I took these photos during the last two years; these demonstrate John's love of nature. They show him feeding the birds, gardening and working on the allotment. He is also seen sketching and photographing his subjects. Other interests include computer networking, travelling and relaxing with a cup of Earl Grey Tea.
This is my first post on our web site................................................. Watch this space!
We had decided to take a short break at Warners Holiday hotel, situated in Bembridge, on the Isle of Wight. Primarily to take part in some indoor bowls, but we also like ballroom or sequence dancing, and this type of short break appealed to us enormously. Finding ourselves at a loose end one morning we decided to use our bus passes to take a trip to Ryde, then on to the Seaview Wildlife park.
The wildlife encounter park is situated near the coastline with some beautiful panoramic sea views.
At the entrance to the park there is a kiosk that sells bird food, which enables one to hand feed the bird and animal life. I would strongly recommend this, as there is nothing quite like having friendly wild life eating out of your hand.
A map of the park, and a programme of the times when the various inhabitants are due to be fed, is provided at the entrance. It was worth our while making our way to the various venues, as a very informative talk on the particular bird or animal that was getting fed, was provided by the keeper.
Feeding time for the penguins
The penguins are great fun to watch and the keeper handed out some fish to the willing watchers to hand feed them. One penguin, who went by the name of "Humphrey," was spoilt by all and sundry, as he had been born slightly deformed and had trouble competing with the others for food.
These are Humboldt penguins from Peru and Chile, and sadly they are now an endangered species due to habitat disturbance, and human exploitation.
The variety of wildlife and birds roaming around free in the park here is incredible, and it is lovely to stroll around getting so close to the many different species on display. I did enquire from one of the keepers if they had trouble from foxes and other predators. Unfortunately the obvious answer was forthcoming, especially during the breeding season, when the birds eggs and young chicks are at risk.
I made this slideshow presentation to show the very wide variety of wildlife that is always on display with the most part roaming free in the park, this creates a wonderful hands on experience, and many photographic opportunities.
We then headed for the Wallaby enclosure, where the resident Wallabies were about to be fed. There are a large number of Bennetts Wallabies in residence here originating from South East Australia, and a favourite part of their diet is dried pelleted grass, which the visitors can feed to them by hand.
When we visited, the number of Wallabies in residence, included three pure white albinos, this is not such a rare event when they are in captivity, but albino Wallabies do not survive in the wild. The albinos require special care, and protection from the sun is essential. All of the wallabies were very friendly and obviously used to being hand fed by strangers.
Wallabies and Flamingos
We also visited and photographed some of the very pretty pink Flamingos. There are three varieties in residence here, the Chilean, the Lesser and the Caribbean. Seaview wildlife park have been breeding the Chilean variety for a number of years now, and they supply other parks and zoos with breeding stock.
A Kookaburra in the natural woodland above a stream
Bridgeman Downs, Brisbane Australia.
A short walk from our daughters house there is a wonderful park with a large area of natural woodland. This area has several walks and trails spread out through the woods. The first thing you notice is the cacophony of sound coming from the tree tops. This is comprised of the calls, of the many varieties of birds that live here, all claiming and demonstrably staking out their individual territories. The incredible variety and colourful plumage of some of these Australian birds is breathtaking. The State of Queensland government is to be applauded for their foresight, in setting aside areas such as this, where the natural wildlife and birds can exist in their near natural environment, alongside the encroaching development of the Brisbane city suburbs.
A slideshow of some of the many varieties of birds I came across during our visit to Australia. ϡ ❦ ϡ ❦ ϡ ❦
I have a great interest in bird life and all things avian. I have always admired the way birds make use of the different natural resources, and their ability to forage and survive.The great adaptability that ensures their survival using flight, and camouflage, or not, in the case of the more colourful species.
Galahs and Friarbirds feeding and foraging.
I made this slideshow presentation by using some of the photographs composed of just two of the more colourful varieties that I encountered.
The Galahs were feeding on some scrub vegetation and weeds in front of a house that was being developed. Sadly the area they were feeding in was concreted over while we were there.
The Helmeted Friarbird would arrive several times a day to feed on a Grevillea bush in the garden, there would be a loud harsh sort of a squawk as he or she came in to feed. I think this was designed to frighten away any smaller honey-eating birds that were already feeding on the bush.
Love in the treetop canopy
These two Cockatoos were very high in the tree top canopy. I was on a very early morning walk when a loud squawk and a flash of white alerted me to their presence. I was very lucky to freeze myself, aim the camera and I got this wonderful video of them greeting and actually locking beaks together passionately.
Bush Turkeys set up home in the woods.
I was strolling along a track in the woodland, in the early hours one day, when I came across a Bush turkey standing in the middle of the path in front of me. I stopped, and noticed he was watching something happening off the track. Two other Bush turkeys were in the process of setting up home and building a nest. I love the way the male, fusses around the female, giving her encouragement as she literally digs in ready to lay her eggs.
Listen to the birds in the background.
Margaret and I were wandering around an indoor market, taking shelter from a showery and cold day, in a pretty, but seedy looking, run down area on the outskirts of a large seaside town. There were numerous stalls set out selling everything from knick-knacks to new clothing and home grown local produce. The market was packed with many families and people of all age groups. Some from the local area, and many visitors from further afield taking advantage of the shelter afforded by the market.
We were both a little weary from wandering around, and we decided to have a refreshing cup of tea in one of the several café's, that were strategically dotted around the market area. We sat in a seat at a table by a large window, overlooking some purpose-built stalls, one of which, was a smart looking little construction, occupied by a smartly dressed, well turned out young man, with a re-assuring manner and smile to match. The sign emblazoned above this stall in very large eye-catching letters shouted! ANY GOLD BOUGHT.
The market was extremely busy in this indoor area as many people were drawn in by the inclement weather. As we sat enjoying our refreshment, we noticed quite a number of people in conversation with our young gold merchant, obviously negotiating, and he appeared to be doing quite a good trade. We then took to remarking on the people who were doing the business, there were quite a number of fairly young people, some housewives and some more mature adults. A very mixed set of folk, who overall, looked as unlikely to have enormous amounts of gold to sell as Midas or Aladdin had before their wishes were granted.
After some idle thought and speculation, the obvious conclusion we drew, was that as a result of the economic situation and the general tightening of belts; Grannies gold was being sold, along with many other family heirlooms to fund peoples bills and lifestyle. A very sad reflection of the times indeed!
Margaret and I had volunteered to take part in a two mile walk, visiting the woods, parks and seashore of Gunton in Suffolk, which is about one and a half hours drive, from where we live in Norfolk.
We assembled outside Gunton Hall. About twenty people, mostly on the mature side of fifty years old, and our erstwhile, knowledgeable leader and guide Michael. The rain was falling lightly, washing away the final traces of the snow that we have been experiencing in this part of the world recently.
Michael gave us an illuminating, fact filled talk on the structure and history of Gunton Hall, then we cheerfully set off on our two mile wintry walk. Our first stop was the lake, which was partially frozen over and looked pretty bleak, there were several Mallard ducks skating on, and enjoying the frozen parts of the surface,
The bird life around here is prolific, and we encountered many types of ducks and common woodland birds. We wandered along a quite muddy trail through Gunton woods, observing the trees and learning much from Michael about the make up and history of these woods. The wonderful variety of woodland trees on display, and the incredible amount of uses that the woodland is put to by the local community, not least as a communal resource for local schools and general entertainment.
We then arrived at Gunton church, which is an eighteenth century, round towered church, these round towered churches are quite common along the Eastern coastline. We visited the interior of this thriving village church, before setting off on our walk again.
We then took to the road and walked for quite a distance to the coastline, past fields and common land covered in bracken in it's brown Winter foliage. The rocky coastline is bleak, with the relentless waves rolling in covering the man made breakwaters. Coastal erosion is a major problem along this coastline and Michael was able to illuminate our walk with many interesting facts about past houses that are now under water.
From the seashore we made our way along the country lanes back to base, tired but cheerfully seeking a welcome cup of tea and a comfortable sit down. A walk to remember! 〤◕‿◕〤
As an antidote to the extremely cold winds and snowy weather we are currently experiencing here in Norfolk, I thought I would go through some of last years photo albums and deliberately select the "polar" opposite. These pictures were shot on a visit to the National Trust property, Felbrigg Hall, which is not very far from where we live.
There is a very well kept walled garden in the grounds of the hall, we spent a very rewarding couple of hours just wandering around the gardens, taking in the colourful display of flowers. The walls built around the garden shelter the plants, and allow all sorts of exotic plants and flowers to thrive. There were also a couple of open greenhouses that contained many potted chillies, cacti and other hot house plants. We were also surprised to see quite a good crop of conference pears, and apples on some trees that had been trained to climb the gardens walls.
The National Trust are also promoting "grow your own" allotments, and there were some very well maintained allotment kitchen gardens on display. These were rented out to members of the local community, who with the support of the Felbrigg Hall full time gardeners, had done a wonderful job of laying them out and keeping them producing some wonderful crops. I was very impressed with the unique choice of crops, and different gardening styles of the local gardeners. Each allotment had a notice board saying who was responsible for creating it, and telling visitors something about themselves and their allotment. There were also some free range chickens roaming around, who was responsible for these was not immediately apparent, but they fitted into the scene beautifully.
We enjoyed a very interesting day there, and we would recommend the visit to anyone planning a trip to East Anglia.
(Except the baby bird which I had photographed earlier in the day in our garden, I could not resist leaving him in the album.)
Margaret and I had the pleasure of attending a water colour instruction course run by Jackie Devereaux, a watercolour artist who lives in France. We were both very impressed with her style of teaching and the wide range of elements of watercolour painting she was able to cover in a very short space of time.
One very interesting element of the course was her introduction to the assembled class of
an unusual idea and technique of painting on used tea bags. Jackie said the idea came out of Africa.
"First take a tea bag-, make and drink and enjoy a refreshing cup of tea.
Keep the used tea bag and cut its top off, open the bag, empty the dregs of tea and rinse the bag.
Leave the bag to dry, then glue the bag to a piece of paper and begin to paint on it"
Here are some of the results! Very interesting and lovely effects.
Check this Slideshow out of Jackie at work!
The illogical and nonsensical element of the pictorial construction, lies in the spoon and fork , casually displayed on either side of the nest suggesting that these were responsible for the crime. A casual observer might suppose that these are in place waiting for the next course to appear. However this raises the question of what was actually used to commit such a heinous crime, as to rob our Avian friends of their six offspring and their home, for the incredibly small amount of nourishment that these six eggs would provide.
Perhaps the constructor of this nonsensical display was creating what they considered to be a work of Art???
That is my practice rant of the day 乂⍱‿●乂.
John Yeo © © 02/09/2011
This is an old video that I came across that I had shot at a local Hop Festival, that was taking place at the Botanical Gardens in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight in September 2010. The Hop Festival was a lovely display of stalls, selling many locally made and produced handicrafts. There was an art display; and a sculpture was being produced on site, that was to remain in the gardens when it was completed. There was also the obvious beer tent that was purveying a wide range of home made and locally produced ales. It was good to see the local people enjoying themselves and a wide range of wonderful local character was on display. The Morris Dancers were the stars and characters of our day and we enjoyed their performance immensely.
John and Margaret, Writers and Photographers at large.