The first of my spring photos come from a walk around the City Centre parks on 7 March. I was running errands so didn’t have too much time to look around. The trees were still bare but The crocuses were flowering, a sure sign spring was in the air.
A couple of days later CJ and I took a walk to Nursling Mill and Testwood Lakes. It was another beautiful day and, as usual, way too many photos got taken. Here are some of the ones that didn’t make the cut.
A walk along the river on 16 March didn’t give me the pictures of Woodmill I’d hoped for to recreate F.G.O. Stuart’s postcard but there was some lovely cherry blossom to make me smile. There were catkins too and a fuzz of leaves to come on the trees in the park, not to mention some swans.
Then there was Eling at the end of March. We visited the Tide Mill and the church before exploring the Boardwalk around Bartley Water. Originally I’d been disappointed not to have the blue sky day I’d hoped but it turned out to be one of the most beautiful walks despite the cloud.
As we made our way back through Totton the clouds finally began to break up and we did get a little blue sky before the walk was over.
April Fool’s Day brought a parkrun and a walk around Southampton Old Cemetery. The old graves were sprinkled with spring flowers and the cold spring air with a hint of mist still clinging made for a slightly eerie walk.
One photo in particular summed this up. Technically it wasn’t good, it was too dark and not quite in focus so it didn’t go into a post but, in terms of atmosphere, it was prefect.
On 5 April CJ and I took a wander in Westwood, looking for the mysterious brick arch whose purpose no one seems to know. It took us a while to find the right spot but the fallen gateposts gave the game away in the end. The first bluebells were brightening the wood as we wandered back towards the road.
Back on the shore path the blackthorn was flowering, hazy clouds of white petals fluttering in the gentle breeze.
When I snapped a shot of the dead tree that has been standing guard over my favourite bench I had no idea it would be the last I ever took of it. The next time I walked this way the tree had finally fallen and the View had changed forever.
Eastleigh was our target on 12 April and a mission to deliver birthday cards to Philo. As we made our way through Monks Brook I couldn’t help stoping to admire the colours of the spring flowers against the blue of my favourite bridge or the cowslips further along the trail. Later, in Eastleigh itself, the pink cherry blossom had me stopping again. Something about cherry blossom always makes me smile.
RR10 season began again on 19 April at Royal Victoria Country Park. None of the Spitfires were running because they were organising the event and marshalling. While we waited for everyone to arrive CJ and I had a stroll in the woods behind the park and discovered bluebells galore beside the tracks for the little steam train that runs through in summer.
We also got a first glimpse inside the hoardings surrounding the chapel refurbishments. It’s a shame to see the old building shrouded in scaffolding but I think the refurbishments will be worth the wait.
The evening ended with a great deal of cheering for the runners and a beautiful sunset.
Our visit to Vancouver in May didn’t go quite to plan. Due to an inflamed Achilles’ tendon Commando didn’t manage to run the marathon and, shortly before we headed to Toronto, he came down with a mystery illness. It was a worrying time but we tried hard not to let it spoil our Canadian adventure any more than could be helped. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Cousin Jen and Kev and Auntie Maggie and Uncle Alan and, as expected, far too many photographs were taken. In fact I could probably fill a whole post with outtakes from Canada.
In the end I decided to share just two. The first is the little war cemetery we discovered on my birthday. It was filled with cherry blossom and the graves were planted with spring flowers. It might not be everyone’s idea of a birthday treat but it made me smile.
The second photo was taken on 6 May, when Jen and Kev took us to Squamish. One of the highlights of the trip were the amazing views from Porteau Cove and this picture of canoeists and mountains was hard to leave out of my original photo heavy post.
When we returned to England it was to a worrying and exhausting round of doctors and hospitals. There was little in the way of walking and photographs were few and far between. It wasn’t the best end to the season but summer was on the way…
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