Tag Archives: Squirrel

Street Furniture (2)

I’ve been struggling for inspiration over the last week, though some days (such as the visit to Bakewell and day of the sunset) have been easier than others. Here are a few more pictures on the street furniture theme, following on from the first post of a few days ago. I’ve managed to fit in a post about a Senior Moment and 20 Questions since then.

Part of the problem has been a lack of photographs as I haven’t been getting about much. I also buried the camera a couple of days ago whilst decluttering. In the initial stages I seemed to do more cluttering…

The bin, which you may remember from a previous post, is quite dull, despite having a Litter section and a Recycling section, and I only took the picture because Julia spotted the squirrel.

The bin in the gallery below is from the village centre at Heckington – it was on the buried camera when I wanted it so didn’t get used when I wrote the last piece or the post about visiting the village.

 

There are ten waymarkers on the Pendle Witch Trail, with verses from Carol Ann Duffy. This one is in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle.

 

Next, we have more pillar boxes.

The Victorian one is in Stamford, the Edward VII in Orton Longueville, just outside Peterborough, and the one on the post is at Worston, at the foot of Pendle Hill. The final one is a George V box from the end of West View in Clitheroe – my family lived in West view in the time of George V and may well have used the box.

 

However, this doesn’t always work. If my family had lived in the village of Orton Longueville, just outside Peterborough, in the time of Edward VII (or Edward I of Scotland, as Tootlepedal will no doubt remind me) they would not have used that fine Edward VII  pillar box. It was only installed about 20 years ago, but they last a long time, and are often re-used.

Strangely, if you type “Edward I of Scotland” into Google you get information about Edward I of England, who was known as the Hammer of the Scots. This is not very sensitive, and I am not at all amused by this. Naughty Google!

That, it appears, is why current post boxes in Scotland have the Scottish crown on them. When some were installed in Scotland with E II R on them they were vandalised (one actually being blown up) by people who objected to the cypher, as the current Queen was the first Queen Elizabeth of Scotland – or E I R.

As an aside, we had three kings called Edward before we had Edward I, as the English number kings from William I in 1066. We just don’t complain every time we have a new Edward, or blow up post boxes.

England and Scotland have had the same monarch since 1603, when Elizabeth I died and James VI of Scotland became James I of England. You’d have thought the Scots would have  let it go by now, but as P. G. Wodehouse said: “It is never difficult to distinguish between  a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine.”

Another Day Away

We stayed in Skipton last night and spent the day doing some Family History photography.  The day was bright in patches, but by the middle of the afternoon, when we were at Clitheroe Castle, it was rather dark.

The trees in the main photo were an early find, while the sun was managing to break through.

The others are slightly less than sharp, but seemed too good not to use. Julia spotted the squirrel going through the bins as we left the castle.

There will be more on this trip later, but first I want to stick my feet up and have a cup of tea.

A Walk, a Weasel, but no Wren

If I ever write a novel about Time Travel, and I’m not saying one way or the other, I’m going to need a way of making my protagonist travel in time. One way I’m considering is making him write a blog which gets behind, a bit like I often do, so that he trips over his metaphysical feet in trying to catch up.

It’s taken me three days to write about Monday, and nothing much happened on Monday. If it had been a day filled with incident I’d still be writing. As it is, I’m just about to start writing about Tuesday.

I loaded up the camera, put a handful of bird food in my pocket and set off round the lake at Rufford Abbey.

It was an interesting day and after taking nearly 300 shots I’ve already deleted over 100. The problem is that birds just don’t cooperate. They move too fast, they hide in shadows and they lurk behind twigs (which prevent the autofocus working).

At one time I did consider a post based on near misses – the blurred Goldcrest, the fence rail recently vacated by the Dunnock and the twig where the Wren had just been perching. Fortunately I had second thoughts, or this could have been one of my less popular posts.

The best bit of the day was when I was photographing at the woodland bird tables, and fighting off squirrels. Suddenly there was a flurry in the leaves and the squirrels scattered, closely pursued by a weasel. I was too slow to get anywhere near it with the camera, but it was very funny, and what they deserved after stealing most of the food I put out.

 

 

Birds in Sherwood Forest

These are the bird photos from the trip to photograph the oaks in Sherwood Forest. It was a bit dull and the birds were quick (unlike the oaks) so they aren’t quite as sharp as I’d like. I missed a couple of Coal Tits that came down to feed, plus Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Dunnocks that lurked in the undergrowth. There were two pigeons too, but I ignored them as I don’t want to encourage them to steal food from small, cute birds.

It’s a lot better than Rufford from that point of virw, as there are more pigeons there, plus a lot of gulls which can polish off a handful of sunflower hearts like magic.

I filled three feeders in the car park and heard a clattering behind me, as birds started feeding before I’d got out of the way.

I need to work out a better way of doing this. Do I just fill one so I can stay focussed on it all the time, or do I fill six so they don’t chase each other away all the time? Even with six there were probably enough Great Tits to chase everything else off.

They were changing places so fast that once I pressed the button to take a Great Tit and ended up with a picture of a Nuthatch!  OK, my frozen fingers were moving quite slowly, which would have helped.

I presume the cold was one of the reasons they were feeding so eagerly.

 

Birds at Rufford Abbey

If, like me, you’ve ever thought that ducks aren’t the brightest of birds, think again. Instead of dabbling and chasing children with bread these Mallards are standing in the mill race at Rufford Abbey waiting for it to bring food to them.

Spotted the Grey Wagtail and Goldcrest whilst standing here – both off like a shot as soon as I raised the camera!

This Song Thrush, after allowing us time for one shot, decided to hide in an outcrop of twiggy growth.

Here is a selection of shots from the bird table in the woods, it feels a bit like cheating when I should be stalking them through the woods. Even so, I still missed a Coal Tit and a Marsh Tit that dropped in but shot off too quickly for me to focus.

Three Long Tailed Tits also dropped in but for some reason the autofocus couldn’t lock on. I had three shots of blurred round bodies and long tails. Oh, the trials of bird photography!

Finally I managed some more half-decent Nuthatch photos, including one on a tree. However, to put it into perspective, I missed shots of three different Treecreepers in the woods (ending up with several shots of tree trunks).

I also had several Siskin shots – blurred bodies shielded by alder twigs. Lots of work to do!