Tag Archives: nature

Frogs, frogs and more frogs..

The frogs arrived back in our pond a week or two before the Arctic cold spell at end of February. The pond promptly iced over. Whether they were under the ice or under the snow, most of them reappeared once normal weather had resumed.

And then they got on with what they had come for….

Photo Flaneuse #4: Autumnal Forth& Clyde Canal

I’m changing the habit I’ve got into of being reasonably active on Mondays – pilates – and Tues – tai chi and a swim – and Wed – all day at Citizens Advice Bureau – but then being rather too inactive Thurs,  Fri, Sat, &  Sun. So today being a Friday I got out my Nordic walking poles and went for a walk along the Firth & Clyde Canal from Temple to the Maryhill Locks. There and back came in at 5235 steps or 2.8km according to my iPhone Health app. The Health app told the  My Fitness Pal app about the walk and MFP changed 5235 steps into 96 kcal expended. 

But the main reason I’m talking about the walk is to get to the photos I took along the way….


Photo Flaneuse 1 : Victoria Park Slide Shows

According to Wikipedia: Flaneur (pronounced: [flɑnœʁ]), from the French noun flâneur, means “stroller”, “lounger”, “saunterer”, or “loafer”. Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations. To flâne “is the very opposite of doing nothing” according to Sainte-Beuve. For Fournel, there was nothing lazy in flânerie. It was, rather, a way of understanding the rich variety of the city landscape. It is a moving photograph (“un daguerréotype mobile et passioné”) of urban experience.

First of all action at the pond ~

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with calf and hamstring tendons. Ouch. As a result I can’t take going for a walk for granted.  If I walk too far or too fast those tendons do not like it. If I don’t walk at all, they don’t like that either. 

So I’ve come up with notion of being a photo flaneuse : I take my camera, I get a decent walk by sauntering, dawdling, photographing, watching, retracing my steps when need be, sitting on a bench. It takes much longer and it’s very enjoyable.

Victoria Park is ten minutes walk from my house. On the afternoon these photos were taken it was being enjoyed by many kids, parents, dogs, strollers and a few other photographers. 

Then dogs, bare trees, bulbs sending up new leaves…. and the magpie that got away

a visit to Monkey World, Dorset

Monkey World is an absolutely ace Primate Rescue Centre in Dorset, UK. It’s set amongst woodland in Dorset and it has 65 acres of sanctuary for over 250 primates. It was set up in 1987 by Jim Cronin to provide abused Spanish beach chimps with a permanent, stable home and now works in conjunction with foreign governments from all over the world to stop the illegal smuggling of apes out of Africa and Asia. At the park you can see over 250 primates of more than 20 different species – chimps; woolly monkeys, almost extinct in the wild; orangutans, ditto 🙁 ring-tailed lemurs; capuchins; gibbons….

Don’t think of this as mainly a day out with the kids. It is a great place to take kids but when we were there there were loads of adults without kids enjoying themselves too. A lot of them seemed very familiar with the animals’ names… they obviously watch Animal DSC_0206Planet too! Viewers of the TV series also get familiar with the staff. I guess long-standing animal keepers like Jeremy Keeling just get used to be waved and smiled at by loads of folk. Like me.

There’s a thriving trade in primates around the world, often babies whose mothers have been shot as bushmeat or just shot. Monkey World assists governments to stop this smuggling. At the Centre refugees of this illegal trade as well as those that have suffered abuse or neglect are rehabilitated into natural living groups. As far as is possible, the natural tree cover is retained so for example you’ll see the golden-cheeked gibbons swing through a stand of mature Scots Pines and the ring-tailed lemurs high-tail it up into big old oak trees.

Jim Cronin’s untimely death a few years ago hasn’t stopped the Centre from expanding and thriving…. as well as the animals, there are numerous cafes, a shop, and a fantastic Big Ape play space for Homo Sapiens and their kids!

See their website for more info: Monkey World (opens in new tab)

Bluetits, bluetits, bluetits…

At last, a plug-in that let’s me display all my little bluetit nesting box videos in one place… Thank you Huge-It Video Gallery