Photography #19 - London calling

in travel •  2 months ago

Even in London, it seems that I can't ignore the call of the wild...In fact, this is where my love of the natural world first took hold.

Last week, I spent a couple of days in my home city of London with my family. I'd not been back in a while and it was only a brief visit but I had a great time. I thought I'd show you some of my old haunts, and some aspects of London that people don't often associate with it...

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The view from Richmond hill. Great place to watch kestrels and parakeets...
(yes, you read that right...)

I was lucky enough to be brought up in the leafy suburbs of Richmond-upon-Thames. I spent many happy years walking along the Thames, visiting Kew Gardens and running around the parks and greens. The memories quickly come flooding back whenever I see this place in photos.

Old Deer Park
Once owned by Queen Elizabeth 1 and then used as a hunting park for King James 1, it is now a recreational space owned by the crown estate and bordered by the Thames and Kew Gardens. My parents used to bring me here as a toddler and I visited this place almost daily up to my late teen years for cycling, tennis and jogging type activities (I often forget how active I was back then lol)...

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Birds take over when it's quiet...

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Old oak showing evidence of a lightning strike...

Although there are no longer any deer, I've often seen foxes here in the early evening, although not on this visit sadly.

Terrace Gardens
This has been a public park since the 1880's, built on the site of an old brickworks. I used to come here frequently to feed the grey squirrels and go climbing up the 'steep' slopes and tree roots (which no longer seem that big at all, lol). Lots of wildlife here for nature lovers, including wild parakeets (released accidentally into the wild, probably as escaped pets)...never saw these here during my childhood, and now they are quite common.

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I nipped in briefly to Terrace Gardens (or 'squirrel park'
as I called it when I was little)...

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These roots seemed huge when I clambered over them as a kid

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A wild London parakeet, just chillin'....

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These birds weren't around in my youth, at least not here anyway....

Richmond Park
This is the largest of London's royal parks and well-worth a visit. It's a national nature reserve, SSSI (Site of special scientific interest) and conservation area. It is home to free-roaming deer populations, joggers and a wealth of other wildlife. Opened in the 1600's by King James 1. From certain slopes in the park, you can get a good view of central London, including the shard.

We were only there for 30 minutes but managed to spot a deer herd on the move, and a few individuals taking a break...

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A Fallow deer resting from the mid-day sun

Buckingham Palace and St Jame's Park
We spent the following day doing 'touristy' things in central London and yet still managed to see a few unusual sights...

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Most of the crowds were watching the changing
of the guard, we were watching an Urban fox....

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Grey Heron, looking for a snack in the
shallow ponds around St James' Park...

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A black swan, doing it's thing...

London is full of wonderful sights and experiences, and the natural world is still thankfully part of that list - if you're not too busy to see it...

Adam

(All photographs Copyright of Adam Fryda)

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Hi adamfryda-art,

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Thank you so much! Really appreciate your support :)

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OMG!!!!! I love the Sky Photo 😍😍😍😍. I'm quite sure there are so many things present in this era that you didn't see in your youth days. You sound like you had so much fun ,I've never been to London, well not yet though . Now I feel like taking a trip with you😁. Lovely Captures by the way @adamfryda-art

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Thank you @mizdias, much appreciated. I'd be happy to give a guided tour if you ever manage the trip :)

I've never been to London but it sure is a place I want to visit some day. Although I have to admit ... watching the changing of the guard can be spectacular, I'd rather see that fox! The parcs are also beautiful ... of course London should have these, but mostly you never hear of them. So I'm happy you showed it. Thank you for sharing!

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My pleasure @hetty-rowan, i was lucky enough to be brought up in the greener, leafier side of London - definitely worth a visit!

I've only been to London a handful of times- and have always enjoyed the urban side of thing, being a country girl, I guess that presented something different. But seeing your beautiful photos, next time I visit I'll definitely be spending a day or two hunting down this very different side of the capital you've just presented!

Last time I was up there, I took a stroll through a massive overgrown graveyard, and actually saw a full size green parrot flying over- definitely not one of these gorgeous, petit parakeets! They are so sweet!

E x

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There are many more green parts to London @eveningart but i've just shown the parts we visited last week. I love the urban stuff too but its nice to take a break from it now and again, and surprisingly, London has many such spaces - thankfully :)

Definitely unexpected pictures for a big city like London!
Although I have thought a lot of times that it is much easier to find a nice green route for walking in a city than in the rural scenery that I am living (steep hills, unattended paths, wild vegetation that stings), I never thought that there are so large parks in London, let alone deer and foxes on the loose :)

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Yeah, i guess it is surprising @fotostef, i've never really thought about it that way before because i grew up surrounded by it. I'm sure many big cities have their green spaces but the deer are a nice addition :) I think city folk like myself definitely need this sort of therapy available more widely though...

Oh my a trip to historic London parks. You were very fortunate to have grown up there. Sounds like you had many wonderful times in the great outdoors. I've always wanted to go to England, the place of my ancestors and especially visit Kew gardens, well all the beautiful gardens and parks. What kind of birds were resting in Deer Park? What beautiful wildlife photos. Are you a professional photographer? Really enjoyed these photos and the bits of history. thanks for sharing!

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Thank you @porters, much appreciated. The birds in old deer park were an assortment of gulls, sparrows, crows and starlings from what i could make out (typical sights in London parks). I am not a professional photographer but have been working on my skills (having been inspired by fellow steemians) but i am glad you enjoyed the photos and blog post :)

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You definitely have talent there. thanks again for sharing.

What fantasy! I have never seen a black swan, much less heard of feral parakeets! This is some mystical wonderland world of weirdness!

Who in the world mows all that grass?!

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Lol, thank you @ecoinstant - it wouldn't be London without some weirdness, would it?

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It's going on my list of exotic places to visit in my life! Seriously mate, FERAL PARAKEETS!

Now I know that London is also blessed with beautiful nature.

This view from Richmond Hill, that was used as hunting ground for king James has a nice view. You see all far the road leads.

And I love the red and blue flowers in Buckingham. They give an activity to the eyes, with all these people around.

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Yeah, London is full of nature, if you know where to look and don't just stick with the 'tourist' spots - but i guess most cities are like that in some way...

Is it weird that I only poop once a week?