Photo Challenge – Wild

I suppose there are many ways one can interpet wild but the word reminded me the the last verse of Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poem “Iversnaid”:

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

I didn’t see myself being able to go out and find real wilderness but I happened to be on Southampton Common last week and although the common is managed there are plenty of areas that are left wild. I didn’t have my camera with me but the photographs my phone takes are good enough at this sort of resolution, as long as I don’t want to do anything fancy, so here is my chosen photograph for the challenge. photo-challenge1647-wildI cropped this to my preferred 4×3 format but my phone takes 16×9 format and here are four others that were in the running.

The first place I stopped0530-wild-2The one I thought was prettiest. 0530-wild-3One of the wildest. 0530-wild-4And one with interesting branches.0530-wild-5



A Crafty Week – Tuesday

On Tuesday the weather started off a bit cloudy but by mid-morning it brightened up so we packed a picnic and went to the paddling pool on Southampton Common.

Louisa had a paddleHaving fun paddlingand then she saw that for a small cost you could have a few minutes moving around on the water in a large inflatable see-through ball. So of course grandma paid for her and she had some fun.In the ballYou can see the tether. A guy walked around keeping the ball in the centre of the pool.In the ballThere was also time for swimmingSwimmingand making friends.Making friendsToday the craft part is what I was doing while Lousia was having fun.

In June 2013 I showed you, how while I was on holiday in Criccieth, I had devised an angel bookmark that I could use on Christmas cards.Crochet angel June 2013Somehow since then I have never got around to working out how I had made the angel, and making more in time for Christmas, but recently I have got down to working up a proper pattern.Three angels for bookmarksFor the final pattern I have amended the design slightly (as you can see by comparing the outer two with the middle original.) I think that this will be the final version. I am planning to make them in different colours but so far have been working in white. As bookmarks I will add a cord and tassel as with my cross bookmarks.

Going for a walk

The other day the weather was so pleasant I thought that I would go for a walk and take my camera.

I wasn’t sure what I would find to photograph because I was going up the road to Southampton Common and I have photographed it so many times before but I hope you enjoy coming with me on my walk and that I can share some different things.

The first thing that caught my eye was this fallen tree trunk snaking along by the side of the path.

Tree trunkI stopped to examine the interesting texture of the knots in the bark.

Tree knot 1

Tree knot 2 I passed by the  The Hawthorns Urban Wildlife Centre and thought I would take a closer look at the gates.

Wildlife Centre gateThey come from a time when the Council seemed to be into naturalistic wrought iron.

There are iron flowers and leaves

Plant on gateand down the bottom some small creatures hiding like this frog.

Frog on gateA bit further on my eye was caught by the sight of this fungus high up on a tree.

Fungus on treeI think the ruffled layers are so pretty.

I had decided that I would make for the cemetery lake.

As I looked over towards it I noticed that the day was a bit misty which I had not realised before.

Misty viewLeanne Cole who has a photographic blog that I follow had been photographing birds lately so I thought I would have a go. The birds of prey and parrots of her Australian Sanctuary were more exotic than those you can find on the Common but I was pleased with this picture of a mallard duck. I wanted to show the wake and ripples.

Mallard duck

and I then turned my attention to the pigeons.

Two pigeons

This chap seemed to be looking at me with interest wondering what I was doing sitting on the ground.Pigeon looking at meI saw a seagull on a post but as soon as I got closer he flew away.

Seagull on postWhere to go now?

As I haven’t been there very often, and it would be something new to photograph, I went to the cemetery.

Yew walkThere is a long yew walk and the graves are off on either side.

As here

Grave stones 1and here

Grave stones 2I really liked this carved headstone.

Carved headstoneAnd thought this would make a lovely picture for an Easter card.

Lying cross

By now I was at a convenient place to head back home so I left and came back along by a path at the edge of the Common.

Return pathI smiled when I saw this happy face someone had drawn on a fallen branch.

Happy face

And finally came out to the usual place.

ExitWhen I got home I took some photographs of the flowers I had been given for Mother’s Day.

I thought I had agreed with my son that we wouldn’t bother with ‘Mother’s Day’ this year and I thought my eldest wasn’t bothering either which was fine as I was brought up to ignore it.

However in the afternoon I was just about to make myself a cup of tea when there was a knock at the door and in came my son with a card and a present and behind him my eldest daughter with a card and a big bunch of flowers and my granddaughter with a tin of coconut flapjacks that she had made. And very delicious flapjacks they were too. Not hard and crumbly like mine go. I have been promised the recipe!

I shared the flowers between two vases.

One in the sitting room

Flowers in sitting roomAnd one in the kitchen

Flowers in kitchenAs you can see I am not into ‘flower arranging’ but they make me happy every time I look at them.

What have you been doing lately?

The Common close up

The other day the sun was shining and I decided to go for a walk on Southampton Common. I decided to concentrate on looking at the small things that one might otherwise miss and the first thing that caught my eye were the autumn leaves now white with the first real frost of the winter.


Here is a close up of one leaf.


And there were also the odd delicate white feathers like this. A warmer spot, no frost here.


The surface of the lake was partly iced over and people were out with their children feeding the ducks. I was struck by this morsel of bread floating in the water.


I love the texture of bark on trees and the beautiful colours here held my attention.


On the ground was a twig covered in lichen.


And some trees were covered with it too.


And also loving the damp bark of a fallen tree was moss.


There was ivy on the wall,


A fir cone on the ground


and signs of new ones yet to come.


Some odd traces of human activity, mainly near where the cars park.


And near the entrance/exit flowers on the rhododendron bushes.


Of course I had to take some views as well.

Here the winter trees stretching upwards either side of the path.


And of course I can never resist taking pictures of water, especially when there are swans. Seagulls too, swooping over the water.


Then of a sudden they all took flight.


The light was fading. Time to go home.


When I got near home I stopped to take some pictures of the mahonia flowers.


And looking up I caught sight of the moon above the roof tops.


I was surprised to find how many photographs I had taken. Partly because although I normally think of myself as good at taking hand held photographs, I seemed to find it hard to hold the camera steady. Was this the cold?

A winter walk

Usually when I share my pictures with you I create a normal post interleaving the photogaphs with a narrative. This time I am trying out the new gallery format as an alternative.

I would be interested in any comments you have as to whether you prefer this way of doing it.

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO to start a slideshow from that point.


I knew that I wouldn’t have much to share with you of a crafting nature early this week so on Saturday I decided to go for a walk on the Common and take some autumnal pictures.

At the start I was hopeful.

But as I went to different areas, I realised that autumn was very muted on the Common at present.

Here is a view across Cemetery Lake that shows the sort of almost autumn colour I was confronted with.

But people were out enjoying themselves in the sunshine.

Taking the children to the playpark,

And going for walks.

I took a few pictures by the edge of the lake,

including some swan pictures.

I love swans.

One close-up. The feathers look so soft.

It was strange, there was brown but some of the greens looked almost spring like.

But I was pleased to get a picture of a late blackberry, not having had one for my earlier CAL post.

I hope you enjoyed this stroll round Southampton Common.