Hadrian’s Wall

I always seem to visit Northumberland in September. Last year I was working in Carlisle and headed over to Steel Rig in the evening for the sunset. This year we were staying in Brampton on our way home from Scotand, as so made a return visit to the same section of the famous roman wall.

While last year I headed east from the car park to view the well known section where the wall runs along the Whin Sill’s dolerite crags of Crag Lough. This year I headed west up to a nearby trig point,with views along the route of the wall both east and west.

The images below were taken during these two visits.

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A short break in the Scottish Highlands

In the middle of September we had a short break in Scotland,based around Loch Awe to the southeast of Oban. Although the weather wasn’t great (OK it was typically scottish!!) I did manage to get out with the camera.

The weather played ball and on one morning there was a great temperature inversion.  Then later the loch was flat calm, so great for reflections.

More images in the gallery.

Kilchurn Castle and Ben Cruachan

Kilchurn Castle

Loch Awe and Ben Cruachan

Loch Awe

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Inversions in the White Peak

On the way to a one-to-one workshop in flash use with Simon Watkinson at In Focus, I headed up into the Peak District bright and early to catch the sun rise and a hopefully a nice temperature inversion. Reaching the top of High Wheeldon just before sunrise (having been held up by a very early and very slow truck driver) I was greeted by cloud filled valleys. Yeay!!

After taking some shots of surrounding valleys, Chrome Hill and Parkhurst Hill, and the sunrise, I moved a few miles over to Crowdecote for some more low cloud with trees emerging from it. A few images follow, including a 5 shot panorama. Other images are in the Landscape gallery.

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Sunset at Willington Gravel Pits

A few weeks ago I went down to the local gravel pits nature reserve, the aim being to get some shots of dragonflies. Othet than the usual herons, coots, cormorants and a few common terns there wasn’t much around. However, the sunset was great. A few images follow.

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A day with a wolf and a mermaid

After a month or so in the photographic doldrums I finally managed to get out and spend a day in the Peak District with my camera. In the morning I headed to Wolfscote Dale (the northern extension of the better known Dove Dale). I wandered along the riverside path capturing images of the many small waterfalls. Then I climbed the steep grass slopes of the valley to get some shots of the valley as a whole.

After several hours in Wolfscote Dale I headed north to Mermaids Pool overlooking the Roaches then on to Gradbach, for a walk up to the chasm of Lud’s Church. This natural crack in the rocks is filled with ferns and other moisture loving plants. It was however difficult to take satisfying photos of. Perhaps going back with a macro lens is a thought for the future.

To finish the day off, knowing that the Roaches would be heaving with climbers, I headed to the nearby Gib Tor, a smaller but still photogenic sandstone ridge.

The images below are of Wolfscote Dale, Mermaid’s Pool (a four shot panoramic), and Gib Tour (including a five shot pano).

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Greylake RSPB Reserve, Somerset

While on a weekend visit to my parents in Somerset in early June we made a short visit to the RSPB’s Greylake reserve in the Somerset Levels near Bridgwater. This wetland reed bed dominated site provides wooden boardwalks and paths leading to a very nice hide. Species seen included reed bunting, wren, mute swan, little egret, a flock of goldfinches, a possible redshank (distant), little grebe, unknown warblers (they still all look the same to me) , and swallows.

Shots of a nest building wren and a reed bunting are below.

 

 

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Bee Orchids

The company I work for has its main offices in a business park on the outskirts of Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire. The area was developed around 12 years ago.This isn’t exactly the type of place that you would expect to see a host of stunning bee orchids. Well, I don’t know where the topsoil was imported from but back in May we had at least eight plants on our “lawn”. These orchids tend to prefer calcareous soils, definately not what we have in Burton. The following are some of the images made on a rare sunny day.

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