I made an early start and headed out to Virginia Water lake in Windsor Great Park. I usually park up the hill on the A30 and walk down into the park past the Wheatsheaf pub.
(photo-heavy post follows… but please do click through to see the original shots, and let me know what you think)
The weather was fantastic – a slightly crisp, but very clear spring day.
Since I’d passed it as I’d walked down the hill on the other side of the fence, I chose to start at the cascade.
Walking back towards the lake, there were swans. They seemed quite aggressive today, but I did love the pure white plumage against the strong colours of the sky and the water.
On my way up to the Valley Gardens I had a great conversation with a man with a friendly dog and happy little boy… grabbed a coffee at the kiosk… stopped to see the ducks at the end of the lake… and passed the totem pole.
One of the most wonderful things about this part of Windsor Great Park is the amazing diversity of environments. Open spaces and wooded areas; the lake; cascade; North African Roman ruins (!); totem pole; obelisk; and, of course, the wonderful gardens. Before I reached the daffodils, there were some other lovely spring colours from the gorse and magnolias.
The main attraction was always going to be the daffodils in the Valley Gardens, which I’d photographed last April… I did think March was a bit early for them, but they have started to pop up around the green spaces where we live. It actually was a bit early – the carpet is a bit sparse at this point, but there is still some great colour to be seen… give it another couple of weeks and it should be in full bloom.
On the way back I spotted my first butterfly of the season, and also a group of photographers who I can only assume must have been on some kind of club outing.
These are not the only shots I’ve published, and I’ll be processing some more over the next day or so too… the light was actually quite bright, making exposures a bit difficult in a few cases today. Keep checking back on my photostream for more if you are interested.
Technical note: one annoyance I discovered today with Lightroom / OS X / Flickr is that, if I export to JPEG from Lightroom using either the Adobe RGB or ProPhoto colour spaces, the colours look very muted when uploaded to Flickr – even though they show up fine in the JPEG in Preview on the Mac. Switching to sRGB seems to have helped a little. I don’t understand why this should be the case, but I’ll go along with it for now.