Monday, 11 August 2014

Teston 10 August 2014

I managed to pack the car before the first rain fell and drove to Teston Country Park in darkening skies and an ever increasing windscreen wiper rate. On arrival the rain took a brief break enabling me to walk round the happy campers, say hello to the few showing signs of life and grab a quick cup of coffee. Then the rain really set in and like a wonderful classical piece reached a crescendo with thunder and lightening at its peak. It was not all gloom and come 1 o'clock the sun broke through and a few members of the public turned up followed closely by a rather optimistic Ice Cream van.
The first kite I tried in a very stiff wind was my Octopus - only a short 5 metre affair (with tails) it handled fairly well until hit by crosswinds, which were plenty, at which point it folded up and plummeted to earth. After several relaunches I gave up and moved on to my more resilient Goldfish.
The Goldfish flew very well and appreciated the high winds. I was not the only person flying, however it was odd to note more public flying than Kite Flyers. Another KKF member was flying this Fox.
The last kite I put up was this Rotobox, the high winds were now limiting greatly what would fly especially with gusts in the 35mph + range. Luck was with me with the second picture straight down the length of the kite.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

KKF Teddy Parachuting at Brogdale Cherry Festival 20 July 2014

Spinning Pin-wheel
Kite flying at the Cherry Festival at Brogdale was hampered initially by a lack of wind and then by mid afternoon encroaching storms packed full of thunder, lightning and rain. Kent Kite Flyers did their best to put on a display but with no wind it was next to impossible to fly anything.
Parafoil lifter kite briefly in the air

As an “eye-catcher” Steve, Sue, Wendy and myself put together a wind garden of spinners, wind socks and flags which worked quite well.

Wind garden

Colourful Spinners made from bottles

Spinners and Pinwheels
As nothing was flying I put together a couple of Kites for the public to peer at.

The Cherry Festival itself was well attended and had a number of interesting stands and events on top of the KKF Teddy Parachuting; Archery, Classic Cars, a working Blacksmith, various food stands, a Cherry Pie eating contest, Fresh Fruit tasting were just a few.

A new way of face painting ?
I could not resist the picture of the Blacksmith hammering away with the Facepainting banner.  Towards mid afternoon as the storms approached the wind freshened for a while and Teddy Bear parachuting started to take place, this lasted until worsening weather made having a lifter kite up a little dangerous to health.

Some Teddy Parachuting
Overall though a nice day despite minimal wind. A few other kites were put in the air, sometimes briefly, from a large Rokkaku to a mini dragonfly kite.


Friday, 4 April 2014

Day Trip to Chester

Chester is a lovely city. Our trip there started with a walk around the City walls, the novelty of this walk is that the majority of it is along the top of the wall giving you excellent views down at the Shropshire Union Canal, the River Dee and the City itself.
River Dee at Chester
River Dee at Chester
Along the walk are a number of displays explaining a little of the history of Chester including a Roman Amphitheatre a Roman Bath house and Chester Castle to name a few. The shopping area is a mix of architecture including Tudor whilst the Cathedrals Romanesque and Gothic styles contrast nicely.
Roman Bathhouse Chester

Roman Amphitheatre Chester

Chester Castle

Chester Race Course - Oh I wish I had my Croquet set with me

Tudor Style - Chester

Mixed architecture Chester
On to nature – the River Dee appears to be a healthy river, despite its murky muddy appearance several Herons and Cormorants were fishing its waters below the weir, I managed to get a few nice pictures of this heron who had sited itself in an old Mill race, there was not much in the way of trees round the city so passerines were few, Blackbirds, Robins, Blue Tits and Great Tits being the only sightings.

Those that know me well are probably aware of my antipathy towards Zoos however Chester Zoo is probably the best zoo I have visited in the last 25 years, all the animals have space to move around and there is a high level of care shown towards them. I was impressed with what they have achieved  including the breeding programs. If you visit Chester you must give the zoo a look ( ). The following is a small selection of the animals and birds I saw.

Komodo Dragon (from Geneva zoo for breeding)


Asiatic Lion
Rhino (part of a successful breeding program)


Giant Otters (look at the front paws)

Little Egret

Glossy something