Autumn in the Severn Valley

I think Autumn is becoming much more of a favourite time of year since I caught the photography bug. I always loved it but, often took it as the prelude to winter which I am not so keen on! But, taking photographs has a habit of making you look, really look around and appreciate the little things just that little bit more.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

So, on each fine day experienced of late, I have wandered off somewhere along the valley. On a very cold day, I went a secured myself a little place and watched this scene for a couple of hours.

Despite the cold, I was so busy watching the antics of two Dippers that I didn’t notice it very much. Sadly, my photo’s leave a lot to be desired, this is a spot I need to return to earlier in the day.

Together, with a Grey Wagtail they all kept me entertained for some time!

I have also spent some time walking around Dudmaston. Not the Hall because it is closed at this time of year but on the opposite side of the road, there are a number of public footpaths.

Carpets of yellow around every corner but I also love the mix of coniferous and deciduous trees.

Some just look beautiful all on their own

Colour is everywhere even down the tiny fungi which is so easy to miss.

For a photographer there are inevitably frustrations. Down in the Severn Valley Country Park, we saw this little fellow on one of the pools last month.

It was on a cloudy day and I was so hoping to get back with better light. Unfortunately, I got back this week and they have drained the pool to cut back the reeds. Furthermore, as I sat in the hide, the works party showed up so no chance of spotting anything! In fact, I went walking and for the first time in ages I spotted my elusive Green Woodpecker. Steadied myself, took aim and guess what? ……That work party showed up again *deep sigh*.

Thankfully, the scenes were beautiful and are getting more so by the day.

I still spotted a Common Darter dragonfly which was quite hard to see on Autumn foliage and seems quite late for this region. Of course, there are always some birds that are a little more tolerant of human presence too.

Our garden feeders are getting a lot busier as it cools down and with migration in place, no doubt there will be some changes in our bird sightings now. I shall leave you with a final image of the sun going down over the River Severn

As we are now into November, I guess my next post will be winter!

Misty Mornings in Shropshire

It has been a while since I posted but, the Autumn season offers some fabulous photo opportunities and I have been out making the most of them.
A few mornings have seen me out and about early catching those early morning dews on cobwebs and mist rising off the rivers and pools. This one was taken at Dudmaston

…and then on to Severn Valley Country Park

We also got up really early one morning at a weekend (sorry Andy) to capture the sunrise over Bridgnorth.

With the mist rising off the water on the Severn, I couldn’t resist turning this one into sepia.

Inevitably, as the mornings and evenings turn chillier, the first signs of wood smoke are in the air.

Now and then, the whole landscape takes on an almost surreal quality………

Morning by Paul Laurence Dunbar
The mist has left the greening plain,
The dew-drops shine like fairy rain,
The coquette rose awakes again
Her lovely self adorning.

The Wind is hiding in the trees,
A sighing, soothing, laughing tease,
Until the rose says “Kiss me, please,”
‘Tis morning, ’tis morning.

With staff in hand and careless-free,
The wanderer fares right jauntily,
For towns and houses are, thinks he,
For scorning, for scorning.
My soul is swift upon the wing,
And in its deeps a song I bring;
Come, Love, and we together sing,
“‘Tis morning, ’tis morning.”

Shrewsbury Flower Show

It has been a few years since I went to this show. But, with a decent weekend forecast and having lots of other events in the area cancelled due to the appalling weather this summer, I decided it was time for a visit. The gate tickets are not cheap for sure but, the firework display is always phenomenal so we made a day of it.

As always, there were fabulous flower displays in the tents and a host of other entertainment.

Some was definitely geared towards the younger visitors but, we both enjoyed the quad bike stunts.

The Dingle looked as beautiful as ever although, I have so often gone down there with my camera at lunch, it seemed strange to see quite so many people!

As well as the military band, this year for the first time, they also had a folk group playing ~ the Oysterband. I confess to being quite surprised, I always think of the flower show committee as being a little er “set in their ways”! It was most enjoyable sitting on the bank with a glass listening to some lovely music.
Finally, of course, the fireworks! These have always been spectacular and this year was no different. They did put them to music which contributed hugely to what was already a fabulous atmosphere……

I have chosen three to provide you with an idea but there are a dozen or so in a Flickr album for anyone else that loves fireworks ……

….and it was all Yellow

Actually it has been a very wet rainy day here in Shropshire and so to brighten the day, I am choosing some of my most recent “Yellow” photographs. Besides, this one should be bright and cheery, it is my 100th blog post! I always think that colours seem to change throughout the year and often become predominantly one whether this is due to nature or man-made. The daffodils have all but finished now but, these Narcissus have been brightening up my days this week from a neighbour’s garden.

Whilst in our own garden, the birds have been the most active on out feeder that I have seen for ages. They all look very smart in Spring I think. No doubt they will look a little more ruffled at the end of the breeding season.

Meanwhile, a little further afield and the first primroses are blooming in the woods and on the grass verges.

For miles around we can see bright yellow fields of rapeseed for oil.

The first Yellow Wagtails are arriving and looking around the hedgerows and you can spot the Yellow Hammers dive to the ground as you drive past.

Finally, for the house I bought some Yellow Chrysanthemums, it cheers it up whilst it is raining!

Have a great weekend!

Moto X at Long Lane

It has been a little while since we did any sports photography. Last week we went along to a local Moto X meet at Long Lane. here are a few from the day. I am still sorting through lots, when I do get them finished I will upload a few more to my website.

Nice to be doing some action stuff for the first time this year!

Badger Dingle

On a very rainy Sunday, I thought I would put up a few images of a brighter one.

Badger is a small village in Shropshire quite near to us. It was a good opportunity to take some landscape shots which have not featured too highly of late.

The greenery at this time of year is still a little sparse so I think it would be nice to revisit with some leafy canopies too but, for now it was a lovely opportunity to try out those soft water techniques using a slow shutter speed.

I also love to practice breaking the rules by shooting into the sun. This one was probably my favourite out of many. The recycle bin rate of these type of shots is very high for me!