Scotney Castle – and a glimpse of herons

The weather has been crazy – some of the warmest spring days ever, followed by some of the coldest. Yesterday was Easter Sunday, so we decided to go to Scotney Castle – the gardens are now open for timed visits. Yes, I know, it seemed a crazy day to go, but actually, it wasn’t too crowded. Also, blessedly, it was wonderfully clear and sunny. Today it is freezing cold and due to get frosty – I fear for my plants. Last week we went for a walk round Winchelsea and saw the herons nesting in their heronry by the Royal Military Canal. A fine sight. Apart from that, life carries on. We had four other people for tea in our garden last week- the first week we could do so, and had another outing with friends. The end of lockdown is apparently in sight, but Battleaxe still does not feel OK about the world…

Scotney Castle is a very photogenic place, and as you can see from these photos, yesterday it excelled itself. The old house and tower was deliberately fashioned into a ‘romantic ruin’. I suppose they liked to paint it back in C19, but it could have been made for modern photographers. Here is a bit about it from our first visit in 2015. However, the last time we visited – would you believe in 2017 – was with granddaughter Eve. She had a moment and decided to disappear. I tell you, I nearly killed myself running round that lake. After looking for frenzied ages and thinking how we’d ever confess to her parents that she’d totally vanished without trace, I’d glimpsed her, a little dot far away in the distance on one side of the lake when I was on the opposite bank…. Meanwhile poor Philosopher was due to go into hospital to have a hip replacement and could barely walk at all… here is the post about it.

Anyway, no such alarms on this visit, we pottered about peacefully, even got a take-away cup of tea and a National Trust Easter Brownie, encrusted with mini-eggs. Obvs no sitting down – the many wasps that normally hang out round that tea-room must be wondering what has happened to their world.

Here are some more photos:

So, what of the herons?  You may remember that on several occasions we have seen the heronry in the trees alongide the Royal Military Canal in Winchelsea. I first wrote about them in 2015 – here is the post. A year or so  after that, their long-dead and fragile old tree blew down, and the next year we couldn’t find them at all. However, they set up home in a new tree. A couple of years we have missed them altogether – they only go up into the trees to nest, and disappear as soon as the chicks are fledged. We saw them last year, and this year they had spread into two trees, several hundred metres apart. The photo is a bit blurred becasue they are a long way away, but three herons are visible, one sitting on a nest.


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