The sad demise of the Fylde Women football team.

Last week there was a Covid sporting casualty when AFC Fylde announced that it was disbanding its women’s soccer team, citing the the difficult financial environment as the reason. A disappointing decision to say the least, given that the season had already been suspended.

I’ve enjoyed photographing the team many times and have always been impressed by their skills, dedication and team spirit. Here I’ve put together a few black and white photographs from happier days.

Garden Birds in Lockdown

So we have a lockdown in the UK right now and if you are not a key worker you are only allowed out for one bit of exercise per day and for essential food shopping.  Clearly the exercise bit is open to interpretation because when I went for a short walk I was passed by numerous cyclist who were obviously doing the Guild Wheel cycle route. That’s a 21 mile route around the city and it was a lot busier than an average weekday.  I guess some people will stretch that one daily exercise out quite a bit.

Anyway, I’m digressing from the the main topic of this post, which is photographing Garden Birds while isolated at home.  I’ve noticed some days are busier with birds in the garden than others and I haven’t worked out why, so that means somedays you have to be really patient.

I order to attract more birds, it would have been useful to have a better selection of bird food too but we are where we are so to speak and we seem to get around half a dozen different species on a fairly regular basis.

The photos here have all been taking over the last few days using the Fuji X-T3 with 100-400mm lens attached. Many have been shot through the window so are probably not of the highest quality but generally I am happy with the results. See what you think…

Everybody is doing the Woodland Bop

Looking at a few recent woodland photos this morning and a song from the early seventies came into my head by the late great Marc Bolan and Tyrannosaurus Rex. “Everybody is doing the woodland bop, once you’ve started you’ll find it hard to stop”.

Well, guess that was me following the recent storms and heavy rainfall. The waterlogged woodland locally made for some interesting photographs that took on an almost painterly quality.  See what you think…

Waterlogged WoodlandWaterlogged WoodlandWaterlogged WoodlandIvy climbing up a tree trunkIvy climbing up a tree trunkIvy climbing up a tree trunk

Our feathered friends are a calming influence

I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a bird or wildlife photographer but sometimes it’s nice to take time to appreciate what is around us.  Being outside in the countryside is therapeutic in these difficult times.  It’s calming; patience is key to capturing bird photos and that is good for the soul. 

At times I wasn’t even sure what I was photographing here but half of the fun is getting the photo and the other half is learning about the birds afterwards! Hopefully more photos will follow over the coming weeks but for now here are a few images taken in the last week or so…

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Birds-1020

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

Birds Lytham-1390

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Nuthatch  (Sitta europaea)

Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) taking bird food from a tree stumo.

Coal Tit (Periparus ater) 

Birds-0963

Great Tit (Paris major)

Birds-0965

Chaffinch (Fringilla celebs)

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Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Birds-1017

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

A visit to Cuerden Park

It wasn’t a planned visit to Cuerden Park. We had been out and about visiting local DIY stores, searching for something or other, which was pretty mundane. We did however remember that there was a cafe at Cuerden Park which was only five minutes away and so we set off, more in hope of finding a coffee and a place to relax for a while than taking any pictures.

As it happens, we didn’t get the coffee. We hadn’t counted on the cafe being like the place  in Lancashire for dog owners. Every table was taken. It would appear that this is the place to go if you are a ‘professional’ dog-walker, because everyone seemed to have at least three dogs lashed around the seats and table legs.

So, no space for us in the cafe but we did still enjoy a walk around the country park, albeit as the only ones without dogs in tow!

Here are a few pictures…

Cuerden Park-4796Cuerden Park-4799Cuerden Park-4807Cuerden Park-4821Cuerden Park-4823Cuerden Park-4825Cuerden Park-4831

Autumn walk in Preston’s Parks

Preston is lucky enough to have some fabulous public parks and at this time of year they are spectacular.  The Autumn colours have been good this year and it’s hard to resist the lure of a walk with the camera.

Here are a few photographs taken in Avenham/Miller Park, Moor Park and Haslam Park.

All photographs captured on either the Fuji X-T1 or X-T3.

Avenham Park Autumn-4572Avenham Park Autumn-4578Avenham Park Autumn-4583Avenham Park Autumn-4589Haslam Park, PrestonHaslam Park, PrestonYoung man and women taking a walk through park in AutumnMoor Park-1937Young women walking along park pathMoor Park-1948Autumn Avenham Park-1827Autumn Avenham Park-1811Autumn Avenham Park-1810Autumn Avenham Park-1806Autumn Avenham Park-1804Autumn Avenham Park-1803Autumn Avenham Park-1795Autumn Avenham Park-1793

PNE Women v Blackpool Ladies

PNE Women had enjoyed a good win in mid week but they looked a bit jaded against Blackpool on Sunday, going down to three nil defeat at home – all three goals came in a disappointing first half performance.

For much of the game Preston were pegged back in their own half, frequently dropping too deep. When PNE did manage to put together an attack the strikers were isolated and outnumbered. I know Phil Neville likes England’s Lionesses to play the ball out from the back, a tactic even the best players struggle with at times. Preston try and play this way   but the tactic tends to result in Preston giving the ball away far too often in their own half as Blackpool pressed them high up the pitch.

To be fair a few of PNE’s regular players were missing for this game, so hopefully this is just a blip before they push on again.  On the plus side, it was nice to see the younger players in the team doing well. They kept going till the end and put in a much better second half performance as a team.

A few photos here but a full set is available via this link on my Flickr page

PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0440PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0474PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0563PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0655PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0768PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0795PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0909PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0939PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-0978PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-1060PNE Women FC v Blackpool Ladies FC-1076

A walk around Preston

It wasn’t what you would call a great day for photography, grey and overcast in the main but I fancied a walk with the camera.

Preston has a lot happening right now in terms of development and it’s always nice to capture these types of changes for posterity.  The brutalist architectural gem that is Preston Bus Station is 50 years old and it is nearing the end of a refurbishment – always good for pics. Then there is the old market hall and car park which is being knocked down to make way for a new cinema and leisure complex. It looks like a bomb site at the moment but it lends itself to black and white shots.

Here are a few photos from a quick wander through the park and into the city with a camera I don’t use much these days (Fuji X-T1) and a 23mm lens.

Preston City Centre-1659Preston City Centre-1670Preston City Centre-1676Preston City Centre-1681Preston City Centre-1682Preston City Centre-1694

 

Inside Tewkesbury Abbey

When we head south to Cornwall we often stop at the Tewkesbury Caravan Club site.  It’s just a few minutes off the motorway and there’s enough to see and do in the town. We always include a visit the historic Tewkesbury Abbey. 

The Abbey played a key role in the War of the Roses. Following a battle in the town the defeated Lancastrian soldiers took refuge in the Abbey but when the York army came calling they were handed over to be hanged on the town’s main street.

Here are a few photographs from our last visit to the Abbey.

Inside Tewkesbury Abbey

 

Inside Tewkesbury Abbey and the magnificent

 

Tewkesbury-4166

 

Tewkesbury-4172

 

Tewkesbury-4178

 

Tewkesbury-4169

In Pictures: Fylde Ladies -v- Middlesborough

A cold, breezy day in Lancashire as Fylde Ladies took on Middlesborough in the Northern Premier Division of the National League.  There was lots of endeavour from the home side  but Fylde’s usual fluidity was missing and at the final whistle it was Middlesborough who deservedly took the three points. 

Here are the pictures…click on any picture to view larger.