Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 21/07/2012

Nelly The Elephant, packed her trunk…

African Elephant, originally uploaded by

What a refreshing change! The dreadful weather of the last few weeks (it felt longer.. much longer) has been replaced by glorious sunshine. I’ve been out and about in the great outdoors all day.. guess who didn’t think about suntan lotion (sunscreen)? Yup, and now my arms are fairly sore, though aftersun has taken the sting out of it. It’s quite ironic really that I didn’t once feel the effects of the sun but despite weeks of rain, I’m sitting at the desk in my office at home with reddened forearms. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

We went for a boat ride down the River Thames today, without sunscreen, to an old Stately Home as a family day out. Boarding the boat, the majority of seating on the top deck of the craft was already occupied leaving a relatively free lower deck which had the added advantage of being lower to the water. I had seen the potential for some good photography as we were queuing up to board the craft, and with a bag full of camera gear I started to set up. The stretch of the river where we caught the boat is well known for the number of swans that gather there, prompted in part people who come to feed them. Leaning out of the lower window, a couple of these large birds made their way over to us presuming we had food to offer them, which we hadn’t. It must be an animals’ sixth sense as realising this he then moved off to hassle some of the other passengers.

The trip was very relaxing with the easy pace of the boat, the gentle lapping of the water as the wake of our craft hit the shore and the bright sunlight (still no sunscreen) shimmer on the undulating water surface.There were little in the way of photo opportunities on our journey though we did have the great thrill of seeing brilliant oranges and turquoises of two kingfishers when disturbed by our craft they darted into deeper cover away from our excited gaze. It’s no good, little birdies.. I now know where you live!


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