Today’s shrine was all about deer. They are allowed to roam all over because they are seen as heavenly animals as a mythical god arrived in Nara on a deer to defend the newly built capital. As usual with Kyoto, the place is littered with shrines that the deer walk through, however they do tend to stick to places where they can be fed deer biscuits which you can buy from sellers all over the park. Naturally the deer all quite tame as no harm will come to them, so they are not above giving you a shove with their head/antlers if they think you’re witholding deer biscuits as I found out.
It's been a quite few weeks to be honest,mostly sat at home not going anywhere, oh apart from the weekend we went to throw a pot, but that didn't take all weekend and the rest of it was spent in the house. So apart from going stir-crazy, nothing has happened, so I was determined to go out this weekend, so to Tatton we went. Well we nearly didn't get there for various reasons which I shan't go into for reasons of interest i.e. it just isn't interesting.
Anyway so here we are at Tatton and I'm wondering whether on this rather overcast day I could have chosen a worse place to go. Out of all the places we could have gone. Don't get me wrong Tatton is a fine place to go, but I've been so many times. Also an overcast day at Tatton means there aren't that many photo ops, that is until I got this one. So out came my macro lens and I took a couple. Out of all of them, this is the only one that's in focus... macro photography is mighty difficult.
Oh the curse and blessing of sun on a winters day for photographers. The light just makes it so difficult getting a good shot. I took loads of pictures and to be honest I don't think I took a decent one. Mind you I'm like that most days, so I'm not sure why I'm trying to make excuses for my bad snaps.
The main problem is that fact that the ground is so light that if you take the exposure for that then everything else becomes an near silhouette. Of course the opposite is true, if you expose everything to make sure things aren't a silhouette then the snow is so over exposed it removes all features from it. Makes you impressed with how the human eye and brain working in tandem makes it all *look* so simple.
That's the technical bit over with. This weekend's trip was to go to Lyme Park and have a quick walk around. Only the second time that we ended up parking in Disley and walked in to the park for free (yeah we cheated the system). The problem with that of course, is that you've already had a pretty good walk before you've even got to the park, still you feel you mist at least walk to the hall before you turn around no matter how walked out you might be by the time you get there, especially after walking in a bit of deep snow.
Anyway, this is the cage in Lyme Park which I am amazed I can't find a really good link for, thought I can find loads of pictures, but you don't need any of those, you have this impressive specimen.
In an attempt to agent the demons who haunted us the last twice we went to Genova, we decided that the foolhardy treck of over 2 hours was required. Last time(s) we never found enough parking space to stay properly and so we left soon after entering the city, this time we persevered. I have no idea what the problem was last time as all seemed well this time.
I would love to report that everything is wonderful in Genova but I can't. Its OK but nothing impressive. Its a large port on the Med and that's about it. Some pretty buildings, a naval past and a pirate boat using in a Roman Polanski film and that's it. oh and there are a lot of mopeds pictured here. That's all.
We had a quick trip ot Vernon Park this afternoon, and on a trip to the toilets (there's always one) we stopped at the cafe. So waiting about for someone to come back I saw this. Initially thinking it was stained glass but suspecting it wasn't because it just didn't look like stained glass I found out that it was one of the largest Blue John window.... erm... I Stockport and perhaps elsewhere. Unfortunately the Canon didn't do it much justice, I knew I should have brought my Nikon.
It's back to the carvings collection on a trip out to Tatton Park. After a cycle to Blackpool for the British Heart Foundation last weekend, this weekend was all about relaxation. So off to Tatton we went mainly to go to the farm which as you may know if you read this blog at all then as usual I have come away with a stock photo of a pig. If you don't believe me just type pig into the search box and see what happens... hmm I just did that, ti didn't seem too bad. OK the number of pictures I have isn't the problem, it's the fact that so many people click through from google after a search for pigs, and not just in English either.
Anyway this is a pig picture with a difference in that they pigs are wooden. What's quite interesting is that I also got a nearly identical picture of real pigs, it was uncanny. Anyway I liked the pic with the light and the sky behind (which is the way I planned it) as well as the fact that it's just quite a nice carving.
Finally out of the house, not only has Spring sprung but so am I, sprung from all sorts. Not the best day for pictures and in fact the picture I should have taken should have been in my own back garden but there you go, somehow I decided not to take the shot jst because I couldn't be bothered which is a shame because I think it would have been better because the scene and the light was, so instead when it was nice and grey we all headed out to Fogg Lane Park which is pretty uninspiring for me since I had never been there and there's very little of note there to be honest but my Wife used to go there as a kid and it doesn't really matter how featureless the landscape, if it's there in a memory from years ago then it takes on a whole different meaning.
So here we go, daffodils in Fogg Lane Park, let the joy be unbounded.
Todays trip ended up at Teggs Nose but it started out by going to the Cat and Fiddle to have a look at the climb up to the pub because it's one of the climbs in the Macc Monster which I won't be competing in but it did look interesting what with my first flush of success (as far as I'm concerned). Mind you there's a slight difference in the severity and amount of feet required this time, still you never know whether you can do something until you try. Anyway there seemed to be an event on up to the Cat and Fiddle but to be honest it didn't look like the day for it to me, it was wet and a little cold, not really the day for climbing up to the Cat and Fiddle dicing with cars on the way but then again I was in the safety of warm car. So to Teggs Nose. It's a country park with views across to Liverpool, Manchester, North Wales and Alderly Edge to name but a few. In this picture you can even see Jodrell Bank which is easier to see when you're there than on this picture but if you can see a white spot just down from the horizon and off right of the centre, the radio telescope was turning around whilst we were there making it easier to see but it was pretty unmistakable.
After tense negotiations with my daughter over how many pieces of bread she wanted for a sandwich broken down I hit the roof and the UN were called. Since the UN didn't think this was an issue of national importance they declined (how wrong they were) and I went back to slamming a ham sandwich together, yes slamming. Just a note for casual readers, there is no point in slamming a ham sandwich together, the most sound a slammed sandwich can make is a pathetic slapping sound which is no good for a tortured soul.
So with the conflict downgraded to guerilla war I plodded through to the lounge where I found that because of the sandwich crisis I had missed the start of one of if not the best spectacle in Formula 1... the Monaco Grand Prix. The only other contenders are Spa Francorchamps and Brazil, all for different reasons. Needless to say that this capped the day off to a tee.
So with the options of throttling members of my family (in a Homer vs Bart way) or going to Lyme Park I decided to choose the path that involves least criminal sentences.
So to the pic. This is one where at last the Orange San Francisco finally kicks out a cracking shot. It really does seem weird that smartphone cameras are pretty rubbish in general but get up close and get the light right and the pictures are pretty fantastic... well I think so, another example is a really close up picture of a baby frog which again was so close I was an inch or two off the frog, similarly here I was so close that I was in danger of darkening the picture with the shadow of the phone itself, luckily the day was so overcast that there was no danger of a shadow so I was probably able to get closer than on a sunny day... but then again on a sunny day there would be less chance of rain really. So bonus points for the San Francisco.
With nothing of interest, Zamyatin has been a barren place for the last few weeks and to be honest there has been nothing doing, so I though that I would rectify that by posting a picture. Taken on the same day as the last picture we went to the squirrel park known as Marie Louise Park. Named after the daughter of the patron who gave it to Manchester. However it appers that there are a whole load of squirrels that have taken it as their home. You might think that I am spinning you a yarn but no. I have never seen so many. If you're lucky at home then you might see one or two every so often but I suspect in this park then you'll see loads all of the time and bearing in mind that they don't hibernate then I suspect it's an all the year round thing.
Because of this you would expect a good picture but I am afraid I had two problems. The first is that they move far too quickly and I am far too bad at taking pictures. Add to this that the lens I chose wasn't an auto-focus, otherwise it would have been like shooting fish in a barrel. Anyway I'm not sure where the focus point is as I can't see it so perhaps it's camera shake that's the issue but here you go.