Today’s 100

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

100 Steps – March

The weather has been better, but there is till a lot of water lying around. I haven’t been able to go out much as I have been performing ‘nursly’ duties, however, it looks as though those won’t be needed for much longer. Yesterday I had to go out to make sure there was something in the larder! I opted to walk because I really needed a little extra time – and the fresh air was good. Although only March the weather seemed to be offering April showers – thankfully I avoided the heaviest, but I kept my eyes firmly on the ground so as not to step in too many of the currently ever-present puddles!

The sun is shining today – but those puddles will still be there. Hopefully they won’t feature in another 100 steps, though ;)

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.

100 Steps – January

I promised you another, but I didn’t expect to write one quite so quickly. However, ‘more of the same’ that I saw yesterday has prompted this post.

It rained, but in spite of that we set off for a walk in our nature reserve. Part of our route was along the stream that I showed you on Saturday. We weren’t the first to walk that way – evidence had been left – and it was by no means the first time I have seen this residue. All the following photographs were taken within 100 steps!

Personally, I love oranges, but I wouldn’t dream of discarding the peel like this. It happens on a regular basis. I’m guessing that it’s a jogger. I just hope they are organic – who knows what sprays could have been used because one thing is for sure. Oranges aren’t indiginous!

I’m looking forward to seeing your 100 steps. Don’t forget to link back here so that I can come and find you.

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.

100 Steps

I haven’t included one of these for a long time. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been collecting pictures, but that my heart has just not been in blogging. It’s been a difficult year, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I can safely say that it’s just the way LIFE goes. We are not promised that anything will be easy or consistent, and it doesn’t really matter what we go through. What does count, though, is HOW we go through it, and how we emerge at the other end. I’m still the same person, but I know that parts of me have changed and developed. That might surprise you, but I think we are all works in progress – and I intend to progress for a long time yet.

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Here in the UK it has been cold and dry, at least – it has in our neck of the woods. The sun is low even at mid-day

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The bracken has turned to rust and there are fewer specimens of fungi to be seen.

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The wind earlier this week has stripped most of the broad leaves from the trees, and the landscape is being gradually dressed in it’s stark winter clothing

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Paths that were recently clothed in lush green foliage are slowly beginning their seasons’ rest.

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Don’t forget to let me know if you take 100 steps anywhere. I’d love to see them.

Lucid Gypsy has joined in this month. Please take a look.

100 Steps

It’s been a while since I posted one of my little escapades. Believe it or not I have several ‘in the wings’ so to speak. Photographs safely filed in little folders on my computer, but no time to crop and finalise them.

Yesterday I went for my constitutional in the usual way. I think I’ve told you before that I have a number of walks ‘mapped out’ according to time. One of them takes me to the very edge of the local nature reserve. In effect part of it is on the outer perimeter and  runs along the back of the few houses that edge our environment. Here is what I saw – and I warn you, it is very green!

My starting point was at the base of this pine tree. So much lush growth around the bottom, a contrast to the dark green above. From here the path is straight before turning to the left. It is bordered on the right by a small fence that marks the edge of the nature reserve.

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I was particularly struck by the lushness of the greens, and the plants that were growing indicated that the area is very fertile.

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Nettles abound, so expect to see more ;)

I kept my eyes down for most of the time, however, a scratching noise told me that I wasn’t alone

This little fellow stayed absolutely still for several seconds before scurrying away into the brances.

And so I came to the end of the 100 steps. Pausing only to take a backwards shot 100 steps 032(you can see the original tree that marks my starting point in the centre of the picture) I went on my merry way feeling really thankful that I live in an area that abounds in walks like this. I’m making the most of them on dry days, when it rains some of them are a quagmire.

Hope you manage 100 steps soon..

100 Steps

Did you think that I’d forgotten about this series? I hadn’t! I have several I want to share with you, but our internet has been so erratic I haven’t been able to load the pictures I wanted. For weeks I have had to grab a very small gap in the day, between 8 and 11 in the morning, when things were working well. Although we apparently still had a connection it was fraught with frustration and you wouldn’t have liked the rude words I might have used.

Anyway, I digress. Yesterday we returned to Missenden Abbey. It’s a place I know really well, and I know that many of you too have been there. I’ve shown you areas where I have taken 100 steps, for instance here, and here, and my intention yesterday was to investigate another area in detail. However, it was a strange day all round, and my post explained a little. (Incidently, I won’t be using the iPad to take pictures next time I’m there, the lighting is atrocious so I apologise for the quality of the pictures. I was appalled to see them when I got home). It was a bright and sunny day outside, but cold, not the sort of day to ‘hang around’, so when the time came I knew that 100 steps had to be taken at the trot.

Outside I went. Sun shining. I walked down the path and it clouded over. I turned around to see and spotted this

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that bell, BUT I HAVE NEVER SPOTTED THE TV AERIAL BEFORE! It must have been there, but I couldn’t resist recording the moment. The moment? Yes, the moment the one and only shower of the day started…… so, 100 steps now turned into a gallop.

I know that I haven’t shown you the accommodation block. The outlook is lovely, very thoughtfully landscaped

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The running water is restful, but turned off at night. No need for an alarm, though, if you like a lie in

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this water spout is turned on at 8 am, just time to hurry you to breakfast. I tend to set an early alarm and go to the classroom to set up for the day before breakfast, though, so only hear it if the workshop is set in the room you can see at the end.

All thoughts of taking you across the bridge and through the gardens disappeared at this point as the rain became quite heavy, so I made a dash for the front.

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Someone, though, knew more than I did, because in spite of the downpour a loan blackbird sang joyfully to his heart’s content. I could hear him, but couldn’t see him for a while

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and then I spotted him

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It always pays to look up!

Here endeth a very quick trip around Missenden Abbey!

100 Steps

The weather and work commitments have made this rather difficult during the last  while, but today I have something a little different to share with you.

Over the last couple of days we have made trips to two new selling venues. I took advantage of both and have another 100 steps lined up for next week, but today I  would like to show you those that I took today. We travelled to a city that is familiar and one that I have written about before, Salisbury in Wiltshire, where we visited to see this very special hanging. Once again we visited the area close to the Cathedral

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In fact, the view from our room was almost identical

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I hasten to add that the cathedral is standing very straight and tall, I am the one with the list. We weren’t the only ones surveying the view, even though part of the building is shrouded in scaffolding.

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However, it was not here that I chose for my 100 steps. We drove home along the A347 and stopped for a bite of lunch at the cafe at the Army Air Museum. The food is home cooked and good, and outside an interesting array of relics can be viewed. I was interested to see just what I could see within 100 steps, and as you will see, I didn’t get very far!

I started here

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and turning around, this is what I saw

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Ten more steps and

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….. then, the fun began!

To my amazement 100 steps was over before I knew it! They ended here

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and on the right you can see the gate where it all started.The colours and textures displayed were quite inspirational. Patterns could be created from several areas. I probably won’t use any of it directly, but it is amazing what you can see when you look in unexpected places.

I’ll leave you with one last bad picture, it’s placing will be left to your imagination.

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If you join in with this challenge please leave a link below so that we can all come and visit. More details here.