Every day of February I am going to post a new photo with a small description of where it was taken.
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The Albert Docks are, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful parts of Liverpool. With so many different museums to explore alongside the Mersey, it is a glimpse into the old and new life of the northern dock city. On a winter's day, the view over the docks looked like a Lowry painting with grey clouds and matchstick people below.
Nestled in the small Cumbria town of Kirkby Lonsdale, Ruskin's View is a panorama you can never forget, once you've seen it. Ruskin described the view as ‘one of the loveliest views in England' and on a night like this, who could doubt him. With candy floss clouds bobbing above the angel white snow covered hills, it is difficult to imagine a more peaceful place.
Stained Glass in Liverpool Cathedral
Stepping into Liverpool Cathedral feels like you have been transported into a giant world with beauty everywhere you look. From the Lady chapel to thought provoking exhibitions, there is so much to explore. But I was particularly struck by the iridescent stained glass that created shards of raibow light, lighting up the entire cathedral.
Feeding Blue Tit
Birds feeding in the winter is a fascinating spectacle - watching them flit to and fro munching on whatever they can find and returning to repeat the process all over again. I was transfixed by this baby blue tit as he popped his head around the feeder and disappeared back into the garden.
Snowdrops in the snow
Snowdrops are the first flower of the year to bloom. In the darkest and coldest days of the year, they give me hope to look forward to warmer days to come. In my opinion, there is nothing more hopeful than these delicate flowers poking their heads through a carpet of freshly fallen snow.
Chinese New Year in Liverpool
Lighting up the blowy streets of Liverpool, the decorations for Chinese New Year shroud the surrounding area in a joyful red glow. As we enter the year of pig, people around the world are celebrating the beginning of a new year and if all of the celebrations are as colourful and vibrant as these lights, the world will a brighter place on these dark days.
The petals of a rose are like the year ahead, slowly and steadily unfurling, like the days before us. Some may be perfect, some may be battered by the weather and some even shrivel and fall to the ground. But despite the challenges the rose faces, it continues to light the hearts of those who see it and live through the weather it faces.
The Liver Building
Purpose built in 1911 for the Royal Liver assurance group, the Liver Building is synonomous with Liverpool. Sitting on top of the buildings are two liverbirds, mythical symbols of the city, that watch over the city and sea to protect and defend the port.
Fire in the Hearth
Sitting by a roaring fire is one of the small pleasures of winter. Feeling the warmth penetrate your cold bones, and seeing the flames dance and crackle through the logs is like relaxation for the mind and soul, as well as the body. For me, the bright colours wash away any niggling winter worries and fill me with a cosy feeling of comfort.
Church of St John the Baptist, Abthorpe
The village of Abthorpe in Northamptonshire is like a place stuck in time. Winding narrow lanes lead to picture perfect stone cottages and beautifully tended gardens. At the centre is the village church which oversees the villagers as they go about their day to day life, and is the centre of the community in the same way it always has been.
Designed by James Gibbs, the Radcliffe Camera is a members ownly reading room for students of Oxford University. A tourist attraction in its own right, it was built in 1748 and has continued to be used by the University ever since. The square that surrounds it contains All Souls and Brasenose Colleges, the Bodlean Library and the University Church which makes it one of the most beautiful spots in the city.
Over the long dark days of winter, there aren't many bright sights to shine through. But as soon as crocuses begin to burst open, I know that we are well on our way towards spring. They are like a bugle heralding the start of a new season and warmer days to come.
Rainy Day Sunset
Sunsets on a rainy day are always an unexpected pleasure. Having dodged heavy raindrops and gales of wind during the day, it is a rare joy to see the sun peek out from behind the clouds. The contrast from dull grey to the vibrant pastels of a sunset, a sudden stillness in the air from a day of tumultuous weather. And finally, the natural world at peace.
Mirror mirror on the wall, Who's the fairest of them all? Royalty of the natural world, swans seem to glide through life without noticing what is happening around them. Any disturbance on the water is nothing to do with them as they are above the bird riff raff. Instead they have plenty of time to study their own reflection so they always look their best on show.
Watercolour Houses in Holywell Street
An unknown street in the centre of Oxford, Holywell Street runs from the Bodleian Library past New College, towards Mansfield College and beyond. The houses painted in sky blue and candy floss pink lend a splash of watercolour to an otherwise ordinary street, and makes them stand out from the yellow stone of the university buildings.
Early Morning Mist on the Common
There's something magical about early morning mist. Rising from the earth, it hovers like a half cloud and becomes a gauze curtain for sunlight to shine through. For me, it is a magical and unique experience, as within the hour it has vanished and you were one of the only people to see it, like nature's magic trick.
During this month, it feels like we have experienced all the winter weather in the UK from snow to sunshine. But still the sunny days stick in my mind most as they are so positive and full of promise. Blossom incapsulates all of these feelings for me and brings me back to happy memories of sunny days.
Of the birds that inhabit pond life, some stand out as stars of the scene. From flocks of canadian geese to colourful mandarin ducks, each bird has its own personality and way of behaving. A bird that has struck me recently is the tufted duck. With it's beady golden eye, dinner suit feathers and quiff of black tuft, it looks like the polished gentleman of bird society.
The Dreaming Spires
At the top of the new Westgate shopping centre in Oxford where buzzing restaurants welcome punters is a unique view over the city. Described by Victorian Poet Matthew Arnold as 'the city of dreaming spires,' Oxford's architecture is part of what makes it so special. From this viewing platform, you can see Christ Church's Tom Tower and other iconic colleges punctuating the skyline.
Water under the Bridge
Rivers, to me, are always a calming and restful sight as they continue to run regardless of almost anything else. Watching the water flow over shining stones and rocks in its path and still continue to run its course puts everything into perspective. It is a reminder that you can forge your way through obstacles, and continue to make your way to your chosen destination.
Deer in Richmond Park
Deer are majestic and awe-inspiring creatures.
I always find it a thrill when you happen across a herd in the Parks as they are very selective about where they choose to spend time. But the strange thing is that they blend in so well with their surroundings. So much so that they begin to disappear into the background entirely.
Pink Sky at Night
Of the sights of the natural world, one of my favourites is a pink sunset. With ribbons of pink candyfloss strewn across a darkening sky, it looks like the ceiling of an old fashioned theatre, with night's curtain coming down on the day. Folk tales always say that 'Red sky at night, Shepherds delight' as it foretells a good weather the next day, but I'm all for enjoying the light show first.
St Giles, Oxford
Oxford is like sauntering into a by-gone time. Students bicycle down narrow streets, congregate outside the front of their respective colleges and everything seems to have been there forever. In St Giles, you particually get a feeling of the past as student life continues alongside the din of modern life.
At the weekend, it always feels like a good idea to reflect on the week you've had and prepare for the week to come. Some natural sights, however, force you to come to a stand still and do this for you. Puddles are like a magic mirror to stare in and consider your life - past, present and future - while enjoying the beauty of nature, reflected.
View over Dornoch Firth
Looking down from the top of a hill is one of the best feelings in the world. Just watching clouds drift by and the light change on the landscape makes you aware of the beauty around you. Don't forget to take a moment to enjoy the landscape you live in and watch the clouds once in a while.
Founded in the 13th century, Dornoch Cathedral is at the centre of the East Highlands town of Dornoch. A beautiful building with a rocky history, it's unique stone shines out in the often grey weather as a beacon of hope.
Crocuses on Calton Hill
On these unusually warm February days, the flowers have all bloomed in a dramatic fashion. The buds have bursted into a rainbow carpet while the skies cleared into a blue sea above. Even in Scotland, crocuses shine like stars on a green rug.
Sunset on Salisbury Crags
The end of the warm weather went out with a bang yesterday with continuous blue sky and sunshine. The light played and winked off building and reflected on grass and hills. The perfect end to a spell of beautiful weather and my Photobruary series.