Our neighbours have a cherry tree in their garden and this year it grew a huge amount of cherries. Our neighbours were generous enough to pick and share some, but encouraged us to pick all the cherries we wanted from the side of the tree that was hanging over our garden. With my mum and niece’s help I climbed up the tree and picked all that I could reach, with cherry juice running down my arm. Here’s some of what we picked, with about three times as much being shared with other family members and neighbours.
Spring has been in full force in London these last few weeks, with flowers and greenery sprouting everywhere. My sister and I visited a small park where there were some beautiful trees full of blossoms. Most parks are full of snappers but this one was tucked away, so we managed to take some pictures calmly and without lots of people around.
The blossom trees were full of pink and white blossoms. They looked so beautiful in the sunlight.
We took some time taking photos and just soaking in the lovely quiet atmosphere.
These blossoms and others really are a joy to look at and I hope to enjoy them for as long as they last.
The weather has been really sunny and mild recently so I decided to make a trip to Central London.
I headed towards Regents Park where there were plenty of blossoms that looked lovely and Spring-like
I then decided to walk to the other end of Regents park, up to Primrose Hill to look at the London skyline. It looked great on this sunny and clear day
I then walked back to the other end (via the London Zoo entrance where I spotted some zebras) and walked through the well kept pretty gardens and near the lake where I saw a statue like Herring.
I left the park and made my way to Trafalgar Square and then Covent Garden. There was huge rainbow made of cans to encourage recycling which I though was a cool idea.
At this point, having walked almost 27k steps I was exhausted and made my way home to put my feet up. It’s always a joy to visit London, even more as things are starting to get back to normal after a couple of difficult years.
I visited a light art installation by Anthony James which is currently being shown at Marble Arch. It’s called Light field. I really enjoy light art, especially if creates optical effects.
Looking into the hexagonal shapes made it look like the space went on forever. There was a similar styled longer shape too. I also liked the square boxes, all placed in a uniform way. The boxes changed colour in time to some music being played, which I found quite relaxing to watch.
The exhibition is at the Mound and is free. Worth a look I think.
The animals are sectioned according to the continent they came from, so we started with Africa. The first animals we saw were chimpanzees. They were a bit far away but I liked that they had a lot of space to move around. We then moved onto the penguins which again I was pleased to see had a huge space and also a great view of the English landscape.
As we made our way along the path we suddenly spotted an animal that was outside like us! After a closer look we saw it was a wallaby hiding in the long grass. Did it escape?! Turns out no; there’s wallabies and Maras (like giant Guinea pigs) that are allowed to roams free. My 2 year old niece had fun chasing after the Maras, much to our amusement.
Getting over our surprise we next visited other animals typically found in Africa; rhinos, giraffes (my favourite), lions, ostriches, meerkats and zebras. Lions apparently sleep up to 20 hours a day so I didn’t hold much hope in seeing them running around. There was a cheetah too but they were hard to spot sleeping in the tall grass.
Walking along leaving the Africa section we turned a corner to see sudden bright pops of pink! Flamingoes!
Their pink feathers looked so lovely against the greeny water. There were flamingo chicks, their feathers stull grey, pelicans and herons all surrounding the same pond.
After stopping for lunch and a rest we made our way to the next section, the Asian continent. Here we saw elephants and tigers. The tigers were also pretty sleepy, making little movement. Nearby was an area dedicated to dinosaurs. There were various shaped and sizes, some growling and moving. My niece of 7 enjoyed making scared faces at them and digging for fossils.
Next we ventured into the aquarium and butterfly house. The kids enjoyed seeing the various fish and it was nice to go at a slower pace. By the time we reached the butterfly house my youngest niece was fast asleep and the older one didn’t like butterflies so didn’t stick around. I’m not fond of flying insects in closed spaces myself but I did manage to take some nice close up photos of some of the calmer butterflies.
Last stop was the farm, here they had a striking long haired Poitiven donkey, cows, ponies, alpacas, hens, rabbits and my little niece’s favourite baby goats! Feeling refreshed after her nap she spent her time petting, chasing after and hugging them.
I always feel conflicted when visiting zoos as I feel sad that animals are kept in smaller spaces than they would be in the wild. But the truth is that zoos can play an important part in conservation and survival of some animals. Seeing them in large, open spaces in nice and I’m glad that they seem to be well looked after at Whipsnade.
Eid-ul-Adha has visited us again. All restrictions have been eased here in England but we still need to be careful as the pandemic isn’t over yet, not for us, not for the world. The pilgrimage (hajj) in Saudi Arabia was limited to just residents again this year, but we can all mark the days as special wherever we are. I pray that the pandemic eases for everyone, that we cherish the time we have with our loved ones and Allah has mercy and bestows forgiveness on us all. A reminder to also think of those in hardship across the world and hope that their prayers are answered.
Eid Mubarak everyone, I hope you all enjoy this blessed day wherever you are. Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from you and us).
It was really hot and sunny in the UK recently so to make the most of it my family and I wanted a day out. The place we chose was RHS Garden Hyde Hall, which is an outdoor space with various types of gardens.
There were so many different types of plants and flowers, some I’d never seen before and most that I’d never be able to name. We started off looking at a little garden that had a variety of flowers, my favourites were the huge, eye catching, red poppies. I’ve never seen them that size before.
We then walked down to the fish pond that also had water lilies.
As it getting quite hot, we stopped for ice cream and a little rest. Nearby was a dry garden that overlooked the far reaching green hills below.
We walked on and saw beautiful flowers wherever we looked. It was amazing to see such a variety of flowers in every shape and colour you could imagine. Although I seem to be drawn to the purple ones the most.
I also spotted some light pink poppies, again I’d never seen this colour before and never in this size (they were about the size of a melon). Maybe there’s something in the water here.
We then took a path that led us to the Sky Meadow. Curious as to what this could be we came to a field full of wildflowers and a lovely calming view. I imagine the name comes from the fact that the sky meets the meadow and that’s all you see.
After resting for a while we made our way past a huge lake and a lovely green expanse which was lined neatly with tall trees and an interesting sycamore structure in the middle. The kids wanted to play so we headed in the direction of the play area that also had some fun animal structures .
The last part we saw was the Winter garden which consisted of foliage that would keep growing and survive the cold. There were some figures of leaves, showing stages of decay as you walked along, that I really liked. Nearby was also a pathway lined with hundreds of foxgloves.
We then made our way to the shop, where we picked up some lovely plants for my mum. My favourite being these Galaxy sky petunias that were quite striking.
The visit to RHS Garden Hyde Hall was a really nice one, there was so much to see and so many winding pathways that lead to unexpected spots. I felt a little rushed on this visit and the heat tired us out too, but I’d like to come back again in another season, see what else is growing and hopefully take it a little slower.
Spring is in full swing here in London so went to our local parks and into my garden to see what kinds of flowers I could spot.
The earliest flowers to be seen are the daffodils and croci. There were swathes of bright yellow daffodils in some parks that I visited, which was always pleasant to see. The flowers blooming early in my garden was a huge camellia tree with vibrant perfect looking pink flowers and magnolias. These magnolias were on a huge tree I spotted in someone’s front garden. It was quite a magnificent sight.
Later the flowers that opened up were varied and some I haven’t seen before like Blue Pasque flowers which I thought were quite fascinating. And as always a tree full of blossoms is a sure sign that Spring is here.
I’m lucky to have a few parks where I live and am able to go for long walks with lots of visual stimulus to enjoy. I always find myself stopping to tale a closer look at flowers I come across, each that brings it’s own beauty and joy.
I haven’t taken any macro photos in a while, so when I bought my mum some flowers there were some lovely rich violet anemones also known as blue poppies that I thought were stunning and deserved a closer look.
I love the detail and texture of the petals and the indigo pollen that has fallen on to some of them. The small cluster of stamen in the centre create a balance against the smooth simple petals. And the yellow stigma is a nice contrast to the violet.
Even before fully open the petals seem to look like they are hiding a treasure in the centre.
These flowers are a real joy to look at and were a real pleasure to photograph. I hope to do take some more macro photos soon.
With the recent cold snap here in London it’s nice to see early signs of colourful life emerging. I love seeing pops of colour unexpectedly appearing, something that always brings a smile to my face. Here are some lovely flowers I came across not so long ago. I hope they cheer you up as much as they did when I spotted them.