Patch walk

Yesterday was a fraught day. I was not happy. No matter why. It is past. Today I retreated to my local patch in the hope of something to cheer me up, photographically. There were lots of birds around. Virtually all common species but I did see a nice female Black-naped Monarch and a small flock of Blue-winged Minla. The latter was a new tick for the patch. The bulbul numbers seem to be much greater than normal. Flocks of visitors may be supplementing the local population. Simply deafening in one area. The odd Chestnut Bulbul was around too. I really must take the big lens up and have a go at photographing them. A snazzy male Daurian Redstart flitted about and a drab Asian Brown Flycatcher refused to sit out in the open. I had my 180mm macro lens with me so I wasn’t going to waste my time trying to take shots of any of these birds. It was also drizzling, which didn’t help. A few butterflies were on the wing but the first thing to catch my eye was the spider and prey.


And after that it was really a flora day. Some nice signs of growth emerging and I hope they continue to offer good pickings photographically.


Above: Viola diffus


Raphiolepis indica


Chinese privet



Double fiddle under construction?



This is a rhody. R. farrerae I believe. We have one in the garden but ours have not quite bloomed yet. They don’t last long but they are wonderful whilst they do.

All these were shot in poor light so I used some fill flash to lift some of them. As luck would have it my rechargeable batteries then packed up on me so I was unable to flash for the last hour or so. Tomorrow is a chance to meet up with one of my longest standing pals. He is passing through HK en route to Australia so we’ll spend some time catching up at the airport. We can pretend we are 18 again, starting off on our journey through adult life (more or less) and tell the same silly stories of years gone by. Was it really almost 40 years ago? Of course we both look so much younger than our years! At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Soon we can swap bus passes.

I vaguely remember the late Ian Carmichael and the late Ronald Fraser in a TV drama back in 1990. It was called Obituaries. Two elderly chaps go through the paper (probably The Times) each day, scanning the obituary column. They scored points for specific phrases if I recall correctly. “Peacefully after a short illness”; “After a lengthy illness bravely borne”. You get the drift. Anyway, I have a feeling that one day that may be us.

Do you remember James Morris?

Morris the Milk? Father ran a dairy? Indeed, I do! Has he gone?

He has…… after a short illness, peacefully with his family beside him!!

Score 5  for that.

What about this one….?

[Subsequently found this link]

And so on until one or the other of us finds ourself in the despatched column of the Hatched, Matched and Despatched section. I have decreed that my Ashes shall be scattered, well, anywhere really. Somewhere quiet and peaceful where the dogs won’t wee on me. One did in Buenos Aires, you know. We stopped to ask for directions. Charming lady, walking her dog. The hound mistook me for a lamp post and piddled on my trouser leg. She was mortified. Luckily I had on a pair of trousers that unzipped at the knee so I was able to complete the expedition without the telltale signs marking me down as a target for every other dog in downtown BA.  A brace of ziplock bags (intended for camera gear) were used to quarantine the offending lower-trouser legs. A very elegant solution. Next time I shall hop from one foot to the other in a manic fashion to make sure the pooch realises I’m not a telegraph pole, tree or other quasi-peeing post. Its a lot safer photographing flowers I can tell you.

Toodle pip.


16 thoughts on “Patch walk

  1. I like the grass thing, you didn’t caption it, so I am reduced to call it grass thing. The face on the violet is so distinct, I could have managed that one without a caption. The double fiddle is intriguing – what is it? (or don’t you know?)

    I don’t think I ever saw Obituaries, although it sounds as though it would have appealed to me. However back in 1990 I was going through one of my rebellious no TV phases (still am).

    There must be something about Argentina and dog wee. One of ours managed to splash on a neighbour’s leg. He was Argentinian/Polish. The neighbour, not the dog. And he was standing on the spot where the dogs normally weed.

    Enjoy your blast from the past with your pal.

  2. Holy National Geographic! These photos are superb but the spider is my favourite – incredible shot. Have a great time with your pal tomorrow and glad today has been more cheery than yesterday. I hate those sort of days – I had one on Sunday 😦
    P.s Is Lulu doing another guest post soon?

  3. I love the flowers and the fiddleheads (somewhat right for Valentine’s day) but coulda done without the spider getting his dinner ready! 😉

  4. Dear God, help me. I almost laughed myself right off my bed. (stay in BR when on computer to give as much time to my little cat that has The Big C).

    Anyway of all things- my most favorite Brits on this page all in one morning (missing is Ralph) Of course you are No1 with Val and Lottie in a tie. Roughseas I recently encountered but like her already. She is a great commenter and a whip.

    Back to this post. You have got to write more of this sort of thing- Not referring to the flowers here although these are very good. I assume you used the 180 macro for these.

    Your writing about the obits, etc. too funny I just kept laughing and laughing. The more I read the funnier it became. Please write more of these things. Andrew, I absoluteluy loved this post. It made my day.

    While I am at it- would you mind if I posted your pic of the dog and cat that you posted for me to put it as a post as it is with your name etc.? That post is a short one and I have never tried to reblog so I’m not quite sure if I can make it happen- even if you give the ok.

    I must get moving as I owe Val a long email reply. She has been so nice to help me and we find we have a few things in common. I just like her a alot. Some of her posts are so funny I laugh until I am crying but yours just hit me as extremely funny this morning. Maybe it is writing about the old age thing ( after all I am a member of that club).

    Yvonne (Feb. 14 @ 9:30am) central standard time

  5. Photographing flora must be a totally realxing affair. Not least because you’re not likely to be chased off or shouted abuse, as often happens in street photography. Lovely shots, really refreshing.

  6. Farrer’s Azalea…. If you think you’re having a bad hair day, spare a thought for Reginald Farrer who perished of either pneumonia or diphtheria on the Burma/Yunnan border in 1920. He was just 40 years old.

      • It’s confusing, but they must be related. And you’re not wrong. According to my “Wild Flowers of South China and HK” by B.M.Walden and S.Y.Hu; “Rhododendron farrerae” is Farrer’s Azalea. When I looked up “Azalea” in another book it said “see Rhododendron”, dont’cha love botany ?

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