Last of Summer
Still Life: Hothouse
Home of the Bees
Last of Summer
Still Life: Hothouse
Home of the Bees
Moody weather over Dartmoor National Park. Lucky to see wild ponies gathered around Hound Tor. Great walk, with much kudos to a pregnant Laura for managing the steep bits a lot better than I did!
“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.
Final photo Credit: Paul Adnitt
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!
Scafell range from Styhead (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Catbells (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Blencathra summit from Scales Fell (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Lone Birch (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Tarn Hows (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Ashness boat landing, Derwentwater
Haweswater (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
St Bees Head
North western fells (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Lowther Estate (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Castlerigg Stone Circle (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Pooley Bridge (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Skiddaw (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Sunset at Derwentwater (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw from Tewet Tarn (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
Dock Tarn over Borrowdale (Credit: Dave Adnitt)
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!
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.
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.
Playing with different light and camera settings on the North Norfolk Coast….
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.