Saturday, 4 February 2012

A Snowy Walk

Stratford Park Pond
As we started out for our Saturday walk there were a few snow flurries in the air. If you look closely at the above photo you can see a few snow flakes falling. The pond was nearly frozen completely over. The seagulls don't seem to mind much. 

 Just two hours later this same scene looked like this:
Stratford Park Pond (2 hours later)
But before this photo was taken, and just after the top photo was taken, I was sat on the ground photographing the birds activities on the frozen pond. I mentioned to Peter that I was waiting and hoping that one of the birds would make a grand landing close enough for me to get a decent photograph of him skidding on the ice. Peter took this as a request and preceded to flap his arms and scare all the birds away. I looked up at him and said "What did you do that for? I was trying to photograph them!" He said that he knew this and thought that if they flew away they'd have to fly back and land....therefore giving me a special treat. Only thing is they didn't come back! doh! 

Then a wedding party turned up to take some photos. As I was sat on the ground near by, not photographing birds anymore, I turned my camera on them and took a quick photo of the happy couple. 
Wedding Photos in the Park
She must have been really cold with no sleeves! But she didn't show it. They had a lovely time taking a few photos and creating memories. :-)

Then these guys turned up:

This always baffles me. First they stomp and throw things at the ice trying to break it, which they usually do, then they try to walk on it. I've seen this time and time again. Luckily I've not seen anyone fall through the ice yet, but it truly is a wonder!

It's like they want to fall through the ice! They aren't just testing the ice, they really give the ice a pounding, they do break through and cause cracks, they do see that the ice doesn't go all the way across, and then they walk on it.

Guy in green jumper has an unusually long torso don't you think? Or maybe just very short legs.

Sometimes, and I've seen this more than once, someone will be walking on the ice while someone quite close is pounding on it. It truly is a wonder no one fell through.

Even the wedding party got in on the act.

After this we decided to walk around Stratford Park and head towards the Museum in the Park. We'd heard about an art exhibition there and wanted to go check it out. Turns out it was this modern art type stuff which I honestly just don't get.

There were some brambles nailed to the wall and hanging from some string with one end stuck in a tube of jam or something. There was a drawing of a bramble looking thing, drawn with a pencil and human breast milk. There was a dirt molded house in the middle of the floor which was crumbling. There was lots of other stuff in there too. Most of it bramble and jam related.

On entering the Museum we saw this dog outside tied up. He was whimpering and shivering curled up on the ground, absolutely freezing. Poor thing. I felt so bad for him. I said so too, to the receptionist when we went in. She said she didn't know who's dog it was and that there was nothing she could do.

When we came out the dog had a coat on, but was still shivering.
A very cold dog
Back walking through the park we had a few squirrels chasing after us, thinking we had some food I reckon. But we didn't have any. I managed to take a photo of one.
 We decided to nip into Tesco for a quick bite to eat in this cafe, pick up some food for dinner tonight and pick up some nuts to bring back to the park for the squirrels. But when we came back out it was snowing quite heavily and the squirrels were no where to be found. Well Peter did find some but he couldn't lure them out into the light where I could photograph them better.

Snow falling
In the above photo that's Peter there in the background trying to lure the squirrels out into the open and light.

Random walking in the the snow.
We gave up and decided to walk back to the pond to see what was happening over there.

Stratford Park Pond, frozen covered in snow
I have to confess, I did do a bit of photoshoping on these pond photos. You see, a lot of really naughty people threw a lot of garbage out onto the ice. Mainly drink cans and bottles. It looked really bad and I didn't want them in my photos so I cloned most of them out.

As we started to leave the boys came back for round two of let's break the ice!

And they did the same thing again....banged on the ice with their scooters then tried to walk on the ice. Other's would see them banging on the ice....surely they saw the water splashing up when they broke through... then they too would try their luck at walking on the ice. Sadly no one fell though..Oops! I mean luckily no one fell though! :-)

Well these guys weren't leaving in a hurry and as long as they were banging away at the ice the birds weren't coming back so we decided to head home. The snow was still falling quite heavily and we were being covered in it.
Peter covered in snow. 
To try and keep the snow off my camera I took my hat off my head, I still had two hoods to cover my head with, and mostly kept my camera and lens covered with that.

Snowy View from Rodborough hill towards Stroud. 
Sledge time!
The snow continued to fall quite heavily the rest of the afternoon. When I went for a second walk around 6:30 to meet my daughter and walk back home with her, everything was nicely covered. Wish I'd went back out and did some night shots of the snow. Too late now, I hear rain outside. (At nearly midnight)

Photography information: All of the photos in this blog post were taken with a Canon 5D II and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens. A monopod was also used with most of the images. I mostly shot in Aperture Priority Mode. ISO ranged from 100-400. I mostly shot at f2.8 but I did sometimes shoot higher for more depth of field.