You might see weeds, but I see wild flowers

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bits and Pieces

Last day of the year, so I'll post some of these odd ones taken on our daily walks in Buckinghamshire.

The lovely sight that greets us on the start of our walk.

One of the many Mahonia plants growing in Kents Hill wood. Not sure how they came to be there, but a lovely sight on a cold morning.

The work on the new primary school for Kents Hill is coming along.

Walton Park now has two Ring-necked Parakeets, and this particular morning I managed to get a couple of pictures and a short video.

A few frosty mornings have produced a few nice sunrises.

Caldecotte Lake

And to end with, some of the local 'landscaping'.

Before .................. some lovely shrubs.

And after the chainsaw brigade ............

Not much left.

Enjoy 2017

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Wilstone Reservoir

The last day of November greeted us with a thick frost. It was  -4°C as I scraped the car for the journey and as we got nearer our destination, it fell to -6°C.
Pretty cold.

Wilstone sunrise

Wilstone has the 'dubious' distinction of being on the border, in part, of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Often causes much debate amongst some of the local 'serious' birders as to which 'county' some of it's more 'rarer' birds are in.

We started our walk round the edge of the lake; lots of Coots and Wigeon mostly, and a large flock of Canada Geese noisily flew in. Probably had roosted in one of the local fields.

We get part way round the lake and it breaks out into some fields.

Whisky enjoys frost and snow, and can't resist rolling around in it.


And when that's done, it's time to fly.


We made our way up towards the canal.

Frosty field

Whisky met a Beagle to play with part of the way, and then it was back down towards the reservoir.

A couple of Pied Wagtails were flitting along the edge, and then I noticed this one.

A Grey Wagtail, with a tiny fish

Further along something else 'flitting' along ahead of us.

A poor shot, but a Green Sandpiper.

He managed to keep a good distance ahead of us all the time, but I eventually managed a distant shot.

Green Sandpiper

Back at the car we decided to stop off at Caldecotte Lake, in the hope of maybe seeing a Goosander in the sun.

Not just one, but a total of four; 3 x males and 1 x female.

One of the males.

A really good day in the frost and sun.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Anniversary plus 3

Three days ago it would have been the one year anniversary of this blog; hence the title.

I've never been good at remembering dates and anniversary's; even when I was married many years ago.
I seem to be worse now, that I'm not in full health ............... and older.

My mum is not in full health at the moment, although her condition is different to mine.
She's suffering from Lewy Bodies Dementia, and has severe degenerative arthritis in her back.
This picture of us was taken the day before her 87th birthday.

At the moment she is in hospital, and hopefully will be out next week. The sad thing is she will probably be going into a care home very soon. Day to day life is increasingly becoming a massive challenge. Even eating with a knife and fork is hard for her now. She has trouble holding them, and her food has to be cut up for her, like you would a child. She see's people who aren't there, forgets things, and can't do the simplest of tasks. Cooking ended a long time ago. 
Her finances have to be done for her, she just doesn't understand it now.
Often she says she can't understand why these things are happening. We do what we can, and have to do the simplest of things for her.
It is not living.
If Whisky was in a similar situation, because I love him I would end his distress and misery.
I love my mum, but in this country, I can't do the same for her.
It is so VERY wrong.

I doubt I will ever get to that stage,

On a brighter note, I recently had a picture of Whisky done as a canvas print.

Happier times when we were in north Wales.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Red Fox

We had a quick walk this morning to see how the building work of the school at Kents Hill is coming along.

I'm told by one of the workmen that the ground work is nearly finished.

This is the main entrance to the school, and in the distance, work is continuing to do the school field/football pitch.

The car parking area has acquired a temporary building.

This, so I'm told, will house the big bosses. The ones who earn lots of money, and do little work.

While we were there, I noticed in the field on the other side of the road, a beautiful fox.

This field has been earmarked for housing, so sadly this stunner will soon be homeless. Such a shame.

We made our way back home after shooting some video, and then it was on to Caldecotte Lake, to see if we could find the Bearded Tit again.

We did. 

A post here.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

So far ..................

The school building work at Kents Hill is really taking shape now.

For a few weeks it all seemed totally chaotic. Piles of earth moving from one place to another, only to be moved again and then piles of hardcore appearing.

Just over a couple of weeks ago things started to settle a bit.

A visible foundation.

And a couple of days ago,

Yesterday a large crane on the back of a lorry appeared.

 My guess is it's to be used to lift the steel framework into place for the actual school building.

The last few days have been quite cold, with early morning frosts, but it hasn't dampened Whisky's enthusiasm for having fun on our walks.

Something I don't understand with some other dog owners though, is why they pick up their dogs crap, put it into a nice plastic bag, and then leave it in a huddle somewhere.

Surely if you're not going to put it into a bin, it would be better to leave it where it is to rot down naturally?

There's been a few birds around at Walton Lake.


Grey Heron

I'm still trying to get pictures of the Ring-necked Parakeet though, as it flies overhead in the mornings.

Yesterday a couple of Velvet Scoters turned up at one of the other local lakes, Willen, so today we headed over there to see if we could find them.

Another beautiful, but cold frosty morning, and Whisky had a great time rolling in the frosty grass, and sniffing out the new smells.

A few birds out on the lake;


Black Swan

lots of Coots, a pair of Red Crested Pochard, and eventually a very distant Velvet Scoter.

Poor shot, barely makes it as a 'record' shot.

I did manage a very short piece of video too.

It was good to see a bird I've never seen before though.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Our regular walk at autumn time

It really is a great time of the year, with all the trees wearing their autumn colours.

First though, an update on the building work at the start of our walk.

What was once a field of wild flowers, shrubs and a few trees, has been earmarked for a primary school. It's been interesting watching the progress of the work as we've passed by on our walks.
It had all seemed like organised chaos for a while, with diggers scooping up mounds of earth, dumping it in places, then moving it again, scraping out and levelling off areas;

but it now seems to be taking shape.

At the moment, the car park is very visible, levelled off, and awaiting the hard surface to be laid. I'm told by one of the workmen that an area is set aside for a school field, and today, very visible, was the foundation work for the actual school building.

A shame a 'wild' area has been lost forever, but hopefully some plant life, bushes and trees will be put back when it's all finished.

As we make our way past all this building work, we eventually reach some open areas where Whisky can lose his lead, and have some freedom to run, free from any traffic.
And just now, the trees are looking spectacular, especially in the sunlight.

Part of Walton

Walton has a lake with a couple of screens erected by the Parks Trust, so that any waterfowl can be observed without disturbing it.

Sadly, they've not bothered to keep up the maintenance at the moment, so not much can be seen.

Screen 1

The screen

The view

Screen 2

The screen

The view

I guess mowing grass and chopping down shrubs is an easier option.

Not sure why this destruction is necessary this time of the year. 

I'm afraid any faith I had in the Parks Trust is fast disappearing.

If we take the long walk, like today, we pass through Walton alongside the river Ouzell, The Open University, and on towards Simpson.

The autumn colours are looking great.

At one field, used for grazing cows or sheep, (but not today), a gaggle of Greylag Geese drop in, to graze.

Onward, towards the top end of the north lake of Caldecotte.

Well, at least the Parks Trust make an effort with the signage. 

Alongside the river Ouzell we find a Grey Heron.

A brief walk past the wall of the dam, that has a few Black-headed Gulls sunning themselves, and then it's back towards home.

An old disused side road has some interesting plants and shrubs through the year, and today it is the turn of the trees to shine.

From here it's not too far to home. A short detour will take us towards the Open University main entrance, and a stunning tree lined road.

I wonder just how many visitors actually see and appreciate the beauty here.