Tag Archives: Nottinghamshire

Clumber Park

We had 13 packages to send off this morning, including two very expensive bank notes and two very cheap football cards (my labours of last week bearing fruit!).

Then I took Julia to lunch and decided to get some use out of our National Trust membership. Last year, we didn’t get a lot of use out of them. We went to Clumber Park, which isn’t far from the spot where I took the bluebell pictures yesterday.

It’s home to a number of things including a lake, which I photographed a few times last year, and a chapel which featured in a few photos.

This time we decided to visit the kitchen garden. It’s an excellent place, and very well designed. There’s a massive lean-to greenhouse up against a south-facing wall and a gentle slope to let the cold air flow away downhill. I didn’t walk all the way down, but I’m pretty sure there will be holes in the wall to let the cold air flow away. They designed things better in those days.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Hopefully they won’t say something bad.

 

And finally.

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Cream Tea at Clumber Park

It’s a hard life, but I’m coping…

Chasing a Sunset

We went to Derbyshire today and had a productive time – plenty of photographs, a couple of books, a Bakewell pudding and a new work bag for Julia (plus a can of white gloss for the new garden table project).

On the way back I was moaning to Julia about the lack of colour in the sky when it suddenly turned blazing red. The only trouble was that it was behind my right shoulder. As we twisted and turned I realised that there was a lay-by ahead and a good view of the sunset on my right. Somebody was already parked with the same purpose, using a phone, which still seems strange to me. I mean, I wouldn’t use a camera to contact Julia and tell her I was going to be late home.

So, here are some of the results. The flare in some of them is due to a finger mark on the lens. Fortunately I realised what it was and was able to correct it by breathing on the lens and applying a quick polish with my handkerchief. Proper photographers are probably wincing at the thought, but I’m a low tech sort of bloke, and it did the job.

One thing I did do right was to put the sunrise/sunset filter on (because I remembered I had that option after Sunday’s sunset). It didn’t add anything – these were the actual colours because it truly was a spectacular sunset – but it did stop the camera “correcting” the colour automatically.

Birds, birds, birds…

Today will go down as The Day of Colourful Birds. Unfortunately I can’t use that as a title as I didn’t get any photos of them so it would be false advertising.

My first stop was Budby Flash – a small lake formed by mining subsidence in 2007. In fact it was my only stop. I didn’t have time for a long walk so that really cut out Rufford and Clumber, and I wanted somewhere with a bit more to it than the duck pond at Arnott Hill.

In addition, I thought it would be nice to go somewhere new. I’ve not actually been along the road since 2007 so I’ve never seen the flash.

I’ve looked flash up in the dictionary, but you have to search hard to find it. It took several dictionaries and when I eventually found it, it was 12th in the list of British nouns.

12. Yorkshire and Lancashire dialect

pond, esp one produced as a consequence of subsidence
I know what a flash is, as I’ve seen several, but I thought I’d better look it up to be sure about it. When you write it in a blog you really need to check. As so often a Nottingham word is claimed for Yorkshire, as the boundaries for this sort of thing can be quite vague.
That, by the way, is why there is a drowned tree – it must have been growing by the side of the River Meden when the flash formed. A good day for ducks, but not so good for trees.
The first thing I noticed was the feeding station, with fat balls and seeds in mesh bags. There was a reasonable flock of tits feeding (Great Tits, Blue Tits and a few Coal Tits) with a Robin and a Dunnock. The surprise of the morning was the Kingfisher.
I was standing on the bridge looking for ducks when a flash of blue shot out from the side of the bridge and flew away down the valley. There’s only one thing that shines that blue on a grey day, so though it wasn’t a great view it was most definitely a Kingfisher.
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Robin – Budby Flash – Nottinghamshire

That was the highlight of the day.
On the way back a Jay flew down by the roadside and picked something up, probably an acorn, before flying off. That was a good view, though, as usual, I couldn’t get a photo.
Finally, feeding on a roundabout on the way home, a small flock of Fieldfares looked bright in the sunlight, despite being shades of grey and brown.

A Walk in the Woods

I went for a walk in the woods today and, as you can see from the header picture, I managed to get a photograph of a Nuthatch. It took some doing, I’ve discarded around 20 blurred images and another 20 photos of an empty table. They really are flighty birds.

The morning looked hopeful, with sunlight and a number of great lighting effects behind the clouds. By the time I reached Rufford Abbey the light had, of course gone. It did reappear a couple of times, mainly at the wrong time and in the wrong place.

 

There were a few other birds about but I failed in my attempts to photograph a variety of tits and waterfowl. I had been hoping to get some shots of swans, with reflections, but that was doomed by a lack of swans. There were a few of this year’s cygnets about but they didn’t come close enough for an attempt.

One of the few subjects that did benefit from the lighting was the bed of teasels. They also have the advantage of not moving much.

 

The Week in Brief and the Bookshelf Principle

Just catching up on a few things from the

On Wednesday we visited Dave for a Quercus meeting. It was a cheerful time despite the sadness of winding everything down. Once we’d poured the tea, passed round the cake  and discussed our health we watched the Tour of Britain on TV.

Nobody would mistake us for racing cyclists, but it was going round North Nottinghamshire and we were trying to spot places we knew. They had been sprouting yellow bikes and parking restriction notices for weeks so we knew where it was going. I had thought of going out to take photos but I fought off the temptation.

Although it was obviously sad for the participants it was also funny to see two cyclists disqualified for riding on the pavement.

The same could be said of the crash, as they came round a corner in Retford to find that a man with a Blue Badge had parked his car in the way. I am sorry for the rider who was injured, and the others who fell, both for the pain and the waste of all their preparation. However, I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t also funny to watch, even if there was something evil about my amusement.

It’s also an example of a disabled driver parking somewhere despite the danger. People seem to think that possession of a Blue Badge or the use of hazard warners mean they can park anywhere.

On Friday morning I saw a convoy of silver grey Rolls Royces in the mist, some with consecutive personalised number plates. There were ten of them, which tends to suggest that there is big money in the funeral business. It must have been a big family to need ten cars.

Later on Friday I found myself in Retford, thinking that it might be worth looking at the accident site to see if there was any broken glass left. I’m sure it would have sold on ebay. Unfortunately my mind works on the bookshelf principle and I didn’t hold on to the thought.

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Do I need to title this “Bookshelf”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the bookshelf principle, imagine a well-filled bookshelf with no ends. When you put another book on the shelf one falls off the end.

We used to use it (semi-jokingly) when coaching kids at the rugby club. Some of them had very short shelves and even a piece of litter blowing past could trigger sensory overload. As I’ve aged, I’ve begun to notice that my bookshelf has become shorter.

And that was how, when I saw someone I knew on the market, the ebay idea dropped off the end of the shelf.

Sometime this week I also published my 900th post, I think it was Friday but I sort of lost count. Or dropped another book…

Being British, and Spending a Penny

It rained all night, drying up in time to drive to work. I then returned home to collect a parcel for delivery in Newark and arrived at Newark Market just as the thunder claps started. After that rain stopped it became quite hot, I took my coat off, and the sky clouded over again. I left before the dark grey sky could fulfil its threat. On the way home the weather was remarkably pleasant, actually being sunny and hot.

Weather talk is typically British, I admit. I will therefore move onto something typically middle-aged.

I needed the toilet when I arrived in Newark. The one nearest the car park has been closed for some years now, as part of the “improvements” to the town centre. However, I knew there were toilets in the Town Hall (which is also home to the museum and a half-derelict shopping centre). Problem solved, you would think. But no, those are closed too – only one “Accessible” toilet remains, and that wasn’t accessible because you need a RADAR key.

Now, I’m not disabled, but I’m not very mobile either. That means that although I’m not ready to admit to needing a RADAR key, it’s not very easy to climb the stairs in the pub next door. Anyway, I have a conscience about using pub toilets if I’m not using the pub.

Enquiries revealed that there are toilets round the back  of the shopping centre, not far from where I started. If I’d looked to my right instead of walking straight on as I left the car park I may have seen the grey-coloured sign suspended high on a wall. Even when you are close you can’t see it very well.

You then have to insert 20p, in 5,10 or 20p coins. I only had a 50p so had to ask a passer-by for change because they have a sign telling you they don’t give change. Twenty pence – that’s 48 times what it used to cost when I was a lad and “spending a penny” was a term you used to hear.

Two attendents were chatting in a cubbyhole, though one had gone by the time I emerged – some evidence that the rate-payer’s cash isn’t being totally wasted. Neither looked like this was the job of their dreams.

Newark markets itself as a tourist destination – based on today’s experience they have some way to go, which is sad as they’ve been doing it longer than I can remember (by which I mean around 30 years) and show no evidence of even getting the basics right.

In typical British fashion I made my feelings known be emitting a low-pitched but definite “humph!” as I left.

I am seriously thinking of writing a stiff letter to the council.

Weathering Wood, Bathing Pigeons and Diving Coots

As you can see from the Featured Image the sculpture is weathering and gaining some definition. It also appears to have gained an electric light, though I thought the park was closed at night.

Despite what I say about them our urban pigeons seem addicted to bathing. Julia saw some last week that were showering in the fountain outside the leisure centre.

This is a picture of a Coot diving – quite an energetic performance when you see it. Sadly, when it surfaced it did so just out of shot. Must try harder.

I’m feeling better now I’ve been out and seen some nature.