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Watching Me Watching Him

Watching Me Watching Him

Watching Me Watching Him

A grey squirrel perched in the acer at Bowles’ Corner, RHS Wisley Gardens, for WexMondays this week. The squirrels are such fun to watch at the moment as they feed on the seeds of trees, like this acer, and cache nuts from the oaks and beech for later in the winter. We stared at one another for quite a while, both keeping as still as possible. The colours in this acer are just wonderful! Bold greens through to rich reds with bright red helicopter seeds. I have captured a lot of wonderful autumnal scenes this last week but this dear little face kept drawing me back!

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ShareMondays2018 – Where’s Jenny?

Where's Jenny?

ShareMondays2018 – Where’s Jenny?

Spot the wren! Not too hard to find with the Fujinon 100-400mm with a 1.4x tele-converter, but it is quite a challenge finding and following these birds in the grasses and reeds of Papercourt Meadows, alongside the Wey Navigation, with the naked eye. It’s a haven for wrens and I would estimate that there was an individual wren every few metres along the short stretch between Papercourt and Newark Lock. My tips for finding them are to find a good habitat spot, go early morning or evening, listen for the chatter or song, keep very still and look for movement (perhaps with binoculars or spotting scope) in the area where you can hear them singing. In this case I tracked the wren’s position by watching the grasses moving and kept the camera focussed on those areas, waiting for little Jenny to pop up into view. Be patient, let the wildlife come to you! Information on habitat can be found on the RSPB and BTO websites.

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Green And Gold

Green And Gold

Green And Gold

Last Monday I visited my recently bereaved aunt, to take her some commemorative agapanthus for her collection. We sat in her garden, gazing on her gorgeous collections of cyclamen, talking about the therapeutic qualities of being outdoors, surrounded by nature and wildlife. It was a very healing conversation, over a cup of tea, in the warm sunshine. On my way home I stopped briefly at one of my favourite spots along the Wey Navigation, Papercourt Lock. A small patch of woodland lies next to the navigation and by the many tributaries of the River Wey. It’s always full of birds but they can be hard to spot! I actually went looking for Autumn butterflies, red admirals and speckled wood, feeding on nectar from ivy flowers but instead I found this beautiful little goldcrest (our smallest bird species along with the firecrest) hunting insects on the ivy for itself. Stunning to see it caught in shafts of golden evening sunlight! I can’t think of a better way to illustrate just how magical and healing nature is.

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Blooming Butterflies

Blooming Butterflies

Blooming Butterflies

There were so many small copper and common blue butterflies still on the wing last week at Heather Farm Wetlands Centre, a part of Horsell Common. They’re not hard to find either, you just have to look around the clumps of this yellow flowering plant, called common fleabane. It’s been practically blooming butterflies throughout the season! Can’t resist putting this in for this week’s WexMondays challenge. Lovely to be out chasing so many butterflies in the middle of September!

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Blue Monday : Banquet For Blue Tits

Banquet For Blue Tits

Blue Monday : Banquet For Blue Tits

The bountiful berries of the Cornus kousa, a flowering dogwood, make a fine banquet for the diminutive blue tits in the Autumn. It’s a feast for the eyes to watch them! There are a number of kousa trees around the grounds at RHS Wisley Gardens, but the best fruiting and most visited ones are just at the bottom of the rose garden. While other birds have to forage below the trees for fallen fruit, the blue tit appears to be the only visitor light enough to feed directly from the fruit ripening on the tree. Occasionally even these lightweights accidentally pick a berry that can’t quite support them and they tumble down through the leaves. I’m yet to catch that amusing sight on camera! My lead image really captures how adept they are at feeding from the berries, so I’m entering it into today’s ShareMondays2018 and Fotospeed challenges. I’ll keep on trying to photograph one their epic fails!

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Blue Monday: Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Blue Monday: Of Dust Motes And Dreams

The late holly blue butterflies are still flitting about our waterways, gathering near the budding ivy where this generation lay their eggs. There are still wildflowers blooming along the Wey Navigation canal path where I spotted this, and other males, seeking nectar. The beautiful light, streaming through the trees to shine on this tattered little beauty, inspired the poet in me again.

Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Tattered
Torn
A little worn
And weathered

Jaded
Faded hues

Summer blues
And greens
Flickering
In light streams

Flimsy
Frayed
At the rim

Paper-thin wings
Still holding on

Fragile
Yet strong
Agile in flight

Daintily alight
Upon wild
Bowing blooms
As dusk looms

Steadfast sprite
Drink deep
This sweet
Ambrosia

Stave off
The long sleep

Withering
Diminishing
Last notes
Of a hushed song

Impression retained
In glittering
Sunbeams

Flittering away
To dust motes
And dreams

This is my entry for this week’s WexMondays challenge. Good luck to all taking part!

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ShareMondays2018 – Summer Has Flown By

Summer Has Flown By - Southern Hawker Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Summer Has Flown By

A beautiful, male southern hawker dragonfly, fiercely protecting his territory, at RHS Wisley Gardens, in the warm sunshine yesterday. These hawkers are dragonflies of Autumn, seen into October and occasionally even November. I’m sharing this beauty for this week’s ShareMondays2018 and Fotospeed challenges.

Cusp

Summer has flown by
In the mere blink of an eye
Autumn colours reign