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ShareMondays2019 – The Painted Lady

Painted Lady

ShareMondays2019 – The Painted Lady

The Painted Lady

The Lady painted
Summer greens with Autumnal
Hues in russet red

Burnished copper glints
On wings that dip and flutter
Stroking the canvas

Softening the light
Adding an abundance of
Warmth and fine texture

Gently she alights
Upon the twisted hop vine
Her dance concluded

 

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Ghost In The Grasslands

Ghost In The Grasslands

Ghost In The Grasslands

It’s been really hard to pick an entry for the Fotospeed challenge this week! I keep being drawn back to this distant shot of the barn owl at Papercourt Meadows from late on Friday. Having got stuck in traffic I only arrived at the meadows at sunset. There was just enough light to still watch the barn owl hunting in the grasses. Too dark for flight images but he popped up onto the fence post close to the River Wey that runs through the meadow. There’s lots of context in this image though. Sometimes you can tell the story of your subject better by showing the environment in which it lives.

Barn Owl in Papercourt Meadows

This land is managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust and is a local haven for barn, short-eared and tawny owls. It was great fun staying to watch beyond the sunset. Although the light was too low for any more photography, the wildlife really came alive! I stood with another lady watching the deer suddenly start bounding and bouncing around the next field with all the joys of Spring in them! We were laughing in delight at their antics. They reminded me of my two cats having a funny five minutes at 3am! So lovely listening to the tawnys calling to one another and seeing the silhouettes of birds in low flight. Pheasants can glide quite some distance!

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Misty Morning Reflections

Newark Priory And Wey Navigation

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.

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ShareMondays2018 – Where’s Jenny?

Where's Jenny?

ShareMondays2018 – Where’s Jenny?

Spot the wren! Not too hard to find with the Fujinon 100-400mm with a 1.4x tele-converter, but it is quite a challenge finding and following these birds in the grasses and reeds of Papercourt Meadows, alongside the Wey Navigation, with the naked eye. It’s a haven for wrens and I would estimate that there was an individual wren every few metres along the short stretch between Papercourt and Newark Lock. My tips for finding them are to find a good habitat spot, go early morning or evening, listen for the chatter or song, keep very still and look for movement (perhaps with binoculars or spotting scope) in the area where you can hear them singing. In this case I tracked the wren’s position by watching the grasses moving and kept the camera focussed on those areas, waiting for little Jenny to pop up into view. Be patient, let the wildlife come to you! Information on habitat can be found on the RSPB and BTO websites.

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Green And Gold

Green And Gold

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.

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Blue Monday: Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Blue Monday: Of Dust Motes And Dreams

The late holly blue butterflies are still flitting about our waterways, gathering near the budding ivy where this generation lay their eggs. There are still wildflowers blooming along the Wey Navigation canal path where I spotted this, and other males, seeking nectar. The beautiful light, streaming through the trees to shine on this tattered little beauty, inspired the poet in me again.

Of Dust Motes And Dreams

Tattered
Torn
A little worn
And weathered

Jaded
Faded hues

Summer blues
And greens
Flickering
In light streams

Flimsy
Frayed
At the rim

Paper-thin wings
Still holding on

Fragile
Yet strong
Agile in flight

Daintily alight
Upon wild
Bowing blooms
As dusk looms

Steadfast sprite
Drink deep
This sweet
Ambrosia

Stave off
The long sleep

Withering
Diminishing
Last notes
Of a hushed song

Impression retained
In glittering
Sunbeams

Flittering away
To dust motes
And dreams

This is my entry for this week’s WexMondays challenge. Good luck to all taking part!

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Making A Splash

Making A Splash

Making A Splash

This young swan still has a few of his adolescent plumage left and was making a real splash, preening in the River Wey, as the new adult feathers come through. What a joy to watch him! I loved this pose he struck and decided that he should be my star for Wex Mondays this week.