Monday, 24 April 2017

Houghton Mill, Cambridgeshire

Houghton Mill is a National Trust property between St Ives and Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire.  It is just a fifteen minute drive from Roseberry Tourist Park so it is a good place to visit for a bite to eat and a nice place to take a stroll.  We decided to pop there after work on Sunday as it had been a lovely day.

There has been a mill on this spot since 969, the current mill dates back to around the 17th Century and has been back in full running order since 1999 and you can still buy freshly milled flour from here.

I think these chunky looking catkins are on the Hornbeam tree, a deciduous broadleaf tree native to the South of the UK.

In contrast these slender catkins, along with the long slender leaves, growing on a tree very close to the edge of the river appear to belong to the White Willow.  This is a deciduous broadleaf tree, native to the UK and Europe.

We came across this young pack of lovely coloured Alpacas that belong to Houghton Hall Alpacas.  Alpacas are a domesticated species of a South American Camelid.  You can see that these ones have been recently sheared as you can still see the marks left on their coats by the shears.

The Alpacas were suddenly all alert at the sound of a small dog barking further down the path, well most of them anyway.

The Mill sits on the banks of the River Great Ouse, which meanders through the grounds.

We came across a pack of Alpacas that had not yet been sheared, they have wonderful shaggy coats, they remind me of a floor mop.

I spotted something hopping around in the long grass, as I stood watching a Grey Squirrel appeared and made its way to the tree line at the edge of the field.

I always think of Autumn being a time of year of colourful tree leaves, but looking around, Spring with all its new growth also provides lots of colour.

These lovely leaves I think, belong to Acer palmatum Sango Kaku - Coral Bark Maple, they especially look good against the blue sky.

In a shady spot along one of the paths there was a large patch of Wild Garlic, a wild relative of Chives native to Europe and Asia.

Its lovely to see a Mute Swan sitting on its nest ready for the next generation to arrive.

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