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The Dancing Poppies

The Dancing Poppies

The Dancing Poppies

“Through the dancing poppies stole
A breeze most softly lulling to my soul”

                                                   John Keats

From a fallowed field full of wildflowers and wildlife in Pyrford last Wednesday! Farming at it’s very best, providing such an important habitat for native wild plants and the wildlife that is dependent upon them. The poppies were utterly delightful but there was so much more besides! All this led to me finding and watching my first ever whitethroat (a bird of the warbler family)! I shall try to put a post together to show you the full range of wildflowers and the birds that I saw. In the meantime I’m posting these beautiful dancing poppies for Wex Mondays this week.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy – Newark Priory

Newark Priory with circling birds

Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Newark Priory

Memories held in
Bricks and mortar, ruined yet
Standing steadfast still

 

The rafters are gone
Yet sanctuary remains
Birds flock to her walls

 

On ancient marshland
Cattle graze and chew the cud
Splendour lost on them

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Blue Monday: Twilight Supermoon

Twilight Supermoon

Blue Monday: Twilight Supermoon

As the sun set yesterday, the supermoon rose over the ruins of Newark Priory. I had to wait for the moon to clear the low cloud and for a while I did worry if I’d actually get a photo at all!

I want to dedicate this one to my parents, who’s Wedding Anniversary is today! Much love to you both and I hope you enjoyed watching the supermoon rise over the hills in Devon last night 🙂

I just love the deep blue tones in a twilight sky! They often call it “the magic hour” and I certainly spent a magical hour watching the moon rise as the skies darkened last night.

 

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Travel Theme: Ancient

Newark Priory

Travel Theme: Ancient

For those of you who followed me last year on my 365 photographic journey, you may recognise this image. It was my page header for the year. To my new followers, welcome and thank you for your interest in my work!

I took this photo in the winter of 2012 when we had a fantastic hoar-frost that transformed the landscape into a crystalline wonderland! This winter has been devastatingly wet and much of the land around the ruins and along the River Wey at Papercourt has been badly flooded. The road still remains closed!

The ruins are that of Newark Priory which stands as a monument to the Dissolution under Henry VIII, when the crown seized the land and property of the catholic church and destroyed many of the buildings.

Newark actually stands on private farmland, despite its listed status, and can’t be accessed by the public. This is about as close as I can get to these historic remains, on the road between Pyrford and Ripley. I really wish I could explore more of this ancient site!

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Glacial Gaggle

Glacial Gaggle

I only had a short time in which to get out of the house today but I knew the best chance of spotting some wildlife in the Surrey snows would be near the canals in Pyrford and Ripley. What I wasn’t expecting was to see such a large gaggle (or gathering) or Canada Geese, ducks and a few Greylags not far from Pyrford Abbey. Lovely to watch despite the heavy snows soaking through my clothing 🙂

I made certain to put plenty of feed out for the garden birds too, to help them through the bitter weekend.

Winter in the UK is a great time for watching birds out at wetlands, in the garden or at a local RHS or National Trust Garden. There are many migratory species as well as native birds.

To learn more visit the RSPB at http://www.rspb.org.uk or follow the click-through link on the image to RSPB Love Nature on Facebook and sign up for The Big Garden Birdwatch 26th-27th January.

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Young Peregrine with His Handler

Young Peregrine with His Handler

Well I went out to photograph the sunset but bumped into a couple of members of The Home Counties Hawking Club with this lovely young peregrine! He was born last year and still has his juvenile brown colouring. His flight and hunting training has just started but he didn’t make a catch today! If only I’d arrived at the canal near Papercourt Lock a little earlier I might have been able to picture him in flight. Maybe another day 🙂