Stockton on Tees~ Butterfly House ~ Part 2

I thought I’d just do one more post from the Butterfly House before we move back into History and visit Raby Castle.

Part 1 HERE

I don’t know what make this little bird is, but he was flying about inside the butterfly house.


As well as butterflies, there’s a separate section for Meerkats and reptiles.




There are some lovely ponds and details


but I love the flowers and butterflies the best









I think that gives you an idea of how lovely it is to spend time in the Butterfly House.

Click on any picture to embiggen it if you like, and stay tooned for Raby Castle and lots of deer!

The Swiss Gardens ~ July 2017 ~ part 4

Part 1.    Part 2.   Part 3.

The Swiss Gardens are also home to 3 peacocks, I couldn’t help taking more shots than necessary, but they are such beauties

he’s in here somewhere

they were moulting, so I got a couple of feathers Helen found on the ground.

We had a wander around the woodlands surrounding the lake, and came across some wood carvings

the little house was about knee height

Next time we’ll be back in the main grounds seeing more little buildings and follies, so stay tooned!



Day 308~366

Firstly, I’m going back to the old theme, the photo’s come out too small in the other one!

Today was a rainy day so didn’t venture out too far, got my teeth polished at the dentist 😁 and went to blow up my car tyres, 9psi isn’t all that good to drive about on!

Skye has been very clingy today, and Phil said this morning she was curled up on top of the microwave and wouldn’t eat her breakfast, he was thinking it might be the endgame. She perked up later on but all day she has been shadowing me and wanting to sit on me and have snuggles. Gave up in the end and just sat with her while she snoozed in my arms.  It’s so horrible waiting for the moment where we know she can’t go on without suffering, and the stone in the pit of my tummy tells me that won’t be too far away. She’s had some food and seems to be OK for now, will see what tomorrow brings.  Will make no apology for taking some nice pictures of her when I get the chance.

She came and sat with me while I was trying to catch some bird shots through the window.

Our beautiful girl


The birdies were fast as anything and I am too slow, but managed a couple,

Possibly a marsh tit
Possibly a marsh tit


little bluey
little bluey
happy eater
happy eater

and my crystal ball shot, in the rain.



Day 133~366

I was surprised to see Mr.Pigeon back in the tree this evening, I think it’s the same one as I saw the other day. The weather has gone to hell in a handbasket again, it’s hard not to get dull looking shots. 😦



Day 127~366

No blue sky today, apparently we’re having ‘hazy sunshine’. Hmmm. No matter, off I went to The Tree with a certain shot in mind, but when I got there I found this chap asleep in the branches.


He woke up when I started shooting, but he kindly stayed put and let me photograph him.  We had a chat and that was it, off home I went, job done for today. 🙂



The Sunday Fraggle report..

Firstly, for the second week I have a photo left behind from the previous week. I hope this is not the beginning of  mental decline, but much previous similar experiences tell me it probably is. I forget loads of stuff. I console myself with the fact that my lovely hubby is as bad if not slightly worse than me :). And what is this wonderful photo you forgot to post I hear you cry…

Ducking About
Ducking About

well there you have it. A masterpiece no less. Taken with my Iphone 5 and the hipstamatic app. Don’t ask why.

So on to this past week. I have to say the grey and rainy days are not helping me on my travels around my patch of Engerlandland. Dull and dishwatery skies, and everything just blah. But at least on the day I had to visit a client in the windy wilds of North Yorkshire there was an interesting sky that I stopped to take pictures of. My little Nikon S1 compact is no match for my D700, but the wonders of Lightroom, NikFXpro and SmartPhotoEditor more than make up for it, and actually the S1 picks up a lot of detail when you dig for it.

original shot
original shot

This is one of my original shots, not totally inspiring but it really didn’t look like that through my eyes (or why would I have stopped to take the photo’s??).

And this is what it really looked like..

holes in the sky 1
holes in the sky 1
Holes in the sky 2
Holes in the sky 2
Holes in the sky 3
Holes in the sky 3
Holes in the sky 4
Holes in the sky 4

and because the theme for the challenge group today was over processing…

bonkers & OTT
bonkers & OTT

I don’t like it, but it was kinda fun.

Also before I came across the moody weather I drove past Bolton Castle which you can just about see in this next shot, and also you can just see the edge of the dark sky chasing me.

Bolton Castle (it is there really)
Bolton Castle (it is there really)

AND on my way home I turned a corner to be thwarted by sheep, dogs and a motorised shepherd.

it's a modern old world.
it’s a modern old world.

Just after I took this, the dogs jumped away and started herding the sheep to go left up a path, but a few of the idiot~sheep ran through a field on the right, and it was great to watch the dogs round them up and send them back the right way. I don’t think the guy on the trike did anything much, didn’t hear any whistles going on, the dogs just knew what to do.

Mind you, I don’t suppose I would hear a proper dog whistle as I have not got dogs ears.

Not much else to shoot on my travels, but I did find some cool shoots and leaves

shoots and leaves
she shoots and leaves


On Thursday morning it was very drab, and I spotted this fellow hunkered down on my front garden fence


People don’t like pigeons overmuch but I like all birds, they have so much character, even the dim ones are funny, but he just looked so sad. Yet I loved how his feathers looked, like a soft suit of armour against the rain. As I got in the car I took a quick snap of him side on, but didn’t really see what I was looking at only to note it was in focus, but when I got it on my big screen I was quite shocked to see he has a big eye infection. I debated wether to post it or not because it did upset me, but sometimes photography isn’t nicey picey.


He was still about today, and taking advantage of all the seeds that drop to the ground from my bird feeders, and I could see the other side is not affected. He’s nice and plump and is eating, so maybe he will get better, if the neighbours cat doesn’t blindside him. He looks miserable though (not surprisingly) and I had some tears over him today.

On Friday night we had Lorraine and Paul over for a musical soiree, Lorraine cooked some fine curry’s and Phil & Paul played guitars whilst Lorraine & I played percussion (I banged a tambourine more or less in time with the music and Loz had a washboard thingy). Far too much grape and hops were imbibed but hey ho it doesn’t happen THAT often.  I took some cool Polaroids of the guys and gals, there’s more in the Polaroid Page, but this was the best,

Paul and Phil
Paul and Phil

note the tripod music stand 🙂

and from the Hipstamatic…

Lorraine & paul
Lorraine & paul

and I got chocolates & flowers


so a good night and Saturday was a recovery day 🙂

I did manage to cook a lush dinner on Saturday, Salmon in soy,ginger & garlic sauce, with saffron rice. very yummy.

Salmon in soy ginger garlic sauce
Salmon in soy ginger garlic sauce

Today we have had Shelley and Callum, Carl with Matthew and Livvy for a visit this afternoon, wow our grandkids are noisy. You kind of forget in between visits 😀 It was good to see them all charging about playing and hollering and laughing. I would have taken photo’s but they move too fast 🙂

Phil’s on nights this week, so a quiet time for me anyway 🙂 Keep your fingers crossed for dry weather for me this week as I’m off to some more far flung gorgeous places.

Laters Gaters 😉









On golden pond

gold swan

Have been so busy, no time to ‘stop and stare’, but just a little time out today unexpectedly, in fact a chilled weekend and start to the week, a rarity to savour.




so me and Ben are sitting having lunch in Morrisons car park, Darlington, as you do, and there’s a snow storm around us, (that’s a bit of an exzag), a heavy snow flurry really, and there’s these twiggy trees and bushes and a gollumping red breasted bird of some description chivvying about in the middle of them. Got out of the car to get closer and take a shot, but he retreated when he heard the car’s “you’ve opened the bloody door!’ alarm. It wasn’t the best idea anyway because of the snow and the cold. Got back in and managed to get a shot of him through the (dirty) car window and snow. It’s not the best at all, I know, but it’s enough for me to say this is my first ever Bullfinch. (I looked him up!). Dead chuffed to see one.