Egyptian geese

I noticed these birds last Winter because of their unusual plumage and (not being a bird-watcher) found out they were Egyptian geese. They were back again today, so I abandoned the flower photography.

They were introduced to the UK in the late 17th Century as an ornamental bird to adorn the lakes of country estates. They are originally from sub-tropical Africa and the Ancient Egyptians considered them sacred. However, these days in their native homeland they have become a nuisance because they eat crops.

Until recently in the UK, these birds were quite rare and were mainly confined to a small area of Norfolk. The birds tend to breed in January, traditionally too cold for chicks to survive, but as temperatures have increased over the last 20 years, so too has the population of these birds and they are now found in different parts of the UK.

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Winter flowers

It was great to see the RHS garden coming to life last weekend. Not only were there snowdrops, but also daffodils, miniature cyclamen, winter aconite and dwarf crested iris. 

I managed to get a macro shot of a winter blooming camellia.fullsizeoutput_114

A red witch hazel.fullsizeoutput_117

Then there was this very strange one – Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Grandiflora.’ An unusual looking flower, which is generally pest and disease free – according to the RHS. It originates from the Himalayas and was introduced in the 1850’s. It is tricky to cultivate, but produces fragrant blooms if successful.fullsizeoutput_10e

Finally – my abstract version of the red witch hazel.fullsizeoutput_10b

 

BLEAK – LANDSCAPE

These images were not intended to be beautiful and colourful. Instead, I wanted to capture the starkness of the British countryside during winter-time, with its dull, steely grey sky and harsh textures. They were photographed on a cold, blustery, rainy afternoon using a high ISO and varying manual settings to deliberately enhance grain and noise. Afterwards, some of them were put through Photoshop to add to that bleak feeling.

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