Canada Geese and Catkins

I consider myself fortunate if I come across just one subject to take shots of on my daily walk, but yesterday it was my photo-shoot birthday so to speak.

I headed for the lake and hall at Riseholme near Lincoln as the sun was shining, and I have fond memories of the place from when my elder daughter studied horticulture there a few years ago.  It has a long history of being the county’s main agricultural and horticultural college campus, and the grounds and lake are well maintained, and spectacular in the summer months.

Canada Geese and Catkins
Canada Geese and Catkins
Canada Geese at Riseholme
Canada Geese at Riseholme

Even in February it has a lot to offer and it gave me great satisfaction to capture Canada geese on a migratory stopover feeding on the meadows and swimming in the lake.  And although I did not manage a shot of them flying in or out, I was able to catch them with catkins hanging down over the field they were resting in.  A couple of hours later I went home very happy with a card full of images, and having had my daily exercise too.

Winner.

Let It Snow

Here we are at the beginning of February and we’ve seen quite a lot of the white stuff on and off over the last few days.  I personally have nowhere I have to go that won’t wait so I’m clapping my hands and making the most of it.

There’s definitely something romantic about snow I think.  It throws a whole new light and perspective on the world, making everything sparkling clean and bright.  I knew this morning before I’d even got out of bed that there was fresh snow on the ground, by the unusual glow on the bedroom ceiling.

Snow is exhilarating too.  I was outdoors with my camera before it was properly light, crunching around in my boots, breathing in the crisp air, and capturing the rare and immaculate beauty of it all.

Snowy February Tuesday
Snowy February Tuesday
Snowy February Tuesday
Snowy February Tuesday

A white world also makes me turn on the lamps and light a log fire once dusk starts to fall.  I want to get cosy on the sofa and toast my toes.  It would have been lovely to have had this snowfall over the holiday period, when everyone was at home and could enjoy it.  We had frost then but no snow.  As it is I am sparing a thought for all those battling their way to work and school in tricky driving conditions.

I’m also thinking of the song I played around Christmas time for my little granddaughter.

I may well be playing it later once I’m tucked up warm and cosy by the fire.

Let It Snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!

Catkins

So far so good.  I’ve managed to turn out something like a half decent photograph each day throughout January, which was my initial intention.  And today I wanted catkins.

This afternoon whilst hunting for these elusive catkins I stopped at a place where I had spotted sloes in the hedgerows last autumn.  There are very few wild hedgerows still allowed to stand hereabouts; the farmers butcher them as soon as the summer crops are gathered in, which means that even if there is wild hazel present in the hedges, the catkins don’t stand a chance come January and February.  So I headed to this same lane with uncut hedges hoping for catkins and found none.

Instead I shot waddling ducks and geese.  And clucking hens.

Ducks and chickens and hens
Ducks and chickens and hens
Ducks and geese and hens
Ducks and geese and hens

I inadvertently revisited a time long ago when I used to create cross stitch pictures.  I remember sitting by the fire in the evening toasting my toes and stitching pictures in little crosses. These were then framed and hung on the wall.  One of the pictures I created in embroidery silks back then was of ducks and geese waddling across a farmyard.

The image in front of me and my camera today was very similar – a lovely smallholding with chickens, ducks and geese wandering freely in a little orchard. There were still a few patches of snow on the ground from Saturday’s short sharp blizzards.  At the end of the orchard there was a large hen house which appeared to be home to all of these birds; the entire contingent headed for the open door alarmed when I clicked my camera at them.  They honked and clucked and quacked collectively.  As well they  might.