Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sunday's "walk" in and around Richmond Park!

On Sunday, Tony took me for a 4 mile "gentle" ( in his words) walk! We walked one of the many routes through Richmond Park, out at Ham Gate entrance, visit to a pub and back to the carpark. One very tired but happy lady. Below are the images l have posted to record our 4 mile "walk"!!
One of the first bits of Nature l came across, was a very well hidden butterfly. I only noticed it because it suddenly fluttered its wings, otherwise l would never have seen it. If some-one was to tell you they had seen a brown butterfly, l don't think you would imagine something this beautiful!
The next few images are the reason, Tony walked me this particular way through the Park. The day before he had cycled this way and spotted these Beefsteak Fungi. Tony was disappointed because the day before, they had been a bright red colour and today they looked faded. Actually, Tony thought there were only two but infact there were fungi on both sides of the tree trunk, which explains why he described the colours differently. As l had not seen them before..l was very excited anyway, because l am fascinated by all fungi, in all their wonderful shapes and colours. 
The two images below, are the fungi Tony saw yesterday, as you can see, today they are orange/yellow in colour and not the red of yesterday! 

The weathermen forcasted today (Sunday) was going to be overcast and dull ..I am so glad no-one told the weather that. It was hot, blue skies and gorgeous, so the whole world and his wife were out enjoying themselves. It was great to see children running free, getting wet  in the ponds, dusty and dirty in the long grass and climbing trees. That is what childhood should be all about, not sitting indoors on laptops ot watching TV.
At one point in the walk, l looked back to watch a child ride by and saw this beautiful view and felt l had to share it with you. I am so lucky to be living so near this amazing open space called Richmond Park!
I had been worried lately, that there seem very few butterflies around this summer. Today l saw so many that l was smiling from ear to ear. Below are some of the ones l managed to capture...they were not still for very long! Not sure what these yellow weeds/flowers are called, but this year they are all over the Park and extremly tall. The butterflies, flies and bees seem to love them.

The next image worries me slightly! Have we suddenly got Funnel spiders over here from Australia? Never seen a spider's web like this before..will have to do some investigation!!!! Hope l am wrong because they are a very nasty spider indeed.
As we were walking among the bracken, we suddenly saw we were being watched by this big fella! There were actually about 12 deer in a group..Tony and l stood quitely watching them for ages. So amazing to be so close to wild animals, breathtaking experience, l never tired of watching them.

The large stag broke off from the group and started to go into the near wooded area, gradually the rest started to follow. I was lucky enough to be able to stand half hidden behind a tree, and watch and photography them at my ease. What l found fasinating, was just as they got level with me, they stopped, looked at me for a few moments and then very slowly and gracefully walked off into the trees.  Magical moments communicating with these amazing beasts.
At one point, there were just 2 stags left, when a French father and son appeared on the track beside the them. This little boy, who was not very quiet, even though his father warned him he needed to be, started waving his stick and shouting at the Stag. The boy was acting very excited and unafraid, and getting nearer and nearer to the remaining 2 stags. The larger stag, decided he had had enough and started to walking quite quickly, straight towards the child. Suddenly the child was very quiet, scared and hid behind his father's legs. Satisfied he had taught the child a lesson, the stag stared at him for a while, lifted his head high into the air and VERY slowly walked away. Don't think that child will forget this experience very quickly!
Just after walking through Ham Gate we saw this very unusual cobweb!

While we were having a very welcome cold drink in a pub, this young lady came into the pub..brightened up the day for quite a few men! Wonder why she was dressed like this, on a very hot Sunday?
Tony saw this lane as we were walking back towards Richmond Park..ah! he said..a short cut! Trust me he said..remember l know where we are going!ha!!!
The image below will show you that Tony is not always right!!!
The image below does not do this hill justice! Believe me, it is steep and a long way up. I was very pleased with myself,  l actually got to the top (just!) in one go!phew!!!
When we were on our way back to the car, which we had left at Pen Ponds carpark, we saw this group of Fallow Deer.  Nothing unusual you say but wait! I have never seen deer so comfortable this near to  people. Normally you can never get this close because they will rapidly move away. They were still there about an hour later..very unusal. Great photographic opportunity though.

Another stange thing l observed, l have never seen a deer lying down with his neck on the grass like this before. He was the only one lying like this..very strange! This stag, was also the only one covered in flies all over his " nose " area.
Finding cigarettes lying around on the ground is not unusuall, unsmoked ones are rarer. The image below is of two hand-rolled filtered cigarettes, just lying on the floor! I wonder if they just fell out of some-ones pocket or bag? maybe they were rolled and then forgotten about? It wasn't till l was thinking about them later, l thought..they might have been cannabis......!!
When we got to The Penn Ponds, l was so glad to see "my" duck still had her 5 ( two others further on) ducklings. We saw her last week, she is the only one that still has all the ducklings, she started with. There are a lot of foxes in this area and they certainly don't go hungry! Sad but that's nature, l keep telling myself.
The last image is to show just how desperately the grass needs rain! I just hope it decides to rain in the evenings.
Night folks.


Felisol said...

I thought only Norwegians were so lucky as to live close to the wilderness. I never would have dreamed the Londoners have the same opportunity.
You must have a sharp camera and ditto eyes to make all those catches in one day.
Deers are coming close to our suburban villas too. Even though they are beautiful animals, I'm not that exited. They carry nasty bloodsucking insects, which spreads the decease borrelia. I have been on antibiotics three years in a row, due to these insect bites.
The deer lying on the ground may well have been badly infected itself, poor thing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a magical place -- we have lots of wilderness and wildish places to walk through, but I've never seen deer so unafraid of people.

That last picture of the deer lying down, maybe there IS something wrong with it.

But everything esle, how beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Beach House Living said...

A great walk. Amazing textures of things you can find on a walk.

I am surprised the deer didn't bolt away. They must have become used to people. Is that laying down deer ill by chance?