Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Exmoor Day 4 – A golden valley & over familiar insects

Exe Valley in the Exmoor National Park at sunrise by Martyn Ferry Photography

Up for sunrise again this morning, this time I was heading to the Exe Valley, located just the other side of Simonsbath. The valley itself is not the most interesting of valleys, it doesn’t have the precipitous slopes or trees and shrubbery of the Barle Valley, nor is the River Exe that imposing, it’s just a small trickle occasionally spied among the valley floor grasses. The one thing it does have going for it though is the sunrise, which ascends beyond the basin and lights up the landscape below, at least that was the hope.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Exmoor Day 3 - A punchbowl sunrise & sunset feast

Sunrise image of The Punchbowl in Exmoor National Park by Martyn Ferry Photography

I was up at five for a sunrise shoot at the Punchbowl, where I’d been the afternoon before, as it looked like it might be a worthwhile spot for some early morning antics. I got there a little late though, as the sky was already beginning to transform from the lead grey of nights end into the first flush of dawn.

Parking up and grabbing my gear, I took off at speed into the moorland to find a suitable spot for what I hoped might be a rewarding show. If anyone had been passing by they would have witnessed a rather ungainly fellow scampering through the ferns, tripod flailing in the morning breeze, crying out ‘wait for me’ to the blushing sky. Whether it’s shade signalled the start of a colourful sunrise, or it was just embarrassed to be seen with me, I didn’t yet know.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Exmoor Day 2 – Mischievous rain and a sat nav mutiny

Landscape at Porlock Common in Exmoor National Park by Martyn Ferry Photography

After a very disturbed night, thanks to the seemingly endless rain tap tap tapping on my taut tent topping, I wasn’t up that early, not that there was much to be up for, the rain was still continuing its cascade of damp misery. So after a leisurely breakfast, by which time the clouds had taken on a more cheery countenance and the sun was finally awake, I took a drive over the moors to the coast, and Porlock Common.

Porlock Common is a fetching piece of land that comprises meadows of heather and a patchwork of trim, hedge lined fields upon rolling landscape, all situated right on the coast. It encompasses all of what makes Exmoor such an appealing place, in a way that very few spots in the National Park manage to do. And it was looking very fine in the morning light.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Exmoor Day 1 – The tent offensive and a valley storm

Castle rock bathed in warm sunlight under stormy clouds in Exmoor by Martyn Ferry Photography

Last week I spent a few days in one of my favourite places, Exmoor National Park. I was camping near Exford so I was hoping the weather would stay clement for the duration, as I don’t find tenting and rain an agreeable combination.

So, I arrived at the campsite accompanied by a howling wind and intermittent blustery downpours, perfect conditions to set up a large, flapping piece of canvas. As I wrestled with my accommodation, doing my best to deal with its angry flailings, like an overwrought parent who’s run out of Ritalin, the sun did finally, if bashfully and fleetingly, show its face, so I had reason to hope things might improve.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

An evening at Ouse Fen nature reserve

Evening photogrphy at RSPB nature reserve with wildflowers in Cambridgeshire by Martyn Ferry Photography
While not so prevalent at this time of the evening, at other times these wildflowers attract a whole host of
insects. I have walked through during the day and each step produces a kaleidoscope of colourful butterflies
and electric blue damselflies.

The other evening I took a little trip to the RSPB nature reserve at Ouse Fen in Cambridgeshire, so called because it is traversed by The Great Ouse. At 143 miles, its journey from near Bedford to the Wash makes it one of the longest rivers in the UK. Hence the ‘Great’ moniker, to distinguish it from several other waterways named the Ouse.