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ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonfly

ShareMondays2018 – Emerald

Downy Emerald Dragonflies are found mostly in the South of England. They’re on the wing now at Thursley Common National Nature Reserve. I was able to watch a number of them flying around the edge of The Moat Pond next to the reserve car park. They’re very territorial and quite mesmerising to watch, darting about with the metallic greens and golds flashing in the sunlight! I’m sharing this image today for ShareMondays2018 and the Wex Mondays challenges. Good luck to everyone taking part!

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ShareMondays2018 – The Dell

The Dell

ShareMondays2018 – The Dell

A multiple exposure with ICM (in camera movement) to convey the magic of bluebell woods for this week’s ShareMondays and Fotospeed challenges.

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ShareMondays2018 – Art Inspires Art

His Mind's Eye

ShareMondays2018 – Art Inspires Art

I’ve been in Stratford-upon-Avon this past weekend, meeting up with my dear friend Rachel. On Sunday the weather cleared enough for us to enjoy a visit to Shakespeare’s New Place, Museum and Gardens. I had been very excited about seeing these gardens as they are a work of art. Inspired by the works of Shakespeare, the gardens were created by a collective of artists, landscapers, theatre-makers and volunteers. The words of Shakespeare are inscribed within this landscape on pendants, sculptures, benches and on the paving stones.

Meandering through the gardens was truly inspiring! It’s also fully accessible for wheelchair users, which I hope can inspire other UK visitor attractions! This stunning centrepiece is a circle of twenty-six hornbeams (one for every play written at New Place) that encircles the sculpture His Mind’s Eye by Jill Berelwitz. The bent bronze tree could surely have braved The Tempest and expresses Shakespeare’s creativity, the sheer force of his genius. From this angle it seemed to me to be like looking at a giant eye. Perhaps the eye of the storm?

Shakespeare was at his most creative during the nineteen years that New Place was the family home. That creativity lives on in the gardens now. Even more inspirational is that work only began here two years ago, for the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing. Beyond the yew walk, the Great Gardens are surrounded by the most extraordinary sculptures by Greg Wyatt, each one depicting a Shakespeare play. I think I will find something new in each of them every time I visit. It was tempting to re-ennact a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Rachel and I enjoyed the Wild Bank at the end of the garden. We both performed the play at sixth form college, I was typecast as the short but feisty Hermia and Rachel was a woodland fairy. Many happy memories were relived during our visit and I know we’ll be back!

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ShareMondays2018: Sing

Hazel O'Connor

ShareMondays2018: Sing

The brilliant Hazel O’Connor, performing with Cormac de Barra, at the Farncombe Music Club on Saturday Night. She’s singing Rebecca to her lost but unforgotten friend. It was so very moving! I’m also entering this into this week’s Fotospeed challenge.

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ShareMondays2018: Chasing Butterflies

Brimstone on azalea

ShareMondays2018: Chasing Butterflies

There’s nothing quite so wonderful as chasing Spring butterflies around on a warm, sunny day! Brimestone butterflies were definitely in full bloom in the woodland last Friday. Seeing them dancing around the pink blooms of azalea was glorious and a perfect encounter to add into this week’s ShareMondays challenge.

Brimstone in full bloom

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ShareMondays2018: Found Him!

Found Him!

ShareMondays2018: Found Him!

No, I wasn’t actually under the water myself this time! The weather forecast for last Wednesday was looking a bit dodgy so we avoided the rain by hanging out in Underwater World at Birdworld in Farnham. My inner scuba diver desperately wanted to dive into those tanks! One day I hope to get out to the tropics and find Nemo in his natural habitat.

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ShareMondays2018: On A Slate Grey Day

Pied Wagtail on a slate rooftop

ShareMondays2018: On A Slate Grey Day

Sunday was a grey old day! The views from Box Hill were muted and hazy. It tried to rain on us! Still, there’s good coffee and cheese scones at the cafe to accompany the delightful song of this lovely little pied wagtail, perched on the cafe roof. I really loved the tones of green and gold in the background, the moss and lichen topping the slate roof. The box trees are about to flower, catkins and buds adorn the branches just about everywhere you look. Even without the sun it was starting to feel a lot more Spring-like! This sight and sound was a highlight of the week for me so I’m posting it for all three challenges today, Wex Mondays, ShareMondays and fsprintmonday from Fotospeed.

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ShareMondays 2018: Sheltered

Sheltered

ShareMondays 2018: Sheltered

I couldn’t resist a few snow-themed photos from yesterday for my posts this week! I just loved this robin, perched under the boughs of one the conifers on the lawn at RHS Wisley Gardens, sheltering from the chill wind. I thought he’d be a nice piece for today’s ShareMondays post.

I also want to say sorry to many of my followers who’ve been leaving me lots of lovely comments and not receiving replies! I usually do most of my social media chat and notifications on my phone but it’s playing up at the moment. I need to upgrade it but have been patiently waiting for the latest Sony Xperia to be released! Until then (fingers crossed in the next week or so) I am still putting up with a phone that crashes when the battery drops to around seventy percent. Normal service, and responses, should resume shortly. I hope you’ll continue to be patient with me!

The Riverside WalkWintry ReflectionsSpring and Winter collide at Wisley