Category Archives: Landscape

God’s Own County

“I won’t know for sure if Malhamdale is the finest place there is until I have died and seen heaven (assuming they let me at least have a glance), but until that day comes, it will certainly do” – Bill Bryson

On our recent road trip, visiting family in Yorkshire and Cumbria post-lockdown, we wanted to take advantage of having the car and see more of the Dales. Malhamdale was the natural choice. Our outing took in Janet’s Foss (‘foss’ being the old Norse for waterfall); Gordale Scar, a huge gorge with accompanying babbling brook; quintessential sheep farms; and finally Malham Cove, a huge natural limestone cliff that was once a spectacular prehistoric waterfall.

For over a million years, Malham has been repeatedly covered by giant sheets of ice, and the glaciers ground away the rock and carried away large chunks of the landscape. Each time the glaciers melted, floods of water then further eroded the face of the Cove, leaving us with the stunning natural beauty spot of today. No wonder tourists flooded (see what I did there?) to the site as soon as Covid restrictions were lifted. Luckily, there were very few people to spoil the view on the Monday we visited. Perfect for practising some landscape photography.

Malham8

Malham4

Malham6

Malham1

Malham10

Malham5

Malham2

malham7

Paul waterfall

Final photo Credit: Paul Adnitt

Tarn and Country

GLORY on glory greets our wondering sight

As we wind down these slopes; mountain and plain

Robed in rich sunshine, and the distant main

Lacing the sky with silver; and yon height,

So lately left in clouds, distinct and bright.

Anon the mist enwraps us; then again

Burst into view lakes, pastures, fields of grain,

And rocky passes, with their torrents white.

So on the head, perchance, and highest bent

Of thine endeavor, Heaven may stint the dower

Of rich reward long hoped; but thine ascent

Was full of pleasures, and the teaching hour

Of disappointment hath a kindly voice,

That moves the spirit inly to rejoice.

– Henry Alford

My father-in-law moved to Cumbria a few years ago, which means lots of long walks around glistening lakes and over craggy fells whenever we visit. The good thing about photography is that it gives you an excuse to rest and get your breath back, as your much fitter relative strides purposefully ahead. You can pretend to be admiring the handsome Herdwick sheep, for example, or be intent on capturing the dappled sunlight on a rock…anything to slow down the pace and save face.

The Lake District is stunning. We have spent happy times inland: clambering over slate at Honister to reach the stunning views over Buttermere; slipping and sliding on damp rocks to reach Aira Force; eating fish & chips from the viewpoint above Derwentwater; slogging over miles of moorland on Askham Fell, sleet pounding our faces and wind whipping in our ears….ok, that last one was less fun. But you get the idea. And on our last visit, we made it out to the west coast for a sunny walk along the cliffs between Whitehaven and St Bees. Lighthouses, cormorants, pebble coves, and an ice-cream at the end to boot: glorious!

There are also places nearby perfect for extended stays. A few Christmases ago, in a frankly inspired move, Paul and I tagged on a night in Cartmel (of sticky toffee pudding fame), where we ate (and slept) in the amazing L’Enclume. Not something we can afford to do often, but a real treat. I’d really recommend.

And we have plenty more to do. Hoping, for instance, to re-book to see the baby alpacas at Bassenthwaite distillery (a victim of Covid); to build up the stamina to take the (easy) route up Blencathra; and to explore some of the lesser-known tarns and waters.

This is my first tandem blog post. A collaboration with the aforementioned – and very talented – FIL. Except…well, it’s kinda become a guest blog with just a few of my own photos thrown in. Dave is a much better landscape photographer than I am!

IMG_3938

Buttermere

DSC07877a copy

 Scafell range from Styhead (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_5125

Moor Divock

DSC09970R

Catbells (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSC09008R

Blencathra summit from Scales Fell (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

ITUO7767

Lone Birch (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_3867

Fleetwith Pike

DSC00897 (2resized)

Tarn Hows (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_3972

Ashness boat landing, Derwentwater

IMG_0658

Ullswater

DSC09062R

Haweswater (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_0642

St Bees Head

DSC08966ar

North western fells (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_0625

Whitehaven

DSC08912 (2)r

Lowther Estate (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSC08812R

Castlerigg Stone Circle (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_3940

Honister Pass

DSC07056Lr

Pooley Bridge (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSC01280R

Skiddaw (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

IMG_3908

Buttermere Pano

DSC09058R

Sunset at Derwentwater (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSC01270R

 Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw from Tewet Tarn (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSC06380R

Dock Tarn over Borrowdale (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

Down on the Bayou

Whilst in Louisiana, I’d definitely recommend taking a break from the frenetic music schedule and heading into the wetlands. We had a truly memorable morning kayaking in Shell Bank Bayou in Manchec Swamp. You can easily organise transport through various companies. Despite a mixed weather forecast (you can never trust the forecast in this State!), we were treated to stunning blue skies, which showed off the clear water, green algae, cypress and tupelo trees in all their glory. Two alligators were spotted, along with white egret, turtles and a blue heron. The number of photos will probably make you sympathetic to Paul’s claims he was doing most of the work!

NO-325

NO-329

CF70C0FD-EEDE-4F5D-A5D5-D9058B033B91

E77AAA32-A8F2-47AE-A731-45C17A965919

E819F5B0-B8C2-4BA0-9311-28EAE9867ED6

NO-340

83CFB4D0-1DDD-4753-BFAC-640A375824E0

Norfolk: Coast & Parks

A collection of shots from Burnham Overy Staithe, Holkham, Titchwell, Brancaster and Thornham from last November. We spent some time being amateur bird-watchers with Matt, the overly-enthusiastic but incredibly sweet intern at the RSPB marshes; hunted deer* in the grounds of Holkham Hall, a fabulous Palladian country manor; and walked for miles along the chilly but stunning coastline. Such a lovely part of the world!

*with cameras, not guns – to be clear.

Disclaimer(1): the photo below of the bittern with the fish is not mine. We did see this very bird at the wetland centre (Matt was extremely excited, as you can imagine), but I didn’t have my zoom lens with me. So this is nicked from a nearby twitcher.

Disclaimer(2): the photos of the water channels on the beach and the trees in Holkham are Paul’s.

Norfolk20190300

Norfolk20190026

Norfolk20190243

Norfolk20190260

Norfolk20190049

Norfolk20190011

Norfolk20190313

Norfolk20190379

 

Norfolk: Windmills

We were so lucky to have such beautiful weather for our weekend in Norfolk. Here are some photos in and around Cley-next-the-sea (that’s not a spelling mistake; for some reason they don’t like the word “to” in Norfolk!). The flocks of birds in the night sky are pink-footed geese – apparently we were privileged to see so many in flight. It really was a spectacle.

Norfolk20190137

Norfolk20190348

Norfolk20190352

Norfolk20190123

Norfolk20190349

Norfolk20190136

Norfolk20190367

Norfolk20190125

Norfolk20190340

Norfolk20190130

Norfolk20190351

Norfolk20190135

Reflections on Nature

I’ve been a fan of Dale Chihuly since I wondered into a fantastic exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery in 2011. And of course, everyone adores his Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A. So I was happy to queue with the hoards of other fans on a sunny Saturday in June to see Reflections on Nature at Kew Gardens.

Photographs can’t really do the works justice; I’d definitely encourage packing a picnic and heading over. The trail takes in the newly renovated Temperate House and spruced up Great Pagoda; and with the summer flowers starting to come through, it’s a good time to visit. I plan to return later in the year too, to see the sculptures illuminated at night.

Chihuly-006

Chihuly-029

Chihuly-014

Chihuly-008

Chihuly-015

Chihuly-012

Chihuly-000

swap

Chihuly-013

Chihuly-030

Chihuly-010