Unlocking The Landscape Part 4


Unlocking The Landscape Part 4

Lock Gates and reflections

The Saturn Trail on the Basingstoke Canal is the perfect landscape in which to reflect upon the beauty of nature!

Part of WPC: Landscape, Travel Theme: Refreshing and The 7 Day Nature Photography Challenge


Wordless Wednesday and WPC: Unlocking The Landscape Part 3 – The Unexpected


Not the usual wildlife!Wordless Wednesday and WPC: Unlocking The Landscape Part 3 – The Unexpected


Unlocking The Landscape Part 2

Grey Wagtail looking for food

Unlocking The Landscape Part 2

The sapphire-jeweled kingfisher isn’t the only precious bird on the Basingstoke Canal! In the golden afternoon sunlight a gilt streak skims the water’s surface and lands on the lock gates, tail bobbing, head twisting, seeking out the insects along the shallows. The Grey Wagtail is a favourite bird of mine and I have been watching them along my local stretch of the canal for some years now. They’re very distinctive with a slate-grey back and bold yellow underside! They breed very successfully in this insect-rich environment and I hope to be watching them interacting with their fledglings again this year.

Part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape. If you missed Part 1 of my series exploring the many elements that make up the local landscape of the canal, you can view it here


Unlocking The Landscape Part 1

The Kingfisher

Unlocking The Landscape Part 1

To truly appreciate a landscape I like to explore its environs, discover all the constituent parts that make up the whole. As part of the 7 Day Nature Photography Challenge (as nominated by Seonaid), the Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape and Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Refreshing, I spent a gloriously refreshing afternoon investigating the many components that make up the local landscape along the Basingstoke Canal.

The stretch of canal that I like to visit is half a kilometre in length, running west from the Woodham Lock in West Byfleet, Surrey. On good days I like to attempt to walk along parts of the towpath, known as the Saturn Trail, but knowing I needed my 50-500mm lens and my tripod for the images that I hoped to capture, I made the short journey in my wheelchair. I certainly needed my seat for the several blissful hours I spent photographing the undisputed jewel of this landscape – The Kingfisher!

In this, I have now fulfilled a lifelong dream. Over the years I have, on occasion, caught a fleeting glimpse, a dart of iridescent blue and orange zipping along the water’s course, or diving fast and silent before vanishing in yet another magical burst of blue! The still waters barely show a ripple or disturbance, hardly a sign that the fisher king has been and gone. Often I have been left questioning my own eyes!

But no longer! Now I have a pair to watch and study, to photograph, film and simply delight in their existence! I feel truly blessed by this gift of nature and I’m so thrilled to be able to share some of my experiences with you all. I would like to challenge EVERYONE to spend at least seven days exploring the nature and wildlife that inhabits a local landscape, be it urban or countryside. If you want to share what you find in photography, sketches, poetry, notes or a story then that would be wonderful too!

Also part of Blue Monday, hosted by Jeanne at Backyard Neighbor
Smiling Sally


NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Comforts

NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Comforts

It was wet and horrible outdoors today but I made a quick stop into our local gift shop, Apples & Pears, and was confronted by all the wonderful colours and scents of Christmas! I found one or two ideas for presents but mostly I just enjoyed browsing in such a comforting atmosphere.


NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Bouquets

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NaBloPoMo and Travel Theme: Colourful Bouquets It’s been a thoroughly dreary day here but these seasonal flower bouquets made me smile 🙂


NaBloPoMo – Coffee Break


It’s been a wet and miserable day here in South East England but I had to visit the village for supplies. The leaves still hanging on the Maple always put a smile back on my face though, no matter how grim the day!


To lift my spirits further, and prepare for a night of music photography, I’ve paused at Taylors for a coffee break. Dark chocolate, mocha coffee! A hug in mug 🙂