15th April 2020
In future any blog posts will be put onto our Facebook page.
Only just over a week into the lock down and already we are missing the mountains. Still, they will still be there after all this is over, so we are looking forward to returning.
What is it with people? First we had supermarket shelves stripped by people so scared that they may have to do without something. Now we have social distancing. We walk every day in our local park. Yes, we like to hold hands or go arm in arm, but when anyone comes toward us, we always go in single file. Sadly, much of the population around here do not seem to understand this and will walk together across the path. We have joggers , 3 in a line across the path. Must be they have no idea as to how far 2 metres is!
Drove down to the BOG in South Shropshire and did a 5.5 mile walk, vis Nipstone Rock and Black Radley Hill. Just so nice to have the sun out and we saw our first butterflies of the spring.
What is the point of bagging dog poo, if you just dump it on the car park for it to get run over. At least 3 bags, all looked the same. There really are some sad lazy people about.
New computer now up and running. Why do these companies make it so hard for us?!
Had a day in Snowdonia yesterday. Not nearly as much snow as there was in The Lake District. Parked at Rhyd Ddu and walked towards the wall overlooking The Watkin Path. It was very , very windy so we decided to make our way back to the car. Afternoon lighting was brilliant.
Just returned from a couple of days away in Ambleside, Cumbria. I am just in the process of swapping computers, so updates may be delayed for a few days.
We have just returned from a week in Scotland, staying in Kinlochewe. Although the weather was not as kind as we would have wished, Scotland is quite unique and most weather situations can reveal quite wonderful sights.
On Sunday 26th, we started a walk from the car park just west of the bridge over the Allt a Choire Dhuibh Mhoir and took the path marked Strathcarron. After about a mile we came to a ford we just could not find a way across, heavy rain meant the water was running very high. As we returned, we met fellow landscape photographer Dean Allan and we spoke for a while. Dean runs photography workshops on Harris and Lewis. Take a look at his website, there is some stunning landscape images there. www.deanallanphotography.co.uk
It was still raining as we arrived back in Kinlochewe, but it was turning to snow on the higher ground. The following day we parked at the same car park and started up the track to Coire Mhic Fhearchair. After about 20 minutes, the rain had turned to heavy snow and we had a magical walk in epic winter conditions. Although we know this path very well, it soon became covered in snow, so we decided to have lunch and then turn back. If you love the mountains, these are the days you dream about. The adrenaline is flowing and the excitement at the views unfolding before your eyes keeps the heart pumping ever faster. However, you must always know your limits, so we knew when we had to turn back. Still, a day that will live long in our memory.
On Tuesday, we parked at Inveralligin and took the path leading to Liathach. Again, before too long we were walking in snow, enjoying some great walking. Soon however, it began to rain so after some lunch, we decided to turn back. We may have got quite wet, but we enjoyed another great day out in the mountains.
The remainder of the week was mainly spent driving around in the rain, but what a week we had. Can't wait to return to Scotland!
Yesterday we parked in Capel Curig and walked to the summit of Crimpiau. It may not be one of the hardest or most photogenic to look at, but the views from the top are second to none in Snowdonia. Path was very muddy in places so we went across country, just to find a different way. Weather was mainly blue skies, so not the best for landscape photography, but it was great just to be out in the hills again.
I recently purchased a Novo Explorer 10 carbon fibre tripod and took it out with us today. Very light and fitted my rucksack perfectly.
Put on a new Gallery today ~ Picture Of The Week. I hope to update this image every Friday with an image we have taken during the last six months.
Happy New Year to all. Today we did a walk in South Shropshire. Parking at The Bog car park, we walked uphill to The Shropshire Way and turned right. Walked past The Nipstone Rock and carried on until we reached a green lane. Again turned right and walked until we reached the path for Black Radley Hill. Climbed the hill and had lunch, then made our way back to The Bog. Walked for approx. 5.3 miles in wonderfully sunny weather. Just great to be out.
At Last, out into the mountains again. We did a short walk on The Watkin Path on Snowdon, reaching the quarry ruins. We had seen a number of photographers on You Tube have been coming here to photograph the waterfalls. They are very beautiful, but if you seek, you can still find falls that have not been photographed. Weather was fine to start with, but we walked the last half an hour in rain. Still, great to be out!
Not been out for a couple of weeks now. Weather has not been very good and I have been full of cold. Getting withdrawal symptoms!
I have now had to stop all Camera Club judging. Due to Retinitus Pigmentosa, my eyes have started to decline again, so we have decided to stop. Hopefully Sue can spot any faults that I miss in my own images. As long as we can keep getting out there.
A couple of weeks ago we gave our first PDI presentation at Wrekin Arts PC. Quite nervous as our talks for the last 15 years or so have all been prints. We need not have worried, here are a few comments we have received by email.
"I would like to say a big thank you to you both for your presentation on Friday evening. Wonderful images from lots of different place kept everyone happy. Your landscapes are exceptional, both of you put your heart and soul into the taking of your pictures and also the presentation."
"Just a brief email to thank you both for an enjoyable and inspiring evening at Camera Club last Friday."
"Thank you for a great evening! It was good to see you both managing to get around again."
No been out for a week or so, decided to go to Cwmorthin today. Very icy today ~ frost and slate make walking quite difficult! Until probably mid February next year, the sun will not hit the front of the Barracks or light the Chapel. The archway at Rhosydd was also in shade, but we left there before late afternoon, so not too sure when that will be lit. As the slate was so slippery, we walked across country and found a different walk. We will be back here in early Spring.
For some time now, Sue and I have been intrigued by signs we have seen in Llangollen for "The Horseshoe Waterfall". So today we parked up and did a 5.5 mile walk along the canal there. The autumn colours were still good and there were so great reflections in the still waters of the canal. However, someone must have a very vivid imagination. On arrival, the waterfall turned out to be just a weir, very disappointing. We could have driven to Ludlow to see one just as interesting.
We have visited Mortimer Forest in Ludlow twice this week to check out the colours of the Beech Trees there. On Tuesday, it rained all the time we were there and even umbrellas could not keep the cameras dry. Today it was a blue sky day and the light was full of contrast. Sometimes you just can't win!
Car frozen again this morning. Drove towards Torridon and parked at the layby signposted for Glen Coulin. The ground was covered in frost and Sue commented that it really looked like a winter wonderland. However the frost soon went so we walked on to Loch Coulin. Blue sky day until it clouded up mid afternoon. Walked a total of 7.5 miles, ground quite boggy in places.
Car iced up this morning. Drove down the A832 towards Gairloch and parked at the Ben Eighe Mountain/Forest Walk car park. Took the mountain trail and had a great walk. Path quite steep in places and as we hot higher, ice on the path made progress tricky. Reached the summit at approx. 1855 ft and had lunch. Spoke with a couple of ladies who live locally (one was 78 yrs old), they still enjoy the mountains. Also spoke with a Dutch guy ~ Jefta ~ who is travelling the length of Britain in his camper van. Live the dream Jefta! Started down another path and again it was very slippery in places but we got down just in time for sunset.
Walked from Kinlochewe towards Ben Eighe, path starts on the A896 just out of the village. A round trip of around 6 miles on a real blue sky day. Temperature near freezing.
Drove from Kinlochewe towards Torridon and parked on the car park on the A896 just west of the bridge over the Allt a'Choire Dhuibh Mhoir. The path leads off between Ben Eighe and Liathach. Quite wet to start with but the rain cleared to showers and we had a wonderful day's walking. This must be one of the best walks in The Highlands. Total walking distance was just over 11 miles, starting at 227 ft rising to 1899 ft. Got back to the car in darkness, what a great day!
Arrived for our stay in Kinlochewe. Weather was terrible, heavy rain making driving difficult.
Drove around Loch Ness to The Falls of Foyers. Quite disappointing as there was very little water in the Falls. However we caught a glimpse of the mountains to the north and they were snow covered. Can't wait to get up there!
Returned to Glen Affric and walked for 4 miles along the Loch side. Heavy showers with a little sun. We could not believe how low the water level was, lower than we have ever seen. Met a couple on the car park who were very disappointed that the road did not go straight through to the other end of the Glen?!
Walked to Rogie Falls. Although the ground was very wet in places, there was not too much water in the Falls. A very popular destination! Walked across the bridge and did some interesting photography in the woodland there. Did our final talk of the tour at Inverness Camera Club. We must thank Annette and John Stoker for their hospitality.
Did our talk at Nairn Camera Club. Another good evening.
Walked from Hillcroft to Loch Na Bonrach. Round trip of 8 miles, starting at 232 ft rising to 1050 ft. Weather overcast, but Autumn colours were good.That evening we met members of Dingwall Camera Club committee for a meal and then on to do our talk at their clubroom. Good evening, I must thank John Fenwick for all his help.
Went to Glen Affric today. Walked 6.5 miles, starting at 688 ft and got to a height of 2531 ft. The weather was very mixed, sunshine and heavy showers. Managed to go cross country and get to a ridge with excellent views. As we sat and had our lunch, it started to snow. The Autumn colours were spectacular.
Arrived at Hillcroft Cottage Beauly for a weeks holiday and 3 lectures. Great place to stay and Jean and Bill were excellent hosts. http://www.go-selfcatering.co.uk/hillcroftselfcateringcottages/
Had a day out in Mortimer Forest, Ludlow today, starting at 659 ft, max height 1224 ft and distance of 6 miles. There were patches of Autumn colour, but not too much. It seems that the Silver Birches are going fast. Found some fungi to photograph and a few patterns with tree trunks. Thanks to Adam Gibbs for tips on woodland photography.
We have just returned from a week's holiday in Wasdale, Cumbria. Weather very mixed, but had a great week. Below are a few of the walks we did.
28th Sept. Walked from our cottage at 158 ft to the summit of Middle Fell at 2000 ft, via Greendale Tarn. It was light rain when we started, but the clouds parted and we had some great light. As Alfred Wainwright said, Middle Fell is not one of the best looking fells, but the views from the summit are superb and this is a walk well worth doing.
1st October. Heavy rain so we drove to Keswick. Spent time at the Museum, the staff were most helpful and there were some interesting displays. Had lunch at The Casa Bella Italian Restaurant, very good!
2nd October. The walk of the holiday! Starting at 158 ft, the highest point we reached was 2760 ft, but the walk was very up and down. We went to Dore Head, then onto Red Pike (Wasdale). After lunch we carried on to Scoat Fell and then to Haycock. The weather was pure blue skies and yet we saw very few walkers. In all we covered nearly 11 miles and were out for nearly 10 hours. One of our best days!
3rd October. Parked at The National Trust car park at Wasdale Head. Managed to join The NT. Weather was overcast, so we decided to follow the old coffin road to Burnmoor Tarn. Ground very wet and the wind bitterly cold, so we did not stay for long.
A great week and we cannot wait to return.
Up early today to catch sunrise on The Stiperstones. Great colour on the rocks, but not as much mist as I had hoped.
Did a great walk yesterday. Parked at The Snowdon Ranger Path and started off up the mountain. We turned left at the junction for Llanberis and continued on, climbing Foel Goch, Foel Gron and Moel Eilio. Excellent views as soon as we hit the ridge and a place we will return to. Walked back the same way, but there is a circular walk we can do from Llanberis.
Had some excellent news today. Sue has been doing all the right things with her knee and she is able to leave another arthroscopy for at least 12 months. We are very grateful to her Consultant, Mr Gallacher, who has really looked after her and made sure we could get back into the hills.
Followed The Shropshire Way from The Bog to Linley Hill Beech Avenue. Completed a circular walk back to The Bog. Excellent walk and tried out my Shimoda Camera Bag.
Shame about the couple of kissing gates left unlocked and the wonderful person who had used the middle of the path as a toilet, complete with tissue. WHY?
Gripe of the day, well two as it happens. Firstly, there is nothing worse than litter in the hills. Why discard food wrappings and plastic bottles? If you took it there, dispose of it at home. Secondly, why do people walk on the side of a path. There is nothing wrong with wild walking, we very often strike out across country. However, why walk just to the side of a path? It is there for a reason and that is to protect the mountain. All that happens is that the nice soft grass on the side of pathways soon becomes bare, then is washed away. If you don't like walking on rock, why go up a mountain? Protect the environment for future generations.
We have had many good comments on The A/V produced for this years' Midland Salon. It really is a shame that more photographers do not attend. There is so much work put in by The Salon Team and it is most disheartening when not many bother to attend. Exhibition photography is not just about gathering pixie points, but also about meeting fellow photographers and showing support to the Organisers.
The last 18 months have been a very stressful time for us both. Sue had an arthroscopy on her knee in October 2018 which was not completely successful, so we are waiting to see a Specialist again. I had radical prostate cancer surgery in June 2018. Re admitted to hospital a few days after discharge and it has taken some time to recover. This was not helped by a false PSA reading on one of my blood tests ~ quite a worrying time.
Hopefully we are now ready to venture back into the hills. From April 2019, we have managed to summit Moel Siabod, Snowdon, The Glyders and Yr Aran. I will try to put an entry on every time we go out.