For the first time in a long while, we had three days out in quick succession this week. First up, another nice long walk at Lyme Park where we noticed the first signs of Autumn.
The sky was monochrome today, thirty-seven shades of grey, but at least the rain kept away this time.
Here’s the famous Lyme Park folly – I am referring to The Cage in the background, of course. Yes, I know, I know, I need a new hat.
Meanwhile, back home on the Mersey, the birds are having fun.
This heron was, unusually, sitting up on the grassy bank. The first time we saw it there, before I had time to get my camera out, it was chased away by someone’s loose dog.
Again, later on, we saw a second heron by the weir, giving a lecture to the geese, on this occasion.
We spoke about never having seen otters or water rats in our section of the Mersey, so it was a bonus when we caught up with a giant otter a couple of days later. Not in the wild, but at Chester Zoo.
Usually, we just miss feeding time, but today, luck was on our side. As we were peering at the otter way over there in the distance, a zookeeper came up and called his name. I wasn’t fast enough to capture the giant otter’s belly flop on film, of course, but he swam over to accept the fish that was thrown his way. Shame about the fence, I’ll photoshop it out one day.
It rained quite a lot today, but Liesel persevered and we had a jolly good time. The elephants were playing in the mud, in the rain. The rhinos were outside enjoying the lack of sunshine. Liesel asked someone about the duct tape on one of the camels’ humps. The poor old thing has a lesion and the tape is to prevent birds from pecking at it. I asked Liesel why she hadn’t asked whether it was a British Lesion or, since camels live in the desert, a French Foreign Lesion. Liesel wondered why I hadn’t asked the question. I said I didn’t want to look daft.
Someone had seemingly gone to a lot of trouble, dressing a mouse up to look like a miniature meerkat. Or meerkitten, I suppose. Very cute, though.
Our third major expedition this week was in an easterly direction, to Yorkshire. We visited another National Trust property, Wentworth Castle Gardens, near Barnsley.
The artichoke flowers drew our attention, but the bumble bees they attracted were probably more useful. We had a good walk here too. But: hills. We aren’t used to these hills, and we felt sorry for people pushing buggies, never mind those with wheelchairs. The views towards Leeds are spectacular though. We’d enjoyed the views all the way there, really, but there were far too many cars parked on what was the main road through some of the villages. They all need a decent bypass! More roads, please!!
Stainborough Castle isn’t really a castle, but the edifice does have some castle-like features, lots of castellations and battlements. And a good view all round, of course.
The Sun monument is an obelisk with a golden orb on top. The actual Sun was too high in the sky to get a good shot of the two together. But, hey, the Sun was out, and we’re not complaining about that!
There seemed to be no reason for this gate to be located where it is. But it frames another stunning view over Yorkshire.
Regular viewers will welcome this rare occurrence of a second self-portrait this week. Yes, sorry, I know: the hat. Wentworth Castle isn’t open to the public, it is one of the Northern College buildings.