Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Promenading on the Pleasure Pier

What time is it?  Its time to walk down the pier
or alternatively jump on the tram which is waiting to glide away. Those muffled up people show perhaps the reason  I'll leave this walk for another day when the sun is out
OK that is better

Well its gone 10 and this brings a new meaning to "early doors" 
and the start of our 1,216 yards (1112 m) stroll.  Southport Pier  it is the second longest in Britain but it is also the oldest iron pier although the railings seen here are modern.
The pier celebrated its 150th anniversary in August 2002 with free rides and music.
And now I have reached the end and "The Vortex" a 6 metre high stainless steel sculpture, the light reflects and distorts.  I imagine one can have great fun photographing this in all lighting conditions and then rest on the seating at the bottom. The globe at the top lights up at night although as we are on the west coast sunset would be another photo opportunity. The structure is designed by Craig and Mary Matthews of  Cammdesign
What no ice cream!  Guess we are too early, shame.  I will just have to gaze out
to sea, the tide is out, just a small channel left and in the distance is Blackpool pleasure beach
 just too far away to sweep down the big dipper.

I started with the grey day so I'll finish with it and, as the sign says,    "Thank you for Visiting Southport Pier". Now I can have that ice cream, the stall is just around the corner.

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a stroll through the alphabet.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A Golden Carpet

Willington Wood, Nr Ulverston, Cumbria

They are weeks behind but at last the daffodils are in full flower everywhere. Here at Willington Wood the sparsely planted trees allow full light and they bloom in profusion. Meanwhile in more shaded corners
the pretty little Wood Anemones also enjoy the sun.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Observing Okapi

Mmm these leaves look highly obtainable and overwhelmingly desirable 
Yes observe me and my long tongue which is also handy to wash my eyelids and clean ears, inside and out, its very sticky

Oooh almost there
Got one
Mmm what should I do now, the other leaf source the oblong bowl is empty
Guess I'll just wait for the meals on wheels trolley with my Okapi name on it. 

The Okapi shown is a male, identifiable from its skin covered horns. Although the Okapi looks similar to a zebra its closest relative is the giraffe and indeed is sometimes called the "forest giraffe",  the other nickname is the 'African Unicorn'.  Its home is the tropical rain forests of Central Africa.  A solitary animal which needs acreage to roam (the male more than the female), this has become a problem due to shrinking habitat because of human development and also war and poaching. There are probably 10-20,000 in the wild and the Democratic Republic of Congo project the Okapi Wildlife Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dedicated to preserving and increasing number. It located in the Ituri Forest near the border with Sudan and Uganda. The European Endangered Species Programme for Okapi is led by Antwerp Zoo (where these photographs were taken) and up to now has bred 48 calves and counting this video was the 48th with another one due.

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a journey through the alphabet - jump over to see the other O there

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

No Fishing?

No Fishing?  Surely not, perhaps because this pool is on a golf course but
Little Egret
nearby is the Marshside Nature Reserve where it is a free for all
and all that is required is a long beak

No nets needed

or other fishing accoutrements necessary. And definitely, no matter how pretty it looks,  no more snow until next winter please. 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey though the alphabet..

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The Balancing Act

House Sparrows
I am sure Mr Sparrow is saying "Hey hurry up with the seed bag we are running out of food here".

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Martello Towers

In the distance over the wheat field stands a Martello Tower, it is one of 29 on the Suffolk coast built between 1810-12. 

 Inspired by the Genovese round tower defences at Mortella Point in Corsica these, in the south east of England, were an addition to the 74 already in place on the south coast built to ward off a possible invasion by Napoleon, each housed a garrison of 15-25 men.
Martello Tower 'Z', Alderton
Getting closer to its 13 foot thick walls the windows of the upper floor can be seen, the entrance on the ground floor is on the other side. The 30 foot high structure had a basement, ground and upper floor with the cannon being placed on the roof.

and a nifty internal drainage system leading to the water storage tank.  The round walls were cannon resistant but with advances in artillery the Martello Towers soon became obsolete however some were once again pressed into service  in 20th century for the Second World War as observation towers or for anti-aircraft guns.  This particular tower is on English Heritage's  'at risk' register because 

 the outer brick skin is peeling away. For a look inside see an enthusiasts view here
Some of the towers get another use
Martello Tower, Shingle Street
 and this particular one caught my attention because of the obsolete postbox in its surrounding grounds
Now it is a holiday home with views out to sea by the side of the beach at Shingle Street, but more of that when we get to S.  As you can see from the photos it was one of those sunshine and showers days, with the accent on showers although being optimists we were dressed for sunshine!

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a journey through the alphabet.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


There are many lake sides but unlike most of the names in the south lakes area which are Scandinavian or Celtic in origin and sometimes obscure, this ones meaning is in no doubt, because says exactly what it is in plain English, Lakeside.  In Victorian times tourists would come into the area by train but only so far as the margins of the lakes, the narrow valleys and mountains were the barrier.  The London Midland Region trains travel travelled up from London Euston to Carlisle and branches ran off, all change to the Furness Railway to get to Lakeside, but not today.
This heritage line is now cut off from its original route and only travels from Haverthwaite to Lakeside but the train seen here arriving is one that might have got you all the way in 1949 for it is an LMS Fairburn Tank loco.  277 were built and this is one of two owned by the Lakeside and  Haverthwaite Railway still steaming up and down the line.  Dismounting from the train cross the platform and round the corner
 is the steamer terminal, in this case of the boat variety rather than locomotive. 

a pleasant place to wait for the journey down the lake
or watch the boats laid up by the jetties

All aboard.  Well not when I took this picture as it was laid up, but they are steaming every hour from 9:15 onwards now as we enter the tourist season.  Wonder what the weather is like?  Check the web-cam, although not as I post this as it is rather late in the day but hopefully it will be in sunlight on Wednesday.

An entry to ABC Wednesday.  A journey through the alphabet.