Still stuck in Northamptonshire’s Nene Valley… well, for the purposes of this post at least!
Leaving the wonders (and hazards) of the quarry at Irchester Country Park behind us our little gang travels down the road a bit to the next port of call, Stanwick Lakes.
Where there’s a rather swish Visitor Centre… offering a not-disappointed hope of a relatively decent cup of coffee to wash the taste of that last foul brew from our mouths. Cheaper too!
And as usual one of assembled company manages to slop his all over the table… clumsy oaf that he is. And as usual I totally fail to get a pic of the mess… absent-minded old fool that I am. Replay of a multitude of similar incidents in countless other houses of refreshment. Its beginning to get quite embarrassing.
That done, wander outside to sniff the air. And mess around on what I s’pose could be called the verandah… or deck maybe. Whatever.
The rain that was threatening seemed to have disappeared, though the sky was a tad overcast. But still quite mild… and a bit breezy. Not bad for the time of year actually.
The time of year and the weather worked in our favour in another way as well… cos it meant there weren’t all that many people around. Just as well really cos I don’t like people. Not very much anyway. Not when there’s droves of ’em. Just get in the way. Mainly of pic-taking.
So a few pics of the lake and stuff…
… then our attention’s caught by something far more interesting.
A sort of kids’ adventure playground type place (with water features!)… though some of the structures there were more than big enough for adults to mess around in too. As demonstrated by my companions; proving once again that we’re all just big kids at heart.
I likely would have joined them… but was far too enchanted by all the wonderful opportunities for pic-taking. Fascinating structures, strange shapes, odd angles. I didn’t take anywhere near the amount of pics I could have done, or was tempted too. Dammit!
First there were these weird thingies…
Then getting into the heart of the place…
Its an amazing setup, and strangely evocative. I could easily imagine it being the set for one of those sci-fi/post-apocalyptic type films where some sort of township is created out of little more than scraps.
Or perhaps some ancient pagan settlement, surrounded by timbered forts.
Or maybe even some derelict and decaying remnants abandoned to the elements by some long-forgotten tribe. With hints of something a wee bit alien… or certainly of some other culture.
Quite how this effect had been achieved I haven’t a clue but whoever designed the place was clearly a bit of a genius. And dunno about kids but we really loved it!
So, loads of pics later, we attempt to move along the track a bit for some more lakeside shots, in the vicinity of a birdwatchers’ hide.
But are hindered by the pestering of a couple of swans that were absolutely determined we should take their pic… posing and preening and generally flaunting themselves.
Now don’t get me wrong. I like swans. But seems to me they’re beginning to get a bit too familiar. They must have been passing the word around about me or something. (“Y’know that toothless old fart with the camera and the huge backpack? Usually wanders around with some right dodgy characters. Well, he’s a sucker for a swan pic or two.”)
However, we finally reach the hide and lark around there for a while.
Then my attention’s drawn to a rather interesting looking tree stuck on a bit of land jutting out into the lake. But just as I line up the shot and click the button thingie two damn birds go flying past. Its just not fair! On the other hand, they sort of did me a good turn cos when I tried for the shot again I managed to not get any trucks passing along the road in the background!
Not much else to tell really. A few more pics of nothing much in particular (like most of my stuff I s’pose, now I come to think about it) then head slowly back. With that amazing adventure playground still working its magic in my head.
The complete Stanwick Lakes set is here on Flickr.