Shipley - A Cold Day In The Park
w/e 08 February 2015
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

We are advised that in order to live longer, we should (among other things) enjoy a healthy diet and take regular exercise. So after a good square meal we decided a brisk walk in Shipley Country Park to burn off a few calories would be just the ticket. "Brisk" that is, except for frequent stops to take a few photos of which the following are just a selection. The walk turned into a bit of a nature ramble.

Osborne's Pond

We entered the Park near Osborne's Pond and with children playing at the opposite side, something spooked the birds which took off, flew round and then settled again on a thin layer of ice that was covering the water.

Although the birds could stand on the ice, it was obviously not thick enough to carry the weight of a human and the murky waters could easily be seen beneath the thin layer around the pier.

We walked up the lane towards Derby Lodge and were watched as we approached by this little red breast.
Beggars Walk

The "nature ramble" was not all about birds though and as we climbed Shipley Hill by way of the Beggars Walk there were numerous squirrels scampering about and early snowdrops were just starting to flower.
Water Tower

As we turned towards the old water tower at the top of the hill we found snow still lying on the grass.

It was quite bleak in the open areas at the top but more snowdrops were taking advantage of the shelter provided by a frost covered wooden bench.

As we dropped down the hill through the wood to reach the lane towards Mapperley, green shoots of daffodils were pushing up through the fallen leaves where squirrels and blackbirds were scavenging for food. Look closely and you'll see one of each in this picture although the squirrel is somewhat camouflaged among the leaves.

It was among the leaves too as we headed past The Gardens back towards Derby Lodge that more snowdrops were telling us that spring is on the way despite the cold conditions of the present.
Visitor Centre

Cinderhill CoppiceCinderhill CoppiceFrom Derby Lodge we headed across the fields to pick up the path through the Cinderhill Coppice (left and right) and made our way to the Visitor Centre in the Park. Here in the courtyard we found more wildlife in the form of butterfly decorations on the walls, unusual "Tasty Tower" planters used to grow tomatoes, herbs and strawberries and several animal wood carvings all surrounding the central mosaic that a panel showed was completed in 1999 to celebrate the coming millennium.

We completed our walk along the Nutbrook Trail by the side of Osborne's Pond again where we found Tigger talking to the birds near a fishing platform. We know his name was Tigger as his owner was walking her dog along the Trail and she told us that Tigger has many health problems but he behaved just like a little dog. He came when called and followed us out of the park running along side his owner and the dog to the warmth of their home. And that is what we did too although we returned home in the car.

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