Thursday, 17 March 2011

Trains, Planes, but no Automobiles...

It was a relief to see some blue sky at last. It seemed that the interminable grey gloom of overcast skies had hung over us for weeks. Today the sun shone, the moon was just a stretch away, and the scent of spring was in the air.

The day could not to be wasted. I took a stroll around some favourite haunts at Chasewater.
The reservoir has been drained to carry out some work on the dam, but the springs that feed the waters ensured that there were still ponds sufficient for the wildlife to do what wildlife does.

I accidentally spooked a Stag out of a belt of trees. While it was out in the open I took the opportunity to grab a few snaps. Typical... I get it all lined up, in focus, and he goes and closes his eyes!

The two Stags held an uneasy truce, occasionally sparring, but also cooperating, taking it in turns to keep an eye out while the other grazed.

It amazes me how such large animals generally manage to keep themselves undiscovered in such a populated area. They'll stand motionless in a clump of trees while walkers pass by totally unaware of their presence.

The lady driver of the passing steam train did spot them from her elevated position and signalled excitedly to me. A blast of the whistle had them running for the horizon, and I headed for home too...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Stunt Budgie gets a Bath Buddy...

Budgie was happy enough, glad to be rescued from the dangerous outside world in which she was found, but sometimes the humans were out for a good part of the day and life could get a bit dull...

She would try and occupy herself as best she could, practising stunts on the top of her cage, but she really needed a partner in crime.

So budgie has got a new friend to keep her company, and get up to all sorts of mischief while the humans aren't watching!

Of course the new budgie hasn't had the freedom to fly around until now, and so needs to build up her fitness and strength. Blue budgie was quick to show her some 'warm up' exercises.

Soon enough they were ready to try out a few synchronized manoeuvres.

Green budgie has got the hang of this new fangled flying malarkey, and can out run a guy with a camera without much problem.

In fact they've become such good friends that they are happy sharing a bath together...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Air Ambulance...

Resting up with a sniffly cold, my afternoon snooze was abruptly interrupted with some loud drilling noises from the workmen next door. I turned over and pressed my ear deep into the pillow trying to block out the infernal racket. The irritating buzzing continued, if anything it was getting louder. What on earth were they doing?!
I glared out the window only to see the normally busy road deserted...

I rushed outside as I realised that what I thought was drilling was a helicopter circling very low. It was the air ambulance looking for a spot to land.

After a perilous hover, slotting itself between telephone lines, it must have been a relief to the pilot to be safely on the ground, as the gas turbine engines whined to a halt.

With the rotors at a standstill, the crew sprung into a calm, but efficient routine.

The casualty was being treated in a waiting ambulance, as the helicopter was prepared.

A spine board was used to safely carry out the transfer from stretcher to air ambulance.

As far as I could ascertain, a car had been in collision with a female pedestrian. There was damage to the bonnet and windscreen, as well as an ominous dent high up on the A-pillar.

Ironically, dangling from the rear view mirror was a tag in support of the Midlands Air Ambulance.

The co-pilot checked the take off area, while the police ushered onlookers to a safe distance.

The gas turbines wound into life, while the sound of the blades rose to a deafening roar. Hesitantly the impressive machine hauled itself into the air, before gaining its grace and soaring off into the sky.

There was a small fleet of unmarked police cars (including these two regular BMWs) that had needlessly turned up. There were more than enough patrol cars to carry out all duties, and sitting there for nearly an hour was a poor use of resources.

The forensic collision investigation unit were very thorough, the scene measured, searched and photographed.
Thank goodness for the air ambulance. I will be putting some money in their donation box again this week...

Friday, 4 February 2011

Railway Journeys... Destination, Nowhere!

It was nice to be out walking in Cannock Chase. The wind was blowing a gale, but it was mild. High up on the hill, surrounded by forest, you could see for miles around.

In a large clearing I came to a railway level crossing. It seemed odd finding it up on the crest of a steep sided hill. Not where you would expect to find a railway at all.

Confident that there wasn't a train due, I stood on the tracks to take a photo.

There was something fishy about this. The lines didn't go anywhere.

There wasn't even a road to warrant the need for a crossing on the imaginary railway. To top it, there were overhead power lines that also went nowhere.... and a junction box... emergency telephones... signage. There is no road, railway, station, or anything on the top of this deserted hill, there never has been, and there are no plans to build any. What the hell is going on?!... Maybe I imagined it all...