Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Foggy Again!

Once again, it was a foggy start to the day as Malcolm and I walked out this morning - and bitterly cold too. We set out for Straw's Bridge, picking our way along the muddy paths and shrugging our shoulders against the small ice crystals dropping on us from the overhanging trees.
Across 'Swan Lake' the sun was trying to shine through, but the ducks, swans, geese and coots were more interested in the arrival of someone with a bread bag.
The waterfowl didn't get much of a look-in though, as hundreds of Black-headed gulls beat them to it.
Two escaped domestic geese looked on with a rather superior air about them as the gulls squabbled and shrieked.
Time to head home again and warm up with a hot coffee.

Monday, 23 January 2017


Fog was certainly the theme of the day as we set out for our walk this morning. In fact, the fog had lifted a little when we headed for Shipley Park, but it was still clinging to the trees and gave everything a strange appearance. We headed for Osborne's Pond and here, the fog was still quite thick as it hung over the water.
A light coating of ice floated around on the surface of the lake and the few ducks and coots which were about, picked through it searching for something to eat.
It was really quite beautiful.
Looking through the overhanging oak tree gave us another view.
By now, we were both getting very cold, so we turned our frost-nipped noses homeward for a hot coffee.

Friday, 20 January 2017

At Last!

At long last, after several days of gloomy, cloudy and drizzly weather, we finally woke this morning to blue skies and sunshine. So it was lovely to be out and about again walking this morning. With a slight frost and everywhere being wet, there was a layer of mist hanging in the air which only added to the beauty of the morning.
We set off along the trail  as the mist clung to the hedgerows and hawthorns.
Up Shipley hill, it was rather wet under foot but the sight of Snowdrops already beginning to show some white buds, was enough to gladden the heart. This picture was taken looking along the old Suffragette wall surrounding the hill-top.
Back via Mapperley reservoir and the village, it was great to be out and about again.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Small Horse

Following a rather wet day yesterday, during which I only managed to get out to purchase a loaf of bread - and still managed to get wet, it was nice to be out and about this morning for a walk through Shipley Park. I set out along Slack lane, taking me past the fields of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust where they have recently introduced a small group of Konik Ponies.
The name is a derivation of the Polish for Small Horse and they can trace their ancestry directly from the original, wild European horse the Tarpan. Resilient to harsh weather conditions, they can adapt their diet to take advantage of almost anything available, delaying growth during periods of shortage. They make a welcome addition to the countryside around here.
Onward to Mapperley Village, past the reservoir - looking particularly grey this morning - and then up Shipley Hill. Looking back towards Mapperley, the greyness of the day was obvious.
Away in the distance, through the gloom, Ratcliffe Power Station was just visible as it churned out smoke and steam just over nine miles away.
Taking a photo of an old Ash tree on the way up the hill, one of my pictures turned out to be a happy accident. The picture was under exposed, giving the feeling of night-time. Although it was very dull, it wasn't quite that dark!
This was the view looking back down the drive which would once have seen horse-drawn carriages trotting up to Shipley Hall. No such grandeur this morning, just me, a cyclist and a couple of squirrels.
Time to head home for a hot coffee.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Fresh Start

Here we are again at the start of another year and after the rigours of Christmas and New Year, we are off to our usual quiet start. The old year left us on a rather foggy note as our strolls around Shipley Park demonstrated.
The sun shining through the trees made for a somewhat atmospheric look and a little digital manipulation helps here too.
At Straw's Bridge, the swans were enjoying the sunshine too.
Looking back to last July, you may remember that I photographed a caterpillar in our back garden. It was found on one of our Pheasant Berry plants and proved to be a complete mystery. Well, it may have taken sometime, but at last, I have managed to identify the little beast. The problem was, I had been blinkered by the idea that it must have been either a butterfly or moth caterpillar, but it turns out to have been the larva of a Honeysuckle Sawfly. At last! And a new tick for the life list.