Tuesday, 29 November 2011


I've lately been polishing up my website and have just added two new picture galleries featuring my shoe collection. There are more Hythe galleries to see and I've also included picture descriptions.

Click on the link to visit my website, then click on Shoes to see the new shoe collection, and click on News to see all the latest additions.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Stormy Monday.

A broody day to start the week and, after a couple of days away, I'm at sixes and sevens, my head full of the weekend, my thoughts turning this way and that. I need to drink in this quiet morning, taste the air, feel the comfort of those heavy skies. I need to soak up the atmosphere. I need to be out there. I need my morning run.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A Grey Day?

I woke to the sound of fog horns this morning and looked out to see a wall of mist obscuring the view to Southampton, spilling on to the pier and funnelling through the trees in the Grove Gardens. The tide was in, the water a silent silver, a pair of swans gliding towards the foreshore, two great crested grebes fishing in the bay, disappearing for minutes at a time and emerging like phantoms from the deep; it was a magical scene.

I love this time of year and I love a damp misty day; I love looking out at it, I love being out in it, I love the way it feels and I love the way it makes me feel; I feel happy, comforted, content and at one with the world. I mention this because yesterday was also a damp misty day and a trip to the village and a morning nod to a neighbour elicited a "miserable day isn't it" from her. I wanted to disagree, I wanted to wax lyrical about the beauty of it, I wanted to turn cartwheels to show her how good it made me feel, but I didn't, because that's not what's required, I just nodded and gave her a sympathetic smile. But I was irritated, I wanted to explain it to her, I wanted her to see the beauty of it, I wanted her to understand how I felt. And that's probably why I'm writing it here, sharing it and hoping someone else feels the same way too.

No pictures of the misty day but a link to the lovely grebes.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Dark Water.

A beautiful autumn afternoon yesterday, high clouds in a blue sky, the sun low, a brisk easterly blowing across the water, the air cold and sweet; I had an irresistable urge to be outside, so I headed off to Lepe, some twenty minutes south of Hythe, on the coast between Calshot and Beaulieu.

It was glorious, the tide was coming in, there were oystercatchers and gulls on the shoreline, yachts tacking back and forth on the Solent, the Isle of Wight in the distance, children playing, people walking along the shingle, people sitting on groynes, their backs to the wind, the sun in their eyes, everyone happy to be there.

But it was too lively for me, so I headed along the coast and off the beaten track to the quiet of the Dark Water; the ground soft underfoot, the reflected sky, two coots upstream and a kingfisher perched on a protruding post in the bank. Perfect peace, as you can see from the photo.

Click on the links to see more pictures and to find out more about Lepe and the Dark Water.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

More Mushrooms And Toadstools.

After much searching, I'm cautiously confident that I've identified these tiny orange cap mushrooms as Psilocybe aurantiaca (see my blog dated Wednesday 16 November 2011). Also known by other names and commonly known as Redlead Roundheads, they are usually found growing on wood chips and are described as poisonous. The question is, if they are poisonous, who first discovered that the taste is mild?!

Friday, 18 November 2011


Each morning for the past week I've watched flocks of birds gathering and wheeling to and fro over Southampton Water, some headed south, some headed north, most of them too high in the sky to identify. But yesterday I spotted a flock of 50 or so, and as they flew over, half of them peeled off and landed on the shoreline to feed; long enough for me to grab my binoculars and my pocket bird book to discover that they were lapwings. It was a bright, clear, autumn morning, the tide was coming in and the air was still, a perfect day for my first sighting of such beautiful birds. They look black and white from a distance and have a distinctive black wispy head crest - quite unique and very elegant. They were too far away to photograph, so click on the link to take a look at a picture and to find out more about them.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mushrooms And Toadstools.

It seems to be a bumper year for mushrooms and toadstools in this part of the world and during the last week I've seen lots of beauties. There are shaggy ink caps in the grass of the Grove Gardens, verdigris toadstools in the bark mulch of the raised beds in Hythe Marina, tiny orange cap mushrooms I've yet to identify, also in the bark mulch, and all sorts of mushrooms, large and small, dotted along the grass verges through the New Forest.

The picture shows the blue-green verdigris toadstool; beautiful to look at but very probably poisonous.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Moon Watching.

I caught sight of the moon earlier this evening, in a cloudy sky and to the east. Described as waxing gibbous, 99% of full, it looked spectacular to me and I just had to take a picture.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Rainbow In The Mist.

A sharp shower followed by a burst of sunshine earlier today, resulted in the appearance of a lovely rainbow, streaming through the clouds and vanishing into Southampton Water. By the time I found my camera, the landscape was beginning to disappear into a mist of rain and the picture has a wonderfully dramatic softness to it.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

New Moon.

The first day of November and my first sighting of the new moon. It's been out there, somewhere, for the last six days and today, at last, the clouds cleared to reveal a beautiful waxing crescent moon, still in its first quarter. The picture was taken early this evening looking to the south west; the moon is slightly hazy, but no less awesome for all that.