A Thurstaston pair?

It’s the weekend, and I’m not working, and it’s time for some R and R, in the form of meditative walking and snowdrops. When in need of a ‘relaxing walk’ me and Ronnie often turn to our ‘default’ walk, the shining shore. This is a relatively easy four mile walk from Thurstaston visitor centre, up Station Road, through St Bartholomew’s churchyard, along the lanes into The Dungeon, and down through Heswall Fields onto the beach, and along the beach and up into Tinker’s Dell back to the visitor centre.

We’ve done this walk in all seasons and know the route inside out, I know where the summer snowflakes will flower, I know where the honeysuckle will be, the bluebells, the samphire, I delight in the hedgerows, the yew trees, and more, and of course – the snowdrops. And I know the snowdrops will have arrived in the churchyard.

St Bartholomew's church.

St Bartholomew’s church.

One of the highlights of this walk, the church.

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And the ancient churchyard, where the snowdrops have indeed arrived.

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We usually walk through the churchyard, observing the snowdrops or other wildflowers. But today we decide to sit here and have our lunch – which usually takes place further along the walk. We settle down to have lunch. As I gaze across the churchyard my eye is struck by that familiar ‘monkey’ shape…

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Looks like a monkey!

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Yes, it is!

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Yes, that there!

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Actually, it looks like two monkeys. In the binocular view I can clearly see female cones on the lower branches, and male cones on the upper. And how come I have never noticed this?!

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We have lunch, observe the snowdrops and leave. There is a wall at the far end of the churchyard where I can get a better view.

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Yes, and I can confirm that it is indeed two monkeys – one male, one female.

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We carry on up the lane, to an even higher point, where we can look back to see the trees.

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Had never considered binoculars as essential monkey hunting kit, but they were essential today.

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As was Ronnie’s new camera – and two monkey puzzle trees clearly visible.

We finish our walk – documented by Ronnie on his blog – and as we drive away we stop at the top of Station Road, to find that they are both visible here.

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This is the shorter tree, the female tree – easily visible.

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And this is the female tree (on the left) and the rounded shape of the male tree to the right of it.

So, two additions to the CH catalogue. And leaves me, once again, wondering how on earth I’ve never noticed these before? We’ve walked this walk in all seasons, so with bare trees like this, and I have simply not had my ‘monkey eyes’ in.

(More CH trees to follow very soon from Agent Philip.)

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