Hello there! This post will be what it says on the tin - Our Half Term! The above is a photo of KP with George, our cocker spaniel - his fur just grows and grows and he really should be off to the groomers but it's been so cold. Do you like his quiff? The OH says "We should have called him Elvis!"
School closed on Friday and KP went to a friends house after school. On the Saturday she had a Birthday party to go to and so it wasn't until Sunday when we could drive down to Devon. KP has a more hectic social life than us and I fear that as she gets older it will only get worse! We seem to be employed as cook and cleaner - me and chauffeur - the OH.
Anyhow, I digress. On Monday the weather was great - lots of sunshine which meant that it didn't feel so cold. We travelled to the Axe Valley Wildlife Park.
I tested my camera on the manual settings. I find that when I get it right the photos turn out better than on automatic but that the automatic setting gets it right more often than the manual - the machine is better than the human!
A white peacock giving me the evil eye!
Kookaburra with wonky beak!
This bird was a right old show-off, strutting about its enclosure and posing well for snapshots!
As it was so obliging I took advantage!
Such piercing blue eyes.
We came across a crane happy to stomp about in the mud!
We came across a lemur that was also happy to pose.
"OK, OK - It's a fair cop. I'll come quietly!"
Close up of a lemur's hand.
This cockerel was strutting around and crowing very noisily from time to time.
The hens, ducks and other birds roam freely.
That beak looks a bit menacing!
After leaving the Wildlife Park we headed for Axminster and lunched at River Cottage - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's place. This was our second visit and once again the food was delicious.
On Tuesday the weather was again kind and we set off for the Great Western Canal at Tiverton taking the dogs with us.
There weren't many people about - mainly dog walkers and young families.
I liked this tree reflected in the water.
And then we saw something that kept us mesmerised for nigh on half an hour - a kingfisher. I had never seen one before apart from in books and on the TV. What a treat. If only I had a longer lens as he posed every now and again but was too far away. It made my day though!
We saw a swan gliding past - I liked the reflection.
And then we saw someone throwing some bread into the water. The ducks were very greedy but this moorhen was not to be outdone!
And managed to grab a piece of crust before disappearing with it firmly in its beak to a quieter location.
The male ducks kept trying to attract the attention of the females. This one was not impressed and escaped from two ducks vying for her attention.
As we continued on the towpath we came across this cygnet which had injured its leg. We spoke to some people who said that it had been there from the day before. We thought that it shouldn't be left there if it couldn't move as it could easily be attacked by a dog or a fox. We called the RSPCA who asked us if we could bring it to them! We were over a mile from the car and had the two dogs with us! We said that we would like to help but that we couldn't see how that was feasible.
The person that the OH spoke to said that they would keep us posted but that it was likely that someone could get to the cygnet within 45 minutes. We stayed with the cygnet but then got another call saying that it was likely to be some two hours before anyone could get there. A few hours later we received another call saying that someone had been to see the cygnet and that the plan was to leave it where it was and see how it was in a couple of days!
I hope that it was OK. You can see the injured leg more in this photo.
On Wednesday we ventured to Lyme Regis. We had thought of walking along the sea front but it really was very, very cold and so we didn't get far before turning around and diving into a cafe for a hot chocolate with cream!
There were plenty of seagulls about. It was too cold to take photos. I didn't want to take my gloves off! I know, I'm a wimp!
Beautiful crocuses - just about to open. On Thursday it was so cold that we stayed indoors. I was pestered by KP to draw a Woolly Mammoth!
Which she then coloured. In the evening we went out with our next door neighbours to the local Indian Restaurant in Lyme Regis. It's not licensed but you can take your own wine, beer, etc. Good food and good company.
On Friday I was once again pestered to draw a Sabre Toothed Tiger. In case you think that I'm drawing these from scratch I have to admit that all I can do is copy. You can glimpse the original in the book.
And there we have it - a coloured Sabre Toothed Tiger!
We then tidied the house up and drove back to Hampshire. We would normally have stopped over until the Sunday but KP had another Birthday party to attend!
Until next time,