Friday, 25 December 2009

Fresh Air.

This is the quiet, desolate, icy scene that greeted me on a stroll earlier this week around one of my local patches. Not a sign of any activity anywhere.

Does it look safe enough to walk on? ... I don't think I'll test it.

Not even a breeze to caress the fingers of the leafless Birches that dominate my skyward view. I hear the faint 'kick...kick' sound of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and then much closer the noisy, harsh 'kraa..kraa' calls from a number of Carrion Crows. I turn away from my intened course to follow these sounds into the dark woodland just in case there is an Owl or raptor around who is not welcome but after a few minutes the calls cease. I wait patiently and scan around but find now retrace my steps.

Back on track I head uphill, walking slowly, trying to reduce the sound of crunching ice with every placement of my boots, intently listening and looking for any sign of life.

The only evidence of those who came before me is their frozen footprints

Nearing the top of the rise I spot a pair of Jays and stealthily commence my approach...could this be the day for some decent photos? The sound of human voices penetrates the quiet air and a family of four appear over to my right, totally oblivious of my existence, they head downhill chatting loudly and then shouting after their young charges that have run off ahead. I am invisible to my own species but the Jays have responded by moving on so I continue on my chosen route.

It's only 2 p.m. but the moon is clearly visilble but nothing flies across my line of sight.

As I change my heading the stillness is broken by the unmistakeable chatty clicking calls of Long Tailed Tits. High up above a party of at least 15 individuals flit from perch to perch, often dangling upside down as they hunt for tiny morsels. They are moving on very quickly so I only manage one passable shot.

During the final part of my stroll I see Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren and Magpie. Back at the pond the sound of my footsteps disturbs a Moorhen that promptly hides in the reeds.

Maybe next time there will be more wildlife activity to enjoy but at least the fresh air was good.  FAB


  1. I really enjoyed that post, thanks. The photos and the description give a vivid picture of what it must be like to live in a climate like yours. Fascinating!

  2. I just adore your "fresh air" photos, wonderful....!

    Have a beautiful Christmas!
    ciao elvira

  3. mick. We are fortunate the snow & ice is not very deep but elsewhere in the UK it has brought everything to a standstill! A bit of 'aussie' sunshine would help with the photography.

  4. elvira. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a nice comment.

    Your photos are gorgeous.

    Ciao Frank. (FAB)

  5. Excellent account Frank. Felt like I was there with you.

  6. Great photo essay of your walk Frank enjoyed it very much. All the best to you and yours for 2010.

  7. Marry christmas Frank - love the LTT.

  8. Hello Frank,
    That's what I feel like I need at the moment. . . .Fresh Air!
    I'll have to wait until tomorrow though as still busy with family/friends.
    Great photo's. I would have loved to have taken some of the frosty weather we've had here in the South West but unfortunately, not enough time this past week because of work commitments.
    I'm sure I'll get to make up for it at some point.

    Kind Regards

  9. I had the cruchy snow problem a few days ago, couldn't hear anything over the racket.

    Nice read today Frank

  10. Such a peaceful series of photos - thanks

  11. Keith. Cheers.

    Monty. Thanks. I also enjoyed your local walk (Carn Marth)....just as slippery by the look of it!

    TonyC. 'Bottle Tits' are one of my favourites.

    Shirleyanne. Yes, it was good to get out. Once the festivities calm down I'm sure you'll find time to show us more of your beautiful local scenery.

    Warren. Weather it's raining...whatever next!

    Chris P. Thanks. I have some sleepy Red Deer to show you very soon!

  12. Oh the icy silence - it is one of my favorite aspects of winter... hauntingly beautiful. And that Skywatch photo was sublime. Stay warm, my friend!

  13. Hi Heather. It certainly has a distinct atmosphere. Have just been sent some more wintery pics taken by a friend I met recently so may post them soon. FAB.


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