Autumn Photography

Deciduous trees are slowing down production (photosynthesis) in readiness for the winter but they seem to burst into life with colour during autumn. This is the time many trees bear us gifts so it is a great time for foraging. Autumn enables me to combine a passion for photography, a love of hiking and a, somewhat spiritual, appreciation of trees as the ancient life that enables our biosphere to live, with oxygen and energy.

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Housing Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are adorable little creatures. I acknowledge that all of God’s creation deserves awe and respect and that it’s important to appreciate that every species has a valid role to play in our ecosystem. But hedgehogs, well, they’re lovely aren’t they? Sadly they’re endangered in the UK so I set about to help out some of these prickly little friends.

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Chesterfield 1940s Market

I was heading out to grab a couple of wooden pallets, that somebody had offered for free, which I’m going to use to build a hedgehog house ready for this year’s hedgehog cam live stream. My Mum called to say that town was busy and there was a Spitfire near the church so I thought I’d pop in and have a look.

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A picture of lilies and a weeping willow.

Exercise, Ducks, Disasters

I’ve still got a few kilos to shed but I’m not supposed to go to the gym when my muscles are still recovering so bike ride it is. By the time I persuaded myself to go after a Sunday morning routine of coffee, breakfast, gardening, reading (currently Norman Doidge – The Brain that Changes Itself), it was nearing midday so my options were limited to places a bit more local.

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Grindleford Hike

I’ first heard of Grindleford 25 years ago: I’d just gone through the turnstyles at Chesterfield’s (old) football ground at Saltergate and I was one of the lucky few to be chosen out of the crowd by the Police officers and be quizzed – presumably to ascertain my disposition toward violence. “Were you the one that did the off license robbery in Grindleford?” inquired the officer. I denied the accusation and gave my name before I was dismissed. I’d always been interested in this mysterious place called Grindleford, with it’s, presumably now, heavily fortified off-license.

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Winter Wreath Part 1

I saw a few attractive Waitrose winter wreaths a couple of weeks back and decided to make one using, where possible, naturally scavanged materials. I’d wandered around a few places over the last forthnight but had not felt motivated to walk around with a shopping bag full of twigs. With a weekend staying in Godalming, I decided to go equipped on an afternoon walk with a friend, Jen, in search of the fundametal ingredient, willow.

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Puttenham Walk

The last couple of nights I’ve seen a gorgeous moon and overheard that there is a ‘SuperMoon’ at the moment. This is where the moon is closer to the Earth and the net effect is that it appears 14% larger.  I love the moonlight (which is just ~sunlight) when it breaks through the clouds so I decided on some moon photography. We headed up to Puttenham Common to get away from the noise of the urban lighting

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Hardwick Hall (NT)

I grew up in Derbyshire before I left for University but it was only around my mid-twenties that I started to appreciate just how incredibly picturesque my home is. I must have driven past the brown signs directing visitors to Hardwick Hall thousands of times without thought of visiting. (Although my parents are convinced I had been before.) The recent gift of a National Trust membership, and having explored Surrey’s sites, motivated me to take a peek.

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Paracord

Appreciating cordage is important for outdoors activities – with lots of different types for different uses. I wrote this supplement for a session on paracord, which is my favourite. I always carry it on me. I’ve even upgraded shoe laces with it – just in case.

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