The Needles, Isle of Wight

The Needles is a unique row of chalk stacks that rise out of the sea off of the western edge of the Isle of Wight, England. When we went to view them, the wind was so strong that I was rather concerned that we would get whisked away. At one point my husband’s camera strap was blown off his neck (this concerned him more than being near the edge of a cliff even though he is terrified of heights).

The Needles, standing strong against the wind and the waves

The little building at the end of the Needles is a lighthouse that was built in 1859

The Needles, marching out to sea

The Needles are an amazing sight and well worth a visit, just be sure to hold on to your camera if the wind is up.

Kew Palace, The Dutch House

Kew Place is a lovely brick manor house located in the Kew Botanical Gardens, London.

Kew Palace, was once known as the “Dutch House” because of its Dutch gables

The perfectly maintained hedges and topiaries add a key architectural feature to this property

The Queen’s Garden is a formal garden that lies behind Kew Palace

The plants in the Queen’s Garden are those grown in Britain before and during the 17th century.

The symmetrical lines of Kew Palace are mirrored in plantings of the Queen’s Garden

This mallard liked the tranquility offered by this pond in the Queen’s Garden. The statue in the center of the pond is a copy of Verocchio’s ‘Boy with a Dolphine.’

This Venetian well head is a focal-point of the parterre garden

This marble satyr stands guard next to a leafy hallway

Looking west down the leafy hallway in the Queen’s Garden

We found the exterior of Kew Palace and the Queen’s Garden to be a wonderfully tranquil retreat from the rest of the gardens. The Queen’s Garden is one of the more structured outdoor gardens at Kew, making it a great location for traditional photography.

Kew Gardens: Golden Pheasant Don’t Give a Hoot

We discovered this strange fellow near the Minka House in Kew Gardens, England. He was not disturbed by anything. Most people didn’t even notice him because he was so quiet. One man almost stepped on him, that’s how nonchalant this Golden Pheasant was.

Golden Pheasant at Kew Gardens doesn’t give a hoot

He will leave when he wants to, don’t mind him.

Kew Gardens: The Adventure Continues

At Kew Gardens there is a lovely pair of Canada Geese who are very protective of their little ones.

Here they are starting off their morning stroll down the path.

The geese with a little one

The wee goslings would often stop on their walk to examine their surroundings.

Mama says, “Don’t stare at the strange man with the camera, dear.”

Mama would often give here brood tips on how to behave in public.

“Just walk along and ignore any strangers you might happen to meet.”

The morning stroll was enlivened when papa goose discovers a treasure.

“I found something!”

The little ones dashed over to see what papa had discovered.

“How is it? Is it good?”

After papa goose nodded his approval the little ones crowded in to get a taste of the delicious orange bread.

“What a great treat!”

But all was not well, for in Kew Gardens lurks naughty Raven, who is always stealing everyone’s snacks. Today was no exception, Raven was on the prowl for tasty pieces of bright orange bread!

Becoming more famished by the minute, Raven watched the goslings devour the scrumptious orange bread.

But mama and papa goose saw Raven watching them and were having none of his monkey business.

Mama and papa goose honked and hollered at Raven, but he did not leave.

Of course, Raven was too proud to be scared off by a bit of goose chatter, he dove in to claim his orange prize!

Papa goose saw Raven coming and stood his ground.

However, Raven was very hungry, a puny indignant goose would not detour him.

So, papa had to chase after Raven

And chase…

And flap…

And he even puffed himself up so that Raven would be frightened of him, puffing-up was papa’s secret weapon.

Finally, Raven gave up. Papa duck was very proud and strutted back to mama goose.

Papa goose proclaimed to mama and the frightened little ones, “Puffing-up always does the trick!”

With the naughty Raven out-of-the-way, the family was able to seek out and enjoy their yummy orange bread.

The wee goslings could not find the bread on their own, mama had to show them where to find it.

Once they had found the tidbit, mama goose sampled it to make sure it was still good for the little ones.

“Mmm… yes, that will do.”

Once mama gave her approval it was a free-for-all, the wee ones fought as vigorously for the bread crumbs as Raven had.

“What’s that there! No, don’t, I saw it first!”

“Aww! Come back here!”

Peace was restored, as it always is, when all the food had filled the tiny bellies.

“Come dears, its time to continue on our walk.”

All the little ones said yes mama, hoping that around the next bend would be more amazing bright orange bread.

Neist Point, Isle of Skye

Neist Point is one of the many wonderful places to visit on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Many travel to Neist Point to view the lighthouse, but I suggest that the best part of this trip was absorbing the beauty of the region.

Neist Point Lighthouse perched a top the cliff

When standing on the cliffs looking out over the ocean I was struck with the feeling of being at the edge of the world.

Panorama of Neist Point, click on this image (and all the overs) to enlarge

Perhaps, my favorite part of the Isle of Skye was the ever-present sheep that seemed able to navigate every type of terrain that the island had to offer. The tiny white specs in the grass are sheep.

Sheep, they go everywhere

The clouds on the grassy cliffs add another layer to this awesome landscape, also sheep

We were always surprised with how a short walk would reveal a new and beautiful perspective.

A new perspective grants new photographic opportunities

The enormity of the landscape is always a welcome surprise

The more subtle features of the area can be just as dramatic as the showy ones. On the drive to Neist Point you will pass Loch Mor, a lake that seems to float in the cradle of the surrounding hills.

Loch Mor, on the way to Neist Point

We always try to visit the more dramatic locations when the sun is rather low in the sky, the lighting is just more magical and grants the photographs some of that wonder that we experienced while taking the photographs.

A perfect end to a long day, at Neist Point

 

 

 

Winchester Cathedral

We concluded our last day in England with a visit to Winchester Cathedral, it was amazing.

Winchester Cathedral is a Church of England Cathedral located in Winchester, Hampshire, England. The Cathedral boasts many great examples of English church architecture dating fromĀ  the 11th to the 16th century.

West front of the Winchester Cathedral, the sun and clouds were all aligned perfectly for this photo

The Gothic window which was destroyed during the English Civil War was rebuilt in 1660 using the shattered glass from around the Cathedral

The flying buttresses of the Cathedral are a Gothic characteristic of the building. Flying buttresses keep the walls of the nave from bowing outwards.

This is the Lady Chapel on the east end of the Cathedral, it was remodeled in the 15th century

South transept from the Norman period of 1079-1150

This is the north side of the Cathedral, the brick paths trace the foundations of Old Minster built-in 634 and demolished in 1093

The longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe

Exterior of the choir from the south side

The choir stalls date from 1308

Bishop Langton’s Chapel, showing painted ceiling

Interior of Bishop Langton’s Chapel

Lady Chapel, showing wall paintings from the early 16th century

The north transept shows the original Norman cathedral’s style

Sun shining into the north transept

Looking up in the north transept

The oldest part of the building is the crypt which dates from 1093, it floods frequently

Nave and alter of Winchester Cathedral

This Cathedral is spectacular, if you are in the area visit it. For more information onĀ  Winchester Cathedral visit their website: http://winchester-cathedral.org.uk/

Inspection of the HMS Warrior by Admiral Burrower

This is Admiral Burrower, tiny hippo, reporting for the inspection of the HMS Warrior.

Ship soundly anchored in Portsmouth, UK.

Fancy Greek man still guards the front, er bow, of the ship.

Stern chaser gun with nicely polished track, accounted for.

Perhaps, we should check the velocity of the cannon at a later date

Rope ladder seems sturdy enough.

Hmm, glass over compass is foggy. Someone, see to this!

Net in place to catch cannon balls, check

These pointy thermoses for hot coco are an excellent addition to the boat.

Main mast looks good from here

Nicely lined up, well done, oh and more thermoses, excellent!

Hmm, very nice symmetry, I approve

Now if I just pull this back something should happen

Overall, I issue gold stars all around for the grand HMS Warrior!