Dear Prudence

 We were moored right next to the entrance to a park that Shane visited often as a child, and we have also been with the boys, as children and their great aunt Eileen. We had checked out one of the entrances in an evening walk the night before. The sunny days and mild long range forecast meant some cycle rides and visiting other childhood haunts in the locale had also been suggested.

We woke to greet the brand new day to find it overcast. To my surprise Shane started talking about sanding and painting scrapes on the boat – not the day I had in mind. What’s more, painting when it looked like it might rain at any time, seemed unwise. It turned out he was just saying we ought to do this soon and check we had all the suitable equipment. He had also remembered that the paint should not be applied when it is less than 10 degrees, so it would definitely be prudent to do it before winter.  We agreed that this week would be a good time, with a few days of favourable weather… but not today.

We set off for the park, hopeful to get a glimpse of deer there – the main advertised attraction. We had only just started down a side path, when I saw scurrying ahead. A mouse ran across the path but re-emerged and to our surprise stayed in the path before us. Shane had his camera out quickly and crouched down to get closer.  


A photograph of Shane photographing a mouse.

He managed to get a good picture and then it ran off into the long grass. 

Crouched mouse

We carried on then I looked back and saw it come out again. This time I crept up on it and got above it.

A hunched mouse

I have never seen a mouse so fearless – except one in our house, when I was child that had found some of my mother’s shortbread that fell off a plate. Lucky mouse! We went on to the park and strolled in the grounds. The house itself was not open today.


Dunham Massey House and pond

I heard some unfamiliar screeching and saw they were parakeets flying over. We saw them a we times. I don’t remember these before. We saw a jay too sitting in the trees.

The we spotted a deer quite near, then gradually more could be seen and Shane spotted antlers. We managed to get quite close to another unflinching beast. I stopped creeping towards him when he faced me and flicked his ears. May have been fine, but I didn’t fancy my chances with those antlers.

Relaxed stag chewing the cud

There were photographers with impressive equipment near the stag too. I assume they got far better photos than me.


Redhead photographing red deer stag. He is slightly better camouflaged than she is.

Soon it was clear that seeing deer was easy and there were several different ages and stages and kinds to be seen.

Solid antlers this time.
They’re not bothered either.


After some lunch and job planning for later in the week, we had another stroll in the light rain to look for a spot to turn. We passed by the field of cows we had seen the previous night, but we hadn’t seen the bull before. Impressive beast with the ring in its nose catching the light (or the blades of grass) occasionally.

Black bull and his brown cows. How now dears?

If we are going to do some repairs  will need to be able to turn  around so we aren’t trying to sand and paint perched over the water. Risky business. We found one and have moved down. It even had rings (much bigger than the bull’s) so we were able to do it quickly, just before sunset. As it went down, we saw a lovely rainbow. It was too dark, and the rainbow too faint, to photograph well. The rainbow umbrella of the nearby boat crew, who had oddly chosen to have a barbecue despite the damp day, had much brighter colours.