Tag Archives: sculpture

Bowie, Bears and Staxtonbury

There’s been an outbreak of bears in Yorkshire.

We were coming back from a day out on the coast last year when we first spotted them. It was twilight at the time and too dark for photos. This year we were better prepared and managed to take some photographs.  There is another group about 200 yards away, but that would involve parking by the side of a fast bit of road, obstructing traffic and putting my life at risk for a picture of a teddy bear made from straw bales.

They are advertising Straxtonbury. Follow the link for more information and a video including pictures of last year’s bears.

They are at Staxton, in case you want a look. Or pretty close to Staxton, I’m a bit hazy on the geography.


More Pictures from Dearne Valley

I couldn’t get all the pictures into one post, so here are some more from our day at Dearne Valley.

The first selection is gulls. Black Headed, Lesser Black Backed and Common Gulls. I don’t know who named them but they have brown heads, grey backs and aren’t that common.

The next selection shows Snipe and Gadwall. There are 5 Snipe in the picture with Lapwings but I didn’t see them as I took the picture. That’s good camouflage.

Finally, the play area and sculpture. I suspect it is left over from when the council ran it. If you have children to entertain I imagine this would be a good place to bring them. On a Wednesday in term time there were no children, just grumpy old men and married couples. Or, in our case, a grumpy old man who was part of a married couple.


Raindrops and Carvings

Owing to the disorganised nature of my blogging I’m now going to write about Thursday, even though it’s Sunday night. In fact it will be Monday morning by the time I press the button.

It was raining on Thursday  and Julia was busy all day with various tasks. That’s what happens when you are a pillar of society, people keep asking you to do things.  Nobody needed me for anything, so, with no supervision from my better half, I had a whole day in which to loaf.

First call was to some friends with a jewellers shop.  After dragging Julia round Lincolnshire on Valentine’s Day I thought a visit to a specialist in vintage jewellery who gives discounts for cash could be a good idea, particularly as I’d bought the flowers a week early because they were cheaper.

(I may have been put on this earth to be Julia’s soulmate, but I’m not convinced that I was put here to line the pockets of florists at peak times for sales of red roses.)

After that it was off to do some shopping and then, despite the rain, I felt the need for ducks. As you can see from the photographs, the waterproof plumage of waterfowl works well in the rain.

Despite many notices about not feeding the pigeons people keep doing it. They also keep throwing handfuls of food into the pond and around its margins. I don’t mind the pigeons (though I do wish people would read the notices) but I do mind the idea of attracting rats and fouling the water with decayed foodstuffs. At least nobody feeds bread, though I’m not sure what genius decided to dump a box of breakfast cereal .

Last time I visited they had cut down a tree on the island. Today I was amazed to see that it had been carved into a variety of figures, including a duck, a fox, a hedgehog and a heron. They are all good, though the Heron is particularly appropriate as it stands just yards from the place where we often see the real Heron.

It’s also appropriate as Arnold is derived from the old name Ernehale (Place of the Heron). Sometimes this is rendered as Place of the Eagle. but I’ve only ever seen Erne used as an archaic term for Heron.

If you follow the link you will also see a reference to the Hawksley and Davison mill that used the duck pond as its millpond.

Rufford Abbey – another stone face

I’m finally catching up on last year’s posts, so please bear with me if things seem a bit disjointed. After this post things should be up to date.

On our latest visit to Rufford Abbey we decided to look at some of the areas we didn’t see last time. This includes more buildings, the kitchen garden, some sculpture, another stone head (which I noticed sticking out from the kitchen garden wall) and the pet graves. Generally the pet graves are a bit dismal, though they have been done up for Christmas to make it look like Santa’s reindeer are in residence.

This photo shows the story behind the hand sculpture.


The story of The Hand

That should really cheer the kids up, hanging name plates on the graves of dead gun dogs. They also have a horse buried there – Cremorne, who won the Derby, the Grand Prix de Paris and the Ascot Gold Cup. It’s a dismal stone so I’ll wait for a brighter day before photographing it. It seems a little out of balance that animals got better treatment in death than the estate staff, but as he was sold for 5,400 guineas when owner Henry Savile died I suppose he was worth more than the staff. (That’s £ 5,400 plus 5,400 shillings. At 20 shillings to the £ that is £5,670, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the guinea.) If you’re interested in the history of the guinea here is more information.

We can probably do two more visits and still show something new. There is plenty to see.

Meanwhile, there are other buildings including the craft centre, information centre and bookshop round the courtyard of the stable block (not to forget the toilets). There is a cafe, which does a decent bacon cob, in the old coach house, plus an orangery and a kitchen garden. There’s also a water tower – it’s more like a small town than a house – and other parts you can’t visit.  There’s a restaurant at this end too, in addition to the cafe.