ShareMondays2018 – Take Off
Mistle Thrush In Bushy Park
I have seen so many beautiful things this past week and I would love to share much more with you today but, I have to restrict myself! Mostly it’s because I’m involved in some ongoing creative projects that are a bit “hush hush” for now. It’s all very exciting! You will all get to see the outcomes of these but I have to keep you in suspense for a little while longer. Anyway, speaking of beautiful and exciting, here is a wonderful mistle thrush in Bushy Park. It was one of a pair, fiercely protecting it’s patch in the Woodland Gardens. It’s guarding a bounty of mistletoe in the treetops! When pairs of mistle thrush guard an area like this in the Winter, it usually means that they will nest in the area come February. So thrilled to see this behaviour! I really hope that I will be lucky enough to watch this pair on other visits to Bushy Park and see if they will nest successfully.
On An Island
Such a beautiful scene, the last glorious tones of Autumn, really needed a stitched panorama to get in all the details! This is Claremont Landscape Gardens, managed by the National Trust, near Esher and Cobham. A wonderful place to explore, relax, have a cuppa and feed the birds (please bring proper bird seed or duck/swan pellets that are available at most garden centres).
I’ve been enjoying watching the birds at Bushy Park recently. It’s quite amazing the number of different species I see in just a short period of time around Heron Pond, which is near the main car park. I’m working on a collection of images to share with you all but I start with the pond’s namesake, the grey heron, standing sentinel on the dead tree beside the car park. They’re such striking birds and a joy to watch.
The Call Of The Wild
Last Tuesday I got up obscenely early to go to Bushy Park to see the deer rut in the morning mist. The mist was minimal and there was no actual rutting, just a lot of bellowing! The bellowing was most impressive though as was the Autumnal colour in the bracken and trees. Before I left, the sun had cleared the cloud away and most of the stags were having a rest. I made a little video of one stag lying down by the lake, hope you like it!
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!
Misty Morning Reflections
Newark Priory viewed from the banks of the Wey Navigation by Newark Lock. The navigation and the priory belong to The National Trust but the priory actually sits on private farmland. There are several beautiful views of the ruins from across the river and from the road. This is definitely a favourite view of mine, just catching the reflections of the ruins in the water. Even more ethereal on a misty morning, a glimpse into the history of Ripley and Pyrford.
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.