Field trip: Stiperstones and Heathers

Yesterday morning, I was up half an hour earlier than usual and sluggishly got out of bed. After washing my face and going to the windowsill to begin my skincare routine, this view totally uplifted my spirits.



Its it not glorious? The photos are a bit blurry due to morning condensation on my window, but when I retook the photos after it was all wiped away, I found that the harsh just-risen sunlight had gone and it was less impressive.

Anyhow. Yesterday’s trip was a compulsory Biology field trip in order for us Biologists to get some experience… Doing practical stuff. We hadn’t heard much about the place (Stiperstones in Shropshire) besides that it was in the countryside and that there were going to be mating pheasants. We only saw two pheasants, a barking dog, multiple cows, sheep and horses, and a dead dormouse.

We were meant to set off at 7:45 but we didn’t leave school until 8:30… All because of a few late individuals.  It was irritating for early birds such as myself who arrived at 7:20!
Of course,  I brought some knitting along to do on the coach – Project Ilene – and would love to give you a photo only I was half asleep both during the morning trip and the evening journey home, and not much progress has been made as it’s just row on row of the same lace pattern.

After an introductory session and another half hour coach ride, we had to walk uphill to get to the fields of heather. The so called ten minute walk brought up lots of complaints we’re a very unfit bunch.  I persevered but ended up falling to the end of the group pack.
The view was lovely, which made up for it (ish.)

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My view from the hill!
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You can barely make this out due to awkward sunlight angle, but at the top of that hill is this block of rocks called the Devil’s Chair… interesting.
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V. bright caterpillar on EC’s coat. She nearly squished it by accident. There’s RZ also snapping away…

(Speaking of RZ, she barely made it to the field trip as she wasn’t well at all – I won’t specify – and now she’s in hospital, so send her ALL your well-wishes, okay?)

We studied the heather in different stages.  The mature heather (which, by the way, is older than me) was quite tall and I had to wade through it with my short legs, getting stuck at one point… Oh, the embarrassment. Here is a photo demo of how tall the heather was against my tiny height – it reaches my hips! I am wearing some hand knits and carrying a bunch of sampling equipment. It was quite cool up there and luckily I thought to bring those knits along.

I am breaking my semi-anonymous law but hey, I really really like this photo.
I am breaking my semi-anonymous law but hey, I really really like this photo. Plus you can barely see my face.

On the walk down from the hill we spotted the dead dormouse.  I didn’t take a photo of that.
Then we carried out some line sampling from dry land to pond marsh, catching regular whiffs of the countryside air (read: poo-ey). But by this point of the day we were all out of energy… probably the uphill walk that did it!

I was especially grateful for the hot food Dad cooked today – boiled chicken, without the bones today, in sour seasoned broth  – as I totally needed it to re-energise.

Field trips can be fun, right? Right?

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