Archive | May 21, 2012

English Countryside

English Countryside by Webminkette
English Countryside, a photo by Webminkette on Flickr.

There is nothing better than to drive out of the city and to walk along ancient tracks admiring the pleasant countryside.

This is Old Winchester Hill, only a short drive from Southampton or Winchester (about 11miles) and the site of an Iron Age fort and Bronze Age barrows. In 2009 it became part of the South Downs National Park and it has fantastic views of the surrounding countryside, we spotted several deer whilst we were there. Various ancient, long distant footpaths cross the hill’s summit.

I love to see the profusion of wild flowers and butterflies that exist in our chalk downlands. Although this photo was taken in August, there was a strong breeze – this made taking individual close-ups of flowers difficult, as they would not remain still. However, this view along the path captures some of the abundance that faced us.

Militarised Zone

[youtube http://youtu.be/hIT3ch-tVCc]

Chicago is a city I like a lot, but this weekend’s visit was unusual because it happened to coincide with the NATO summit being held here. The architecture is just as splendid as usual (and I will probably post some photos of it), but each time I was out on the streets an enormous security machine was in operation. Riot police, riot cyclists (yes) and most amazingly gunboats in the Chicago river. I wonder how much this show of force inspires the reaction rather than pacifies it?

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