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Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung in the Breamish Valley!

There’s not much to say really. Just take a look at what’s taking place in the Breamish Valley. Life everywhere!

What a wonderful place to be!

Spring has sprung.

The grass has riz.

I wonder where the birdie is?

The bird is on the wing

But that’s absurd

Because the wing is on the bird!

(Poem often attributed to Ogden Nash)

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Easter egg rolling

Egg rolling

I wasn’t in the Breamish Valley over the Easter holidays: I was visiting family back in Durham. And it was in Durham, about 35 years ago, that I first learnt from my father-in-law, Bob about the tradition of egg rolling on Easter Monday.

He would make what he called ‘paste eggs’ – something else I’d never heard of (I was born in Yorkshire!). Basically, these were eggs that he used to hard boil in a pan of onion skins. It turned the eggs’ shells into wonderful shades of brown – some tawny, some golden – each one unique. And if he was really on a roll, he’d add a bit of cochineal from the kitchen cupboard and create red-purple patches and spirals over them.

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Mundane nature?

Mundane nature?

Is there anything about the natural world that’s mundane? Is there such a thing as ‘mundane nature’?

In our daily lives, we can get into a daily grind of just going about our business without thinking. If we have particularly pressured, busy lives, where we’re always clock-watching and rushing to the next business meeting, we can feel that we’re caught in ‘the rat race’. Life seems to be telling us what to do, rather than us taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and deciding what we want to do with our lives.

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Solar Eclipse

Did you see the Solar Eclipse in Breamish Valley today?

We had near perfect viewing conditions in Breamish Valley, with hardly a cloud in sight. Not so for several friends of mine living in Teesside who were stuck under cloudy skies.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between us and the Sun, casting a shadow onto the Earth. The timing and degree of any eclipse varies with location but in the Breamish Valley we had pretty good views. In all parts of the UK today, the eclipse was about 83% complete but in our part of north Northumberland we enjoyed closer to 95% of visible partial eclipse. The darkness peaked at around 09:35am (GMT) and lasted around three minutes.

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Basking adders

Basking adders in the Breamish Valley

Because adders are reptiles, they are cold-blooded. This means that they are reliant on external energy sources – especially the sun – to maintain their body temperature. They regulate their temperature through basking in the sun or seeking shade. Their body temperature is, therefore, approximately the same as the outside air temperature (ambient temperature). They can, however, be active in temperatures as cold as 6°C. Which was about the temperature yesterday when I saw these two basking adders coiled together at Branton Nature Conservation Area, close to the car park entrance.

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My Wildlife

What does wildlife or a wild place mean to you?

I realise how privileged I am to live in the countryside. Being in the Breamish Valley gives me daily access to mile upon mile of beautiful countryside: open moorland, high hills, undulating farmland and the picturesque River Breamish.

I never tire of cycling along the valley from Powburn heading towards Branton, Reaveley, Brandon, Ingram and on to Bulby’s Wood and Peggy Bell’s Bridge. Though I do have to be feeling quite fit to try and cycle any further up the hills to Linhope – I’m really just a leisure cyclist! The changing seasons mean there’s always something new to see. There’s always a new perspective.

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Tales from Northumberland: Robson Green

So…my village’s annual Show gets to be on national TV this evening, eh?

Who’d have thought it? The Powburn Show on national tele!

TV star and famous Northumbrian Robson Green will be appearing on (More) Tales from Northumberland tonight on ITV at 8:00pm. The episode will feature Robson engaging in a bout of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling,  one of Britain’s oldest, and toughest, sports.

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