My cunning plan for today was a fleeting visit to Saltram House, on the outskirts of Plymouth. When I arrived in the city my friend Jan picked me up from the station and dropped me in the grounds of the house. I strolled into the visitor reception, only to be told I'd missed my last opportunity to get into the house by just a matter of minutes - if only my train hadn't been running late! I had over an hour until Jan was due to come and collect me so I went for a walk in the gardens instead. It was drizzling heavily but my waterproof mac kept me fairly dry and I used a cotton handkerchief to keep the worst of the water off my camera.
The gardens at Satram are mostly landscaped woodland so I found lots of photogenic pathways through the trees, with beautiful contrasts between light and shade. As I walked back to the car park I passed a pond where the local ducks were milling around. A solitary Mandarin duck was sitting just out of reach, looking resplendent in his colourful plumage. He completely shamed the Mallards, who are losing their breeding colours and looking rather scruffy now. This particular bird seemed quite amenable to having his photo taken and stood there quacking at me vigorously as I tried to find his best side!
2 June 2017