Image

Angels Above Me

Tern Triptych

Angels Above Me

I have been watching these beautiful terns at Thorpe Lake, where I do my open water swimming, from the shore and from the waters, wanting to capture their beauty and elegance in flight. I decided that the best way to achieve my goals was to take my toughened Olympus out swimming with me! This pair are nesting on one of the pontoons that divides areas of the lakes. Over the last few weeks I have seen them take to the air whenever a swimmer, or the other lake residents, come anywhere close to the pontoon. I have absolutely reveled in these aerial acrobatics, performed right above me as I glide through the waters. A couple of times I have turned onto my back and floated, gazing up at these angels. To capture these images last week I trod water for a while so that I could turn more easily and track their flight with both hands on the camera. I can’t tread water for long without using up all my energy, so it actually helped that terns fly fast and low! I ended up with three images, that had both male and female in the frame, and just couldn’t pick a favourite to enter into this week’s Wex Mondays challenge, so I created a tern triptych. I will post all three of the images for you to check out individually. Perhaps you will have a favourite?

Common Terns in flightCommon Terns in flightCommon Terns in flight

I’m also posting this as part of the WPC: Ooh, Shiny! Pretty much anything with wings distracts me, as those of you who follow my work, or come out on photography trips with me, know already 😉

Image

Blue Monday: Grebe On A Glassy Lake

Great Crested Grebe

Blue Monday: Grebe On A Glassy Lake

I took this photo of one of the grebes at Thorpe Lake before my swim there last week. The reflections of the sky were so beautiful. Open water swimming is just the best physical and mental exercise there is! I get to watch these glorious birds, along with all the other residents of the lakeside, while I swim through those smooth waters every week. The simple pleasures in life are the best. I shall share this pleasure with everyone as part of Wex Mondays this week. Good luck to everyone entering!

Image

Flower Meadow For Lou

Meadow Flowers

Flower Meadow For Lou

Before I sign off for the night I have one last post in remembrance of my dear friend Lou. Today was her birthday. She would have enjoyed the sunshine but, like me, struggled with the humidity! I suspect that if she’d not been working we would have just headed off to Guildford Lido for the day and kept cool in the water. No swimming for me this week as we’re off on our holiday to Kos tomorrow. Last Tuesday this incredible sight of meadow flowers, particularly lots of birds-foot trefoil, greeted mum and I as we arrived at Thorpe Open Water Swimming Lake! Well, Lou would have just loved this too. Completely perfect for a picnic with plenty of Pimms! So this wonderful, golden sight is for you, my dear friend. I know you’d be wishing you were coming with us to Kos tomorrow and I wish we could have taken you. In so many ways you’re with me wherever I go anyway! One of these years a dolphin will finally come to greet us in the Mediterranean waters and I will know that you have sent it to me. Love always xxx

Image

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water’s Edge

Feeding The Birds

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water’s Edge

Preparing To Swim The Serpentine

This coming Saturday 24th September I will be stepping off the edge into the waters of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, London, as part of the Swim Serpentine event, raising money for my charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK (CCUK). Swimming is the only sporting activity that I can do since the worsening of my Crohn’s and the onset of fibromyalgia. I love open water swimming and joined Thorpe Open Water Swimming club this summer for my own enjoyment as well as training for the charity swim. I actually feel so much more like myself when I get my wetsuit on and jump into the lake! I can move so much more freely and really get some active exercise going that helps prevent the fibromyalgia from worsening. There’s only one more week left of the open water season and I know I will feel lost without it during the winter. I don’t swim much in pools as the chemicals in them can really aggravate the skin conditions associated with my Crohn’s!

Swim Serpentine Course Map

I am so excited to be able to swim around the entire Serpentine! Hyde Park and the lake are a sanctuary for people and wildlife in the heart of London. I have visited a number of times to photograph the wildlife and landscapes but now I have a chance to see it all from a different perspective. If only I could take my camera into the water! I thought I would create a few albums to show you all some of the beautiful sights around the park and lake. I hope you enjoy them and perhaps you will be inspired to SPONSOR ME! CCUK is a small charity compared to many that will be represented on the day and we really need your help. I’m also taking part in the formation of a research project into perianal Crohn’s Disease at the moment. It’s a great feeling to be able to be part of something that could really improve the care and quality of life for many patients in the future! CCUK is involved is a huge amount of research as well as giving support to patients and their families. All research projects take many years of work and can cost an awful lot of money. They are absolutely vital in furthering our understanding of the causes of these complex illnesses and finding better medical and surgical treatments for the future. There is no cure. We would like to find one! If you can’t sponsor me yourself I would be grateful if you would share this request for help with others. Thank you all!

Hyde Park Wildlife

Scenes around Hyde Park and The Serpentine