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The Flowers That Bloom In the Spring Tra-la

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I surfaced at 7.30am on Friday morning, to hear the rain lashing against my bedroom windows. I shoved my old cat off my chest, where he was comfortably disposed, and rolled over. Leastways I tried to. I stifled a groan as my muscles remembered the last evenings karate session.

Thirty minutes later, the cats were all fed and I was out of the door to travel across London for a walk with Chicchantal.

This time we were trying a fresh walk, and meeting at Amersham. As usual, I was there ten minutes early, and Chicchantal wasn’t. Although we didn’t know it yet, she was starting one of those days where inanimate objects take on a life of their own, and set out to bemuse, bewitch and generally thwart you, and her bus hadn’t turned up on time. This meant she missed the train I was on, and was on the next one.

Her weather nose had been accurate however, and by the time I got there the sun was out, although a sharp wind was blowing. So I settled down on a bench on the platform and got involved in a Suduko puzzle. A little too involved as it happened, as I missed her arriving on the next train, and had to catch up with her outside, where she was about to panic, thinking she was at the wrong station, or I was. She eyed my sturdy walking pole doubtfully and asked if I were expecting mountains!

We only walked a short way before we were into the woods,

Immediately our eyes were caught by drifts of wood anemones.

My Mum always called them by their country name of ‘windflowers’.

Also the first bluebells were just opening

Coming out of the woods, we started to walk down to Amersham Village.

At about this point Chicchantal stopped to take a photo, and the next inanimate object struck, her camera batteries were running out of juice!

I had no such problems, and took some of a cottage with aubretia growing on its’ walls, and a yellow corydalis, also growing on a dry wall.

Amersham is a very old village, unfortunately ruined by modern developments, but some of the old buildings are still there.

In the village, we found a corner shop where Chicchantal was able to purchase batteries, and then we started to look for our footpath. It appeared to be down someones graveled drive! Just a little way down though we walked out into a field. Chicchantal stopped to replace the camera batteries, but, guess what? They had been in the shop so long, they were almost out of juice too!

Now we were walking on a wide path. We walked in friendly silence, each lost in our own thoughts, between the winter wheat, and hedgerows alive with birdsong. I had the unique experience of being too hot on my front, in the sun, and too cold on my back where the wind was blowing! Undeterred I put on my sunglasses and took off my raincoat. Within minutes it started to rain! Just a quick shower that was soon over.

We soon were walking beside fields with animals in. These very nosy young bullocks followed us along the fence the full length of the field. I don’t know which breed they were, my cow identification skills are not so good as my wildflower ones!

Then we crossed into a field with horses in. I thought this one in his smart rain mac was coming to say hello.

By this time Chicchantal was a small speck in the distance!

Back into a small copse again, and I was watching the hail bounce off Chicchantal’s umbrella. It is almost a law in England that if two people are together, at least one will have an umbrella ‘just in case.’ Beside the path we saw white violets. I had never seen them wild before, then suddenly I’d seen then twice in two weeks! They were hidden too well in the grass for me to take a picture, but I took one of the Self-heal growing beside them.

We dropped into the little village of Chalfont St. Giles. We had decided to take the Chiltern Way, which runs past Chorleywood, and we followed a sign that pointed us that way into a churchyard.

The parish church is very handsome, and pretty typical of this part of England. There was nothing there to tell us when it was built, but we found this headstone in the graveyard, dating from 1728.

We then realized that the path ran the other side of the railings! We crossed over a swollen stream and found a boggy path.

When we found that the stream was across the path and the whole field, it was time to find another way round.

When we rejoined the path, we still found a muddy bit! Then my trusty walking pole came into it's own as we used it to help us round the puddles! I knew there was a point to bringing it, apart from fending off over enthusiastic dogs that is.

Soon, we were back into woodlands. Either side of the path was fenced off, and we couldn’t see why. Then suddenly we realized that the whole of the ground, as far as the eye could see, was carpeted with bluebells!

They just weren’t out yet. Another week of warm weather, and the whole wood will be awash with blue, and the hyacinth scent will knock you out.

I walked on almost in a daze, everywhere I looked there were new wildflowers to marvel over.


wood sorrel

and dog violets

When we eventually emerged from the woods, there was a sunny patch, and there was Forget-me-not.

I was tiring now. We walked alongside the woods, going steadily uphill. Chicchantal stopped and read a notice about the woodland, and I took a picture of the wonderful light through the beech trees.

We finally turned off the Chiltern Way and carried on along a quiet road. Even there, there were flowers in the verges. This little one is stitchwort.

We were both keen to see the station now. It’s always that last little bit that seems to take the longest. It wasn’t helped when having found the village, and a path to the station car park, we were confronted with a flight of 30 or so steps that looked like the north face of Everest! Then at the top, we got lost in the car park! How could that happen! Our two intrepid explorers, lost in a car park! I ask you!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
1BEACHWALKER 5/9/2013 4:10PM

    Those walking poles I find make you burn more calories according to my HRM! And the first time I used them, my arms and back ached for days! Not a big fan of them, unless I am in hilly areas, which doesn't happen too much in FL! Really nice pics, appreciate you posting them for us. Loved the flowers on the wall! And of course the wildflowers...we always feel it is a treat to see them when we take our walks or bike rides! Always enjoy your walking nice you have such great places to walk! emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 5/7/2013 1:08AM

  Well, once a woman I know spent over half an hour looking for her car at an event with many, many cars. After more than half an hour, she realized that she had driven the Nissan Sentra, not the mini-van. Beautiful pictures - and a lovely walk.

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GOANNA2 5/6/2013 7:42AM

    Beautiful. I'd love to be in Englad now that May is here.

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AKELAZ 5/2/2013 9:07PM

    Only just caught this due to endless problems at home with a collapsed ceiling - Oh joy!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE your walking blogs - excellent pictures and words - you just take us with you every step of the way through the joys of the country flowers, the animals - the buildings - and even the mud is a pleasure.
PLEASE keep going and reporting back.
Who knows I may even start doing my own Dorset walks again! Certainly need to do something after the flurry of moving furniture endlessly and cleaning up yards and yards of thick black soot. Won't know what to do with myself when I'm done!! emoticon 'n grateful emoticon

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JOYB19 5/1/2013 12:57AM

    Beautiful green foliage dotted with pretty little flowers! I LOVE spring! Thank you for documenting your travels and sharing!


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STFRENCH 4/30/2013 6:18AM

    Super blog, as usual!

AND you've helped me identify the flower that grows near the fence leading to my front door: yellow corydalis!
One holiday, my mum was visiting from France and was helping with clearing out/tidying our front garden and she almost pulled out the yellow corydalis (it wasn't in flower at that point)
I remember screaming "NO!" to stop her and to explain that it comes out in the prettiest yellow flowers that make the path to our house pretty and "happy." emoticon

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WATERDIAMONDS 4/29/2013 8:24AM

    Such a lovely, lovely way to spend a day. Congratulations for taking the time to see the world about you.

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    What a fresh breath of spring. You are making Robert Browning echo in my head.

O, TO be in England
Now that April 's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England—now!

Thanks for sharing. I so enjoy an image that brings words to my mind.

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BOPPY_ 4/28/2013 6:51PM

    Another set of interesting pix!

Lee emoticon

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FALLNTENN 4/28/2013 12:26PM

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

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ALIHIKES 4/28/2013 12:53AM

    Wow what a beautiful hike! I loved the photos, so much history and so many wildflowers! Thanks for sharing

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    wow - lovely!

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DESERTJULZ 4/27/2013 10:27PM

    Your pictures are gorgeous. Makes me want to visit England to go walking with the two of you.

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BERRY4 4/27/2013 9:53PM

    The best walks are outside! (ie. NO treadmills!)
It is refreshing on so many levels, and the pics are great to share...all the beauty you were able to see and enjoy.

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JUNEAU2010 4/27/2013 9:50PM

    I love your pictures! Thank you for sharing! ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I want to see all that in real life!

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    Thank you once again for a marvelous blog.
Thank you for sharing your photos and narrative.

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SHELLYBABE2 4/27/2013 4:25PM

    Lol I love the way you can walk as many miles as you do and get lost in the carpark!! Hysterical & something I would totally do ;-) the real reason for my finding it so funny. The tourist board should use you both in their adverts, your photos are beautiful as always & make us all wish we were along on your trek. Shame the bluebells weren't out, no sight better than a mass of flowers in bloom :-D
again tfs your wonderful jaunts with pics to make it so real - love them!


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SUZYMOBILE 4/27/2013 3:50PM

    I like this time of year in England so much better than your muddy wintertime looks!

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LADY_MARIANA 4/27/2013 2:34PM

    What a lovely chronicle! I am passionately devoted to the blogs that you and Chic Chantel post. It's a vicarious pleasure for many of us Americans who are far away from country paths.


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MARIANNE9855 4/27/2013 1:57PM

    I loved all your beautiful wildflowers and I loved the cow pictures- they looked so sweet.
I saw from chicchantal's blog that the village was used in As Time Goes By- my husband's and mother's favorite show. I watch sometimes too and I am pretty sure the church was in a wedding episode.

Just beautiful - I wish I had little villages filled with wonderful sights to walk to..

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SAINTBERNARD6 4/27/2013 1:31PM

    you do such wonderful blogs...the tour was fantastic...thanks a bunch and watch out for those inanimate

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REGILIEH 4/27/2013 1:13PM

    What a delight you are!!!! The photo's are fantastic! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 4/27/2013 1:00PM

    Lovely pictures :)

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PITTER6 4/27/2013 12:20PM

    Thank you, I enjoyed walking and seeing the flowers and countryside with you. Since there is a very slim chance that I will ever see it in person, it was wonderful seeing it thru your eyes and the eye of your camera. Very enjoyable walk. emoticon

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ADARKARA 4/27/2013 11:37AM

    Gorgeous photos!!

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SAINTBETH 4/27/2013 11:07AM

    You make me want to take a walking tour of England.

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DR1939 4/27/2013 10:34AM

    Beautiful. Spring is always such a treat. Thanks for the pictures.

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RAINBOWCHOC 4/27/2013 10:29AM

    love the bit about out of date batteries from the shop....sounds so familiar!

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CHICCHANTAL 4/27/2013 10:16AM

    Have been doing some research and the last bit was Philipshill Wood. It is ancient woodland and belongs to the Woodland Trust. See

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PATRICIAAK 4/27/2013 10:07AM


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DEBIGENE 4/27/2013 9:58AM

    I so enjoyed this walk with you as well. Thank you for sharing your side of living over the pond with me. I will look forward to more. Great pics and story line !!!

Have a wonderful healthy weekend !!!

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LEANNAW4 4/27/2013 9:35AM

    I always love to read about your walks and see the great pictures. With an odd exception, I never know the names of the flowers and shrubs we have here. I'm learning from you! Thanks for sharing!

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BEWELL48 4/27/2013 9:22AM

    Thank you for your beautiful pictures! Lovely! The spring blooms are bringing much needed color to the landscape.

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KKKAREN 4/27/2013 8:54AM

    Looks like you live in a lovely area. I liked your writing.

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DWSCHUYLER 4/27/2013 8:32AM

    Thanks for sharing all those pictures. I felt as if I were with you! emoticon

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DOVESEYES 4/27/2013 8:31AM

    What a wonderful trek, good for you having the trekking cane. How are the muscles after the stairs?

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NEW-CAZ 4/27/2013 8:30AM

    so beautiful, looks like you had a great time!

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COCK-ROBIN 4/27/2013 8:26AM


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AZMOMXTWO 4/27/2013 8:22AM

  it seems to be that you had a gret time and the pictures are great thank you so much for sharing I loved reading your blog

have a great day

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