The Foals have Grown

I am home and yes, it is wonderful (if brief).

(Tomorrow we are on the boat to go to the 2017 Summer Festival and British Championships in Spalding)

So, anywho, today, I spent the day with my horses and ponies.

The foals are growing “like Topsy” and looking wonderful.  Powerful little peoples.

Both foals are very independent, sleeping away from each other, not even near their Mums.

(there is a stream between them).

I can already see them developing and changing.  I love this stage in their brand new lives.

To start with, they sort of get on and talk to each other, which is wonderful, though Dreki has evil thoughts and Lilja is a perfect little girl.

Dreki just has to annoy at all times.  He must.

But the half-siblings do manage to skip around together in the field, which shows a bond of some sort.

Dreki can be forgiven for his midge-like behaviour as he is very handsome.


And Lilja is precious heaven.  She still hasn’t grown into her ears yet!

(It is wonderful being home) xx

Too hot

Hello all, Nick here again while Frances heads back home to Shetland today.

It’s too hot. I’m not a fan of temperatures in excess of 20C at the best of times. We are on our third day of this heatwave and it sucks all the energy out of me. Even Danny doesn’t know where to put himself.

I was reminded on Facebook that it’s exactly 6 years now since I visited Frances in Shetland – that was my first time on the archipelago, and I had a lovely time. I even got to ride one of her Icelandic horses!

You might have seen my photos from that trip when I posted about it back in 2013.

Anyway I’m stuck indoors today working on an edit for some portrait shots a friend of mine took last week. So I thought I’d share some of my more unusual images with you, just for something different.

I’ve been wandering around London with my camera photographing some of the more unorthodox, possibly overlooked architecture of late. One of my favourite new buildings is the Switch House extension to the Tate Modern museum. It’s an odd shape, a bit like a twisted pyramid made of bricks, and has to be seen to be appreciated.

The Barbican estate, on the other side of the Thames, is a grade 2 listed estate in the Brutalist style. I know not everyone likes this bold architecture, but I’m a huge fan, and I like to think that I might be able to convert some people to its charms by showing it through my eyes in this way.

One of London’s most famous landmarks is of course St Paul’s Cathedral and with the Millennium Bridge spanning the Thames directly south of the cathedral, the following is a much photographed view. I’ve added my own twist to it however, with the blur of people walking across the bridge looking like ghosts:

Finally, one cold January evening I met some friends by the Houses of Parliament for some night time photography by the river. That was a very cold, but very enjoyable evening, trying to find new angles on something that gets photographed thousands of times a day.

Anyway, sorry there are no animal photos today. In order to photograph any of them I’d need to go into the garden, and in this weather it’s just not something I’m prepared to contemplate! But suffice to say they are all well, we are still getting two eggs a day from Helga and Cinnamon, and they all pass on their best wishes to Frances’s fan club.

Thanks again to Frances for allowing me to share the stuff that interests me here on her blog. Please do remember to stop by and check out my own site if you like what you see here – most of my photography is for sale as prints there. For now, that’s all from me, and see you again soon!

Deer and Ducks

Our daily dog walk is at 07:00.  This early, there are no golfers out and about and it feels more like our park than the municipal gold course that it really is.

Fox watch has been rather fruitless – I will have another go tonight, not even “The Magenpies” turned up and the chicken I put out is rather ripe!

But, this morning, we saw in the trees a beautiful roe deer – a buck, I think.  It stopped in its tracks and so did we.

We alI stood still and waited.  Luckily her dog, Pip, is very good about not chasing anything unlike others we have known or know!

Even though we were downwind, of course it was inevitable that the roebuck quickly spied us and went galloping off at full speed, while I tried to take photos.

It was a magical morning and we stood for a while in the early morning watching the graceful deer vanish off into the distance.

Afterwards, we walked on to our usual spot – the duck pond to feed Mum’s lone duck.  Mum has been feeding him all winter.

But, over the past few days, more and more ducks have been joining in, which is lovely.

Today a hen duck appeared with her eight little ducklings who, I think, were born not very long ago.

Eight little ducklings so now we are all hoping that there will be eight tomorrow.

Oh, the worry!

(I will be travelling tomorrow back to Shetland so NIck will be writing the blog)

The Start of Fox Watch

Every day Mum feeds a family of wild foxes.

And I want to see them too.

There are five known roe deer in the surrounding park and we sometimes see them when we walk Mum’s dog, Pip, first thing in the morning.

This visit, I have not been quick enough with my camera to actually take any photos but the deer are beautiful.

Our early morning walks are necessary because the original park that surrounds our house (once the stables) and the accompanying grand house (a new Victorian version – I will take a photo tomorrow) is now a municipal golf course!

Sad, but true.

A very popular golf course too so it can be a bit of a case of the early bird gets to walk the dog!

Anywho, back with the foxes.  Mum leaves all the suitable edible leftovers outside her back gate for the wildlife and then, while we walk around the garden, we hear a crunch of branches beyond the boundary and the food vanishes very quickly.

I have set up a fox watching place.  The chair is for putting my camera on.  I have left a piece of chicken outside in the sun all afternoon so it should be nice and smelly for this evening.

Yesterday, all I saw was two magpies!

I can’t wait to see what I “catch” this evening.

Meanwhile, the garden is still beautiful and it is bloody hot here.

(home on Monday).

I Miss My Minions

From Daisy, who is manfully holding the fort and is invaluable.

“All sleeping. All get up except Newt.
No one moves the Newt.
He also decided to try and be a big boy and eat carrots.
The original Minions are the best of friends but they also do love Albie and Newt.
Albie and newt are very close but stick with the Minions.
They love Uncle Storm most.
Waffle and Tiddles are more grown up than the rest.

Others like to annoy Newt.  They will pay the price later.”

They may regret their behaviour.  My money is on Newt.  He may be small but he can reach places no one else can get to!

Newt may also be part Yak too!

My dear little Minions. I miss them desperately.  I need my Minion hugs very much.