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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sitting amongst the Deer at Charlecote

Everywhere you turn it's Christmas. Christmas decorations. Christmas presents. Christmas food etc. I could go on but I won't as you all know what I mean. Even though it's all beautiful and I am really looking forward to the celebrations, it's still really nice to get away from it all. Escape away from the hustle and bustle of it all. There is nowhere I would rather be than outside breathing in the fresh air and just relaxing.

I grabbed my Camera bag, my mat and my flask of coffee and off I went to Charlecote. Heading straight for West Park as soon as I got there. I did my usual thing of walking around for awhile then decided somewhere to sit, relax and take in the surroundings. I headed for one of my usual places, it's just after the bend in the avenue of trees, from there I can see both up the avenue and down. I noticed all the leaves were down after the storm the day before.
This escape was the day after the big storm which caused so much damage on the East Norfolk coast last week. I lived just inland a little from Walcott and Bacton and worked on that very seafront in my Brother-in-law's pub for a few years. Luckily my family and the pub are ok  but everything around it was not and a few friends had flood damage to their homes and all right before Christmas. The storm was bad enough but it was also a high tide. My heart goes out to them all, especially at this time of year.

 Back to my escape......I found my tree and popped my mat on the floor. Sitting down resting my back against the tree, I did nothing at first but breathe in the fresh air. I then took my camera out just in case I saw anything I wanted to photograph or some of the deer decided to pop their heads around the corner to say hi. Flask by my side sitting back relaxing drinking a nice hot coffee in the middle of nowhere, pure bliss. OK so it's not the middle of nowhere but it feels like it when it's just you and nature. It was so nice to just sit back and think of nothing for a while. It's not often I get that opportunity to relax like this when I am not restricted by time. I was so enjoying it this day. 

            I think the little one in the middle of the next picture is a little camera shy. If you can't see properly just click on the image to make them bigger.

I have lots of deer pictures for you as it was a good day :)

The next few photos were taken into the sun a little but I still like them.

It wasn't long before a deer did pop his head around the corner literally :) I must have been sat there for about twenty minutes when this Buck popped his head around a tree in the avenue on the same side as I was sitting. He hesitated for a minute or two and then didn't seem to mind me being there and carried on with what he was doing. This photo reminds me of the plaques you get on walls with deer heads on them. Charlecote have a few around the house and inside the gatehouse.

Another buck joined him and they soon started to fight. It was a bit of a strange day, the deer were acting differently. I wondered if it was the storm the day before and over night? I could also hear cries in the background, when I looked up there were some of the young deer crying for their mothers. I had not heard them like this before. I am guessing the storm had upset them but also this would be about the time the mothers would start to wean their babies off them as many would be pregnant after the Rutting Season. Saying that, it is possible the weaning starts as the rutting does. If I am correct, Fawns are fed by their mother until she becomes pregnant again. As for the fighting, maybe a few of the does had come into season a little late?

I could have sworn Rutting season was over!

What I did not notice was that with the bucks came a beautiful herd of all types of Fallow deer and the best bit was they did not seem to be bothered by me being there.I guess as I was sat down and not really moving I was no threat to them. I was guessing this was not the time to stand up so I just clicked away at my camera amazed that they were still getting closer to me. I am over at Charlecote so much that maybe they know me by now and think.... 'there is that silly woman with that funny thing attached to her face making clicking noises again' :):)
Wouldn't it be lovely to know what animals were thinking when they look at you? I often look at my cats  faces and wonder that very same question. Mind you it would be a little crazy if everyone was like Doctor Doolittle :)

This group of does just casually stood there and watched on. None of them caring much that I was sat under a tree not far from them.

Sat under the same tree I had views on three sides of me and deer everywhere. It was so nice to be sat in the middle of them like this. The next photo would be with Hampton Lucy in the background.  I have been doing a little research on Hampton Lucy still trying to connect Offchurch with the area and I also wanted to know why Hampton was called Lucy which was the Charlecote family name. I did find something...In 781AD King Offa of Mercia granted 17 hides to the Bishop of Worcestershire. 1 hide is around 120 acres. The Village was originally called Bishop's Hampton. Ham being an old word for land by the river. In 1549 the land was sold to John Dudley who was the Duke of Northumberland at the time but Dudley was executed by the order of Queen Mary in 1555. In 1557 Queen Mary granted the lease of the Manor to Thomas Lucy of  Charlecote and the village became known as Hampton Lucy. That answers my question about the name connecting the Lucy family to the Village and of course King Offa is connected with Offchurch hence the original name 'Offa's Church' but that does not connect the two in later years.....yet! More research to be done!

I am never happier than when I am outside walking or just relaxing away from everything. It's a strange feeling it gives you and I can't be the only one who feels like this. It's like the saying 'a breath of fresh air' can I explain......I will try...It's like when you have a lot of worry and stress around you and no brain space to think straight and then suddenly all that is gone and your head is silent and clear, no worries and you feel like your spirit has been lifted and you feel peaceful. Does that make sense? If it does then that's how I feel when I escape like this. 

My head is always so full of what needs doing, stressing over the children's health, education and so on. It's hard enough when you have children who are healthy and have no other problems and will progress through life at an average pace but when you have children who are a little different, life isn't ever that straightforward. There are extra worries with health issues, diets, special schools and other forms of education, the list goes on. Then you have like everyone does, the normal everyday life worries to think about. This is why this free time I have and my escapes are so important to me, they are giving my a little bit of myself back, breathing space and just a little time to think about nothing else. 
I so love being out there, it's my time, my space and it's what keeps me going to face the world the rest of the time. I have said before... The only time I think of nothing is when that camera is in front of me, all I think about is what I see right in front of me, it is a luxury I really enjoy and I love the fact that people actually enjoy reading about my escapes too. After spending years of taking a back seat, I feel I have a little of my life back and I truly am loving it. I so want to thank you all for reading my blogs and spending the time to comment on them. I enjoy my walks but to find out others enjoy reading about them, well that's like a double bonus :) 

Fight number two started.

Then they stopped and just walked on without a care n the world.

Thought it was time to head back home so packed my bag and mat up and headed for the main park around the house. Thought I would have a quick nose and then go home. To my surprise, there in front of me another fight was going on between three different bucks. It would have been nice if just one of the four fights I had seen today were not in slight ditches or behind logs but I still saw them.
The same buck first went after another dark buck and then when the dark one has had enough and walks off, he turns his attention to another one next to him.

Now the other one!

He doesn't want to fight either so off he goes.

I think for the two hours escape I didn't do too bad with my deer spotting. I have never seen this all in one day, never mind just a couple of hours. Sorry for adding so many photos but I couldn't pick which ones to show you and I took so many but I won't tell you how many :) Still more to go through!


  1. More wonderful deer pictures, I'd swear some of them are posing for you!

  2. Thank you Bobbie, so sorry I missed this comment. I think you are right, it does look like that :)