Yesterday my person had a day off work. We have noticed some Spring flowers around Ryde so we decided to send Mini-Kolo out to look for signs of Spring. He may not have chosen the absolutely best part of the island to investigate. We have seen flowers around here in the sheltered east of the island but Mini-Kolo went west where it is more exposed. He had a great day though.
He asked our people to drive him to Freshwater and he started by climbing (aka being carried) up a steep hill. From there he could look on one direction and see Freshwater Bay and in the other direction he could see the Downs and Freshwater town.
Next Mini-Kolo 'climbed' Tennyson Down, named after the Victorian Poet Laureate, Alfred Lord Tennyson, who had a house in Freshwater and walked the downs regularly. This was long slow climb.
On the way he stopped to look at the mainland. This picture looks towards Hurst Castle which is joined to the mainland by a sand-spit.
He looked over at Dorset and waved to our pals Lillie and Archie and Chalky and Cuddles and their baboons Hairy Harry, Truffles Ruffles, Cocoa Bean and Joe Baboonosa. Sadly is was a misty day as it often is in Spring. But he could see the mainland.
Finally he got to the top. We know it is the top because this is the Tennyson Memorial, set up to commemorate Tennyson.
After reaching the top we climbed down the other side towards the Needles. You can't see the Needles on this walk but the white chalk at the end of the land mass is just above the Needles.
He also looked towards the north where we could see Headon Warren, the down opposite to Tennyson Down. It is covered with heather.
He had not seen any flowers yet, apart from flowering gorse, but we did see some caterpillars. Mini-Kolo stopped and made friends with one of them.
He carried on towards the Needles where he came across a staircase in the downs. You make think this is unusual, and you would be right. These steps lead down into the Needles Old Battery, which is below and guarded the entrance to the Solent from Napoleon. The National Trust look after it and you can pay to go in, but not by these steps.
At the end Mini-Kolo turned around and came back, greeting his caterpillar friend on the way. He couldn't quite remember how far it was so he climbed a tree to see where he had got to.
Actually he did know where he was but he is a baboon and climbing is second nature.
Eventually he left the Needles Downs and got to the bottom of Tennyson Down.
Yes Mini-Kolo you did have to 'climb' back up.
Back at Freshwater Mini-Kolo had cheese scones and set out for home. He did see Spring flowers on the way but couldn't stop on the narrow roads for all of them. However at Chale Green he was able to pull in and have a look.
From his vantage point in a tree he could see what he was looking for.
So he went to have a look - crocuses
and daffodils. Happy St David's day to all of our Welsh friends!!
We will look for snowdrops and primroses that we can photograph tomorrow.