Spring is in the Air

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We are on the cusp of seasons. Spring is tantalising us, slowly but surely shedding her outer layers and revealing flashes of warm light and emerging greenery. In my little patch the daffodil bulbs, which I thought I’d left too late when I planted them in December, are pushing through towards the sun. Today has been a cold day but I felt the occasional warm ray on my face, enough to power up the solar garden lamps which are gracing the dusk for a little longer each day. It is still light when I arrive home from work which is bliss! The new energy is almost tangible.

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February 1st was the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc: for Pagans the first day of the ‘quickening’ – the turning of the year, and later adopted by Christianity and renamed as St Bridget’s day. It is a fire festival and marks the advance towards light and warmth….. even though in these parts we had seen snow just a few days earlier.

Although there’s still a way to go before we can put away our winter coats and scarves, it is heartening to see the early signs of renewal and enjoy the lengthening days. It’s a special time.

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I am often guilty of forgetting about the many lovely places close to my home in favour of more interesting locations further afield. At this time of year when the grand houses of the National Trust have not yet opened their stately doors to the public, and when the countryside has not yet come into bloom, there is still much beauty to be found locally.

Scotsman’s Flash is one of many ‘flashes’ in the Wigan area, lakes formed as a result of mining subsidence on the sites of former coal mine workings. Scotsman’s is the largest and is a designated area of scientific interest due to the presence of rare plants and migrating birds such as Reed and Sedge Warbler. It is popular with canoeists, and people like my friend who sometimes walks her dogs there at the weekends.

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Our stroll took us along a stretch of the Leigh branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

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A new road – a busy dual-carriageway – which will ‘fly over’ the canal and the edge of the Flash is in the early stages of construction after decades in the planning stage. The next few months may be the last chance to enjoy views like these. It remains to be seen what the impact on the wildlife will be, so all the more reason to enjoy days like this one whilst I still can.

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9 thoughts on “Spring is in the Air

  1. shazza February 10, 2019 / 7:20 pm

    I have never been to the Wigan flashes. Sounds like they are real havens for wildlife. Glad you enjoyed your walk. 🙂 X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North February 10, 2019 / 7:50 pm

      They are not exactly tourist attractions, and I wouldn’t say they are worth a drive all the way from Clitheroe, but they are popular with local people. I hope the wildlife won’t be driven away by the forthcoming blot on the landscape which is the new link road 🙁

      Like

      • shazza February 10, 2019 / 9:16 pm

        Oh hope not! Wildlife can be quite resilliant though. So fingers crossed. X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. gimpywalker February 11, 2019 / 2:22 am

    Imbolc. I like that word. It’s freezing cold here in Canada but days are longer and there really is a lot of heat in the sun. The quickening. I like it. I think I’ll use it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. smzang February 11, 2019 / 3:55 pm

    “Spring is tantalising us, slowly but surely shedding her outer layers and revealing flashes of warm light and emerging greenery”

    It is snowing and blowing here but your images and magic with the pen bring Spring
    into the room. Thank you1

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ms6282 February 11, 2019 / 7:06 pm

    I’m really unhappy about that blasted road. The flashes are a quiet haven at the moment. An express road will inevitably ruin that and also impact on the wildlife. Don’t think we really need that road. Our Council have also semi privatised Haigh Hall letting it out to a hotel who are busily restricting access and so disrupting another well used facility.
    Moan over!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North February 11, 2019 / 7:29 pm

      Many motorists think it’s a great idea but, like you, I disagree. Very small gains for some motorists can’t justify the impact on the environment. Yet another tranquil haven will be lost for the sake of knocking a few minutes off a journey. Insanity!

      Liked by 1 person

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