Winter Wanders

It has been a while since I posted. I confess that winter doesn’t really inspire me overly….well normally that is. When I came to update I realised that perhaps I have taken more photos than usual for winter time. This year, we have had almost every kind of weather possible. In December we experienced some very frosty cold mornings. This one was taken along the Mercian Way in the Severn Valley.

CMS_9857

Shortly afterwards we experienced some very foggy, mysterious days.

CMS_0148a

With dew and frosty cobwebs shining in the corners.

CMS_0173a

January brought the snow!

CMS_0466a

CMS_0410b

Followed by an increase of birds into the garden.

CMS_0529a

Together with some beautiful sunrises as it began to disappear.

CMS_0579a

Then, never far away from us in the UK this year, the inevitable floods…..and on a sunny day, even they can look beautiful!

CMS_0638a

However, looking around in the garden and I can see the first new signs of renewal….but, all of that will be for another post!

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.”

Skywatch Friday ~ Bridgnorth Walkabout

I am so bad for forgetting about Friday when it is a Thursday…yes I can see people rolling their eyes and rightly so!!! So my apologies for being a little late..
However, I do have some lovely blue sky images from the weekend from a walkabout locally. Some of you may have seen some pics on my better half’s blog but, we never see the same things ~ the joy of photography is that it is a lot like art…and we all see a different picture!

No sky here but this sign outside a local pub…just because it made me laugh 😀

Followed by some flowers because I can… 🙂

Finally, if there are any funicular railway fans…here you are complete with blue skies and fluffy clouds.

Other skywatch images from around the world can be found here
Happy Skywatch to everyone 🙂

Magical Frost

The frost in shropshire has been unlike anything I have previously experienced. Because of the damp air and the fog, the ice seem to be growing …and growing.
Up on the Hermitage at Bridgnorth, there is almost a magical quality and the remaining mist almost makes the trees look fluffy in the distance.

Dust of Snow

The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Robert Frost

The mist can almost make it look as though a storm is coming in the background and also create the illusion of nothing in the background.

But, as the mist dimishes, the sky takes on the most amazing mediteranean blue colour…………

More Hoar frost images can be found on Andy’s blogpost Hoar Frost

A spring walk along the Hermitage

The hermitage is a sandstone outcrop at the back of Bridgnorth or Low town as it is is called. There is a wood that runs along it and heathland below which provides a habitat for many insects. Over on my blogger blog, there is a post regarding emerging butterflies which were all taken here.

But, there are many other things besides. The habitat creates a haven for wildlife and at this time of year, there is an abundance of wildflowers. Nothing really fancy but it is almost easy to take all the colour for granted. The campions are starting to flower and pink and white flowers not only adorn the hedgerows but can be found growing in carpets between the trees.

The gorse bushes are flowering and little blue flowers form a carpet beneath some of the trees giving a misty blue effect
As I walk along, the buzzards are mewing above although probably not for long because the crows are protecting their offspring right now and will shortly dive bomb them calling out frantically. The hawthorne blossom is out in profusion and providing cover for all the newly fledged. Clumps of clover are emerging in the meadow.

The Gladness of Nature by William Cullen Bryant
Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our mother Nature laughs around;
When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;
The ground-squirrel gaily chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale,
And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
And there they roll on the easy gale.

There’s a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,
There’s a titter of winds in that beechen tree,
There’s a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,
On the leaping waters and gay young isles;
Ay, look, and he’ll smile thy gloom away.

As I walk along a path, I spot a youngster, this is a juvenile blackbird.

Much to my amusement, the sun pops out from behind a cloud and immediately he flops onto the path and spread his wings to sunbathe.

I see many walkers on my travels, not just up there but all over. There are some that profess to love nature but I am quite sure that they never actually get to see it! For the really good things you almost have to stop a while. Beautiful moths flutter around but they are so quick, you almost have to become stationary to spot them. At the minute, the two spotted burnet moth takes the prize for the most vivid colour.

But, the subtler ones are also very beautiful, here are just a couple that have been seen this week.

And those blue flowers I mentioned…….

The damselflies and the dragonflies also emerge this month. I have spotted the first of the dragonflies but as yet they have been too quick for me, perhaps they will get slower as the year moves on. But, it is so easy to miss the damselflies too. They are so well camoflaged in their surroundings and it is almost impossible to see them once they have settled.

One of the things that I try to practice is moving a silently as I can, that way I don’t disturb everything in my path. It is quite difficult to do especially if you are used to a fast paced life but is the best way to actually see. I use these as my yardstick for adeptness.

I hope you have enjoyed the walk…………..