Saturday, 3 December 2011

Winter is here ... Spring & Summer remembered!

Well it had to happen of course, the unseasonal and sometimes barmy temperatures of October & November are now firmly behind us, consigned to our sunny memory banks and no doubt added to the growing stats on global warming. Concerned as we all should be about climate change, this is not the platform .... I'm TimboBaggins not David Attenborough!

I've had a super Spring & Summer here in France .....tramped around the Pyrenees, explored the Camargue, camped out on the Vendee and played my music in all sorts of places with the band 'Beyond the Gap'. To cap it all I got engaged to my chldhood sweetheart Gabrielle and sorry birding folks that was more awesome than seeing my first Black Woodpecker!

I'm feeling self indulgent, because although it's cold and raining outside, I've been out and enjoyed a wet dog walk, my home football team team York City have just won 7 : 0, on my 2nd large glass of red and just found out my fiancee, sis & partner are coming over for 10 days over new year ... who wouldn't be happy!

Ok enough, half an eye on the box in the corner of the room and someone called John Barryman is dumbing me down and then I get assailed by Robbie Savage trying to quick step himself into the semi finals of strictly come dancing .... aaaaarrrggghhhhh!!!!! Dance your way through some of my images from Spring to late Summer - First up some butterflies, there's a nice Swalllowtail, a Comma & a Red Admiral but what are the others?

I've looked in the field guide and still none the wiser but with their all their variations butterflies and entymology in general is at this point beyond me but here's a summer insect I do recognise ......

It's a Praying Mantis of course and have to admit I slightly cheated on this pic by picking up said mantis from the undergrowth and placing it in a more photogenic position .. not sure he / she approved!

I'm on safer ground with birds and of course can identify all of these but thats not the point here ... think spring, courtship and just outright summer sky flying fun!

This Black Winged Stilt looks like it's displaying but in reality it was just might peed off at my presence at a nest site ..... it dive bombed me several times (ah the discomforts we bird snappers have to endure!)

No danger here .... this singing Tree Pipit was oblivious to my camera lense.

Red Kite in the Pyrenees ... awesome, no words I can add other than to repeat myself .... AWESOME!!

Not the best in terms of technical quality but I love this photo of a young fox who was happily feasting on a long dead coypu until I pointed a camera at him..... he's so defiant!
.Spring 2011 saw the emergence of 'Beyond the Gap' .... me on guitar, my sis Jane singing and in good time Mark will join us on 'le contre bass'. This is me n Jane busking somewhere in the Pyrenees back in Spring.

Fete de Musique saw us playing in a village nr Chauvigny ..... no pics of us playing but here's a good friend we made on the night  - Giles & his band 'Diesel' and  a couple of pics of Jane enjoying herself after we played.

Here's us playing the Frogstock festival in the Vienne

And as the whiff of Winter begins to blow and batter its way our way .... here's a few evocative pictures of Summer 2011

Makes me warm just looking at these last couple of pics!
Ok, I have a gig coming up on 6th Jan and in the middle of marking open university papers so my red pen has been busy and my mind whirring with learning words and practising songs! I will try and keep up witht the blog posts of course but have decided to make my 'bird reports' monthly from now on with a round up for Nov coming up next week.

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