Thursday, 31 October 2013

A ride over to Derwentwater

Looking down Derwentwater into the jaws of Borrowdale, the weather wasn't  good in fact at times the lake looked quite stormy.
I go over to see my mate Les and have a good chat, and at the same time take a few pickies. I also took the Westies with me so they had an enjoyable run around as well.

I found this small group of Mallard sheltering from the wind.

And another small group near the Isthmus

Still a few tourist about braving the weather, as one of the launches heads off down the lake.

The Autumn colours are beginning to show, if only we could have some sun.

The Annie Mellor just returning from a trip round the lake.

Almost there.

Silver Birch which looked good but would have been better for some sun.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Buzzards on the patch

The weather was fantastic today, blue sky and lots of warm sun. I had already been out with the westies first thing, and so after doing a few jobs in the house I was out again wandering round the patch.

There was very little on the ponds of the Thacka beck reserve, I counted 5 moorhens and 3 Mallard just about visible in the sedge.
There was a couple of juveniles sharing the water with adults

And one of the adults
During the setting up of the reserve quite a bit of tree planting was done including a fair amount of Rowen

The trees are still quite young but are bearing a lot of fruit this year, all good feeding for the birds.
I slowly made my way up to the flash area, and soon picked up a Buzzard which seemed to have just lifted from near the remains of the flash. I watched it until it drifted off over the M6. As you can imagine due to the severe persecution of Buzzards in our area I was delighted to see this bird.
     However things where to get better, as I scanned the Electric pylons I picked out another sitting on a pylon within the Newton Rigg land, (this bird really must have a death wish). As I watched, it lifted off and headed down towards the flash area, and just as it was about land in the field, unbelievably a third Buzzard came up to meet it. I have never seen so many over the patch in years. I lost track of one but did follow one of the two, which finely headed off towards the Beacon.

A few distant shots of the one that headed for the Beacon.

It was great to see them again,I hope they can stay free of guns and traps!!!!.

And lastly little misty just after I had sheared her, this is the first time I have given the westies a hair cut myself.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A day in Northumberland

Last week  my daughter came home for a weeks holiday, (as always she is crying poverty) otherwise she would have gone somewhere for a proper holiday as she would put it. we spent the week pottering about together, the weather for most of the week not being that cleaver.
    On one of the days it was decided we would have a ride over to Northumberland, and visit a place called Cragside. Cragside is a country house, which now belongs to the National Trust, and is famous for the fact that it was the first house in the world to be lit useing hydroelectric power.
     For those visiting the house, it is split into different areas, the house, the formal gardens, and the estate drive, which allows you to take your own car and drive the 6 mile circular, with lots of areas to stop for views.
      On arrival we headed first to the formal gardens, which has its own car park, then other car parks for the house itself.

So we made our way to the gardens first as this is nearer to the main entrance

The Weather was dull with fine drizzle so was n't conducive for photography, however we do our best, and here we have a good example of carpet bedding (pictures and words layed out using plants)

This and the following two pics are some of the Dahlias that where on show.

This clock tower was in the gardens seperate from the house.

A rather late-ish honey bee still working away.

I have only ever seen this plant in conservatories

This is some kind of insect eating plant as it had a sticky substance on its petals similar to other plants of that genera

And this looks like a crocosmia type plant

Apart from Robbins this was about the only bird we saw all day

Looking down one of the glades close to the house, and the first of the Autumn colours beginning to show.

This is the first view of the house after leaving the car.

And now from the main drive.

Closer look at the archways,  which we later drove through to do the estate drive.

As can be seen from the next photo there was a small area of Virginia creeper, some of it looking good in its Autunm colour.

Not far below the house it has its own iron bridge.

Looking back up to the house from the path leading down to the iron bridge.

And this time from the iron bridge

Flash was not permitted in the house, so just took this one of the Kitchen as it would have been up to the 1950s, even the spit was run from power utilising water from  one of the lakes.

And lastly a little bit of garden by the local primery school.