Steer for the deep waters only

Robert Day's thoughts on his photography, his writing and his business

The one that got away

with 6 comments

I had a surprise this morning: looking out of my front window onto a tree only a few feet away on the other side of the lane, my attraction was caught by a rather lively bird. It was a woodpecker.

The area where I live has quite a lot of wildlife, both birds and small mammals. The birds include various tits, nightingales and assorted birds of prey, including little owls. I knew that there were woodpeckers in the area, but I’d seen no evidence of any for more than ten years.

I immediately went to get the camera out, but before I could get it set up, a magpie came along and frightened the woodpecker away.

(The mammals are all the usual suspects you’d find in the countryside – mice, rabbits, foxes, moles, badgers, the ubiquitous rats [which are kept under control by the foxes] – and some less common creatures such as weasels, voles and shrews.)

As I can’t supply pictures of the woodpecker (I’ll keep my eyes open and try to fix that in the next few days), here are some more steam engines. These pictures were taken on the Great Central Railway, which runs between Loughborough and the outskirts of Leicester. At their Autumn steam gala this weekend, they inaugurated a new turntable; but some teething troubles meant that it took some eleven men to turn one engine, suggesting some balance work is still required…

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Written by robertday154

October 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Beautiful photos. I miss trains so. Back east they were common, and we had the Essex Steam Train, which was no longer a serviceable means of transportation but it ran every day for tourists who came from all over. I did many paintings of the objects in the “train graveyard.” Beautiful old mysterious rusted parts.

    What, not “clogging rats”?

    Find an Outlet

    October 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    • I leave the rats to the foxes – they’re far more efficient than I am.

      I’ve loaded up a cartrtidge of matt black ink to my printer and I’m currently experimenting with printing out some of my scrapyard pictures on various grades of matt paper – a getting some very nice results!

      robertday154

      October 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm

  2. Ah, what a great word. You’re making me look bad! 😉

    Kay Camden

    October 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

  3. Just noticed Debra’s comment. LOL
    I used to have two pet rats, and oh how they could cut a rug with their clogging!

    Kay Camden

    October 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm

  4. A neighbour has just pointed out to me that it’s highly unlikely that I’ve been hearing nightingales. Apparently, there are other birds that sing at night, such as dunnocks and robins. You learn something new every day.

    robertday154

    November 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

  5. Might I also add that three of these pictures – the O4 and the 8F on the turntable, and the blokes shoving mightily “behind the scenes” – have now been published in the December 2011 issue of “The Railway Magazine”. They have used the two engine pictures to actually headline a feature article on the restoration and installation of the turntable. (They contacted me and asked for a higher resolution version of the O4 picture because they had decided to use the picture higher up the story; but they never said they were going to use the 8F picture, or they could have had a high-resolution version of that one, too!)

    robertday154

    November 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm


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