This week has been a good one for early mornings at the Ornamental Lake. Monday was particularly lovely, but Thursday and Friday gave it a good run for it’s money, with Friday throwing in a foreground of ice to finish the week off in style.
If the sunrises weren’t enough to keep me happy, the Ornamental Lake has been looking beautiful in the sunshine.
A very pleasing recent addition to the Ornamental lake is that the goosanders are becoming a part of the seasonal Common Family. They are beautiful creatures, however they do like to swim just out of camera range, so I was mighty happy when they finally came a little closer to the lakeside path whilst I was there this week. I was a lot less happy when I saw the beautiful Ms. Goosander diving to retrieve, not a shimmering fish, but a black plastic bag. This is not what the goosanders want to eat, and seeing a beautiful bird with an ugly piece of rubbish in her beak makes me uncharacteristically angry.
When I have not been exclaiming over sunrises, or tutting at poor Ms. Goosander catching plastic waste, I have been on the wander in Southampton Old Cemetery, finding interesting shelter during rainy moments, and delighting in snowdrops.
They say it is going to get colder now, and on Friday the Ornamental Lake was frozen again.
So, we shall see what next week brings. I am sure I will find things to amuse myself with, whatever the weather, but I would be very happy indeed if all the litter was put into a bin, or taken away from the Common, so that Ms. Goosander can get back to catching fish.
The first three days of this week were pretty dismal, but yesterday morning the clouds lifted and it was a glorious day for wandering on Southampton Common. If a tad muddy underfoot after three days of pretty constant rain, and slightly breezy. My old friends the tufted ducks were looking a tad windswept.
Image taken using Nikon D5500, Lens Nikon 70-300mm, ISO 1600, f10, 1/640
To my delight there were several new clumps of snowdrops in the Old Cemetery, crocuses were popping up everywhere, there were primroses, and the daffodils were at the tantalising point of nearly blooming. All of this made me very happy indeed and I spent an hour or so with a silly grin on my face, frightening unsuspecting strangers with a cheery “hello.”
To see more photos of the Old Cemetery, please click on this link The Old Cemetery
Image taken using Nikon D5500, Lens Nikon 85mm macro, ISO 1250, f14, 1/60
After annoying quite a few people in this way, it was time for me to go and do something vaguely useful. As I wandered back towards the Ornamental Pond I wondered whether I would remember to buy a new flask (to replace the one that has curiously disappeared from my life.) It was a tad chilly, and I liked the idea of a warm drink, but a cruel twist of fate meant that the lovely Hawthorns Café on the Common is closed this week. But on my arrival at the Ornamental Pond all thoughts of flasks disappeared because the goosander decided to make my day just that tiny bit more splendid than it already was. I have been watching this fellow for a couple of weeks, but he as been steadfastly occupying the reedy areas on the far bank whenever I am around. This was exactly where he was when I arrived, so I ignored him and went to unlock my bicycle. As I dumped my pack into the basket I noticed him out of the corner of my eye, swimming casually across to the photographable zone. I scuttled back to the pond, skidding slightly on the mud and coming to a fortunate standstill at the water’s edge. Just in time to grab a few shots before he returned from whence he came.
I was all smiles again, chatted happily with a man whose dog was preoccupied with peeing on my bicycle wheel, and then cycled away at top speed (for me, which is pretty much walking pace for everyone else). I wanted to look at those goosander shots. The flask is yet to be replaced…