Ah...finally, we get a day free (the usual Sunday football match was cancelled. I silently rejoiced. My boyfriend all to myself? And no standing in the freezing cold for 90 minutes hoping he won't injure himself!) to escape city life and go for a bracing walk, taking in some Royal flora and fauna.
Richmond /www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/richmond_park/ is the largest of all the Royal Parks, home to at least 650 deer.
We live really close to it, and I've wanted to take the man on a stroll around it for a while. So here we are, with a hot dog to share (you can't see it, but I had a hot chocolate too!) on the sunniest day of the year so far.
We managed to catch a few sightings of this Robin. Nothing really says English Winter like the red-flash and chirp of one of these birds!
We parked in the first available place we saw (decent days in the UK in January, on a day off=busy parks) and walked through the nearest gated wildlife preservation area, the Isabella Plantation.
It's name is something of a mystery (no Princess Isabella, then?) but it offered much in the way of the afforementioned f&f.
There's this babbling stream,
these weird ducks (have you ever seen these?)
this gnarled old tree that had been fenced off due to it's significant age and value I guess (reminds me of an Ent in Lord of The Rings)
and these new Crocusses.
I was having a discussion with one of my Actor friends the other day, and they had a soliloque that included the word crocus. If you're English and have ever tried to say the word "Crocus" in a New York accent you'll see how difficult it is! Anyway...The star of the day was this Stag. He had let the rest of the herd roam, but seemed authoritative and magestic to me totally disinterested in my presence.
And look! An even better sighting!
Man and beast together!