En-deering beauty

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Masterful stag. Copyright, Lexa

Spring, Summer and Autumn would definitely come 1st, 2nd and 3rd (respectively) in my personalised “Season League”. However, despite being in final place, the last day of January put on a spectacular performance on Winter’s behalf.

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Stag on the run. Copyright, Lexa

The vista looked like one big Harris tweed jacket: Bracken-brown, tan, moss-green and every conceivable browny / green shade in-between. And although I usually label these colours dull and boring, against today’s steel-grey sky they took on a magical and luminous quality.

The graceful deer were looking  particularly beautiful; their fabulous deep chestnut coats a perfect fit for their winter habitat.

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I love the two crows hanging round the stag. Copyright, Lexa

The powerful stag (above) – handsome and proud – clearly enjoyed strutting his stuff for the onlookers and was keeping a very watchful and controlling eye over his harem of doe (below).

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Harem of does. Copyright, Lexa

Ever since I moved to London, Richmond Park has been one of my very special places to stroll around at the weekend. There are around 600 red and fallow deer that live in the park and the Royal connections to the park begin with King Edward around  1272.

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I always think the same two thoughts when walking here:

Thought 1: Regal 19th century ladies riding side-saddle on dappled horses in their gorgeous powder blue and white dresses. Flirting with devastatingly handsome and charming young men; stealing a tender kiss behind a gnarled oak tree.

Thought 2: That some of the old trees in the park (ranging between 500 and 700 years old) have lived through so much English history – the Black Death; the battle of Bosworth Field; the Spanish Armada being destroyed; the gun powder plot; the Great Fire of London; the English Civil War; the abolition of Slavery; and World Wars I and II to name but a few. They will have seen (yes, they see!) German bombers flying over the London skyline! Pretty mind-blowing really. If only trees could talk.

Hard to believe these shots were taken 4 miles outside central London, huh?

The most incongruous sight of the day? Definitely the green parakeets:

There is some debate as to how these non-native birds came to settle and reproduce in London since the 1990s.

Various theories have been put forward to explain their presence – including that a flock of the birds escaped from London’s Ealing studios during filming; and that a container full of birds fell open at Heathrow airport and they escaped! Who knows the truth? But what I do know is that they are noisy little creatures (think an excited puppy repeatedly squeezing one of those toy dolls with a high pitched squeaker in its tummy).

If you have never visited Richmond Park and you are in London with a few hours to spare, do take time to visit. It is absolutely spectacular; it definitely soothes and revives the soul after a busy week.

And there is nothing like having fresh-air-rosy cheeks when you return home on Sunday evening. The best things in life really are absolutely free.

 

 

Author: Lexa

Enjoying life and the crazy beautiful things in it.

31 thoughts

    1. It was, it was awesome! Thanks so much for leaving a comment – it really means a lot. Thought 2 – can you IMAGINE what those trees have witnessed??!!!

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    1. Thanks fellow-alien! 😀. [For those that think I was being rude by saying alien, I am not! Please see the excellent post here re: Aliens – it is fabulous]:

      https://dictionarydutch.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/alien/

      I am really pleased with how the photos turned out. But that place is so spectacular that it is pretty hard to take a bad photo😃. It makes me really happy that you enjoyed reading the post. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t feel bad. I may get corrected but I don’t think it is on the top 10-20 list of things for tourists to do in London. The guide books / websites tend to focus on other parks / attractions. Who knows, next time? Have a good rest of the day. 😀

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  1. Great pics Lexa. Have you been to the Roebuck pub on Richmond Hill, not far from the Richmond Gate entrance to the park? It offers the most gorgeous views over the river and meadows, which JW Turner painted. The sunsets in particular can be stunning. If it’s good enough for him and all that… plus the ale is great there too if you need a tipple after all that walking!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No I haven’t!!! Thanks so much for the great tip. I will definitely have to try it out next time we go. Not just because of the alcohol 😀 but also due to the Turner connection too. Thanks again both for the suggestion and for leaving a comment. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel, the photographs are stunning and so timeless.
    I love your comments in thought 2.
    It is unbelievable to think some of the trees have been there during those significant events. Quite astounding when you think about it.
    Xxxxxx

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    1. Thanks Mum!!! I know, it is hard to comprehend just how old some of the trees are. There was a surprising number of trees that looked charred as if they had been struck by lightening. They were strange but beautiful looking. Xx

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  3. If only trees could talk, indeed. Lovely lovely post. Question about the photography: re photos 1 & 2 in particular, do you use an app/camera which can (re)focus after the photos have been taken? Interested, is all …

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, thank you! 😀. Re pics 1 and 2, I played round with them afterwards on my iPad. Whilst I have a good photoshop programme on my lap top, I much prefer using the Photo Toaster App. Sometimes it feels a bit like art treating the photos post snap! Not these ones so much but to me the photos of the phone box on my ‘Hurry Up’ post almost look comic book-like to me. I love just playing around with shots. It is a really user friendly app. If you try it, let me know how you like it (or not)! Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

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  4. WOW! Such a beautiful place and really lovely photos. It is nice to be able to travel just a short four miles to find so much nature to enjoy. And it is interesting to think about history in relationship to the age of the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Robin. Yes, it really is a very special place. We are very fortunate to have it so close by. Even though it is in London, and lots of people visit, you can still find your own special place and start to feel lost (mentally in a good way rather than actually lost! Too many signposts for that). We also spotted the most beautiful green woodpecker on a mole hill that day. Now that was spectacular. But on my photos it is just a small dot merged in with the grass. So disappointing! Oh well, maybe next time. Have a lovely end to the week and a great weekend.

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  5. I was out and about in Richmond two weeks ago and I definitely don’t mind it… Apart from the motorcade of SUVs that felt the urge of driving through Sawyer’s Hill even early in the morning!

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