The Nature Photo Challenge

Yesterday a friend of mine nominated me to take part in the nature photo challenge.  The idea is that you post a nature photo each day for seven days and nominate seven people to do the same.  I feel like this challenge couldn’t have come at a better time.  I’ve started to feel like I’m becoming a recluse and I’m not venturing outdoors enough so I’m making it a bit more challenging for myself.  I love to connect with nature and I really don’t feel like I have been lately.  So I’m not just going to post seven photos, I’m going to take seven photos, a photo a day, which means I will have to set foot outside, even if it’s just in the garden.

Day One

I’m starting small.  We’re currently having our garden landscaped, when we moved in it was a mess of concrete paving slabs and decking.  I’ve been desperate to get it looking like a real garden for ages and now the time has finally come.  I was really excited yesterday to see that we had freshly turned over soil, so this is my picture for day one of the challenge.

  
I am so excited by the potential held in this soil and the history of where it has come from. It’s literally crawling with life.  It’s the basis for all that lives around us.  So that’s today, the amazing yet completely humble and often unappreciated soil.

Day Two

Today I’ve taken four photos.  I’ve also discovered that it’s quite difficult to get back up from a crouching position on a slope (almost very embarrassing!).  My photos today have a real feeling of Spring, I love seeing new buds and shoots and our front garden is currently full of them.  New life, new hope.

   
I have to admit that I can’t remember what plant this is but I’m loving the abundance of buds.

  Our camellia is covered in buds and the first flowers are just opening.  

My absolute favourite place to look for plants is the bargain area of any garden centre.  I love an underdog, anything that looks like it’s about to die and that others would reject I just have to have.  This was one of those bargain purchases.  It was a very sad twig of a fuchsia, it looked like it may have been too far gone but it just needed some TLC.  It’s huge now and will be absolutely covered in little pink flowers later in the year.

 This is a flowerpot that lives by our front door, it was an Easter present from my Grandma last year.  It’s needed no attention from us and look how beautiful it is!  I love this bright addition to our home.

Day Three

Every couple of weeks we visit the natural burial ground where Lentil is buried.  The burial ground is only a few minutes from our house and there is a lovely farm shop a few minutes further on.  It’s Paul’s favourite place to go for brunch so we often combine trips to both.  Today we went to the farm shop for lunch and I had to take advantage of our surroundings by taking some photos for the nature challenge. 
I love ducks!  When I’m at work, rather than on long term maternity leave, I’m a teacher.  For the last few years I’ve worked in foundation and my absolute favourite time of year is Spring.  We look at new life and we hatch chicks or ducklings.  Ducklings are my absolute favourite.  They’re just so cute!  I have to admit that these ducks made me miss my job a bit!
  
At the farm shop they also have pigs.  I’ve always loved pigs (my Gran would disagree with this statement and would reminisce over the story of me visiting a distant cousins farm and being presented with a piglet.  I’m not sure whether the piglet or I squealed the loudest but I was very small then and I really do love pigs!), you can pay 20p and buy some food to feed the pigs with.  One day we’ll visit here with Pip on the way to visit the resting place of his or her big brother.

 
This photo is taken from the entrance to the burial ground.  I love watching how it changes and grows during the different seasons.  There are daffodils and snowdrops now, soon the trees will begin to grow leaves again.  The unrelenting cycle of life goes on and Lentil can grow in new ways.

 

Molehills!  There are so many molehills at the burial ground.  Some people have complained about them as there are signs up explaining that as a natural burial ground they won’t be doing anything to deter the moles.  Personally I find a lot of comfort in the thought that Lentil has some moley friends.

Day Four

 Last night I turned over in bed and had a sudden jolt of pain in my pelvis.  I had a bit of pain in my pelvis during my pregnancy with Lentil and then some acute pelvic pain while I was in labour with Lentil.  The obstetrician warned me that this pain could be worse this time and could start earlier.  It looks like she was right!  I felt fine this morning but we popped to the supermarket to get something for lunch and my pelvis started to click and feel painful.  I was determined to get my nature photos today though!  So we took Maisy for a (very short) walk on the moors.  We’re so lucky to have this right on our doorstep. 

  

  

  

 The outward walk was fine but walking back to the car my pelvis started to complain again.  I’m going to try my best to finish all seven days of the challenge but my other photos may need to be within staggering distance!

Day Five

As promised today we have some photos that were taken within staggering distance of my house!  I thought that today I could take some photos to show why we chose to buy our house.  I met my husband online, eight months on we’d bought a house together.  We chose where to live by looking for somewhere within commuting distance of where we both worked (our jobs are 58 miles apart) so we did what I’m sure most couples do. We got a map and picked somewhere that neither of us knew anything about!  We looked at lots of houses, including some on new housing developments but when we saw the house that we ended up buying we fell in love with all of the grass and trees that surround it.  We live in a small town and many of the houses we looked at felt very close together and close to the roads.  We liked imagining children playing on the patches of grass around our house and I really hoped the trees would mean squirrel visitors but unfortunately we never get any.

   
   

Day Six

I’m afraid I didn’t make it outside today.  My pelvic pain kept me up for a lot of the night and has been quite bad for most of today.  I’ve also been on my own as Paul was at work and I didn’t fancy popping out and then my pelvis complaining and me getting stuck somewhere!  Yesterday a friend visited and she brought me some beautiful daffodils so that’s what I’ve photographed today.  It’s so lovely when friends visit!  The daffodils are beautiful, they’re so bright and cheerful.  Yesterday they were all closed green buds but overnight some of them have burst open. 

    
This bud was still green and tightly closed this morning but it’s been gradually opening throughout the day.  I’m looking forward to seeing it in all its glory tomorrow.  Happy St David’s Day!

Day Seven

Unfortunately it hasn’t been a great day for my pelvis again today so I’ve taken some indoor shots and one photo from the back door.  The first photo I chose to take is of our honeysuckle.  As I mentioned earlier our garden is currently being landscaped so it’s quite a mess but I’m so excited about it!  It’s going to be brilliant!  The honeysuckle is one of the few things we’re keeping.  I really love how full of life the honeysuckle (usually) is).  Later in the Spring blackbirds nest safely in the middle of the branches and in the Summer it’s covered in bees collecting pollen.  In the Autumn the berries appear and attract the birds again.  I love watching the wildlife visit.

  
I decided that wasn’t a very pretty picture to finish on so have also taken some photos of our orchids.  One of the orchids was a gift from a friend a few years ago.  It flowered beautifully then stayed as a stick for a very long time!  Eventually flowers returned and it looked beautiful again, until my dog slipped whilst trying to climb onto the back of the sofa and snapped it in two!  I bandaged it back together and hoped for the best, it’s got its first buds since the ‘being squashed by a dog’ incident.  The other orchid was a gift from friends when Lentil died.  It has flowered pretty much non-stop since then and it always cheers me up.   

   

Despite not being able to get out the last couple of days I think that the nature photo challenge has been really good for me.  There has been something to get done each day and as a result I’ve found that I’ve set myself other targets too.  

I’m adding one more photo, a rainbow for my boy X

  

  

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