Sunday, 30 September 2012

Upton House Gardens Dorset England

I had already visited these gardens but I knew Mitch would love to shoot there, because of the wonderful Macro opportunities.

His camera takes amazing macro shots and when combined with his "photographers eye", the results are astounding, I am looking forward to seeing his shots.

This is a small selection of the shots I took in the gardens on our visit;)

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Upton House Dorset UK

The Second Day Mitch was here we visited Upton Country Park, these are some of the Shots of Upton House.

Upton House sits in the award winning grounds of Upton Country Park.  It is a magnificent Georgian Grade II* listed building.


Mitch and I headed out the first day he was here  to the Avon Valley and took some shots in the woods and out on the heathland, it had been quite wet but we were lucky enough to get a sunny afternoon. It was a great day.

Good Morning all

I hope you had a great week? 

Mitch and I had a great time it rained quite a bit but we managed to get out and get some good shots, we went to Upton Gardens one day and Mitch was in seventh heaven with all the flowers and insects for his Macro shots , I am sure he got some amazing ones and you will be seeing them soon I am sure.

Unfortunately he developed a back problem the day before he had to go home so we could not do much Thursday I hope he is OK today. 

He headed out about mid morning yesterday, I am sure he is having a lay in today. It was great to catch up with him again and I really did enjoy the week.

I will try and catch up on as many posts as I can over the weekend;)

Have a great weekend;)


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Good Morning

Mitch and I have been haveing a great time even though its been a bit wet! I wil be back up posting regularly in acouple of days;)


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Good Morning

Good Morning have a wonderful Sunday, heading out to visit with my cousins for Sunday Lunch;)


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Images And Words Week 177 - Make Your Own Painting

Images And Words Week 177 - Make Your Own Painting

Reflecting on the Season
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If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It's a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.

This is the set the painting was made from: Reflecting on Autumn.

The Late Comer?

The weather has been so terrible this summer 

most small birds lost their young because of 

the wet weather and have nested again 

this little fellow is really late in the season!



Friday, 21 September 2012

In to the Archive: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

A few years back on a Trip to visit friends in Georgia and Florida I took a shot side trip to visit an area I had always wanted to explore, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

In southern Georgia and northern Florida there is a very special place, one of the oldest and best preserved freshwater systems in America. Native Americans called it Okefenoka, meaning “Land of the Trembling Earth”. Now this place, where earth, air, fire and water continuously reform the landscape, is preserved within the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, created in 1937 to protect wildlife and for you to explore.

The Okefenokee offers so much, one could spend a lifetime and still not see and do everything. The refuge is vast, with almost 402,000 acres (that’s roughly 300,000 football fields in size) of cypress forest, marsh, lakes and islands. Filled with alligators, Sandhill cranes, red-cockaded woodpeckers and over 400 other species of animals, it is a wonderful place to learn about the wildlife of Georgia and Florida. The longleaf pine, cypress, carnivorous sundews and other plants make up different habitats from dry upland forests to open wetlands. Golden sunsets and thundering storms allows one to experience this magical place at its most beautiful and most awe-inspiring moments.

There are many ways to explore the Okefenokee. Guided boat tours take visitors through cypress forests, historic canals and open prairies. Water trails and platforms allow people to canoe for the day or stay overnight deep within the 354,000 acre wilderness. Winding boardwalks and trails lead through unique habitats to observation towers and viewing platforms. Opportunities for nature photography, hunting and fishing are readily available. One can even drive a car or ride a bike to a restored homestead to discover how “swampers” once made their home here.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Moors Valley Country Park and Moors Lake

Yesterday Mom and I visited Moors Valley Country Park and Walked around Moors Lake, it is a much more commercial park that the others we visit but because of its large size its easy to escape the crowd especially at this time of year after the tourists have gone home, we purchased a "quiet times" permit which means we can visit any time during the week except when the kids are off school and we would not visit then anyway.

The Moors Valley Country Park is a 1000 acre Park and woodland with miles of trails and opportunities to see wildlife, it was formerly known as Kings Farm.

The 82 acre Kings Farm was purchased by East Dorset District Council in 1984. Work began to develop a 9-hole pay and play golf course, the narrow-gauge steam railway, play area, lake and Visitor Centre. This first phase of Moors Valley was officially opened in 1988.

The park was much more popular than had originally been envisaged and was bursting at the seams with the half a million visitors by 1990. An additional 170 acres were purchased to allow for expansion of the golf course and a second lake to be built, the Visitor Centre was extended to make way for a Country Shop and new toilets. At the same time the Tree Top Trail and Play Trail were constructed in the forest. Over the following ten years the parks popularity grew still further with approximately 750,000 visitors each year, making it one of the most popular parks in the south of England.

The Forestry Commission and East Dorset District Council are continually looking for ways to improve Moors Valley to ensure it stays as one of the best countryside recreation facilities in the country. In recent years a new toddlers play area, cycle hire centre, high ropes course and orienteering course have been added and there is a rolling programme to improve and replace structures on the play trail.

The Moors Lake was dug in 1985, primarily to help control flooding along the lower reaches of the Moors River south of the Country Park. The northern end of the lake was de-silted in the autumn of 2003. It is fed by the Moors River, has a maximum depth of 2 metres, a natural clay bottom and covers an area of 9 acres.

Here is a slide show of some of the many shots I took yesterday I hope you enjoy them, have a great day;)


Prior to 1969 I was a dedicated "Tamla Motown" fan, but in May of that year a belated birthday gift changed all that forever!

The gift an album ( yes we are back in the days of the black disc) from for me an obscure group that meant nothing to me.

The Album  Abraxas, the group Santana.

A small event you might say, So What?

The music sparked something in me like a light going on.

My love of music took a new turn nothing was out of bounds from the classics to classic rock and every genera in between.

But the Music of Carlos Santana has stuck with me over the years and seems as fresh and vibrant as the day in 1969 I put that black disc on the Danset Bermuda and musically never looked back.

I was reminded of this today as I worked out on the turbo trainer with Se a Cabo (now on the Santana Ultimate Collection) playing through my headset

Music a memory maker for me.

How about You?

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Early Morning Trail Ride in West Moors Plantation

The sun streaming through my bedroom window woke me early today.
Autumn has come early this year and with a vengeance the outside thermometer was reading just over 4C!
I wrapped myself up in my cold weather cycling gear and headed out for the trails, I could not have imagined what a beautiful morning it was going to turn into!


It was initally hard going as the cool morning arin bit into my muscles and chilled my fingers even inside my cycling gloves!

There was a beauty in the long morning shadows as the sun crested the tree tops.

On the open trails mist drifted;slowly as it was burnt off in the warming rays of the sun.


In the newly planted sections shadows danced across dewy brances, cobwebs and browning leaves.


Were the sun cut across the trail were warm golden pools of light where I could stop a while and enjoy the warming rays.

But the trail beckoned me on  long vistas drawing me on.


The chill air bit hard and muscles protested and would not warm, it was hard work, but worth every effort


Where the trails give way to farmland the golden mist hung low on the fields


Horses in their snug blankets grazed in Autumn pastures.


The beauty of a cold morning like this, it reminds you your alive, and how beautiful this world of ours can be.


Have a wonderful day and may your God be with you;)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A days photography in the Dorset Hills

Headed out with Mom again today to explore some of tyhe now quiet places now the tourists have gone home. We went first North then west through the dorset hills I hope you enjoy touring with us, have a great day;) 

Creative Challenge # 222 - Yesterday


Good Morning

As the seasons turn and Autumn is with us, the last of the tourists head home from this area, mom and I always enjoy this time to visit many of the now tranquil places in the area that are far too busy all Summer to visit.

The Avon Valley Overlook shortly after sunrise. Have a wonderful day;)


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Dorsets Hidden Gems - Upton Country Park, Gardens and House

Have you ever been in that situation where you know about a local place, but somehow get the impression is a tourist trap or something like that?

Well Mom and I had that impression about Upton Country Park, yesterday we read about a gallery there and decided to go take a look.

We discovered on of Dorsets Hidden Gems a magnificent country park garden and house, I took lots of shots here are just a few I hope you enyoy taking a walk around the park with us.

Upton Country Park is set in over 100 acres of award winning woodland, gardens and parkland.
It is home to Upton House, a magnificent Georgian Grade II* listed building constructed in 1818. The house has five reception rooms that can be hired for private, business or community events;  it is also licensed for civil wedding ceremonies.

Upton Country Park offers plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind, enjoy nature, play and more importantly have fun!  Explore the grounds with our fantastic tree and nature trails whilst testing your knowledge. Or simply enjoy wandering through our spectacular Walled Garden, herbaceous border and rose garden providing an abundance of year round colour and interest.
Take some time out to visit the Plant Centre, look in at the current exhibition in the Art Gallery and treat yourself in the Tea Rooms with a delicious choice of fresh homemade produce.

Upton Country Park is set in more than 100 acres of woodland and parkland lying on the northernmost reaches of Poole Harbour.  It offers great opportunities to see a variety of wildlife throughout the year from animals and birds to water creatures and amphibians.

Upton House is a late Georgian, Grade 2 Listed Building situate within Upton Country Park, the present structure having been built circa 1816.

Prior to this, the Estate at Upton, is one of the oldest sites in Poole, containing a Roman Road between Hamworthy (Moriconium) and Corfe Mullen (Alavna), and a pottery.
 From records of 1592, the Earl of Huntingdon owned the land, and sold Upton Farm and the Island, then known as Rookhey, to Edward Rogers, who in turn, leased them to Henry Alye and Garwan Mallett, and later to Thomas Frampton and Thomas Young. 
In 1652, Haviland Heely (later Hiley) and George Phillips, who were Poole merchants, purchased the farm and island.
Our story starts with Nicholas Carey of Fish Street, Poole and Upton Farm, and one of his descendants Mary Beale who was the first wife of William Spurrier.
When William Spurrier bought the land, farm buildings occupied a site on a prominent knoll. William had been Mayor of Poole four times between 1784 and 1802, and had always dreamt of building a mansion.

The Spurrier family were engaged in the Newfoundland Trade operating in the southern peninsula of the Avalon at Burin. William’s grandfather founded the business in 1672.   Pride of the Spurrier fleet was a Barquentine named “Upton” (*) built in Newfoundland in 1787, a three masted ship.
 Mary died in 1782, and William then married Ann Jolliffe, from another merchant family in Poole. Their son, Christopher Spurrier (1783 to 1876) had inherited the Upton Estate from his father and had married Amy Garland in 1814.
 To impress his father-in-law George Garland, he had the Turnpike road diverted to enlarge the parklands, and built the present structure between 1816 and 1818. In 1825 he added the west wing.

Christopher sought to acquire a seat in Parliament, and being a spendthrift and gambler, at the time that the Newfoundland trade declined with end of the French Wars, his hand on the business faltered. He became MP for Bridport in 1820, and had Mortgaged the Estate at Upton for £12,000 and sold his Compton Abbas Estate for £16,513.
 His marriage was under strain and he neglected both family life and business.

He sold the whole Upton Estate and Island in 1828 to Edward Doughty (born Edward Tichborne) and died penniless.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Creative Challenge #221 - Fly


Blogger Tips Compilation Repost

Several People asked me again about the post had got lost in Time LOL so here it is again:)

Blogger Tips with all the updates added

1)GettiNg rid of word verification
Besides adding a friends URL to your read list on your dashboard, which you should do anyway. You can also add a Friends Button to your Blog Page. Here is how:
There are lots of additions you can add to your page From the Design Page including an "Add Friends" Button.
From your Blog click the "Design" button.
From the list click the "layout" button
You will see a template with "Add a gadget" buttons all over it click any one and this will bring up a list of function gadgets you can add to your page.
 Go down the list until you find "Followers" Gadget. Click the + button and add the gadget to your page.
Once added you can "drag and drop" a gadget to a new position or change the order of the gadgets in your side bar.

I hope you find this tip useful;)

2) Making Quick Notes Page
Hi all I came up with an idea for a Quick Notes Page on our Blogger Blogs it seems to work quite well, if you want to try it out its quite simple:
As usual on your blog page click design in the top right corner.
Click Pages in the list.
Then New Page.
Give the page a title
Then click up date
Then go to your page
all that should be there is a new heading quick notes
click it and you should have a blank page with a comment box
people have used mine already, try it out;)

3) Making Flickr Galleries
OK I found a way to blog a gallery straight from Flicker. The official way will only put a gallery into your blog page, but I figured out what Microsoft would call a "work around" LOL thatw ill let you make new Gallery Pages.
First the official method:
You need a Flickr account.
In your account you can create what Flickr call "sets", in effect Galleries.
Put the images you want to Blog in a set.
Open the set.
In the right hand corne of the page you will see a "share" Button with a "Blogger" Logo.
Click that and follow the instructions this will creat a blog entry on your blog page.
Unofficial Workaround to create Gallery Pages.
Follow the above instructions.
Go to your Blogger Page.
Click the Design Button.
Then Click "Posts"
You will see the post/Gallery you just created on your page.
Click edit.
Click the HTML button
Highlight and cut and past the HTML
Press up date to return to your Design page.
At this point you can delete the blog entry as you will be using the HTML to create a stand alone page.
Creating a gallery.
Still on your design Page
Click "Pages"
Click "New Page"
Give the page a title
Click the HTML button and paste your saved HTML
Click the update button.
Go to your web page and see a new button for your beautiful new gallery LOL
Click the button and go admire you work, I hope you find this useful and it works for you if you want to make Galleries;)
Here are mine:

4)  Adding Functionality to your page?
There are lots of additions you can add to your page From the Design Page.
From your Blog click the "Design" button.
From the list click the "layout" button
You will see a template with "Add a gadget" buttons all over it click any one and this will bring up a list of function gadgets you can add to your page.
Once added you can "drag and drop" a gadget to a new position of change the order of the gadgets in your side bar

5) Super-sizing your page? - How to set up wide screen
This tip explains how to adjust the with of your page to any point you want right out to full wide screen:
As usual on your page click "Design"
In the left hand list click "Template"
Then click the "Customize" button.
A list will appear on the left, click "
"Adjust width"
Two sliders will appear.
One adjusts your page width
The second the width of your sidebar.
When your done click the "Apply to" Button top right of the page;)
I hope this works for you if you prefer a wider page;)

Blogger Tip 8: This is a real simple one For a more interactive experience reading others blogs from your Dash Board, click the "Google Reader" Button and you will see all the latest blogs in a long scrolling list including images you can click on each entry and get taken straight to the blog;)

Where you are on Blogger Google ?

If you see something like this: 

Congrats! You found your Blog LOL 

If you see something like this:
You Have managed to Navigate to Google Plus In the black bar along the top you will see "More" A dropdown menu shows a list click "Blogger to get back to your Blog 

 If you see something like this:

Your on your Blogger Dashboard click "view blog" button to get to your Blog Page;)   
Have a nice day;P


As  promised how to secure your Blogger site to the level that suits you.
Rather than rewrite what is already available, please go check this page out there is also a video:

Control permissions:
Moderate comments:
Manage your blog’s Google+ settings:
What is the dashboard?:
Reporting abuse:
Just ans a useful addition:
Blogger Template Designer:

Post a link in  a  Comments Box
I just discovered you cant drop a page link in a comment box on blogger like we do here. I did and it does not work!
I have created a work around that will let you drop a link and it works perfectly LOL;P
It is fairly simple. This is the code you drop into the comment box:

<a href="URL">Title</a>

Replace the URL with the URL of the site you are linking to and replace the Title with the title of the site.
Easy as pie. Now get out there and comment!!!
Example:  In my case it goes like this:  <a href="">PicturePerfect</a

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Bounty, Autumn's Harvesters

I noticed in the garden the insects are busy taking advantage of the bounty in the garden from the Late Autumn Flowers and collecting pollen and nectar to see them through the winter. Such industrious little creatures


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bruce Springsteen - My City of Ruins - 9/11 Benefit

Picture Perfect Freestyle Week Day Two - WHERE WERE YOU?

In the late 90s I spent a lot of time in New York State as an adviser to the Environment and Conservation Services as an adviser on exchange from the UK government working on a Lake Ontario Project, my time divided between NYC and the Project office in Watertown up on Lake Ontario.

NY State became my adopted home for a while and NYC was just by USA standards a short 4 hour drive away I became very fond of that city and my friends I made there  on our weekends off.

In September 11 2001 I was on Vacation in Spain in a little town called Nerjsa on the Mediterranean. When I got up that day and turned on Sky news the world had changed forever. I initially thought I was watching a disaster  Movie, then with a cold chill I released this was the real deal.

My buddies and I like most people I know sat engrossed and unbelieving for the rest of the day as the terrible events unfolded. A day I will never forget for the rest of my life.

When I got back to England the first thing I did was order a ticket to fly to New Youk the following March determined to give my own little 2 fingers up to the terrorists who had perpetrated thsi foul deed.

In fact I Made a pilgrimage to NY for several years after and was lucky enough to be in NY when the Globe  From outside the World Trade Center was set up in Battery Park as a temporary Memorial to the Fallen, I watched Rudy Giuliani and many other people make speeched and dedicate the Memorial. It became a very special place for me and I try and remember it every year at this time.

I am sorry this was a little long winded here is my Picture and a Video I made way back when "Where were you?


9/11 Lest we Forget!


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Images With Quotes 175 Abandoned Echoes


Off the Beaten Track?

Did you ever have one of those days, you know, when you wake up inthe morning and you know, you just know its going to be a beautiful day?


Mom and I headed out to Avon Valley Country Park. Its a wild life haven I have been visiting and capturing since I moved here 3 Summers ago.


Somewhere I had got to know really well, or so I thought!


Familiar avenues, familiar old trees that have come to feel like old friends you know so well.


Beautiful sky's that take your breath away?


Vistas that explode with colour.


And water, water you just have to love.


Some spots were created for the photographer.


I could set up camp here and just shoot this view for the rest of my life.


Then just when you think you found your place your comfort zone.

It all changes!

Just a little something, in this case a small bridge across a deep ditch, through the trees and ...................................................?


A whole new world opens up a new perspective on the world you were so comfortable with so familiar you took it totally for granted.


A new angle to look at what you had always known but just could not see.


New vistas new opportunities to experience the beauty of our world from a new point.



Finally the thing I love about the natural world the best things come in the smallet packages.


Actually its funny, If you think about it. It is funny how nature mirrors life, you think you know something so well, you take it for granted, then when you step back you find it was not what you thought it was!

A sobering experience!

Have a wonderful day and may your God go with you;)