Thursday, October 5, 2017

Exmoor day 2 - Punchbowl, winding lanes & Castle sunset



Looking into the Punchbowl under pre-dawn light in Exmoor National Park

I awoke on my second morning in Exmoor National Park at around 6ish in the hope that I would be treated to a decent sunrise. Peering out from the tent, it looked pretty good, there was some cloud about but lots of clear patches as well, which was a perfect recipe for a cracking sunrise.

It was all the motivation I needed to struggle into my clothes in the cramped confines of my canvas abode, and motor on over to the Punchbowl. A dramatic hollow in the surrounding countryside, which is itself in a valley. The nature of the landscape and some of the deposits within it, suggest that it may represent scarring from the only glacier in southwest England during the Pleistocene age. The most recent of earth’s ice ages, that lasted from two and a half million to eleven and a half thousand years ago.

Whatever caused it, left behind a very comely vista, and a perfect spot for a bit of photography, so bravo. When I arrived, the sun hadn’t yet imparted any colour into the sky, as can be seen from the above image, so I had time to pick a spot and get set up.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Exmoor day 1 - heather, tunnel, waterfall & bog monster



First light on the landscape of Exmoor National Park

I took another visit to one of my favourite places a couple of weeks ago, namely Exmoor National Park on the northern coast of Devon, for a few days of photography.

I was camping so had my fingers crossed for decent weather, as it turns out my crossed fingers don’t hold much sway with the weather gods, it seems they were intent on chucking down a good amount of the wet stuff, despite my humble orison.

But on the plus side, changeable conditions do favour the courageously valiant photographer, assuming courageously valiant means willing to get a bit damp, and I was. As it happens, between the rain showers there were patches of warm sunshine to light up the landscape, along with some superb cloud formations, so not all bad.

On the first morning I was up for sunrise without delay, I wanted to get over to a little lane I happened to know that curves and meanders over the moorland, and to a spot where it traverses a trickling brook, for what I hoped would be a bucolic view into the park.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Journey around the West Cotswolds part 2


Cotswolds landscape around Rendcombe College in Gloucestershire

Following on from my last post, here is the concluding part of my visit to the West Cotswolds, and I take a little meander through a couple of the Duntisbourne villages. Picture perfect little hamlets that don’t contain a great deal, but are a pleasure to spend time in.

But first up was a stop at Rendcombe, or to be more precise, a stop at a view looking over Rendcombe College and some of the surrounding parkland. In the panoramic image above can be seen the main college building, built in 1865, along with a section of Rendcombe Park, which was established in 1544. As with all the images, just click on it to see a bigger version.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Journey around the West Cotswolds part 1



Landscape surrounding the Cotswold town of Painswick


A few weeks ago I had a little excursion over to the West Cotswolds, around the Stroud area, as it was one of the few areas of the Cotswolds that I hadn’t spent much time. Unlike the gentle rolling landscape that is familiar Cotswold terrain, the west is marked by a steep escarpment down to the Severn Valley. This is known as the Cotswold escarpment, or the Cotswold Edge, and is a result of the uplifting (tilting) of the limestone layer, exposing its broken edge. 

As a result, the villages and towns that reside here are so well nestled into the steep, undulating terrain, that from a distance, they often have the appearance of looking like they have grown directly from the earth, and are a natural part of the topography.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cornucopia of wildlife at Ouse Fen 02


Macro image of a Long-winged Conehead grasshopper in the undergrowth
Click on any image to see a larger version.

Part two of my little expedition to Ouse Fen Nature Reserve, which finds me on the lookout for its smaller inhabitants as they hide in undergrowth, doing their best to keep out of my way as I trample through their habitat.

Which makes it sound like I'm engaged in some sort of wanton destruction of their little homes, and in a sense I am, and I'm glad. No of course I'm not, but there is so much happening in the shrubs and the grasses, that just the act of walking among them reveals a bounty of wildlife, as they scurry or flap their way to safety.

So a keen eye allows you to follow their journey, and hopefully snap them as they temporarily rest among the brush, it's actually a very absorbing way to spend some time, as it engages you completely. No wonder grasshopper is the name of a yoga position.