An afternoon of shooting squirrels and birds!!

Unfortunately on the job front, I was not successful this time with the one that myself and one other person were shortlisted for following the interview nearly two weeks ago. So this time it was obviously not meant to be. On another job interview that I went for the same week, it appears I lost out by a mere 3 or 4 points on a score system. Which is very frustrating. When I remarked about this with my adviser at the job center, she commented on the fact I was doing well getting interviews, where as a majority of people were not even getting  invited to any.  I’m fortunate to  have another job interview set up for this Friday afternoon.

As a result of all this, following a couple of really stressful weeks, despite being in a low mood all week I decided to push myself to get out with my camera on Monday afternoon. Trouble was I didn’t really feel like venturing off too far in the heat, and at some point this year I have explored most of my local parks, so I wanted to go somewhere a little different, but a place that I always wanted to spend some time and see properly, but never really had the chance.

Many years ago, I worked for a television retail company called Derwent Sound & Vision,  as a senior sales receptionist. This was before my days with D&A. On several occasions I was asked to do staff cover at our Derwent branch in Leamington Spa which is in Warwickshire. I would often get the train from Solihull to Leamington, walk the distance to the shop, and then the same return journey home. Unfortunately, I never really had time to see around the town properly, or any of its historic sights. I can always remember passing signs that pointed the way to a place called  Jephson Gardens Park, but just never got around to visiting it.

And so on Monday, camera in my bag, and a couple of bottles  of water, I set off for the short train journey to Leamington Spa and to visit the park.

The main entrance to the park is set off the main road through the town of Leamington, and sits right next to a section of the River Leam.

To say that this park and gardens is incredibly beautiful would not do it justice. It really is the most stunning place I have seen in years.  As you walk through the big tall  iron gates, straight in front of you is the lake, with two magnificent water fall fountains, on either sides of the lake are trees, benches and plenty of space all over to sit and have a picnic. To the right hand side as you go in is the stretch of the River Leam, to the left is the magnificent gardens, and then again on both side is the actual park area, then in front a huge botanical green house, a magnificent restaurant and bar (aptly named the ‘Restaurant in the Park’) and a few more miles of beautiful tree-lined pathways.

The first thing that struck me was the large number of water birds and pigeons on and around the lake. Instantly, I realised what a great opportunity with my camera to get terrific scenery shots, as well as the birds, what I didn’t bargain for was the number of friendly squirrels. Unlike most squirrels I have seen over the years, if you approach them they tend to run off in the opposite direction……but oh no, not these squirrels, they ran towards you and started posing for the camera! I really could not believe how friendly these little critters were, and I have to say I had a wonderful afternoon shooting the squirrels and birds, as well as the scenery. I also made friends with a pair of Blackbirds.

Being in this one place Monday afternoon had the most soothing and calming effect on me, something I so very badly needed. I know  that there are a large percentage of people out there who believe squirrels to be a nuisance, especially when they get into peoples back gardens, and climb up the bird table to get the food left out for the garden birds. They are also known to cause some damage in gardens, but then every animal is capable of doing that…..so I ask myself why should squirrels be picked upon.  Many people also class them as vermin, and I have even heard people call them ‘rats with bushy tails’. But to be able to sit and watch them this close up and with them showing off their funny antics put a smile on mine and many others faces Monday afternoon. These really are intelligent and funny creatures to watch.

In addition to all this I was also able to see young Canadian geese, Moorhen chicks and a couple of young ducks, and  a few very small new ducklings.

Jephson Gardens Park is a place I can highly recommend visiting and ideal to while away and relax for  a few pleasant hours in the warm summer sunshine.

Here are a few from the collection of photos I took on Monday, hope you enjoy them.

 

 

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The squirrels were just so entertaining and friendly.

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Bridge across the River Leam, from the bridge on the main road.

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Just hanging around.

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Hop skip and a leap.

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‘Itchy coo park!!’

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Part of the beautiful gardens, which Jephson Gardens is famous for.

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Not such an ugly ducking.

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Even the Blackbirds were friendly.

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Taking a quick cool bath in the warm summer sunshine.

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One of the fountains through the trees.

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Outside the main gates.

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View across the River Leam. What a gorgeous sight to wake up to every morning.

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Where’s my mummy? Are you my mummy?

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Young Canada Goose

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So cute.

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Poser!

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Begging for food. These squirrels are used to being hand fed.

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Hide and seek.

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Another poser!

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I swear this little one was smiling.

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Got an awkward itch.

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You looking at me?

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Would like to see you climb this tree!

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Who is the cutest of us all?

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River Leam

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Bridge over River Leam, in the park. Flock of Canada geese congregating just above the steps….along with the odd Swan

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Catch me if you can!

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Making whoopee!

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All over in a moment.

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Jephson Gardens

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Mother duck keeping an eye on her young.

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Female Blackbird who came and sat beside me whilst I was eating a sandwich.

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Splash….cooling down.

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Fountains in the lake, helping to keep the water fresh and cool for the wildlife

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Is it safe to go in mum?

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Various sections of the Jephson Gardens

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Many thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

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