Nov 132012

I am pretty rubbish at identifying waders but I do love to watch them! I do know lapwings and Blackheaded gulls even in their winter plumage.

I love Sea Mills even though when ever we go it is cold or wet, and now I want to live in the  New Signal Station! As you can see from the photos that the technical half of Trosen has taken it didn’t disappoint this time!

Nov 052012

Well, now it’s almost impossible to visit Windermere or Ambleside without seeing a copy of one of Wainwright’s guides to the Lake District. I had my first guide when I was 15 and several decades later, well thumbed and water damaged, I still use it.

Wainright developed a style of writing and drawing which I still find gives a better representation of a walk than a map or camera  ever capture. His combined text, maps and drawings were “multi-media” at least thirty years before the term was invented. So you find that he writes the description of a walk in terms of what you need to see and what you can see when you’re at a specific point on the journey. So they are both an invaluable aid to the journey and also a powerful memory aid when you look back on the journey because they are organised as a series of viewpoints.

All this and they are the right size to fit into the pocket of an anorak or pair of walking shorts comfortably.

The only caution is that the mapping of fells to books relies on the geography of the lakes with major divisions of the area are radial from the centre so that time spent in the centre of the Lake District easily overlaps several of the guides.

{adinserter Wainwright1}

Nov 012012

On Saturday we went for a walk to Ashton Court in Bristol. The weather was bright and cold and the views across the city were amazing. With parking only a pound it was good value too, but trying to type your number plate into the ticket machine as someone yells the numbers to you across the car park leads to some funny mistakes!! I know I should know it but I haven’t had the car long!

Anyway, we decided to go to look at the red deer and see if they would display any rutting behaviour. We were not disappointed as several large stags were bellowing and posturing to each other. I have only seen this stuff on the BBC’s Autumnwatch so I was waiting for Simon King to give me commentary in my ear! No such luck so I had to teach my fellow walkers (husband and grown up son). Just as I was explaining  about parallel walking  two of them obliged and walked up and down bellowing and sizing each other up. Again as I discussed how they smell the air to see if any of the females are in oestrus, so they performed on cue. Wonderful!! We spent a long time watching and waiting for them to start to fight but no luck. I assume they were tired and they had plenty of females to share. I am not sure how much natural behaviour they show when kept in an enclosed area but the stuff we saw was exhilarating.

Last night I watched Autumnwatch again and on Rum the red deer were rutting like crazy but I know you do not have to got to Scotland to see them!!

Red deer at Ashton Court, Bristol, parallel walking and calling