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.

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Shortly afterwards we experienced some very foggy, mysterious days.

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With dew and frosty cobwebs shining in the corners.

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January brought the snow!

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Followed by an increase of birds into the garden.

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Together with some beautiful sunrises as it began to disappear.

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

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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!

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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 ……

A Day Without Rain

Well it is raining now…but, at least we had a lovely day earlier for a change. The day started when I looked out and saw a bird on the telephone wire that I didn’t recognise. In fact I still don’t know what it was, it looked a lot like a spotted flycatcher but had red tail feathers! However, this was my cue to grab my camera and get out whilst I could 🙂
The first butterfly I saw was one that I thought I saw a week or so ago but, it was in flight. Otherwise this was a first for me and not a familiar sight in Shropshire:

Marbled White

Meanwhile, I was treated to an amazing display by the local Kestral who normally disapears quite quickly when folks are about. But, I walked slowly and it was quiet up there today.

Despite the recent weather, the field is full of Brown butterflies right now and here is Small Skipper, Meadow Brown, and Ringlet respectively:

And, to add just a little more colour, there were a few burnet moths flying:

Finally, as I arrived this thrush was out catching worms so I stood a while

What a great day!

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!

Ironbridge in Lights

After arriving back from our holidays, I was reminded by a friend that the Ironbridge festival was on. I was by far too out of practice for the fireworks but had a great time taking the bridge lit up in many colours.

The celebration this year marked 25 years as World Heritage Site. For those that don’t know, this bridge was built by Abraham Darby in iron which opened in 1791 and marked the beginning of the industrial revolution.

For those of you that prefer fireworks, there are some on Andy’s blog ~ link opposite 😉