End of year Photography review.

I’ve loved bringing you all photo’s of the land I live in and also far off travels, as well as snippets of life in Wardley Manors ūüôā Here’s a round up of the. year, posted on the Other Place blog, but also for this one.

Fraggle's Otherverse

I like looking back over the year, and reliving  the places and events I got to see, my travels and my outings with Sophie.  This is the first year I’ve had 2 blogs on the go, so am picking my favourites from across both blogs and posting on both. I am multidimensional!

Back in January I decided to embark on a walking project to do 1000 miles over the year, and do a 365 photography project.  This was a complete debacle as 9 days into it I got really ill with the flu, and it took me a month to fully recover by which time the impetus for both projects had disappeared.  Frego accompanied me on the walks I did do and we got some nice pictures around the area I live in spite of the freezing weather.


February was the first opportunity to go on a…

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Pow Hill Nature Reserve ~ Sept 2017 ~ Part 1

Pow Hill is set in moorland overlooking the Derwent Reservoir. The word Pow comes from Old English and means ‚Äėslow moving stream’ which refers to the waterlogged boggy area in the north of the site. Conserved for its special wildlife interest, the area is home to goldcrests, coal tits, roe deer and red squirrels. The western end of the lake is protected as a nature reserve although there is access to the water’s edge in some places.

Needless to say Sophie and I went for a visit here, though we didn’t spot any red squirrels sadly, plenty of sheep though!

We parked in the carpark and followed the signs to walk around the lake, passing some beautiful heather on the edge of the path

It was a warm day and we were hounded by squadrons of mosquito’s hovering around the pathways waiting to dive bomb any walkers in the vicinity, so kept ourselves covered and got to open space as quickly as possible.

The park is pretty popular, lots of people enjoying the fishing opportunities.


Sophie and I were a bit disgruntled that only fishing people are allowed at the water’s edge, so we had to deploy the telephoto lenses. ¬†There seemed to be lots of activity at the Sailing Club on the far side of the lake..

but only one boat on the water.

The water was so pretty it was hard to remember the scenery behind us, but when we did we were treated to bunny rabbits.

and sheep

We got to the far end of the lake where the ‘Pow’ meets it

There’s a picnic area and another car park

and views across the moors to the heather covered meadows.

so we turned around and walked back, following some dog walkers.

Stay tooned for the return journey and further explorations.










Northumberland Country Zoo ~ September 2017

I have mixed feelings about zoo’s, on the one hand I can’t help feeling animals and birds should be free, on the other hand seeing and photographing animals and birds you don’t/can’t normally see in daily life is always a thrill. ¬†I only found out about Northumberland Zoo this year, so back in September Sophie and I went off to see what it was all about. ¬†The zoo only got their licence in 2015, so it is quite new, and their philosophy is as good as it gets.

Our mission is to become a leader in the education and conservation of wildlife and their unique habitats, making it accessible to all whilst still providing a compelling visitor experience.

Our vision is to see a change in the perception towards wildlife and habitats which will lead to a sustainable natural world.

  • CONSERVATION IMPACT To increase our support for more conservation programmes including ones which we currently are involved with, both in-itu and ex-situ (natural environment and enclosure).
  • ANIMAL COLLECTION To set high standards and excel in the husbandry of the species in which we keep providing them with the opportunity to express natural behaviours.
  • SUSTAINABILITY To create an animal collection that is economically and environmentally sustainable for the long term.
  • To increase awareness, understanding and support of our animal collection and its projects as a centre for conservation and education excellence in the North East and beyond.

Here are some of the inmates that posed for us

Does anyone NOT love a meerkat?

or their babies?

This chap maybe not so cute

CAPE CRESTED PORCUPINE. Hystrix africaeaustralis.   Porcupines are not able to shoot their quills, they have to reverse into their attackers for the dangerous quills to stick in!

They say you’re only ever 9 feet away from a rat…

CAPYBARA. Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris.   Capybara are the largest rodent in the world and they are semi-aquatic which means they spend a lot of time in water, they even mate under-water!

Back to cute..

RING-TAILED LEMUR. ¬†Lemur catta. ¬†IUCN Red List Status: Endangered. ¬†Ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists, which they then rub all the way along their tails to then waft their tails at other lemurs in ‚Äėstink fights‚Äô!

I do love exotic birds, such a nice change from spuggies ūüôā

LAUGHING KOOKABURRA. Dacelo novaeguineae. Laughing Kookaburra are the largest species of Kookaburra in the world.
EAGLE OWL. Bubo bubo.  All owls have a fur like surface on their feathers which mean that they are quiet fliers and they can sneak up on prey, however this means they are not waterproof!
LOVEBIRD. Agapornis spp.  Lovebirds mate for life and pairs can be seen snuggled up together Рhence the name.

As well as exotic creatures, there are some more familiar animals

CLYDESDALE. Fudge the Clydesdale Horse. He is just a big friendly giant. Clydesdales were bred as heavy horses to help with farm work when mechanical machinery had not been invented yet!
PIG.  Pigs have a very exact gestation period which is easy for remembering Р3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days! After which, they can have at least a dozen piglets.
FALLOW DEER. Dama dama. Fallow deer can run up to 30mph and jump up to 2m in height!

And I’ll finish up with my favourites of the day, the humble Chicken.¬†CHICKEN¬†G. Gallus domesticu
There are hundreds of breeds of chicken bred for their meat, egg production or just purely for their looks. ¬†I’m not quite sure which category these fine specimens fall into, Comedic Value wasn’t on the list!

For more cuteness, exotica and extra animals, the full album can be found HERE

and the zoo’s website HERE

St. Andrews Church, Bolam ~ September 2017

Last week I posted about mine and Sophie’s trip to Bolam Lake, and for regular followers you’ll know that in the afternoon the clouds came over and we decided to visit St.Andrews Church, which is only around the corner and a minute or so away from the lake. In spite of that, and in spite of having been there before, I managed to not find it and got lost for 1/2 an hour. I’m blaming the sat-nav for confusing me! ¬†Anyway eventually we got there and took a few pictures.

The church is ancient, a grade I listed building, and has been there for 1000 years. 

The tower was built at that time, by the Saxons, with a belfry at the top. The main belfry window opening has a classic Saxon rounded shaft in the middle, said to be made by applying wood turning techniques.

The porch’s round arched doorway has 13th century dogtooth carving around it and reaching¬†all the way¬†down to the ground . The pattern at its best¬†is usually shaped like four flower petals. The outermost nutmeg carving is more a 12th century style. Above it in the church wall is a reused gravestone.

The Chancel

The chancel is typically long and narrow, with an east window of three lancets, which were glazed in about 1880 by F.R. Wilson. The original Saxon chancel was lengthened in the 13th century by the Normans and parts of the former sanctuary arch can be seen, reused. The beautiful altar frontal was donated in 1909 by Augusta in memory of her brother Charles Perkins who died at 2am on25th August 1905.

The South Aisle and at the end the Shortflatt Chapel.


The chapel, currently referred to as the Shortflatt Chapel or sometimes Dent chapel, is now so named because it was built by Robert de Reymes, who had inherited half the barony of Bolam. He was a knight and lived at Shortflatt, as did his descendants for the following three hundred years. Shortflatt eventually passed to the Dent and now the Hedley-Dent family.

Robert rebuilt Shortflatt Tower in stone with a licence to crenellate in 1305, after it had been burnt down. The town of Bolam was granted a market and a fair the same year, but Bolam castle was described as dilapidated. He died in 1324 and there is an effigy of him (without legs) in the chapel. It is thought the effigy was shortened to fit in the niche, which originally almost certainly would have contained a statue of The Virgin Mary.

On April 30th 1942, a German bomber ¬†was on a bombing run over England when he was chased by 2 RAF fighters, in trying to get away he offloaded his bombs and flew low. He didn’t make it, but one of his bombs flew into the chancel.¬†On 5th May the vicar’s wife, wrote to her son Flying Officer John Hutton stationed in the Middle East:
‘…Jerry paid us a visit at 4am May 1st. He was being hotly pursued by two of our fighters who were on his tail. He was very low down, and discharged the whole of his load in order to get away, but he failed and lies at Longhorsley. 4 bombs 2 1/2 tons in all. One fell, just missing the walnut tree, which still stands, 30yds from houses wall. An unexploded one lay in the chancel, it had passed through the lower part of the wall in the H>D> Chapel, smashing all the furnishings in that part of the church, none of any value, injuring some windows…the remaining two bombs only made large craters in Windmill field…’.

The churchyard has no less than 16 listed monuments, including the gate, but mostly ancient graves.

The oldest legible inscription on a headstone is dated 1697 and reads:
Hic jacet corpus Marci Ansley de Gallow-hill. Obiit II de Aprilis anno etatis……: salutis humanae 1697.

I think most photographers like a good graveyard to explore, and St.Andrews is one of the most interesting. And old!

Well that’s enough for a post I think. For more of the medieval stonework, mushrooms and ancient graves, the full album can be seen HERE

For more interesting info on the church, the website is HERE

Stay tooned ūüôā