Posts Tagged ‘reflection’

London trip: camellia tree and Hampton Court walk

April 16, 2014

The blog is delayed until today (Tue 15 April) from last week as we were on holiday in the London area from Wednesday to Monday. We stayed in the pretty village of Thames Ditton. We were staying with relatives and in their back garden, the camellia tree was in full bloom. As the weather is milder in the south east of England, camellia trees grow extensively in gardens, whereas they are much rarer in the colder south east of Scotland where I live. I took photos of a bed of leaves which lay under the tree and my photographer’s luck was in, as a whole flower had fallen to sit in the middle of the spread of leaves, which lay as if waiting for a fairy princess to lie down in the pink softness. The 2nd and 3rd photos below show a single and a double camellia flower.

Bed of camellia leaves

Bed of camellia leaves

Single camellia flower

Single camellia flower

Double camellia flower

Double camellia flower

The day after arriving, we went for a walk to Hampton Court, via East Molesey. We walked along the river, past the well known Molesey Lock, which was built to allow large vessels to sail the river Thames. As you walk along the river, you see a variety of houseboats, some very narrow and some much larger. I took the photo below of a larger boathouse, as it was beautifully reflected in the river. Further along, we passed a  cherry tree in full blossom, with the flowers being a very similar colour to the camellia tree – see next photo.

Houseboat on the River Mole

Houseboat on the River Mole

Cherry blossom

Cherry blossom

On to Hampton Court itself, with its magnificent buildings and barley sugar chimneys – see here for a blog report on a previous visit, showing the chimneys. While all the daffodils had passed their best and were looking like weary revellers going home after an all-night  bacchanalian party, the tulips were standing proud and there were many varieties on show. The final 2 photos show a bed of tulips and other flowers and another bed next to the gates of Hampton Court. From there, we went on to Bushy Park, a wide expanse of grass and trees, and you can see where the avenues were created in the times when Henry the Eighth went hunting there. There are still herds of deer in the park and they often lie in the grass quite near the footpaths which transverse the park.

Tulips at Hampton Court

Tulips at Hampton Court

Tulips at Hampton Court gates

Tulips at Hampton Court gates

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Hopes Reservoir, grey sea and Alice Munro

November 28, 2013

The blog is a week late as I had trouble accessing it. However, I went on the WordPress forums with my problem and someone has fixed it – thank you to whoever Raincoaster is.

On Sunday morning, my wife and some fellow members of Dunbar Running Club headed off up country about 14 miles (22K) to take part in the annual Goat’s Gallop run, organised by another local club HELP. On the way, you drive through the bonnie village of Gifford which is resplendent at this time of year with a carpet of dying but colourful leaves along the edge of the road near the park. The run starts at a local farm and from there, the runners face a long, steep climb to the top of Lammer Law (scroll down for walking route). The runners come off this route and run across the uneven swathes of heather – thus the goat’s gallop name – and continue towards a cliff, from where they face a vertiginous descent, before joining the track again, taking them past the Hopes Reservoir. Photos 1-4 show views approaching the reservoir, and across the reservoir, while it was still misty, one of the runners on the track near the reservoir, and a view over the reservoir when the sun had come out and provided a spectacular reflection. For the full set of photos – and a classic song – see my Photopeach page.  I walked to the reservoir from the nearby car park and was accompanied only by the puckpuckpuckpuck call of several red grouse, some of whom were startled by my approach and flung themselves into the air with a desperate flapping of wings. Otherwise, there was a very pleasant silence.

Today, looking from the back of my house, the sea, which was a deep blue with rushing, polished white waves on Sunday, is dull and the waves look as if they might be struggling to summon the energy to get to shore. In my poetry calendar last week, this image was captured in a much more descriptive way, by Barbara Crooker in her poem The Winter Sea. She writes “The ocean’s grey today, like someone’s dingy laundry,/ the slop and slosh of sudsy waves agitate on the sand/ and the sky’s the inside of an ashtray at some salty dive”.

Another poetic writer which I’ve been reading is the short story specialist Alice Munro who recently won the very prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. I bought her latest book of short stories Dear Life. I’ve read one complete story so far and have started the 2nd one. As the  Guardian reviewer notes, each story is like a mini novel and you need time to reflect after reading each one. Munro condenses people’s lives with enviable ease and it’s not until you finish one of her stories that you realise just how much you learned about the characters. Although Munro is not known as a poetic writer, she sometimes writes beautifully e.g. “The frozen lake not level but mounded along the shore, as if the waves had turned to ice in the art of falling”. This is a striking and imaginative image. Even if you never read short stories, get this book and you will be richly rewarded.

Looking towards the Hopes Reservoir

Looking towards the Hopes Reservoir

Runner passing Hopes Reservoir

Runner passing Hopes Reservoir

Hopes Reservoir

Hopes Reservoir

Elliptical reflection at Hopes Reservoir

Elliptical reflection at Hopes Reservoir

A Word a Week Photo Challenge : Two

November 7, 2013

This week’s photo challenge is Two. I was suprprised how many appropriate photos I had. Here’s my selection – see more at Sue’s site.

Mother and chick kittiwake at Dunbar Harbour

Mother and chick kittiwake at Dunbar Harbour

 Canoeists at Paxton House, Scottish Borders

Canoeists at Paxton House, Scottish Borders

Llamas at Coldingham Bay

Llamas at Coldingham Bay

Frosted bales in the winter

Frosted bales in the winter

Swans on the coast at Dunbar

Swans on the coast at Dunbar

Ross and his reflection at Spittal Beach

Ross and his reflection at Spittal Beach