Tales from the photo archive part two – winter

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In my last post I cleaned out all the oldest pictures from my photo archive leaving me with all the pictures from 2016 that didn’t quite make the cut for one reason or another. These are random things I came across when I wasn’t really looking or pictures taken on walks that, for one reason or another, didn’t make it into a post. The spring cleaning continues…

Talking of spring, on 5 January I took a walk down to Netely Abbey to explore a gateway and path I’d been curious about for a long time. Beside the gate daffodils were flowering. Hardly able to believe my eyes, I took several photos. The poor things must have been confused by the warmest winter on record. They’re certainly the earliest daffodils I’ve ever seen but this picture didn’t make it into the post.

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Another unused photo from the same walk was this one of the storm gathering over the Red Funnel Ferry as we made our way back to the car park. We only just got to the car in time too!

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Rain was a theme running through the 2015/16 winter and, on 3 January, I took a picture that summed it up. Commando and I were on our way to town. We got soaked walking to the Bargate and ended up in Costa rather than shopping.

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The next two photos were taken on a walk to the village on 11 January. They illustrate the kind of weather we had in early January quite well. The first is looking up the hill at blue sky, the second, coming back, is all moody looking clouds. Half way down the hill the rain started and I got home slightly wetter than I started out.

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The cold finally arrived in mid January with icy puddles, frosty mornings and, as if to make up for it, a few days of clear blue skies. Of course I wrapped up warm and made the most of it with some walks. The first, on 13 January, was a mural hunt on the Holyrood Estate. On Chantry Bridge I found a huge icy puddle and took several shots. One did make it into the post but the one below came a close second because the odd light lent it a rather surreal quality I liked.

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A late mercy dash to the village for milk on 15 January was rewarded with a beautiful sunset over Peartree Avenue. It looked for all the world as if the streets were paved with gold. If only…

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The next day Commando surprised me with football tickets. It was a good call on his part because we got three goals and three points. The match ended with a glorious sunset over the stadium to complete a hat-trick of good things.

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One of my Christmas presents from Commando was a tour of the Southampton Civic Centre clock tower. It was a brilliant gift and on 17 January I got to make the long journey up two hundred and fifteen stairs to the top. It’s possible he was hoping to kill me with the climb but I survived. As usual, I took too many photos, knowing I’d never be going back again. The next is one of the inside of the clock face that didn’t get used.

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On a walk to the butchers, on 22 January, a bursting magnolia bud surprised me in a neighbour’s garden. Wet with the rain that had been falling all day it was a beautiful sight but, sadly, the frosty mornings put paid to it before it opened.

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On 28 January I stopped for coffee in Central Hall, one of my favourite lunchtime coffee places when I worked in town.  On the way home I passed the Southampton version of the flatiron building, or at least one of them, we seem to have quite a few. This was once the Engineers Arms pub and the sign still remains although today they make false teeth there. Quite a departure from beer I think.

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February dawned with another grey drizzly day but I went out walking anyway and captured an unusual view of the village from the bridge over the bypass. The grassy area beside the big sign is one of the entrances to Hum Hole. On the same walk I noticed the moss had also decided it was spring and was filled with waving green pods that made me think of fancy lanterns.

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On my 17 February hunt for ancient boundary stones with CJ there was a quick coffee stop. We passed a craft shop in the Marlands where you can paint your own pots or ornaments and a row of skulls caught my eye.

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My wet walk home that day wasn’t without photos, although none made it into the post. There was wet blossom on a tree in a garden and another example of the newly named Jamais remarqué phenomenon when I noticed a blue plaque on a garden wall. Despite passing this way countless times I’d never noticed it before. It commemorated Herbert Collins, a British architect, who designed many of the suburban developments in Southampton in the 1920s and 1930s. This would obviously be a post for another day but I took pictures anyway to remind me.

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A few days later, on a very wet walk to the village, I noticed the magnolia stellata in my neighbour’s garden had already begun to flower. We seemed to be getting spring flowers without having really had any winter to speak of.

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Towards the end of February a few days of chilly sunshine got me out walking. On the way to search for the remains of St Denys Priory I spotted a camellia bursting with blooms. Was there no end to the strange winter that thought it was Spring?

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Winchester Cathedral drew me for my last walk of February. Gormley’s statue standing in the flooded crypt was hauntingly beautiful and I ended up with more photos than I could use. This one, didn’t make the cut.

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2016 was a leap year so we had a bonus day, 29 February. It was bright and sunny for the most part so CJ and I went to feed the swans and had a wander in Deep Dene woods. This rather atmospheric picture of the Bitterne Park Triangle clock tower didn’t make it into the post.

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Taken on 8 March on a walk through the back streets around Bitterne Manor, this panoramic shot of the boats on the river bend was one too many for the post. I love the row of colourful boats against the cloudy sky though, so it warrants a place here.

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You know I took way too many photos of those glorious beach huts when CJ and I spent the day in Bournemouth. How could I not? This is one that didn’t make the cut.

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Guess what? There were way too many squirrel pictures too. Who’d have thought it. This is a squirrel turning his back on me because he’s worked out I’m not the one with the peanuts. I’ll spare you the other thousand or so, especially the blurry ones.

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March 20 was the Eastleigh 10k. Commando was running as pacer and I took far too many action shots trying very hard to capture him amongst the crowd. I didn’t succeed but I did end up with lots of extra photos. This one didn’t get used But I love the looks of determination on the runner’s faces, even if Commando isn’t amongst them.

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In the afternoon I took advantage of the Gregg School open day to have a wander round the Gertrude Jekyl designed gardens. There wasn’t much in flower but I still took way too many pictures. This is one I didn’t use.

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On Easter Sunday, after being stuck inside all week, I braved the showers and discovered a hidden cemetary. The purpose of the walk was to visit a workhouse turned hospital before it was demolished and the rain in the air made me hurry on. My photo of the graveyard, with a haze of rain on the distant hills didn’t get used.

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The hospital was Moorgreen, the place my mother died. It was hard to say whether I was sad to see it go or glad it would no longer be there as a reminder. There must surely be a lot of ghosts walking those corridors. This was my final picture of it. The rain mingled with my tears as I took it.

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Storm Katie tried to blow us away that night and the next day CJ and I went on a damage inspection tour. The poor snow geese had taken a battering but at least some were still left. There were huge puddles all along the path, some spilled onto the grass and the wind made waves on them worthy of any miniature surfer. There were fallen branches too, some huge and bearing mistletoe. As usual, I took too many pictures.

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Our last outing of March took us to Tickleford Gully. Once again we were in search of a boundary stone. We found the stone without too much trouble and only a small amount of getting lost. It was covered in moss and debris and I took quite a lot of pictures of it. The one below had CJ’s foot in so I didn’t use it but it was also the best close up of the moss so I’m using it now. We also found  a fair bit of rubbish dumped in the stream which was sad. On the way back we popped in to Millers Pond where the sky was so beautifully reflected in the water I couldn’t stop taking photos.

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So that was the end of the winter that thought it was spring. Next the real thing…

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Marie

Writer, walker, coffee drinker, chocolate eater, lover of nature, history and the little things that make me smile

8 thoughts on “Tales from the photo archive part two – winter”

    1. It was the strangest winter with hardly any really cold weather. Notmlly we have frosts, ice and even a little snow. Of course eight inches would mean the city grinding to a halt. In fact I think that would be the most snow I’d ever seen.

  1. Even the not-so-good photos are good.

    In reply to your comment above, we did have seven inches of snow a couple of years ago, at least in my part of the city, and it did grind to a halt. My poor chickens thought the end of the world had come, because it covered the sides of their run. It’s not something I want to see again in a hurry, although I did build my first-ever snowman.

    1. I remember that snow. It was so deep I couldn’t open my back door. Having just returned from snowy Iceland I think we need a bit more practice with snow. They have so much of it they seem to take it in their stride.

        1. A small long as I have my Yaktrax I love crunching through it and the way it makes the world sparkle. Each to their own I guess.

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