographs and try and remember where they all were!


Mac n' Janet said...

Welcome back, Ratty is one of my favorite characters. I'm not sure that I knew he was a vole.
Glad to hear more about your Berlin trip, you have inspired us and we're planning on going next year to Berlin.

WOL said...

Glad to hear from you again. The Wind in the Willows is a personal favorite of mine. I used to have a cassette tape of David McCallum reading it that I especially loved. Alas, gone now.

Pattypan said...

Hi Rowan

Lovely to see you back and some lovely photos there. Look forward to the remainder of the tour of Berlin. Hope you are all well including Bilbo xx

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dear Rowan

It's good news we've encouraged you back!
I love Wind in the Willows and the adventures of Ratty and friends!
The streams and riverbanks of England must be so interesting, I'm surprised the water vole didn't scurry away!
The Berlin chocolate shop looks amazing, a definite one for the "when in Berlin" list.

I'll look forward to your next post on Berlin!

Dartford Warbler said...

Help Rowan, it is good to see you back again and with such a lovely post.
How lucky to get a photo of a water rat. I have sometimes seen then in ditch banks and streams, but they are gone in a flash and don`t wait around for me to get my camera going!

Rosie said...

Lovely to see you back here. Wind in the Willows was (still is really) one of my favourite childhod books and I love your photo of Ratty. I've only seen water voles on the Cromford Canal, you were lucky to catch him in a restful mood so you could take a photo:)

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Glad to see you here - love the little water vole -and the book illustration is fabulous. I've never seen the cotton grass before - quite enchanting. It looks like a wonderful walk.

Lynda (Granny K) said...

Glad to see you posting again. Pinterest seems to take up a lot of my time, but I do enjoy reading blogs. That is a good picture of Ratty!

Louise said...

It's nice to see you back! It was brilliant you saw the water vole. Cotton grass is one of my very favourite things, I noticed it in a few places when I was near Burbage rocks last weekend but haven't had chance this week to go and see my local cotton grass!