Shipley Country Park - Up and Down
w/e 05 February 2012
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
With the possibility of snow in the forecast, we
took advantage of the fine but cold weather to enjoy a walk of
about two miles in length one afternoon in Shipley Country Park.
I've called it "Up and Down" as the route starts at
Osborne's Pond and climbs up to the old Hall site before returning
back down to the starting place.
We entered the park near Osborne's Pond and passed a photographer
with some expensive looking equipment capturing the waterfowl
but more about him later. The sun was shining brightly but this
sheltered southern side of the pond in the lea of Shipley Hill
was still partially covered with thin ice.
Following the lane up the gentle slope as far as Derby Lodge
we then turned off to climb the hill up towards the site of the
former Shipley Hall. Since our last visit to this part of the
park, both the lane from Osborne's Pond and the Coach Road up
to the Hall have been resurfaced and made walking much easier.
I still have painful memories of the fall I suffered in the park
in July 2007 when walking a similar route. At this fork in the
road we went right but then kept left to follow the path above
the wall and through the wood.
Two years ago we were in Shipley Wood photographing snowdrops
as February turned to March but now almost a month earlier in
the calendar, there was already a good display of the flowers.
Although not fully open parts of the woodland floor were littered
with the snowdrops - perhaps an indication of the mild winter
we have experienced so far.
After completing the circuit around the Hall site we returned
to the lane to pass Derby Lodge again and return down Shipley
Lane to Osborne's Pond.
We left the lane to continue our walk around the pond where strategically
placed seats provide good viewing positions to watch the birds
on the water but although it was quite pleasant walking it was
not really warm enough to be sitting of the frost covered benches.
At the far end of Osborne's Pond is a clear area right down to
the water's edge and many birds gather here as it is where visitors
to the park often stop to feed them.
And it is not only the water birds that gather here as evidenced
by this relatively tame robin that sat and posed in a tree close
by before flying to sit again on a tree stump where he again
was quite content to sit while I clicked away.
We completed the circuit of the pond by walking along the northern
side where a line of trees stood like sentinels at the water's
edge. The embankment on the left rises up to a former railway
track that is now part of the Nutbrook Trail.
As we reached the end of the walk,
we spotted the photographer again that we had seen earlier. He
was still sitting among the debris in the overflow channel from
the pond where we had first seen him training his long lens on
the birds. It's amazing the lengths some people will go to to
get that elusive shot and the amount of danger they put themselves
in. I for one, wouldn't have clambered into the channel but that's
why I still regard myself as a taker of snapshots who very occasionally
gets a good picture rather than a "photographer" who
spends hours in the quest for just one image. But then again,
it takes all sorts!
To follow the route at mapometer.com please click here.