The 2017 Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens,4 February – 5 March 2017
A taste of the stunning and colourful celebration of India’s vibrant plants and culture.
You never know what you will discover during a stroll in the West London area of Kingston,Surbiton and Richmond on May 4th. Today was one of such day. In the quiet town of Surbiton,a popular residential area for commuters working in central London, I was drawn to a large gathering of people in a small quiet park called Claremont Gardens.It transpired that it was the manifestation of the Seething Wells Sardine festival.It’s the second year for this event that celebrates the rich history of freshwater sardine fishing in Surbiton. A chance to remember when Seething was famous for its freshwater sardine fishing industry and held its annual festival to celebrate the first catch of the season.There was much merriment and dancing and live folk bands played at the event,a great gathering of the community.The smell of fresh Sardines filled the air and there were various amusements for the youngsters including face painting and magnetic fish catching,even a large number of fairy wing wearing adults.After several great musical performances the day culminated in the crowning of two members of the community who were designated as this years Seething Wells King and Queen of hats.To much applause last years King and Queen swapped hats with this years chosen nominees.Many of the local community was present and also there were banners representing the various ancient guilds in the area such as the ancient Guilds of Seething-The Cheesemakers, The Talcum Miners, The Taxonomists, The Water- Bearers, The Sardine Fishers and The Curriers and I spotted a Cyclists Guild too.Flying on flags were images of a horned rather legendary looking character who also had a prominent statue at the front of the stage. This was a character which I was not previously familiar with but research revealed to me the surprising legend of Lefi Ganderson the Goat Boy,a local half man,half goat character who had a rather cataclysmic clash with a legendary giant.A tale that probably never pops up on the radar of average Londoner but which just goes to show what interesting legends,many ancient,that lie below the surface of even the most quiet,unassuming of places along the banks of the ancient River Thames.They say that if your tired of London,your tired of life and this is an example that there is clearly always stones that remain unturned revealing interesting legends along the way.A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon in the spring sunshine. Lefi Ganderson The Goat Boy
Pictures Copyright Kerry Davies
As the first day of December 2013 turned its page we were treated to a stunning display of rustic autumnal colours in Richmond Park near London.
Images copyright Kerry Davies
On the 28th of October 2013 a powerful storm called St Jude’s storm hit the shores of Great Britain bringing 99mph winds, causing chaos and destruction as it made landfall.
The town of Hounslow near London was hit badly as trees were blown over in the streets.
Two people were killed when a tree fell on a house causing a gas explosion that destroyed a row of houses and left the roof of one house hanging precariously from a tree in the street opposite
I was on assignment that day and below are some of the images from the Hounslow incident.
All images copyright:Kerry Davies/INS News Agency.
Check out this poor chap showing the result of several weeks of rutting in the annual rut in Richmond Park near London.The ladies don’t seem too bothered however and the hornless chap still seemed to have a vast harem.Stag like this quite often prove to be the Boss however since their potentially lethal single antler quite often ignores the Queensberry rules when it comes to fighting!
Alls fair in love and war I guess!
A few other images on a relatively fight free day,I guess the stags are a little knackered after several weeks of beating themselves up and chasing skirt!
Pictures copyright:kerry Davies www.wabisabipix.com
A beautiful sunny day and the siren call of a relaxing walk in Surrey beckons.
More known for its towns it is in actual fact an area of stunning natural beauty and is dotted with quaint olde world villages never without with the atmospheric warm glowing lights of old style inns from times past beckoning you in to sample an ale or two ,a welcome break after walking the network of national trust walking routes that meander through the area.
Deep in the heart of Battle of Britain country it is steeped in history and it is easy while walking here to imagine the war time sky battles that took place over here not so long ago.
I took a stroll in a small part of the area and found it a charming and rewarding place to spend a day.
I took a nikon D200 and a 17-35mm f2.8 lens, my usual for such wanderings,fast and very sharp..!
The walk started at the Outwood Mill ,Englands oldest working mill,built in 1665 it was the perfect place to climb and view the great fire of London that happened in the same year.
The mill is over 40 ft high and weighs 25 tons but is so well designed that one man can operate it via a single wheel “tailpole” mechanism.
The walk took us off to the left of the mill heading across national trust pathways for a distance of about 7 miles.
We took a heading through a small woodland and past Outwood church before turning right onto the National Trust path well signposted as usual.
Heading along the NT path we came across a delightful grove with a pond.
Heading north out of the woods and having crossed several stiles we were walking through open country with the sun burning down behind us,time for some sun lotion methinks…!
We headed past several farms with cattle and on through more ploughed fields with a small path clearly trailing into the distance.
Eventually after about 3 miles we came to a farm area which the trail took us through, past donkeys goats and other farm animals and old style barns.
Past the farms we cleared a railway line and headed north into an area of rolling fields with sheep and cottages dotted here and there.
Gradually the area became steeper as we approached a nearby village .
Clambering up hill after a long steady walk we reached the top of a narrow lane passing an olde world cottage and fell upon the quaint village of Bletchingley.
Displayed on a newspaper board outside the local shop was a Mirror Battle of Britain Special.It seemed almost as if we had been transported back in time for a moment.
Parched and thirsty from the walk and seduced by the signs offering cream teas we set down in a wonderful tea room called Lamingtons right in the center of the village.
Refueled and refreshed but dreaming of more scones and cream we head away from the tea rooms and wander through the sunkissed village past the Prince Albert pub and rejoin our route heading south back towards Outwood but following a parallel route avoiding the roads.
With the sun getting lower the landscape developed a warmer glow and the route took us through corn fields and woodlands as we descended back down the hill towards our stating point about 3.5 miles away.
Soon the area is aglow by sunlight as we cross the final stage heading back to our start point the windmill.Turning a corner we stumble across a field of glowing Sunflowers.
We pass through more yellow glowing fields before finally picking up the path heading back through nearby woods and a few more stiles marked with NT markers
Breaking through the woodland shade we the find ourselves opposite the mill as the sun catches it just right.
We arrive back as the windmill is bathed in light and head off to the Bell Inn nearby with its 300 year old ships bell for a well earned pint of cider.
I really can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny sunday afternoon than a good walk in an area such as this.
Pictures copyright: Kerry Davies
A visit to Windsor Great Park near London proved a photo feast for wildlife pictures using a 300mm f2.8 nikkor i snapped a feisty Heron and a Cormorant going about their daily errands at the Cows pond area of the park.
All the best.
Pictures copyright : www.Wabisabipix.com