This time when I arrived there were no marshalls to tell me where I could or couldn't park so I drove round to the left of the car park and reversed the van up to the tree line; the morning's drizzle had turned to proper rain by then and I had no intention of being away for long so I knew the dogs would be okay while I was gone. With no need to go into the castle itself, and with one particular view in mind, I headed straight for the gardens and with flowers and plants blooming everywhere it was lovely to see how much things had changed in the few short weeks since Easter.
Following the paths I'd taken at Easter I soon came to the place where I wanted to get a repeat shot from. Over the years I've taken many good photos of many different subjects but every so often there's been one which, for me at least, has stood out from the rest for whatever reason, and the view across the lawns to the hawk house had been one of those. I'd hoped to repeat the shot with blue skies and this time all I got was rain and mist but the view still looked quite pretty so I took the shot anyway and hoped it would look okay.
From there I took a path which I hadn't noticed on my previous visit and was delighted when I turned a corner and found a pretty little pond. Everywhere I went azaleas and rhododendrons made big splashes of colour in a background of green and I roamed around taking shot after shot, though even under the shelter of an umbrella it wasn't easy. Several times I got rain spots on the lens and my shots were either slightly blurred in places or completely ruined but I took enough that I would at least get some fairly decent ones.
Eventually I made my way round to the rockery behind the hawk house then into the hawk house itself. With no-one else around I had the place to myself so I was able to read the few wall mounted information boards without interruption before taking a couple of shots from the inside looking out, then with one final photo taken as I walked up towards the castle I made my way back to the car park.
Apart from the gardens and the castle itself dogs are allowed in the extensive grounds so I could have taken Sophie and Poppie for a lovely walk but it was far too wet and in some places muddy too, so with just a very brief walk along the path near the van, and the promise of (hopefully) a better walk later on, we left Chirk Castle and headed back to Llangollen for the next part of the day.