Monday, 31 October 2011

Blow The Wind Southerly.

A sultry southerly blowing this morning when I went out for my run; a cloudy sky, very mild, the air soft and damp, my head full of nothing at all, but the joy of being there and feeling the wind against my face. An incoming tide, two cruise ships in port, the marina deserted, the village coming to life, bird song in the Grove Gardens, a flock of goldfinches heading for thistles on the foreshore, clouds clearing, shafts of sunlight. A perfect start to a wonderful autumn day.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Southampton Water.

Wonderfully moody when I looked out early this morning; a brooding sky, lights of almost every colour reflected across the water, a cruise ship in dock, a ferry boat, tugboats, big cargo ship, massive crane. The picture perfectly captures the beauty of Southampton Water.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Crescent Moon.

A fabulous sunrise this morning and very windy; a brisk south easterly scudding the clouds across the sky. Not too breezy to venture out with my camera, early enough to catch the best of the sunrise, and just in time to see the clouds clear to reveal this beautiful waning crescent moon. There's a new moon on Wednesday and, as usual, I'll be watching the night sky, hoping to catch a glimpse.

Click on the link to see a full photo of the sunrise on my picture blog.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Sea Mist.

I looked out across Southampton Water early this morning to see the top decks of the cruise ship Independence of the Seas; the rest of her bulk was lost in a dense bank of mist clinging to the water and obscuring everything in its path. It was an amazing sight, so I grabbed my camera and rattled off this shot; at just the right moment to catch the Hythe pier train glinting and golden in the rising sun!

Friday, 14 October 2011


For all sorts of reasons, I didn't get out for my early morning run until late this afternoon! It was a spectacular day; big blue sky, sunshine, long shadows, a brisk easterly, a nip in the air; perfect weather for me and ideal running conditions. AND there were three cruise ships in port.

Early mornings, I run along by the water, through the village, round the marina and back again; some thirty minutes all told; not far, but I keep a fair pace and barely pause for breath. So it was a real surprise to discover that my late afternoon run was a big effort; I had to coax myself every step of the way; my legs felt heavy, I was breathless, I had to slow down to a yomp when I reached the marina, and the best I could do was to stride home purposefully. But all was not lost, because the air was sweet, the water sparkled, I had a close-up view of Celebrity Eclipse and Azura leaving port; they blew their whistles and it was wonderful just to be there.

Home again, I was in good time to grab this shot of Queen Mary 2 nosing past the Itchen and preceded by her police launch escort.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Hythe Pier, Hythe Pier Train, Hythe Ferry.

A ten minute walk around the foreshore, through the Grove Gardens, along by St John's church and through the village will get me to the pier train that gets me to the ferry that takes me across the water to Southampton; a journey of some twenty minutes; a journey of sheer delight.

Hythe pier is one of the ten longest piers in Britain and the pier train is the longest running pier train in the world. In fair weather, it's a joy to walk the length of the pier to the ferry, but it's always a thrill to ride the little train.

The ferry across the water is always exciting; it's a short trip and there's so much to see, from the smallest yacht to the biggest ocean liner and everything in between. I've been delighted by the whistles of cruise ships, amazed by the size of roll-on-roll-off cargo ships, alarmed by the wake of the Isle of Wight Fastcat, charmed by the brute force of the tugboats, enchanted by the long view down the water to the Solent, and waved myself silly at a departing RMS Queen Elizabeth.

The picture shows the end of a deserted Hythe Pier, looking towards the village. Click on the picture, click again, and you should have a bigger photo to get a sense of the distance from one end to the other.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Wading Birds: Little Egret.

As I looked out over Southampton Water this morning, the sky was a cloudless blue, the sun shone, the tide was coming in, and the shoreline was dotted with gulls and wading birds. There are always lots of gulls; common, herring, yellow-legged, black-headed, black-backed; usually a good number of oystercatchers, curlews and turnstones; often a few godwits and redshanks; and sometimes an egret, maybe two. And of all these visitors, I love the egret most of all; with its fine black bill, white plume, slender neck and long black legs; it's such an elegant bird.... and then there are those great big yellow feet! They're wonderful - and so unexpected - I love them. And I think that's why I love the egret so much; I'm just longing to catch sight of those feet!

The picture doesn't quite show the egret's true elegance (I caught it hunched and ready to spear a fish, and it has an evil look in its eye), but you can just about see one of those big yellow feet.