Spring has officially started as the calendar has passed the Spring equinox. Out walking with John at the weekend we found a lot of evidence. Snowdrops that have been blooming in more sheltered areas were out in profusion across the hills where we walked. There were clumps of primroses,
and many trees were in blossom.
Last week John celebrated his birthday and we headed for our favourite hotel for the weekend. On the drive down the motorway we noticed the green hue of new leaves starting to unfurl on the trees. At our destination we watched the birds busy making or repairing their nests. There were even one or two sleepy bees buzzing around enjoying the warmer weather. The rain obligingly held off for the weekend but it was still very muddy in places.
On the Sunday of our weekends away we always plan a visit or a walk on our way home. This time we had opted for a walk and the weather was perfect. Our route was 5 and a half miles but as always we walked further. Our walk started and ended in Ramsbury, Wiltshire and mostly followed tracks, with just short sections on the road. The walk was also graded 'easy' as there was very little ascents and descents to deal with. On the way out of the village we passed this house having the thatch renewed.
I should have taken a photo of the building next door as their thatch was in an awful state of repair. A new thatched roof is costly and the number of people with the skills to do it well has dropped dramatically. We turned off the road to cross the river Kennet and then walk along a path that followed the course of the river but at a distance.
The walk took us towards Littlecote House, which is now a Warner leisure hotel. Just before the hotel we made a detour to visit Littlecote Roman Villa. The villa is extensive. It was excavated in 1727 - 8 by William George who discovered the Orpheus mosaic. A drawing and engraving was made and the mosaic and villa reburied. It was rediscovered in 1976 and the mosaic was restored by 1980. The mosaic is beautiful. I took several photos to get a view from all sides
There is also quite a lot of the villa footprint to see how it was set up. Having viewed the villa we continued down the hotel drive and then turned back to walk slightly up hill to meet a path that took us back to Ramsbury. On the walk back we saw several muntjac deer, lots of grey squirrels and we could hear the yaffle of a green woodpecker but we didn't see it. The temperature was starting to drop as we got back to the car and then headed for home.
Our weekend away was fun and restful. I have some quilting eye candy to show you from our visit to Bath Abbey on the Friday afternoon.. I know most people write about their adventures in chronological order but the pictures taken on Friday and Saturday are on my camera and I need to recharge it to access the photos, but I've misplaced the recharger. Hopefully I'll be able to show you the quilting eye candy tomorrow. Until then