Bolam Lake ~ October 2021~ part 1

Sophie and I were making the best of Autumn and so the weekend after visiting Belsay, we went off to look for more Autumnal colour and to see the swans et al at Bolam Lake. We last visited 4 years ago in September 2017 – ah, the good old pre-plague days! Looking back at those photo’s there was more autumn colours in September 17 than there was in Oct 21 πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ.

Bolam lake was constructed c.1817 for Lord Decies of Bolam. John Dobson was commissioned to lay out the grounds in 1816, including the 25-acre artificial lake and woodland. Northumberland County Council purchased the lake and some of the surrounding woodland in 1972 for use as a Country Park.

Bolam Lake

The weather was a bit pants, but the swans didn’t seem to care. Bolam has a herd of Mute Swans, though they are not entirely mute, as they’ll hiss or snort if feeling threatened. But they are quiet in comparison with other types of swans, and in spite of that are quite beligerent with the male swans highly territorial. They will threaten intruders, striking an aggressive pose with wings arched over their back, before charging at them to chase them off. 

these two were quite friendly..we had birdseed 😊

There are many collective nouns for a group of swans, they can be a bevy, a gaggle, a whiteness, or a wedge, but only when in flight. Herd is OK too which suits me fine.

a bevy/gaggle/whiteness herd.

Since the 12th century, the Queen has had the right to claim ownership to all unmarked mute swans in the country swimming in open waters, and there is a traditional swan upping ceremony, an annual ceremony that has taken place for hundreds of years and takes five days. It’s held every July on the river Thames at Caversham. In the ceremony, a flotilla of Thames rowing skiffs, manned by “Swan Uppers” make their way along the river led by The Queen’s Swan Marker, David Barber. The cygnets are marked as being either part of the Vintners or the Dyers livery companies. This is determined by their parentage. All Crown birds are left unmarked. Although it’s a tradition it also helps with conservation. Anyway, it only happens on the Thames and the rest of the country’s Mute swans can go about their business unaware that they are Royal swans, although they always look regal, so maybe they are.

passing by

There is more to see than swans though, so let’s move on. The ground was damp, and shady so we came across a few mushrooms and fungi, I love finding ones I haven’t seen before.

not sure which type of mushroom this is, think it’s one of the Grisettes, didn’t munch on it just in case.
Orange grisette
Trametes versicolor (turkey tail )
Fomes fomentarius (Hoof fungus, Tinder bracket)
Evernia prunastri – Oakmoss Lichen

my last photo today is of a dear little dog, a collie I think, who was undergoing some training with her owner. I hope it’s a girl dog!

Dog in pink.

That’s it for this week. As you read this I’ll be driving 250 miles down south, takes about 5 hours, to visit with my son and grandson, so will be late answering comments today.

Stay tooned for next time, there’s more to see at the lake πŸ™‚ .

all photos are embiggenable by clickeration.

56 thoughts on “Bolam Lake ~ October 2021~ part 1

  1. Love the fungus and lichen and I am impressed by your knowledge of Latin names! We live very near Caversham – swan upping is also done at other points along the Thames too.Enjoy your time with the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We’re on the same wavelength. You were taking pictures of fungi, I was watching Attack of the Mushroom People.

    Sort of the same thing.

    Swans always amaze me when I see them because they’re so big. I think I have a mental image of them as the same size as geese, but they’re so much bigger.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So much here…I really like the idea of revisiting places and comparing the way they look at the same time of year…I was just thinking a group of swans should be called a flotilla when the word appeared!magic…. Its hard to take a good photo of a swan it has been done so much but yours is class!!the gull makes it special. I like twists like that …as you know. And I love fungus too…safe travels x

    Liked by 1 person

          1. But I’m not back! I’m away! I’ll be travelling home on Thursday, still me, in my little `Minty fiat 500, battling the elements and knobheads on the road. But not killing robots with weird cloned plants. I wish I knew where that came from!

            Liked by 1 person

    1. I tend to think chaps who like pink go for a less in -yer- face shade, that doggy coat looked like something our Liddy would wear!
      The Queen doesn’t even know we exist up here, our swans are safe muted or not!

      Like

  4. Wonderful pictures! And a fun read as well. And I did learn a lot! Muted swans who are regal and anually upped. Good Lord. Things are always more interesting then you would have been imagening. I hope you had a good visit and trip and that you are safely back home.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A lovely swan fest, and the mushrooms are great too.
    I hope you had a good trip ‘dahn sarf’. Must have been nice to get back to civilisation and away from the Pictish hordes. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gorgeous photos. I don’t know why, but I am always smitten with photos toadstools and mushrooms in the wild. The just look so…woody, for lack of a better word.
    The swans are majestic and regal looking. I liked learning about the Swan Upping Ceremony too. So intriguing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, swans. Never been overly impressed with them if I’m being honest. Regal? Pfft. Sloths are more regal. I wonder: if there was a revolution, and the whole Royal Family was disembowelled, would the swans have to be killed off too? Y’know, for the imagery? Can’t have a weak revolution…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I was also travelling south today, but I live here. On Saturday I was doing Parkrun around a lake that had swans, some of them black. How does the Queen’s Swan Marker know which swans to mark with which livery and what does owning a swan mean? Do they eat them? It’s probably best if I don’t pursue that thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Beautiful photos! I love swans, but am wary of them and keep them at a respectable distance. My favourite shot is of the swan & gull. It is oustanding. The fungi are lovely – I am love all the information you include!

    Safe travels! πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love all the background information Fraggle. I had no idea the Queen has had the right to claim ownership to all unmarked mute swans in the country swimming in open waters! Your photos are stunning a usual! Love all the hoof fungus! xxoo, C

    Liked by 1 person

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