Monday, 11 December 2017

It's all about the weather!

Unlike in lots of other parts of the UK here at Hambleden we've so far had very little snow
On Friday (8th Nov Dec) just as we were about to put on our coats to go out for the bus to the gym it started to snow, hard.  We watched out the window and both decided that we wouldn't go.  However, (there's always a but!) we had planned to go into Reading Christmas shopping after gym so we decided that we'd rather get snowed in whilst shopping than exerting ourselves.  By the time we'd changed and went out for the Reading bus the snow had gone, but we did enjoy the shopping and lunch out!
Saturday we caught the bus into Henley.  We had both had a clear out of our wardrobes and a lot of 'stuff', winter clothes that we didn't wear last year had been put into a big bag so we split it down to make carrying easier and set off.  Unfortunately our favourite charity Blue Cross (for dogs) is closing down in Henley on Christmas Eve so were not taking any more donations, so we went next door but one and left it all at the Cancer Research shop.

All timed perfectly, we had lunch before walking the 2½ miles back  to the marina.  The day was very cold but dry and bright.
 Very imposing!
 Temple Island in the distance

 A very tall walking man sculpture as we approach Hambleden lock
 ... and in another garden this wonderful, weathered horse sculpture.
In the afternoon we got out the Christmas deco's and set too ...
Sunday morning there was a good blanket of snow everywhere and it was still coming down fast.  It eventually turned to sleet but the snow hasn't melted yet ... definitely a day to stay indoors by the fire!

We hope that all our boating friends are coping well with this winter weather and are staying safe, warm and dry.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

In the garden

 Early morning

 Fat balls

I've repositioned the feeds for easier photos
Mr Tesco sent me corn on the cob instead of lose sweetcorn - the birds love them!

... and the Greater Spotted Woodpecker has returned
 ... he heard the camera shutter!
And in the mill stream ...
Great Crested Grebe (in non-breeding plumage)

Saturday, 9 December 2017

The feeding station ...

It didn't take long for the Parakeets to find the nuts this year.  According the the RSPB they feed mostly morning and evening but I've found them on the feeders at all times but usually not too early in the day or too late in the afternoon!
 A favourite British bird

 Oh! we had a Tesco delivery on that day too!
 Wrapped up in this effort for nuts!
 We often get Coots but only the occasional Moorhen
 I love the Chaffinches

 ... and the Pheasant is still strutting his stuff!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Did you miss me?

Just in case you didn't ... our data allocation terminated earlier than expected so I've not posted for a while ... but I'm back now!
 Sunday (3 Dec) was a bit dull and damp but cheered up a little late afternoon so off I went on my local round walk
 Impressive houses along the other side of the River Thames
 ... and the Flower Pot Hotel in the distance
 Is spring in the air?
 A slightly different view of the weir 
 I wonder if he shuts his eyes!
And the last of the sun as it dips on the opposite side of the marina.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Wild life

As we're getting more frequently very cold days now I decided it was time to put out the bird feeders, but as usually happens it's not only birds that are interested ... please note that these pictures were taken through the windows (which George kindly cleaned for me this morning) and are not great ... I really must do better!
 20 minutes after hanging the feeders this squirrel came to see
 ... look how he's reached the feeder and brought it towards him, his paw holding onto the stand.  I watched him reach into the hole and then sit back on the branch to eat the seeds from his hands ... fantastic!
 Next came the red robin, usually a ground feeder but will he have a go I wonder?
 A blue tit making a tentative approach as were several other birds.  We saw a great tit and have seen the woodpecker close by too.
A bit blurry this one but shows that the cheeky robin did manage to hold on for a quick feed.

I'm looking forward to seeing who else comes to call.

Friday, 24 November 2017

A wet and windy night

After the worst storm with winds gusting up to over 60mph last night (23rd Nov) that I've ever experienced whilst living on a boat this morning dawned clear and bright although the wind is still gusting at times and it was bitterly cold.

We had early visitors to the mill stream too this morning ...
four Canada Geese with two Greylags lagging behind.

The day continued to be cold with clear blue skies, gusty wind and plenty of sunshine and the forecast for the next few days is pretty much the same ... we can cope with that ... we hope you can too.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Sunday 19th November

So far Sundays have been the only time we've ventured out since we arrived at Hambleden Marina.  Mornings at the gym are ongoing and we feel that we are 'getting somewhere' and afternoons are busy or napping after a good workout ... so ...
 ... off we went, over Hambleden Weir ... not noticed this before half way across, good to see.
We walked our familiar route along the path to the pub where we noticed that the chickens and red kites had all gone from the field (we wondered if one had 'got' the other) and the three stooges had disappeared too, instead we saw this figure over in the distance. 
 An angler in the pub's overflow carpark
 ... strange for a pub called the Flower Pot!
 On the way back, the shadows are lengthening
 Looking towards the Chilterns
 Late sun on Silver Birch trees
 ... and looking up
 Red Kites taking advantage of the last of the sun.
And home again feeling refreshed.