Castle and Crocuses

Temperatures rose, there were patches of blue sky, the sun put in an appearance, and the last remnants of snow finally melted away – but now the Big Freeze is over there may be some flooding, because the  Anker and the Tame (the two rivers which converge here at Tamworth) were running very fast, very high and very brown. Anyway, that was the situation yesterday, when I walked down into town and through the Castle Grounds. And yes, I know I walked that way a couple of days ago, but the Castle and the Castle Grounds  are beautiful at any time of the year, in any weather, and they change all the time, depending on the time, the light, and the weather. Tamworth is very urban, and all the ‘wild’ places are surrounded by shops, houses, roads and industry, but the borough council and local residents do their best to preserve these areas, and whenever I walk into town I always think how lucky I am to be able to enjoy such a lovely little spot.

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I love the weird, twisted, contorted trunks of these trees growing on the bank of the River Anker in Tamworth’s Castle Grounds, but I have no idea what they are!
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This was the only daffodil in bloom – but there are drifts if daffodils planted all along the bank of the Anker, so I hope the others come into flower soon because they look so wonderful when you see a mass of them altogether.
Crocuses seem to glow in the grass. There are masses of them, in yellow, and white, and various shades of purple, but this little group looked so cheerful and sunny I couldn’t resist  them!
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This pair of mallards were happy to abandon the river for what was essentially a puddle on the grassy bank! I am always photographing ducks because we have a lot of water in the area, and consequently there are a lot of ducks!
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This spot on the bank of the Anker always seems to be at risk of erosion. After snow, or heavy rain, as the river rises higher and flows more swiftly more and more of the bank seems to get washed away, and the willows spend more and more time standing in water.
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Red Castle… The red sandstone section of Tamworth Castle really did look very red indeed in the winter sunshine – sometimes it looks pink, and sometimes it’s kind of pearly, and sometimes it’s almost grey. The stonework reminds me of one of those pale milky opals which seem to change colour as you look at them, And the flowers in the terraced garden are absolutely glorious.
This is the slope leading up to the Castle’s entrance, which looks very different in sunshine to the way it looked in the mist the other day.

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