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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Textured

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#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – Textured

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Behind the layers
Taking the rough with the smooth
These many textures

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ShareMondays2019 – Creeping Home

Treecreeper with food for young

ShareMondays2019 – Creeping Home

I have many many wonderful wildlife moments this last week while taking part in 30DaysWild, but taking my parent along to Thursley Common NNR was a real highlight! My dad is recovering from a hip replacement that has been long overdue. His mobility is still a bit restricted but he is finally able to walk far enough to get out onto the boardwalk at Thursley to see the birds, lizards, orchids and dragonflies. I can just about manage my electric wheelchair onto the site with a bit of help, this time provided by my mum and my aunt, who got me past a few missing boards and over some awkward roots.

We could only stay a short time and I was so thrilled to find the treecreepers once again nesting in the spot they occupied last year! Absolutely wonderful to watch them. The marsh orchids are really starting to carpet the bog in patchworks of purple, broken up by fabulous grasses, including native cotton grass. Such a delight to look upon! Damselflies and dragonflies are starting to increase in numbers, bringing the hobbies in to hunt over the ponds. I found many lovely lizards, one was even kind enough to stay put while my dad came in closer to get a photo with his phone!

Common Lizard

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Twisted Little Beauty

Twisted Little Beauty

Twisted Little Beauty

Sometimes it pays to be trundling around RHS Wisley Gardens in a wheelchair, especially when you’re at the perfect height to fully appreciate the beauty of this wonderful, gnarly old tree! This one is for the Fotospeed challenge today.

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Blue Monday: Hang On A Minute!

Nuthatch

Blue Monday: Hang On A Minute!

Nuthatches are wonderful birds to watch! It’s not often I can get close enough to show you the detail of their feathers and the beautiful slate-grey and blue colouring. I spotted this one clinging to the trunk of one of the trees near the birdhide at RHS Wisley Gardens. First came the panicked retrieval of my long lens and actually fitting it to the camera body. Then I had to try to creep down the stairs to get closer. Stairs and I don’t get on well at the best of times!! The whole time I was whispering, “Just hang on a minute!” and he did. He actually clung to the trunk for quite a while, watching the other birds coming and going from the feeders. Look closely at the image and you can see the really long toes and claws of this expert climber! I love the texture of the bark on this trunk. It’s a feature that helps the nuthatch make really good use of this tree for climbing and feeding on insects within the crevices of the bark. Among all my wonderful wildlife finds last week, this image really stands out for me so I’m putting it into the Wex Mondays challenge this week. Good luck to all those entering!

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NaBloPoMo – Space For Wildlife

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I was at my local hospital today, seeing my stoma nurse, and was delighted to see that the hospital trust has put this fantastic insect home into the small gardens outside the entrance. It’s the decline of bees in the UK and across the world that has finally got people involved in providing homes for wildlife. The winter is a hard time for hibernating insects and mammals trying to find a safe and warm place to sleep through the coldest months. St Peter’s hospital itself isn’t much to look at, but the small garden areas are a real sanctuary for patients and visitors needing a break from the wards!

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Travel theme: Wood

Travel theme: Wood

Travel theme: Wood

In keeping with the season I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite winter shrubs with its vibrantly coloured woody stems. This is Salix alba var. vitellina ‘Yelverton’, a type of willow, and every winter it provides a golden, burning glow around Seven Acres and the lake at RHS Wisley Gardens.