After an uneventful journey through the beautiful dales countryside the full mini bus of 15 Bees enthusiasts arrived in the Village of Austwick. Then complications struck, the bus stopped and refused to start again. As we were only a short distance from our destination of Austwick Hall our trusty driver, Julia, suggested we walk through the village leaving her to use her phone to summon some kind of help.
The day was warm and sunny, the village houses and gardens pretty and we soon arrived at Austwick Hall where we were welcomed by our hosts who ushered us into a lovely drawing room and offered us tea, coffee and delicious home baked cakes and scones, as we enjoyed our refreshments the owners of the Hall gave us some information as to the best way to walk up through the wood behind the Hall to see the Snowdrops and any other plants, fungi and trees of interest.
Refreshed we meandered steadily up through the wood enjoying the dappled sunlight which in places lit up drifts of snowdrops nestled in mossy hollows giving our party the feeling that, yes, Spring really was at last coming to chilly Yorkshire.
At intervals throughout the wood sculptures had been placed to give extra interest, one of the figures gave rise to much discussion, was it a dog? a lion?, no according to our garden map it was a baboon.
Some other plants of interest, apart from the snowdrops, noticed by Alice and Joan were Dog’s Mercury and wild Arum pushing through the cold ground, a growth of puffballs on a tree and among the many unusual trees were some Redwoods. Also a song thrush was heard singing its enjoyment of this early spring day. Later in the day as some folks warmed up in the Game Cock pub a few of the others did a short walk and Annual meadow grass, Rue leafed saxifrage and walls thick with lichen were noted.
In the meantime, Julia back at the minibus, in her usual calm and efficient manner had organised the transport of the disabled vehicle back to Bradford and taxis for her grateful passengers.
And so after a shaky start it was "all's well that ends well" and thanks to our leaders John and Lorna and special thanks to Julia we did have a really lovely day. More photos here.