Springtime in the woods

It’s time for a walk in the woods.  Actually, this is a mere stroll compared with the day before’s hike around Culbone.  After the mild winter, it has been everyone’s expectation that this year will see an early show of bluebells.  With this in mind, we decided to take a stroll around some local woodland to see what we could find.

There was no carpet of blue yet, but where the most light and sun could find its way through, there were some well developed flowers to be seen.  I think primroses were still stealing the show but bluebells were on their way as well.  Compared to last year, I think the bluebells are probably 2-3 weeks ahead, at least in this wood.  There were also plenty of other spring blooms on show.

The final image in this gallery is a very strong clue as to where this woodland can be found, though it doesn’t look quite as it did a few years ago.

I’m not posting very regularly at the moment, but please keep an eye open to see what may come next.

Culbone Panorama, North Somerset

There has been a lot of attention to the Somerset Levels of late.  Well, not all of Somerset is flat, and below sea level.  Last Thursday, we set off on one of our fairly regular walks with our good friends Annie and Roy.  We normally try to follow the weather and the forecast suggested that there would be more sunshine on the north coast, than there would be on the coast of Dorset, so the decision was taken to drive to Porlock Weir and do what was described as a 6 mile circular walk, with some steep inclines.  We started with a quick snack in the pub, and then set out for Culbone Church, which I’ll cover in another post.  After that, we decided that we had enough car parking time to complete the circuit so off we went, climbing nearly continuously.  Thankfully, there wasn’t quite as much sunshine as forecast and the weather was very pleasant for walking.  The sun did shine for this panorama, which was taken from Culbone Hill, at an altitude of about 1250 ft.  Our walk peaked out at just over 1300 ft before we started to descend.

wpid-Culbone_Panorama1.jpgThere were several times on this walk where we thought that we wouldn’t make it within our car parking time, but we did, with about 4 minutes to spare.

The panorama is an accumulation of 9 images, stitched in Photoshop.  As always, a blog post can’t really do justice to a panorama, but with enlargement, the coast of Wales can be seen very clearly.  One feature of this walk was that we saw a truly huge number of sheep with very young lambs, some of which I am sure were new born on that day.  The field on the right is full of sheep without lambs.  Although not visible without enlargement, the fields in the centre, and further down, were where the ewes with their lambs were.

When we arrived back at Porlock Weir, we decided that this hike was probably enough for a couple of septuagenarians and their wives.  The muscles were certainly aching.  Maybe I should return to walking the Somerset Levels. :)

I’ll try to post about Culbone Church soon, so please keep a look out.

Bubbles

No posts for a while.  Sorry, but I’ve been busy.  Posts will probably be a bit thin for a while but here is a quick one just to try and keep things going.  I’m sorry, but I’m not keeping up with reading and commenting either.

This is a first try at photographing a bubble, attempted last night with the YPG photo group.  The intention was to illuminate a Union Jack with flash and capture the reflection in a bubble.

wpid-20140408-_4080160.jpgToo many light sources in the room me thinks!  There were several photographers trying to get a shot and with ‘off camera flash’ it was inevitable that someone would be using a simple ‘slave’ setup.  Hence, when my flash fired, then so did theirs.

I’ll try again in a more controlled environment.

Thanks Derek, for providing the setup.  Thanks also, for the many ‘bubble blowers’ that puffed through the evening.

Portland Bill – Bike Trials 3

Today, it is the turn of Neil to have his Bike Trials skills featured.  Of the three lads that I photographed last Saturday, it is Neil with whom I have been corresponding and embarrassingly, when I look through my images for that day, I find that I have far fewer shots of him.  I’m sure that this isn’t due to anything other than my own inability to look in three directions at the same time, and I can only apologise.

Some of Nick’s and Bo’s skills are shown here and here.

There will almost certainly be more posts of this shooting session in the future.  If you are interested, then please come back for another look.

Portland Bill – Bike Trials 2

Portland Bill – Bike Trials 1 showed a young man called Nick practising his Bike Trials skills on the large rocks in the area.  In this post it is the turn of one of his friends Bo, to demonstrate his ability in this sport.

I’ll show some shots of Neil in the next post.  Please come back and take a look.

Portland Bill – Bike Trials 1

Last Saturday, while Dee was shopping in Weymouth with her friend Susanne, I headed for Portland Bill to take a few photos.  It was a lovely day, which made me think that Spring had arrived.  The downside was clear blue skies, which were not ideal for photography.  When I arrived, I started with a few regular shots of the area but I wasn’t inspired.  I was about to give up and move on, when I spotted three young men riding bikes over the large rocks in the area west of the lighthouse.  I watched them for a few minutes and thought that just maybe there were a few photos to be had.  Having asked whether they would mind I started firing off a few frames. Their names were Neil, Bo and Nick, and they were practising the skills needed for the sport of Bike Trials, much like the Motorcycle Trials that I used to watch when I was much younger.  The idea is that the only thing that should touch the ‘ground’ when riding over obstacles is the tyres of the bike. I was impressed and spent a while firing off about 150 shots before realising that I needed to go and collect Dee and her friend.  Rather than bore you with a whole series of shots in one post, I’ll pick just a few at a time.  Sometimes things were happening so fast that I had trouble keeping up and framing correctly.  None of the shots were posed. First a couple of shots showing Nick getting some air under his tyres.

There will be more posts in this series so Bo and Neil will have their time.  Please come back and take a look.

Winter 1 – Ducks and Ice

It may seem a bit late in the year to publish a post with this title.  We have had a pretty bad winter, but not really with the type of weather that is expected.  As it looks as if spring may be on its way, I thought it might be good to post something reflecting what winter can be like before the weather warms up.  To do this, I have gone back into the archives.  This one is from January 2009.

It shows ducks on the ice of Sutton Bingham Reservoir, where many years ago, I used to sail throughout the year.  Sometimes, we would have broken thin ice to get a sail at the weekend!

wpid-P1095821_edited-1.jpgThe dam and overflow of the reservoir are hidden in the mist of this frosty morning, at top left.  The pontoon where the Sailing Club launches its dinghies is off to the left.  A couple of the ‘marks’, buoys that mark the course or start/finish line, can be seen towards the upper third of the frame.  The water available for sailing extends from close to the camera, away to the dam at the top of the picture, and some distance off to the right, down a narrower finger of reservoir to the south.  Although not a large reservoir, Sutton Bingham provides some interesting sailing.

Duck and other water birds like it as well. :)

Another shot, taken on the same day and posted a couple of years ago can be found here.

Some shots taken during a ‘summer time’ walk around the reservoir can be found here.  Hopefully these will help us think of the better weather.

Have a good weekend. :)

Lyme Regis – After the Storms

On a recent fine day, we decided to visit Lyme Regis, to see how it had weathered the storms.  Online and on television, I had seen many images of huge waves breaking over the Cobb, but I had not been able to visit at that time.  I took a few shots during this visit, and this post shows some images depicting the damage that needs to be cleared up and repaired.

The first image has already appeared in an earlier post, but I have included it again, to show how calm and peaceful Lyme Regis can be.  To be fair, the other images don’t really show how violent the weather has been, unless you already know Lyme Regis quite well.

The second image in the series shows where large stones and cobbles have been completely lifted from the Cobb road out to where the fishing boats moor to unload their catches.  This is on the inside of the sea wall, adjacent to a very sheltered harbour.  This demonstrates just how badly the storm was felt, even within the harbour.

The next three images show the degree by which the large pebbles of Monmouth Beach, have been washed over the sea wall onto the Cobb approach road, and even into the harbour.  It may not look much, but it really does show the power of the storm.

After this come a couple of images showing the debris that has been washed up on the normally pristine Town Beach.

The final image shows where the protective pepples further along the Town Beach have been washed over the Cart Road along the sea front.

As can be seen, the damage will require some clearing up, but by comparison to the damage in many seaside areas along our coast, it doesn’t seem too bad.  This stands testament to how effective the Cobb at Lyme Regis really is as a sea defence.

Lyme Regis – Leaving Harbour

I was attracted by the colourful sail of this catamaran leaving Lyme Regis harbour, just as the sky was darkening as the next weather system started to appear from the west.  It was still fairly calm in the bay, so this boat and the paddleboarder on the right, should have enjoyed some pleasant time during the remainder of the afternoon.  As the sun disappeared, we thought that it was time to walk back up to the car and head home.

wpid-20140216-_2160051.jpg

Lyme Regis – Tough Guy!

A rubbish photo, snapped on the Cobb in February, on a day when the sun came out for a while.  It was a nice day, but still pretty chilly.  I confess, that the couple was decapitated because I snapped the shot without raising the camera from my side.  I thought that I would post it like this, because the young man might, in later life, end up being embarrassed if he was identified.  His young lady was much more appropriately attired.  I’m not a fan of ‘flip flops’ at best, and the damaged cobbles in the Cobb (see a future post) will have made this footwear potentially hazardous for this outing.  I hope he didn’t hurt his toes!

wpid-20140216-_2160024.jpgStill, this vision may help us think of Spring, which should be here soon! :)

Have a good weekend everyone.