Tag Archives: Winterbourne House

Red post and telephone box in the snow

It snowed! Furthermore, we had several centimetres of the white stuff. I missed the beautiful sunrise as the weather front came across the region. For a time it looked like the sky was on fire and it only lasted around 10 to 15 minutes. However that was only a prelude to what was to fall from the sky. It snowed most of the morning and the decision was to plan my walk whilst it was snowing. Also getting out earlier meant that I missed the crowds in the park. The village looked beautiful in the snow and one of my favourite places to take pictures is Knowle High Street. The red letter box and the old telephone box are bright red. They make a great contrast with the white snow.

Knowle High Street in the Snow
Knowle High Street in the Snow
The high street in the snow
The high street in the snow
Knowle Church in the snow
Knowle Church in the snow
Snowman with a facemask
Snowman with a facemask

Heading up the street, there was a snowman outside the One-stop convenience shop. The shop assistant had made the snowman just outside the entrance. She was putting on a face mask for the snowman but it could not cover the carrot nose :). Knowle church looked wonderful in the snow and then it was down Kixley Lane to the canal.

Gate in the snow on Kixley Lane
Gate in the snow on Kixley Lane
Kixley Lane Canal Bridge
Kixley Lane Canal Bridge

The water was frozen and the branches of the trees were white and made for some great photography. I walked up the canal to Knowle locks to take pictures of the area. The boats were covered with snow that had blown onto their sides giving a rippled look to them. The contrast with the trees gave them an ethereal look.

Canal boat with snowy trees behind it.
Canal boat with snowy trees behind it.
Trees along the canal in the snow
Trees along the canal in the snow
Knowle locks in the snow
Knowle locks in the snow
Overlooking the canal in the snow
Overlooking the canal in the snow

I lingered around the locks for a while and then traced my steps back through the village making my way back home through the park. By now it was 12 o’clock and the place was full of snowmen and people enjoying themselves 🙂

Knowle park in the snow
Knowle park in the snow

Photographic tipFor snow I put my camera on manual and checked the exposure dial to ensure that the snow did not overwhelm the sensor. I shot the pictures in RAW so that I could play with the sliders in Lightroom and PSP. I was able to reduce the blue colour but made sure it was not to yellow either. My camera was weather proofed so that it braved the snow and water with no ill effects. A very enjoyable walk and the photographic experience of shooting in the snow was enjoyable.

Other snow links
Take a look at my last post on the Snow in Knowle back in 2017
Remember the week of the beast from 2018?

Snow Photography
Here are some tips if you are interested in learning more

Finally you can always come and Visit Knowle to see a beautiful English Village at its best.

As the University of Birmingham locked down so did Winterbourne house and gardens. There was still a small team of gardeners tendering the gardens during lockdown. As the restrictions eased, the gardens reopened to University staff on the 6th July. It is one of the perks of working at the University that you have free access to the Botanical gardens. I took the opportunity on a Friday afternoon to visit Winterbourne and it coincided with a break in the weather. Yes, the sun was seen in the sky! I brought along my macro lens and decided that it was going to be a close up day photographing the flowers and some of the friends that visit them as well.

A zoom of colour!
Nature’s helper
Summer in full swing

I realise now that what I enjoy about garden photography is the symmetry of the flowers. Also I like the asymmetry that is overlayered on the symmetry. The colours and the flower arrangements right down to the petals play a part too.

Symmetry and colours
A busy bee
Lilies in the sunshine

Winterbourne has different areas to it and there is a brook at the bottom of the hill with an Japanese oriental garden. On the way down, there are many flower beds and open spaces. Towards the house there is the walled garden and glasshouses that have a large variety of interesting species.

Can you spot the spider?
Lovely colours
A play on light and colour

Why do I love Winterbourne so much? I think it is the range of plants that come from around the world. Part of my role at the University is Director of Global Engagement. The Winterbourne Gardens web site mentions that the plant collection is taken from countries such as China, North and South America and the Alpine areas of the world. Maybe this is why walking around the Botanical Gardens feels as if you are undertaking international travel in a short space of time and distance.

Temporary entrance with social distancing sign into the walled garden
The lime walk
Walkway through the garden
Symmetry in the onion vegetable patch

Finally, whilst I love taking pictures of the plants, I do not know many of their names. So if anyone is able to help so that I can name them correctly it would be very much appreciated 🙂

Winterbourne house

I am so happy that I have caught up with most of my pictures that I can concentrate on a few pictures taken this week. My first picture is from Winterbourne House where Autumn is really showing its colours. Taken with my Sony Camera, I was surprised how deep the red colours had started to show.

Lovely deep red colours from the maple leaves

The colonnade outside the University of Birmingham sports centre is often photographed so after a rather large down pour of rain there was the opportunity to take photographs of the reflections. Also there was an obliging figure that came into the picture

Reflections after the rain

The new Library offers great views over campus and I went to a reception on the 4th floor. After all the formalities and on my way out I happened to see this scene over towards the Medical School. I was showing it to a colleague and he advised a tight crop to bring out the details of the buildings. It did well on Twitter with over 5k of views and interactions.

The final picture is taken on my way into work through the Pebble Mill gardens. This is a wooden walkway that was lit up for the first time. I now realise that the mornings are getting darker and that many of my pictures will be taken under such lighting for the next few months. I think this picture grabs the attention due to the low view point. A good week of pictures and hoping for some more in the coming 7 days 🙂

The path to work (featured in Amateur Photographer)

I am catching up with my photographs. I visited Winterbourne house in July and the flowers were in full bloom. This photographic journey features the Nut walk. I used a lensball to create the effect at the end of the network which provides a natural frame to the house. Following this I moved onto the flower beds near to and around the glass houses. There were several damsel flies flitting in and around the flowers. It is always a fascinating place to visit and has featured in previous blogs.

A place to pass the time away
more flowers
Worker bee is very busy
In full bloom
Damsel fly
The oriental garden in the lower reaches of the garden
View over the lake adjacent to Winterbourne
Natural framing of the house from the Nut walk
View of the house via a lens ball
The Nut walk
View of Winterborne from the garden (selected for BBC midlands weather)

A previous visit to Winterbourne House


Situated at the University of Birmingham, Winterbourne House is well worth a visit. Here are a few pictures from my recent trip there with the family. Lots of colour in the summer and next time we will remember to take our picnic hamper with us.