nature

100 Steps – April

And now for something just a little different.

Today we met our family for lunch. We celebrated two birthdays – two generations in fact, and had a lovely time. A cooked lunch on a Sunday is a rarerity. Our main meal of the day is usually in the evening, nothing to prepare tonight, though. Instead of travelling home by the direct route we took a ramble around the countryside. It was almost a Sunday afternoon drive (the weather was perfect for such an event) but our way was more directed – we were visiting a friend who has a farm.

The farmhouse is surrounded by a perfect cottage garden. The plants are all waking up but two, by the gate, were absolutely stunning.

I couldn’t resist a closeup of one.

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The flowers reminded me of little ballet dancers.

Normally I take detailed shots for my 100 steps. Today, though, I was too involved in the general views. And why not? Just look at what was in store just a few steps away from the trees

However, only a few more steps and we were able to see the reason for our visit today

And all within 100 steps

Today I was very brave

I’m willing to bet that most of you are more brave every day than I was today, but first of all let me set the scene.

I wear glasses – spectacles to correct my short sight. Without them everything is very blurred.

Really blurred!

Really, really blurred.

So, when I went outside to sort out my dyeing area prior to sorting the next batch I shouldn’t really have gone out without wearing them.

But I did.

Everthing was as I had left it, all was in order, except……

…… there was something moving.

It wasn’t moving very much, but it was definitely moving. It was also most definitely where something should NOT be moving!

So what did I do?

Well, without thought of risk or safety I carefully took hold and moved it to the nearby earth patch.

Thankfully I had my camera with me. My camera doesn’t need specatcles so I photographed to record the spot! After donning said specs I knew I could return and tackle the wriggling, squiggling thing.

But then I learned a hard lesson.

The camera DOES lie!

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You see, when I inspected the photograph all I could see was a worm! Can’t see it? Well it’s there – amongst the greenery just above left of centre. If you still can’t see it send me an email and I’ll give you a grid reference. The trouble is, the squirmy thing I saw was about 10 times the size and all shades of red orange blue and green, breathing smoke and flames and certainly had scales and probably wings. After all – how else could it have arrived on my outside dyeing table?

So all I can say is – never dye without your specs, and I’ll never trust my camera again.

Another February 100 steps

This morning I took a walk within our nature reserve. The following photographs were all taken within a very short distance – the usual 100 steps – but today I wasn’t looking for small details. I was recording the bigger picture.

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We had approached from a different direction having driven to the car park on the far side. Our grandchildren were with us and we knew that the path along which we would normally walk was flooded. You can see it at the bottom of the picture. We stayed up high for this part of the walk to avoid the mud and water that was on the path. The area viewed from here is normally full of reeds. They were cleared in the autumn leaving a narrow channel for the water. That whole area is now flooded – the water in the forefront is as a result of the recent  bad weather.

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No steps involved here. This is the area to the left of the previous shot. We normally approach from the side that you can see in the distance. This view is usually water free!

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Still in the same place, and evidence of a casualty. That stump was a double-trunked tree. More evidence visible just to the left of centre too.

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Apparently the storms are over. Let’s hope so.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Juxtaposition

Coincidence? Well, whether it is or not the title fits perfectly with a creative endeavour that is happening this weekend. I wrote about it earlier and anyone is welcome to join in there too.

During the recent stormy weather I have been documenting certain views. These have mostly been to record the rise and fall of the water. The one I have chosen to show you today is quite difficult to capture as, for most of the day at this time of year, the sun is too low for a good shot. I have taken to hiding in the shadow of a tree so that I can fool the camera. On this particular day I wasn’t the only one behind a tree. The cyclists emerged just as I pressed the trigger!

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I hope that at least some of you will choose to be creative with us over the weekend. This is a monthly ‘happening’. Full details of the Weekly Photo Challenge can be found here and one from Just Snaps is here..

100 Steps – A review and a New Start

My walking has continued for several months now. Regular visits to our nature reserve have enabled me to make the most of the changing seasons. Sometimes I have been accompanied by a friend or my DH and occasionally by family. More often than not, though, I have been on my own. Today’s 100 Steps is slightly more unusual than my previous posts in this series as you will soon see.

I have lived in this area for many years. Our children were brought up here, and the nature reserve has been a part of our lives since before it was given the SSSI classification. In recent years it has been managed more productively and changes have been made to stop the buildup of silt. Much of this has been related to what is known as the Gelvert Stream. It flows from Army land near Aldershot under the Basingstoke Canal and on into the lake. One of the direct (marked) routes around the site follows this stream along its length. It runs through woodland and some of the photographs of fungi that are on this site were taken while walking beside it.

In the middle of December we went on such a walk with our son and youngest grandchildren

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Notice the thick leaves on the path.

Now jump forward to Christmas Eve

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Heavy rain had made the tree stump inaccessible

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Three days later the floods had gone – and so too have the leaves.

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Yesterday the stream was once again overflowing but in spite of very heavy rain overnight the view this morning was not quite so wet.

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The water is still very high and who knows what the next few days hold.

The area I’ve shown you today is less than 100 steps from start to finish. I’ve shown you closeups of various things, within that distance, several times in this series and no doubt I’ll show you again, but I wanted to use today to demonstrate that it’s never safe to presume that what you pass today will be there tomorrow. Make the most of your camera – take 100 steps and let us see what you find. I’m planning on at least one ’100 steps’ each month – but as an extra I’ll be doing a more detailed one within the month of January. I hope you will join me. Please link back if you do.

 

100 Steps – December

We live in a beautiful area and only a very short walk from a nature reserve which is also a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). I’ve spent many happy hours walking along the paths that interweave and circuit the lake. The scenery changes with the seasons, and recently a fair amount of management has revealed new vistas.

Part of the area borders the rail line. Separated by a fence there is also access via two sets of steps from the station car park. One of these is currently blocked due to a construction project

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These steps are exactly half way from my chosen starting point for this particular 100 steps, which started at the point pictured below.

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This is a favourite feeding station! Our grandchildren love to watch the wildfowl from here. A few Canada Geese remain, but most have flown away for the winter. There are a number of swans, many mallards, coots and moorhens, and, many visitors here until spring.

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As you can see, the path is very close to the chain link fence that borders the rail line. The vegetation on this side is very scrubby, but the robin doesn’t mind.

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This is his view of the opposite side of the path.

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Just a few steps further and the setting sun shone through the trees. Just a few short weeks ago this view was blocked by dense foliage

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Half way, and apart from the steps this sign reminds undesirables that drinking is not allowed. The signs obviously work, I’ve never seen anyone ‘indulging’

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This walk revealed more general views than usual because so much of the banks have been cleared.

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I was now almost at the end of 100 steps, and that was just as well because the sun was sinking fast. It’s still a fairly long walk home, so I couldn’t dawdle any longer.

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One last look, and a promise to return soon.

December is a busy month, but if you have time to take 100 steps please link back here so that I can come and visit. More details, and a link to other posts, can be found here.