The New Year is now six weeks old and those weeks have zipped past so quickly, its true what they say about how quickly time goes as you get older and i’m now one off fifty, gulp. Chris and I, well we haven’t done much wandering this year, poor Chris has to have more surgery on his leg, (bad veins) so he has found it more difficult than usual to wander with me.
We have kept our wanderings local as i have had an urge to photograph squirrels. We only have Grey’s locally but they have been fun to photograph. We have to adventure out to Formby to get Red’s which is a bit too far at present.
We went down to Eastham Country Park and had a great time watching the wildlife and birds, it was a lovely day and i found loads of things to photograph. There were lots of different Fungi too and i got up close and personal with an inquisitive squirrel, its just a shame i had a long lens on as i couldn’t focus close enough and it was one of those really great ‘shots that got away’ moments.
I love Chester Zoo, its one of my favorite places to go and i try to go each summer. We, as a family, visit the zoo where ever we are on holiday and we have been to quite a few over the past few years. We have enjoyed Longleat, Twycross, Knowsley safari park, south lakes wildlife park, New forest wildlife park to name a few. But you cant help compare them all to Chester zoo. We introduced a friends husband who came all the way from Tenerife, unfortunatley we went on one of the worst days of the summer and he renamed the zoo Chester Loo as we seemed to stop off at every toilet in the zoo 🙂 and hardly saw any of the animals as they were sheltering from the rain. Any way i digress, THIS time we had a gorgeous sunny day, the zoo has had a good breading year and we managed to see the tiger cubs, baby elephants and rhino, we didn’t see the cheetah cubs unfortunately but there were plenty of other animals to see.
Family holidays. Love them or hate them they are an integral part of the trial by summer school holidays. Ours usually consist of mum, dad and two out of three kids now, with the usual bickering and moaning and wanting to go home. We’re used to it and a holiday wouldn’t be the same without it. We had a weeks camping owed to us from last years flooded camp site, so we upgraded to a caravan as i didn’t think we had it in us to camp this time, just too tired, and it was great! We planned our week so we had flexibility for the weather and managed to fit in some great days out. Its done us, me and Chris, a great deal of good to get away from the trials of cancer treatments, (my mum) and the angst of late teenage, (eldest child) . From the get go i said this would be a holiday on MY terms and they would do what I wanted to do and you know what, they did. We went to all of the places I wanted to go and take photos, they even enjoyed themselves and i took them where they wanted to go and took photos there too. Re visiting places was great and i also found a ‘tin tabernacle’ hidden at the side of the main road in a copse of trees, hidden and abandoned since the mid 80’s, which was a fantastic find. I love going to Cumbria because the land is totally different from the Wirral. It has High hills, deep valleys, folds and dips and lots of forestation. It’s also inland so the Lakes are spectacular, we went to Windermere and cruised the lake which is great fun, Ambleside to see the house on the bridge, Penrith, Ulswater, Kendall, Appleby, we visited waterfalls which were fantastic because of the rain, South lakes wildlife park to see the snow leopards and we also took it easy, resting, relaxing and having family time together, yes we were one short but we can make up for that another time.
I was a little worried about the new car and if it would live up to expectation as its smaller but we did ok, no one was squashed, all our stuff fitted in the roof bag and boot and we learned some good stuff about the car, so good all round, i will be posting on my other blog wanderingsinafiat500l.wordpress.com my findings if you are interested.
After the last trip looking for native Bluebells, i kind of got into taking pictures of them and wondered where locally we would find enough flowers to capture a great photo. It turned out to be Burton, the mere actually. We had been to the RSPB site earlier in the year, unknowingly stealing a visit as we didn’t realise we needed to pay. As We walked through the woods we were greeted by a carpet of flowers, a plethora of bugs and the odd sculpture.
We crossed paths with two women visiting the area and they had been lucky to have seen a baby badger just around the bend from where we were photographing, they were very excited about this and we swapped stories for a few minutes, however when we walked further along the badgers had all gone away.
Someone has a great sense of humor as the sculptures are great and lots of fun!
Chris knew i wanted to take some photos of Bluebells in a wooded situation and while my back was turned researched where we were to go for this weeks wanderings. He chose Bluebell Cottage circular walk and RHS registered Bluebell cottage garden and nursery situated in the Weaver Valley, Cheshire. Its a bit of a trek up a narrow one lane track and you park on a grassy field but it is well worth it. You pay £3.50 to go into the gardens and nursery, where there is a help yourself tea room that serves lovely ice-cream and home made cake and a, well port-a-loo is not quite the right description, more shed done out nice, toilet. We walked around the gardens and ooh’d and ahhh’d over the lovely plants, took some photos and then just had to stop for coffee and cake. (the fruit cake was delicious)
Fortified, we set off to discover the Bluebell woods, over the field and through the new planting in the woods and there they were, carpets of beautiful jewel like flowers, all native to the British Isles. I didnt know where to look next, there were lovely pictures just waiting to be taken and take them i did! I used my new 50mm prime lens for some shots as i wanted a very shallow depth of field. I didnt know how well it would work as i have never used a prime lens before, i think it worked ok, i am pleased with what i have, i also used my 55-200mm lens as we found an amazing viaduct when we went on the Bluebell Cottage circular walk.
There is more to follow…………………………………
Having been really busy all week Chris and I escaped the family and wandered down to a local park in West Kirby, Ashton Park, http://www.ashtonpark.btck.co.uk/History/AfullerHistoryofAshtonPark as i wanted to try out my new camera.
I have exchanged my Nikon D3100 for a Nikon D7000 and i am really excited about using it, there are lots of new buttons to learn 🙂 and remember. This camera does trip me up though as i keep forgeting to put back the memory card as it doesnt tell you that there is no card in the slot 😦 and i took some lovely photos the other night of the sunset without a memory card, luckily the following evening was a similar sunset, this time with a memory card!
Anyway getting back to our wanderings, we wandered down to the park on a lovely sunny day. I took some photos of the trees, then we wandered down to the lake and i took some photos of the birds and while we were chatting to a waitress at the coffee bar she let slip that it was the Wilson Trophy on Marine Lake. Last year we had stumbled upon the race and i had taken some great photos with a Nikon D60 that i had borrowed, this year i had my own camera and a 55-200mm lens which did the job nicely. We have had ideal conditions for the racing this weekend and there were plenty of nail biting moments. Wessex Exempt won the trophy, well done Ben Ainslie and his team. http://www.wksc.net/wilsontrophy/