The Year in Retrospect – 2018 Day 4

BIn the Bluebell Woods
Bluebells – a sure sign of spring

Amazingly, in March we had snow! I say ‘amazingly’ because down in central southern England it doesn’t happen often so when it does, we have to make the most of it ๐Ÿ™‚ ! To be truthful, it was only a thin covering but it was great anyway.

A Blanket of Snow
A blanket of snow

The first half of the year was a time when plans just didn’t seem to come together – I had intended to have at least one backpacking trip early in the year. We had a family trip away to Devon in early April and drove across Dartmoor. Although it wasn’t a time for walking, it did whet my appetite and I determined to visit again with my tent because it is not an area I have ever explored on foot. April came and went, as did May and June but each time I planned to go, something got in the way. In the end, I never did make it although my son, grandson and I did return later in the year for a boys trip……but more of that later.


There was plenty of walking in Dorset though, especially as the fresh green foliage appeared, and the spring flowers made their appearance. I headed for the hills as often as possible. By early April it was time for the shorts to come out again as the weather was already warming up…..I’m not sure we expected it to warm up quite as much as it did though!

On a Dorset hill top in spring
View from the Ramparts
A valley filled with spring foliage taken from Spetisbury Rings

There was of course plenty of wildlife to photograph at this active time of the year and I went in search of bugs, butterflies, amphibians, snowdrops, orchids, bluebells, rape fields, ramsons, and anything else really. I spotted my first hermit crab and quite a few jellyfish along the shoreline. The snail below was probably the easiest to photograph because he hardly moved ๐Ÿ™‚ !

Snail in the greenery

There was plenty of action in the garden too, with a visit from some mice, nesting blackbirds, nesting tree bumblebees, great tits looking to nest but finding the bumblebees squatting in their box, wood-pigeons, and so much more. My policy of deliberately attracting wildlife to my garden does seem to be working even if the wildlife is not particularly exotic.

Garden Visitor
One of our mice visitors

I think one of the highlights of this part of the year was discovering the Stanbridge Mill Garden Open Day because this was a mill I had passed numerous times and really wanted to see. It is in private ownership so visiting it is not normally possible so I was delighted to hear that it was to open this year for one day. Not only that but the day was a spectacular one and I was able to do a fantastic walk which incorporated the mill. I am really hoping they will repeat the exercise next year.

Stanbridge Mill
Stanbridge Mill

It was towards the end of spring that I revised my plans in terms of backpacking trips – there are so many on my list that it is hard to decide which to do, especially since the first 5 months of the year had been abortive. I determined that I would make it work and decided on three or four trips that I hoped to complete over the summer months.


Fortunately, this time nothing got in the way, although the extreme temperatures could have…..but more of that next time ๐Ÿ™‚ !

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,
Your friend
The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me,ย my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.comย โ€“ comments and feedback are always welcomed.

All words and pictures in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and may not be reproduced without permission.


  1. What was the date of your photo for the bluebells? I remember walking in the Wye Valley a number of years ago..I believe in May..and photographed something similar (Your photos are really outstanding!)…. FYI – I’m 74 and a Yank. 20+ trips to the UK over the years. Walked Offa’s Dyke in 2000. Saw your post about the Dales Highway and thinking of doing it this Spring.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Jim. It was taken on 3rd May. I’m very much looking forward to Offa’s Dyke this year……if my ankle holds out. I would definitely recommend the Dales High Way, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Hope you are able to walk it this year. Terry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s