Before this incarnation of nomadlens the photoblog ran on a wonderful piece of software called PixelPost. Regrettably, that platform is no longer maintained and I was forced to move the blog to WordPress. There is still an archived version of the old blog at http://www.nomadlens.com/old/. Any incoming links to that version of the blog should still work via the wonders of Apache’s mod_redirect. For convenience the individual posts on that site are linked below. The first 500 are from the photoblog. They are followed by a couple of travel galleries that were on the old site, of Italy and Prague.
The descriptively named Upper Sharpnose Point has this most inviting path leading out to it. Its symmetry is irresistible to a man with a camera in his hand.
Walking between Upper and Lower Sharpnose Point I was fortunate to get the late afternoon sun reflecting off the sea around these rocks.
This view of the satellite dishes at Cleave Camp comes just before one drops down into the steep valley at Stanbury Mouth. I was struck by the corner of the fence reaching towards me.
The glow of the late afternoon sun on the sea just off Lower Sharpnose Point would have proved irresistible to anybody with a camera in their hand, but I had only seen 3 people on this stretch of the South West Coast Path all day.
The depth of the sand coverage of this WWII wreck below Menachurch Point has changed over the years. The mussels are taking hold on this part so it has been uncovered for a while.
Sandymouth is my favourite beach near where I live. The cliffs are interesting and always give good colours late in the day. Lower Sharpnose Point lies behind.
I caught these two surfers coming off the beach at Widemouth, the best winter sunset spot near where I live.
A strong offshore wind was blowing on this icy morning. This foreshortened view of Maer Cliff was taken from the end of the breakwater at Bude.
I was stalking this gull at sunset on Crooklets beach at Bude when it took off and I managed to capture this pleasing shot.
I was trying here to capture the lines of the sets coming in on this big surf day on Middle Beach at Bude.
The incredible folding of the cliffs around Bude is world famous, and at sunset the light on the orange carboniferous sandstone is a delight, as here on the way to Northcott Mouth.
This was taken from the balcony of my flat over the Bude Canal.
I visited Blackchurch Rock with friends to assess its climbing potential. The climbing looked excellent but it was a dark and cold winter’s day.
This scene at Holywell took me right back to my days in French Polynesia.
Late afternoon sun catches the sea crashing through the rocks below the headland south of Holywell.
Exmoor falls into the sea at the Valley of the Rocks above Lynmouth. It is an attractive place and virtually empty in winter.
The height of the land above the sea in North Devon never fails to impress. This is taken looking Northwest towards the Valley of the Rocks (in the shade). The South Wales coast is dimly visible in the background.
I love the strong colours in the early morning light on these cottages at Boscastle, and the foliage on the hillside behind them.
The much visited harbour wall at Boscastle on a cold winter’s morning, free of tourists for once!
The light and the curve of this farm caught my eye whilst walking along the road between Bossiney and Boscastle.
These fellows lined up for me on a beautiful morning in the old churchyard at Lydford on the edge of Dartmoor.
The sharpness at the long end of my 18-200 is woeful, but sometimes it doesn’t matter, like in this shot of the cliffs down to Cambeak from Widemouth.
I grabbed this quickly before I go too much snow on my lens filter. The tide is out in front of Efford Cottage in Bude.
Efford Cottage from the lock gates at Bude minutes before another snow flurry.
Another well known Bude landmark between snow flurries.
Anybody who has been to Bude knows Efford Cottage. I guess not too many visitors have seen it in the snow.
A rare snowfall in Bude. As I reached the end of the canal on a distinctly dark and grumpy morning the clouds began to thin and a brightly lit one reflected in the tidal pools.
Cleave Camp, aka GCHQ Bude, is where the spooks listen to the traffic in the ether. After a long overcast wait up on Efford Beacon a gap in the cloud finally appeared and hit the camp first.
On the beach at Sandymouth is a colourful section of rock that reminds me of some of Jackson Pollock’s work. Late afternoon light lit it beautifully.
Late afternoon light at Sandymouth always gives excellent colours, but in winter when the sun is more to the south and the air is clear, they are something else.
Late afternoon light on the base of the Sandymouth waterfall brilliantly illuminates the algae. It is the greenest green I have seen outside the summer grass on the limestone fields of Yorkshire.
I really must get a book on geology and learn more about the Culm coast rock types. I believe this is a type of lava but I am not sure.
Does light get any better than this? Winter at Sandymouth looking up towards Lower Sharpnose Point.
There are a few seconds in any sunset where the light peaks. This photo of the Sandymouth waterfall was taken in that short window.
A strange orange glow backlit the sky on the road from Okehampton to Tavistock, the day after England’s biggest single snow dump of the winter, two feet here in a few hours. Stopping to photograph did not make me popular with other drivers on the partially cleared road.
Whilst in pursuit of another shot I turned to see this perfectly formed foot in the hedgerow of Ashbury golf course near Okehampton.
A good demonstration of the staggering lack of flare on the Nikkor 12-24. I love taking pictures into the sun, especially when I am looking over 22 inches of snow towards Dartmoor from the top of Tanner’s Hill.
A lucky shot on the Okehampton-Tavistock road, Fortunately the focal length has failed to resolve the spatters of salt that coated the car windscreen.
The shape of the narrow bay at Duckpool allows you to work your way along the rocks to get alongside the breaking waves. This was taken just before sunset on a freezing windy evening.
Two feet of snow fell on Dartmoor in just a few hours, and took days to melt, depriving the heavily pregnant Dartmoor ponies of food and warmth. This high key image shows a mare struggling to her feet.
Dartmoor can do a vulture in a Joshua Tree too!
Dartmoor cottages thawing out in the sun. Snow is a rarity in the West Country.
Whilst photographing some ponies one of them went through an extraordinary sequence of facial expressions. The backlit conditions could hardly have been worse for photographing this and this image has been generated as a pseudo-HDR from a single raw file.
Cows and early calves being driven through the streets of Widdecombe-on-the-Moor. This was the first day that it had been possible to get into the village after it had been cut off for nearly a week.
This colourful heather lit up the old churchyard in Widdecombe-on-the-Moor.
This pony decided to do an impression of a camel for me, framing the rocky tor behnd her.
This photo had me lying in wet grass in order to point the camera upwards under the tree. This is Bell Tor above Widdecombe-in-the-Moor.
This photo of rocks on Bell Tor, with Hay Tor as the speck in the distance, was achieved with a wde angle lens and then the severe vignetting and contrast of a cheap pinhole camera was added in Photoshop.
The climbing on the Culm cliffs is as scary and loose as can be imagined. Here is the simply suicidal 400ft Cornakey Cliff, with Gull Rock behind, and the Hartland cliffs receding in the background. The sun shone only on Cornakey, and half of Gull Rock, enabling the contrast in this shot.
The Devil’s Hole is in the centre of Gull Rock. Lundy lies in the distance and tantalises the eye all along the Culm coast. Sometimes visible but often lost in the sea spray that blows almost continually over this wild coastline.
If Porthcurno beach in West Penwith is not the most beautiful place in England then I look forward to visiting wherever is. A beautiful day in mid-February on a beach where if you dropped your camera it would take a good shot. Heaven.
Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is something special. It took a long cold wait on the cliffs in the hope that the sun would come out behind the cloud on the horizon. All good things come to those who wait.
It was a surprise to get this shot during an otherwise dull morning in Falmouth. It was taken from the below the coastguard station when the sun somehow managed to light up the sea in front of the ships.
On the Southwest Coastpath near Port Quin, Doyden Castle is a Victorian folly. It featured in the TV series Poldark if anybody is old enough to recall that.
Gorse is the only colourful plant on the Cornish coast in winter. This view of The Moules, off Rumps Point near Polzeath, caught my eye whilst walking back from Port Quin. A bit of a cliche maybe but I like the late afternoon colours.
This was taken on my first excursion with my new 16-85mm lens on the breakwater at Bude. The sun obliged by dropping behind a large cloud and eventually emerging at the bottom again. This is the first shot of the sequence, taken just as the sun was dropping into the cloud.
With spring on the way this sheep appeared keen to divest itself of its winter woolies.
These Dartmoor ponies were a slightly incongruous sight on the Tintagel cliffs.
The light and the line of sea stacks north of Tintagel towards Boscastle seemed to suit my attempt at an antique postcard.
I had to wait for quite a while to catch the right combination of a soaring gull and the god beams that lit the sea south of Tintagel.
This shot of the Trebarwith Strand Gull Rock there are many Gull Rocks in the West Country) was taken over the roof of the youth hostel that lies between Trebarwith Strand and Tintagel on the South West Coast Path. I was struck by the lines and the angles in the scene.
This late afternoon shot of Tintagel from the path from Trebarwith Strand manages to obscure the nasty tourist development that surrounds it.
This hideout on high on the cliffs above Marsland Mouth was where Robert Duncan composed some of his poetry. I was struck by the light falling across the table, and rather pleased that I had avoided blowing the highlights out of the window too much.
In 10 minutes these clouds hurtling in off the ocean would deposit their snowy contents on me. It took half an hour of driving around twisty narrow lanes to get a vantage point for this shot over Cleave Camp.
Snow flurries were blowing in from the Atlantic. Here is one above Cleave Camp, en route to Dartmoor, where 60 cars would shortly be trapped in the snow.
There were only a few hours to capture the snow from a light March snowfall before it all melted. The horses are a reliable feature of the old Bodmin Moor airfield and these caught my eye in front of the end of Rough Tor.
Coming into the mating season the sheep were unusually bold and this one, on the old airfield near Davidstow, stood and stared and stamped its foot at me for a while.
Whilst photographing the livestock and animals around the old airfield on the northern edge of Bodmin Moor a hare suddenly shot past. Although my camera settings were set for landscapes, and I had a very slow shutter speed, I managed to track it for a few shots, of which this was the clearest.
Crowdy Reservoir on Bodmin Moor often has dramatic lighting, but it was the copses that caught my eye in this picture, adding to the strong horizontals in the scene.
The late snow was rapidly melting as I reached the top of Rough Tor on Bodmin Moor, a spot recognisable in the distance from virtually anywhere in Cornwall. The strange blue of the lake is due to the China Clay, more famous south of here around St. Austell.
Contrary to popular belief Torbay is not all crowded beaches, hotels and amusement arcades. This is beautiful Saltern Cove on the coast path between Goodrington and Broadsands.
Halfway down the hill at Clovelly a lady had covered her wall with these beautiful baskets.
The last rays of the sun as it went behind the steep Clovelly cliffs caught the cockpit of this boat.
It is the woodwork that makes this harbour wall so special at Clovelly.
Clovelly, in the sun, without any tourists. What is the world coming to?
Great light on these woods near Mouth Mill. I had not looked at the map and was, in fact, heading up completely the wrong track here.
Well, the coast at St. Agnes anyway, but it looks like the Aegean lapping a Greek shore to me.
One of Cornwall’s most famous icons on a fantastically colouful early spring day.
The marvelous blues in the stones caught my eye in this detail of the ruined Wheal Coates near St. Agnes.
Another contender for the most beautiful place in Cornwall is the Bedruthan Steps.
Old winches from the disused limekilns of Buck’s Mill on the North Devon coast.
Speke’s Mill Mouth is a wild spot on any day of the year but the unearthly light from this sudden sea mist that blew in on an otherwise cloud free day was striking.
A lone surfer leaving the beach at beautiful Constantine Bay.
A blaze of colour from these early spring flowers on this cottage above Harlyn Bay.
It must be an exciting sight to see the Padstow offshore lifeboat entering the water down this ramp.
Lines on the beach at Budleigh Salterton.
I was attracted by the mix of colours surrounding the River Otter at Budleigh Salterton. This estuary is now an important bird reserve but was navigable less than 500 years ago.
This shingle ridge leads from Budleigh Salterton eastwards until it is cut by the River Otter reaching the sea. This picture of the lone walker was taken through the pines on the other side of the river.
This mother looked exhausted from suckling her farrow on the cliffs between Budleigh Salterton and Ladram Bay.
The cliffs between Ladram Bay and Sidmouth match the colour of the soil in this area of Devonian sandstone. A beautiful March day.
The banding in the cliffs at Ladram Bay is spectacular, with the most vivid colours in the sandstone that I have seen since Petra in Jordan.
At Ladram Bay a narrow defile gives access to the beach where this wall, and storage area of unknown depth, blend virtually seamlessly with the sandstone cliffs.
The cliffs at Ladram Bay are spectacular, not least because of the bunch of stacks that cluster around their base.
50mph winds on this sunny March day led me to the more sheltered South coast and Lyme Regis. Whilst the beach was merely breezy the effects of the wind can be seen out to sea.
The Lyme Regis Undercliff is a unique natural habitat, lying in a gorge caused by a massive landslide in 1839. The South West Coast Path, perhaps at its narrowest, runs through it. Only rarely does a space like this open up in the dense vegetation.
I believe this is Stereum Ostrea though what it is doing in March I am not sure as I think it is supposed to grow only from June to September.
If this ruined wall, undermined by the shifting Lyme Regis Undercliff, is still standing when I next come by here I will be surprised.
My childhood in the Chilterns was filled with the sight of chalk but I have rarely seen it since. In the the Lyme Regis Undercliff this is the very transition between the Triassic and the Jurassic.
Lyme Regis and its harbour is a joy in March before the summer tourists arrive. The harbour looks like a swmming pool, even if the water is only a chilly 9 degrees.
Did you ever see ‘The French Lieutenant’s Woman’? She wasn’t here today.
These primary colours were an eyecatching sight in front of the dark clouds behind Lyme Regis harbour.
As the sun was dropping behind the hill I was able to catch its last rays falling on the pretty beachfront buildings at Lyme Regis.
This is Lady Churston’s Bath House, at Elbury Cove, near Broadsands. The area is popular with waterskiers.
This is the wall of the old fort, built as a coastal defence against invasion during Napoleonic times.
The lighthouse at Berry Head is the smallest, but the highest above sea level, in the British Isles.
Walkers on the beach on a beautiful day alongside the Camel Estuary.
The Rumps, near Polzeath, when the sun managed to break through the misty conditions.
I was photographing the waves crashing over the sea wall between Penzance and Newlyn when these girls improved the shot no end!
A lovely collection of granite boulders at Sennen Cove.
The far side of Sennen Cove is a glorious sandy beach, beyond the comfortable walking distance of most tourists parked at the village.
A massive wave below the lighthouse at Pendeen Watch.
Old chimneys between Levant and Geevor tin mines at Pendeen stand as lonely sentinels to hundreds of years of history.
Old tiles at the tin dressing floors above Levant mine near Pendeen.
The plane that does scenic flights around Land’s End provided this dramatic shot.
Levant Mine, which contains a still working steam beam engine, gives a pleasing composition.
A sunbeam lights up one of the engine houses at the Crown Mines, above wild seas, in Botallack. This is one of Cornwall’s most atmospheric and photogenic locations.
A sunny day from inside a Botallack engine house.
I had to lie on my back for this view of a ruined engine house at Botallack.
There are so many things to point your camera at in the Botallack, such as this ruined engine house on the cliffs leading south towards the Kendijack valley.
Cape Cornwall was long thought to be the most southwesterly point in England before Land’s End stole its glory. This was taken from above the Kendijack valley.
A huge swell was coming in behind this house above Cape Cornwall.
A huge wave at Cape Cornwall dwarfs the figures standing in front of it.
Nobody was in the water braving these giants at Sennen Cove.
The seal colony at Godrevy appeared to be mostly asleep.
A Wall Brown in the nettles at Harbour Cove near Padstow.
A colourful Devonian Polzeath Slate cliff at Butter Hole near Stepper Point.
The coast between Stepper Point and Trevone is possibly the most eroded section of the North Cornwall Coastline. Small stacks and island-size stacks are in abundance, with both sizes in this shot.
These were just two among many poles scattered around the hillside on the approach to Prussia Cove. I have no ideas about their significance.
These decaying outbuildings above Prussia Cove seemed to be situated in order to have photographs taken of them.
This monument above Poldhu Cove marks the location of where the first transatlantic wireless signals were transmitted by Marconi and his colleagues between here and Canada in 1901.
These jet trainers from RNAS Culdrose, practicing over the Lizard, it subsequently turned out, were preparing for the flypast near London to mark 100 years of the Fleet Air Arm.
This was taken on an exceptionally lively day at Vellan Head on the Lizard. Showers were blowing through on gale force winds as I struggled through a clifftop marsh.
Another shower coming in on the approach to Porthleven. The coast around here bears little imprint of the tourism that exists just a few miles away at Marazion.
It is hard to imagine that many beaches in Europe can be up to the standard of those around St Ives Bay. This view of St Ives was taken from the Mexican Towans near Hayle.
This paraglider was really struggling with the lift on the Phillack Towans above Hayle beach.
The lighthouse on Godrevy Island is visible from large sections of the North Cornwall coastline.
Just beyond Godrevy Point a few attractive Shetland Ponies were grazing on the clifftops.
Ralph’s Cupboard is the outstanding feature of the coastline south of Portreath. It is a vast collapsed sea cave and the former home of a giant who used to hurl rocks at passing ships. Allegedly.
Not rescuing me fortunately.
Whilst seagulls are probably my least favourite birds (nobody in Bude enjoys watching them eating the ducklings on the canal and the river), these two were doing their little mating ritual and were, at least, photogenic.
St Ives currently has a pod of dolphins swimming around its headland. It took many many shots to get one actually out of the water.
Beautiful colours on the stretch of low cliffs between Treyarnon and Porthcothan.
There is a pair of kingfishers in the nature reserve just up the canal from where I live at the moment. I caught this one just before it was harried by a sparrowhawk.
There are currently seven great crested grebes on the Tamar Lakes, of which these are one of the three pairs. They are difficult to photograph, being very wary of people on the shore.
This female swan, on the bank of the Bude Canal just along from my flat, has just abandoned her nest after almost 6 weeks sitting on it. I have no idea why, but she is tired and malnourished.
This female robin hangs out with her partner on the opposite my flat on the other side of the canal.
I think I lack the patience to be a good wildlife photographer so I rarely get shots of birds in flight. I was fortunate to get this one on the marshes near my flat.
A bit of a bird theme developing at the moment, as you can see. Another shot of the local robin. Such a friendly little chap!
By late spring the sunset has moved significantly on our west facing coastline. These shots are two a penny at the moment but I still can’t resist posting the occasional one.
I have been to the beautiful hamlet and church at Morwenstow many times but as far as I can recall this was the first time it was sunny. The sun caught the new leaves beautifully.
Bude is a staggeringly windy place; it almost never stops blowing here, so to get anything even approaching a reflection on the canal outside my flat is a rarity.
Late May saw a massive influx of painted ladies in the south west. I had actually gone to photograph the thrift growing on the wall by the sea loch on the canal when suddenly a dozen of them descended on it.
Can’t resist those sunsets! Here’s another.
Walking after sundown we spotted a group of local youths having a bonfire on the beach.
The painted ladies strike again, this time whilst having a pint outside a local pub. Not sure what type of flowers they are?
It does not look like there is much more room for pollen on this honey bee.
This heron is a regular sight on the marshes here in Bude but I have never seen it doing this before.
After the earlier pictures of Efford Cottage in the snow, here it is looking more as most people see it. This high dynamic range image was generated from a 5 shot handheld bracketed sequence.
A bit of fun with over-processing this high dynamic range image of Summerleaze beach, the lifeboat station, Bude Canal and Efford Down.
This reed bunting was the loudest bird on the marsh for months. He was always to be found in almost exactly the same place.
This herring gull was sitting on the wall by the harbour. I am not a fan of Herring Gulls but it is not a bad shot.
The honey bees are out in force at the moment and are very tolerant of having a macro lens within inches of them. I want to stroke the fur!
Well, it will be painful once the prickles grow on this milk thistle flowrhead.
A rather fine specimen of a longhorn beetle leptura maculata) on a white dog rose.
A hollyhock. What more can I say?
I was visiting my parents for lunch when I looked at their small garden pond on, I guess, the mating day of the year for the damselflies. There were dozens. I have desaturated the background so that the ‘moment’ can be seen more clearly.
The most attractive of the damselflies is, in my opinion, the red one. I chased this one around my parents pond for an hour. All the damselflies had gone the next day.
This is part of a strange and antique aerial array on the cliffs between Welcombe Mouth and Speke’s Mill Mouth. I have no idea what its purpose is, or was.
A lovely view of Lundy Island over a field of ripening corn on Sandhole Cliff on the South West Coast Path.
On the way back on the South West Coast Path an hour later the same cornfield on Sandhole Cliff in rather different weather conditions (see previous photo).
A strangely positioned picnic table at Nabor Point, one of the most remote and unvisited parts of the Cornish Coastline.
Taken from the balcony of my flat on an exceptionally clear night.
The canal by my flat in Bude is much frequented by youth groups learning to kayak. I was attracted by the colour of this group of kayaks tied up by the scout hut.
One morning the beach here at Bude was covered with these jellyfish washed up by the autumn storms. I was interested in the way they magnified the sand grains underneath them.
A misty morning at Barrel Rock at the end of the breakwater that protects the sea lock of the Bude Canal.
The mist see previous photo) suddenly lifted to reveal this lone surfer off Crooklets beach here at Bude.
A late afternoon autumn walk led to this chance shot of ducks landing in the Bude marshes.
Where the sea lock of the Bude Canal meets the River Neet at the top of Summerleaze Beach are a collection of posts for tying boats to at high tide. This is the highest and most attractive of them, lit by early morning autumn sun.
The south of the UK had just had the ‘storm of the year’. As the winds died I captured this picture and the next one) down at the Bude breakwater of the incredible build up of spume.
Another shot see previous photo) of the aftermath of the ‘storm of the year’. I have never seen so much spume in Bude.
With the autumn swells battering the north coast of Cornwall and Devon I took a trip up to Hartland Quay, always a reliable spot for wave watching, and caught this sunset shot.
A break in yet another autumn storm let me capture this shot from the Bude breakwater looking towards the sea lock of the canal.
Still can’t resist posting those sunset shots!
Driving along the road from Widemouth Bay to Bude on a stormy evening this hole suddenly opened up in the clouds.
A bit of an autumn storm theme developing! A wild morning on the breakwater at Bude.
The first of three images taken at Torquay harbour pier on a walk with my mum. We dodged showers and the reward was some great breaks in between them. This is an HDR looking across Torbay.
This HDR image is of the harbour entrance at Torquay, looking across Torbay to Paignton.
This shower coming over managed to miss us amazingly. Another (OTT! )HDR of the pier at Torquay with Paignton in the background.
A glorious double rainbow in the fields near Okehampton.
As the water rushes off the Bude Breakwater it meets the next wave coming in and churns up regularly at the same point.
It is not often that waves cross the full length of the Bude Breakwater.
After weeks of autumn rain the weather is finally coming from the east and the sun is back, combining nicely with at 15ft swell here at Bude.
There is iron in the rocks that have slipped into the the sea at Compass Point.
A solitary walker on the Bude breakwater.
Waves barreling in towards Barrel Rock at Bude.
A surfer on a day of lovely clean overhead waves at Bude.
I’m pleased with this one! Winter surfers in Bude.
In between shooting surfers I caught these lovely colours off the end of the breakwater at Bude.
Wild water for this longboarder at Bude.
Bude did not get as much snow as the rest of the country, protected as it is by its microclimate, but the canal did freeze over for a couple of weeks.
A surfer at the end of his ride on a lovely winter’s day at Crooklets, Bude.
Any attempt to feed the ducks on Bude Canal will result in an immediate mobbing by a hundred blackheaded gulls. These 3 are awaiting the next victim.
The light dusting of snow adds to this winter scene of Budleigh Salterton’s Devonian Sandstone cliffs on a beautiful winter’s day.
Exmouth in the snow from on the coast path from Budleigh Salterton. Exmouth is not the most attractive spot on the Devon coast but sometimes it has its moments.
Unbelievably, Vixen Tor is the only tor on Dartmoor that has no right of access. The landowner has been demanding £35k a year for access, much much more than the park authority can afford. It has been the subject of several mass trespasses.
I often take photos of sunsets at Widemouth Bay but it rarely gets better than this. I have never seen such rich colours before there. It was hard to choose this one out of the many I took.
A few minutes after the previous photo I caught this one of a dogwalker on the beach.
Another favourite sunset spot is the breakwater at Bude. A big swell was coming in this evening and the spray filled the air.
These attractive textures in the rocks recently uncovered by the tide on the beach at sunset had me reaching for the camera.
The trees in the South West are more strangled with ivy than trees I have seen anywhere else in Britain. After a brief respite …
My old friend the robin, this time perched amongst spiders webs in the Bude marshes.
A pretty sight in the graveyard at Widdecombe on the Moor.
This tree is just below Hound Tor on Dartmoor. Hay Tor is on the skyline in the distance. Amazing colours in winter at sunset.
Kite buggy racing at Westward Ho!, the only placename with an exclamation mark in the UK. Free of tourists in the winter these guys have the run of the enormous beach here.
Surfers having a near miss at Millook in North Cornwall.
I don’t often walk up to this side of Summerleaze beach at Bude, but normally go down on the breakwater. This day was the best day of the year so far and I fancied going somewhere different for a change. In the foreground is Barrel Rock off the end of the breakwater.
The lower section of the old Bude Canal has been restored in recent years including the installation of two new sets of lock gates. I captured this tuft of grass that has gained a foothold inside one of these locks.
Late afternoon winter sun illuminates dog walkers on the beach.
Superb winter surf at the reef break at Millook.
Kite buggy racing on a windy winter’s day at Westward Ho! Hartland point and the Clovelly coast in the background.
In between photographing the surfers at Millook I entertained myself with the rocks and pebbles on the beach there. These quartzite lined rocks are common on the Culm coast.
Wherever there are trees along the Bude Canal there are blue tits. This one was taken at the Marhamchurch end of the canal.
Shadows in the muddy water from the bridge near Marhamchurch on the Bude Canal.
A lone walker and his dog enjoying the last rays of the winter sun on Summerleaze beach at Bude.
A mooring ring on the side of the Bude Canal near the sea lock.
A surfer on his way back up a big wave at Millook. A classic winter’s day on the North coast!
More of those Culm coast quartzite lined pebbles at Millook.
A classic arc of spray from this surfer at Millook’s point break.
A couple on the breakwater at Bude.
A swan off tree that had been across the path between Buck’s Mills and Peppercombe on the Southwest Coast Path.
Spring has finally sprung in the Southwest. A new leaf on the brook above Buck’s Mills in Devon.
New life springing up on the Southwest Coast Path between Buck’s MIlls and Peppercombe.
Two herons fighting it out on the Bude Marshes. These two chased each other for several minutes. I have been looking for them ever since but no luck yet.
Mother duck watching over the first duckling of the year, or one of nine actually, on the side of the canal at Bude.
The water in the canal outside my flat in Bude has now warmed up enough that a late spring frost causes a light mist to rise from it in the mornings. I popped out to investigate and took this HDR of kayaks tied up down by the scout hut.
One of the harder beaches to access in Cornwall is The Strangles near Crackington Haven. It is a long way down, and a long way back up, from the cliff above where this was taken.
Dartmoor ponies are not always found on Dartmoor, but all along cliff edges in the South West. This one appeared to be the ‘leader’ of a small herd on the cliffs above The Strangles near Crackington Haven.
A seat with a spectacular view near Beeny Cliff, Boscastle, looking down the coast towards Tintagel.
I took this HDR just before sunset in Boscastle. A lovely evening and not a tourist in sight.
A late spring frost and a glorious morning. Our flat is on the first floor of the white building on the lefthand side, or rather it was, because it was sold from under us and we have now had to move to another rental property at the other end of Bude in a hurry, hence the lack of recent photos on the blog. Normal service will be resumed now!
A heron in flight on the Bude Marshes, taken from the hide on the side of the canal. Hard to ever get close enough to these! We miss living on the canal and being able to just step out and look at the birds.
Walking down from High Cliff, the highest cliff in England, to Crackington Haven we caught a few horses above Cambeak, the notable feature of the coastline here.
A wren by the side of the Bude Canal. I have been trying to get a shot of the wrens in this area for a very long time now.
A peacock strutting its stuff in Bude Marshes. Very common at this time of the year.
I captured this near sunset at the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor. Just a very strange cloud, not a tornado, but I can’t help thinking that it looks like one forming!
My first experiment with texture blending. The line of leaves was shot against a blue sky walking with my mother in the gardens at Coleton Fishacre what a splendid name!) near Kingswear, South Devon.
This chaffinch was collecting nesting material alongside the Bude Canal.
Less than an hour from where we live, yet somehow we have never been here before, lies the Cheesewring area on Bodmin Moor. Here, amongst many other things to see, are ‘The Hurlers’, three magnificent bronze age stone circles, which align with Orion’s belt on the winter solstice. According to legend they are people, turned to stone for playing the sport of hurling on the sabbath.
The young river Fowey begins its descent from Bodmin Moor at Golitha Falls. This is a magical spot, loved by tourists, fly fishermen and otters alike.
Somehow I got away with this handheld HDR at dusk of St Mary’s in Totnes. I have driven through Totnes on countless occasions but this is the first time that I had been up to the church.
These two collared doves above the harbour in Newquay had just “been at it”, though I only managed to capture a post-coital scene.
This bee was pollinating one of many magnificent alliums in the gardens at Coleton Fishacre between Brixham and Kingswear.
Wonderful reflections of cotton wool clouds on a summer’s day at home in Bude.
This is St Nectan’s Kieve, a wonderful spot near Tintagel, held sacred by both christians and pagans. A sixty foot waterfall falls to this plunge pool. I had to stand in the river to get this long exposure.
This church lies on Glebe Cliff on the southern outskirts of Tintagel where we have a holiday cottage. The sun always seems to shine when we come up here.
This trig point is on the 308m Condolden Hill above Tintagel, the second highest point in Cornwall outside Bodmin Moor. It tops an unexcavated Bronze Age barrow, though local legend has it that it is the grave of Cador, a sixth century Conish King and Arthurian knight. The views here are spectacular, stretching along the coast from Hartland Point in the North to St Ives in the South.
I still can’t resist the odd sunset and there will probably be more of them coming soon as we are moving in a month to a fabulous flat where we will be able to watch the sun sink into the North Atlantic every night.
This bronze age maze marking is hidden in the Rocky Valley in Bossiney near Tintagel. It is one of a pair and appears much frequented by the pagan community.
A backroad above Tintagel skirts the slopes of Condolden Hill and gives excellent views down onto the village. The grass in these parts is incredibly green and the sea, dotted with white horses, always a bright blue in the sun.
Thrift adorns our coastline in the late spring and early summer. This was taken near Brixham and represents my second attempt at texture blending.
This was taken from near the house where the TV series ‘Doc Martin’ is filmed in Port Isaac. By a strange twist my partner nearly bought the house in the months preceding the start of filming.
The great majority of old tin mines lie in the west of Cornwall, but many mlles from here, above Trebarwith Strand, near Tintagel, lies the Prince of Wales Engine House. It is the most northerly of the old tin mines and is an arresting sight.
A little bit of artistic license with this giant gunnera at the wonderful National Trust gardens of Coleton Fishacre now there’s a name!) between Brixham and Kingswear.
This is Benoath Cove below Bossiney near Tintagel. It is only accessible at very low tide by walking, wading or swimming round from Bossiney Cove. The lovely turquoise seas around here are a result of past slate mining activities.
This was taken in the heathland atop St. Breock Downs above Wadebridge. It was a very hot day and we needed to kill a couple of hours before going for a walk so we drove up to these hills that we had never been to before and were pleased to discover hundreds of butterflies up there.
A long forgotten road below the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor.
A wonderful mackerel sky over Widemouth Bay. We are moving to a new rental property on the other side of this bay in a few weeks. I can’t wait!
I would normally take a shot of the top side of a butterfly but the craggy underside of this one is just as interesting and a more unusual shot. This was another shot taken up at St Breock Down.
The prevailing winds from the North Atlantic leave trees like this all over the landscape near us. This one is on the coast path near Millook.
Between Trebarwith Strand and Port Gaverne/Port Isaac lies remote Tregardock beach, a longish walk from any direction. Whilst on the beach I spotted this peculiar rock adorned with seashells. Limpets have no eyes but it appears they still prefer green to orange.
This sandbanks in the Camel estuary at Padstow come and go quickly on the tide. By the time I had finished my drink in the cafÃ© I was sitting in this boat was afloat again.
This was taken inside a cave on remote Tregardock Beach, between Trebarwith Strand and Port Isaac/Port Gaverne. It is iron I guess that is causing these intense colours.
I came across this common toad on the path down to Bossiney beach near Tintagel. S/he was most obliging and posed for me for several minutes.
I have had no luck trying to identify this colourful insect that I found on the cliffs at Bossiney near Tintagel. If anybody knows then please leave a comment …
This cross is in the jumbled graveyard of the secluded Minster Church, which lies in a wooded offshoot of the Valency Valley inland of Boscastle. It is an atmospheric place.
The Cheesewring lies on on the southern slopes of Bodmin Moor. There is something that feels cold about this image though it was taken on a balmy summer evening in the last rays of the light.
This branch in the river at Golitha Falls on Bodmin Moor made me think of a stag’s antlers.
Hundreds of happy smiling faces on the cliffs above Whipsiddery near Newquay.
This is the South West Coast Path at Scrade, between Crackington Haven and Millook. It is reputedly the single steepest section. Looking at it here we were not sure at all what was going to happen next!
Just a sunset shot from the cliffs between Widemouth Bay and Millook. I liked the clouds!
This is the boulder beach at Peppercombe looking West towards Clovelly and Exmansworthy. This is a less frequented piece of the North Devon coastline due to the walk required to reach it, but it is absolutely lovely.
Normal service is now resumed on the photoblog I hope as we have now completed our house move. This photo was taken from nearly a mile away on the coast path between Hartland Point and Hartland Quay. The power of telephoto lenses!
I believe this is a Common Blue. I took it on the grassy downs south of Westward Ho! As usual with my butterfly shots the butterfly has a bit of its wing missing.
For some reason this makes me think of Christmas. Every now and then on the north coast I come across this weird plant. It can cover vast areas here maybe 20 square metres).
Iron deposit run off at Tregardock Beach.
We had a very early frost last night but the sea is still warm. I was up early and was able to capture the wonderful sight of the sea steaming, right from the doorstep of our new flat.
(For viewers from overseas these road signs indicate that the speed limit is now derestricted on leaving an urban area). This was taken from the living room of our new pad. Cambeak and Tintagel are the headlands behind.
Late evening light on the Culm Coast cliffs and beach at Hartland Quay. One of the best spots on the North Devon coast.
The sun going down from the slipway at Hartland Quay.
I caught this late afternoon on the coast path between Port Quin and Port Isaac. I think it must have been fairly exhausted as I have never had much luck trying to capture a dragonfly in the past.
This is the outlet of the confluence of the Taw and the Torridge rivers taken from near the lifeboat slipway at Appledore. Apologies for the lack of activity on the blog this week; my router shuffled off this mortal coil and I had to wait for a new one to be delivered.
Millook’s famous chevron cliff at sunset.
On the side of the Torridge estuary between Appledore and Bideford lies a remarkable ship graveyard, a memory to when Appledore was a major shipbuilding centre. Several old wrecks in various stages of decomposition lie stranded in the mud.
Classic Culm coast folding at Hartland Quay. It was this cliff that the idiots on ‘Top Gear’ pushed their ‘camper van’ off,
Dawn from our new flat, looking towards Tintagel. The sea is warmer than the air, creating the mist.
This is the lighthouse at Hartland Point. When I was young you could walk down to this but the cliffs have become unstable and the coastguard have closed the access road. I dare say if I was determined enough …
Sunset from the cliffs near our new pad there is probably going to be a lot of these!).
The last rays of the sun catch this rock at Hartland Quay on a perfect autumn evening.
The 300th picture on this photoblog! This is taken at the end of the beach at Westward Ho! looking across at Baggy Point.
A sea fog rolling into Millook Haven taken from Widemouth Bay.
This stubble fire provided an interesting foreground for a shot of the spooks at GCHQ Bude.
A young cormorant perching on the side of the Bude Canal at Helebridge.
We had the good fortune to travel up to a wedding on the Isle of Wight this weekend (congratulations Guy & Charlotte!) on a lovely late autumn day. We detoured down to Abbotsbury as I fancied that the light would be good on Chesil Beach and The Fleet, even in the middle of the day. I was not disappointed.
There was some sort of naval exercise going on around Plymouth when I took this shot from the cliffs above Whitesand Bay near Rame Head.
A winter shot of Mount Edgcumbe House on the Rame Peninsula, taken from Cremyll. This house dates back to the 16th century though had to be completely restored after it was gutted during WWII.
This old beach house is in a wonderful location on the seaward side of Appledore but it is in need of complete renovation/rebuilding.
A mackerel sky on a cold morning at Widemouth Bay. The mist is being caused by the steaming sea.
A tapestry of glorious autumnal colours bathed in pristine afternoon winter light at Rame Head near Plymouth.
The seas were running very high at Trebarwith Strand where I captured this shot of the foam on the rocks.
Gorgeous skies over St. George’s Island (a.k.a Looe Island) taken from Seaton.
This is the end of the remarkable pebble ridge at Westward Ho!, formed by the sea transporting carboniferous sandstone that has fallen into the sea around Hartland, many miles along the North Devon coast. The pebbles are orange to begin with but quickly weather to grey.
Mystery at Mount Edgcumbe House!
Winter riders on the beach at Northcott Mouth near Bude.
St Catherine’s Chapel is an impressive sight on the Bridport to Abbotsbury road. Chesil beach curves away down to Weymouth and Portland Bill in the background.
This rock lies on Upton Beach, just below our flat.
Bad weather coming in from the North on the Upton cliffs near Bude. Our flat is just out of picture on the right of the stepped cliff.
Strangles Beach near Crackington Haven in late afternoon winter light. Tintagel is the headland in the distance.
I am guessing that the light on top of this jet that shot low over me comes from the plane itself but I am at a complete loss as to what the cause of the blue flash is? Any ideas?
I took this photo of Torquay Harbour quite some time ago whilst out for a walk with my mum. I am not sure why I passed over it at the time as banging his own drum) I think it is rather good.
The wreck of the SS Belem lies below Menachurch Point, between Northcott Mouth and Sandymouth. Shifting sands mean more or less of it is exposed month on month.
A telephoto shot of the sun peeking out behind a cloud and about to disappear again yielded dramatic colours.
A little bit of fun with overdoing the local contrast settings! This is Bude’s breakwater and beaches at low tide, taken from Compass Point.
Yikes! Another sunset shot! My excuse is that this was the winter solstice taken at Tintagel. I was expecting to see lots of new age types but it was deserted and we had Glebe Cliff to ourselves.
The UK has been battered with its coldest winter for 100 years yet in North Cornwall we had had no snow on the coast at all. Finally, yesterday, we woke up to the lightest of dustings.
The last rays of the winter solstice sun hitting a deserted castle.
Happy Christmas to you all!
This is the boiler of the SS Belem, wrecked at Menachurch Point near Bude. Its ecology differs little from the surrounding rocks.
The far left end of Upton Beach just as the sun hit it after our dusting of snow.
This was taken at dawn from our place on Christmas Day. It would have been wonderful if it had been as clear as this a few days earlier for the lunar eclipse, but c’est la vie.
On Boxing Day I took a walk around the very slippery and icy grounds of a closed Dartington Hall with my parents. It was not somewhere I had been before. The colours around this tree were very striking.
Well, here is my last 2010 blog entry. It was taken on the solstice in fact from Glebe Cliff in Tintagel, looking across at Pentire Point and the Moules, with Trevose Head and its lighthouse, on the other side of the Camel Estuary, behind. I always like to ‘end’ things with sunsets!
This peculiar lighting effect was created by a godbeam shining through an otherwise cloudy sky. There is something primordial about this shot which is why I have chosen it for today. Best wishes for 2011 everybody!
We get some very strange atmospheric effects at this time of the year due to temperature differences between the sea and the air. This made me think of one spectre chasing another across the surface of the sea.
The hoar frost covered bush made me think of dead coral in this shot along the Upton cliffs near Bude.
On the coast path between Upton and Widemouth on the one morning that we had any snow down here.
Hoar frost on grass in the border outside of our flat. Such delicate crystals that melted a couple of hours after dawn.
Godbeams falling on Cambeak and Pencarrow Cliff, either side of Crackington Haven, on a winter’s afternoon. We get a lot of this on our coastline in the afternoons and I am always on the lookout for it.
One from the archives this time. This was taken at Sennen Campsite a couple of years ago while we were doing the coast path around West Penwith.
A cold and frosty morning in Upton. Enough said!
Faint footprints in the sand at Westward Ho!
Another one from the archives. Dawn on the canal (when we used to live down there).
The 13th Century church of St Michel de Rupe ‘St Michael of the Rock’) on Brent Tor to the west of Dartmoor.
One of the beach streams at Widemouth Bay meandering down to the sea.
The cliffs alongside our flat with a frosty topping. The further one with the trig point is Efford Down. The erosion here is pushing the cliff within a few feet of the coast road.
Hi Everybody. Needed to take a break from this for a while but I’m back with regular updates now. This was the tail end of a winter storm on Bude’s breakwater.
Great lighting on the beach at Widemouth.
Some very strange clouds at different levels on this evening at our flat. I will probably post a few more taken around the same time over the next couple of weeks.
This was the biggest wave of the day or the biggest that I captured anyway) at Millook on the back of a winter storm.
Two ganders scrapping it out for mating rights in the field by our flat. This trial of strength went on for nearly an hour.
A sizeable chunk of a tree (and a good seat!) on the beach at Sandymouth at high tide.
Riders at Perranporth. I’ve always fancied galloping along a beach but never done it. This couple certainly looked to be having fun. I’ll post another shot of them in the next few days.
Close to high tide at Millook surfers are forced to abandon the point break and move into the centre of the bay.
There are places that you might have visited a hundred times and then you notice something new. This little copse lies behind the beach at Sandymouth, there is a National Trust nature trail that goes through it, and it is beyond me how I have never walked along it before.
Just a bit of fun for the weekend! A colourised long exposure on Upton Beach.
More of the strange clouds I posted a week ago.
Multicoloured weathering at Benoath Cove below Bossiney near Tintagel.
Long exposure at Upton Beach. Nearly got cut off by the tide trying to get this one!
Walkers on Perranporth’s massive beach.
Hmmm… we haven’t had a sunset for a while now, so here’s one looking down the coast from Upton.
Big winter swell at Bude.
The exceptionally low tides of the spring equinox, combined with the lunar perigee, uncovered this seaweed covered rock in the sands below Compass Point at Bude.
This is Compass Point at Bude at low tide on the Spring Equinox/Lunar Perigee. Waves usually wash the rocks at its base at low tide so to see this much sand exposed is an extreme rarity.
It’s been t-shirt weather here the last few days and it feels like spring has arrived. Yesterday evening 23rd March) on Bude’s nature reserve swallows and goldfinches were hunting insects, bees were pollinating and we saw our first butterfly of 2011, this Peacock. Let’s not mention what the ducks were up to on the canal.
I couldn’t resist it (see butterfly photo). Three drakes are attempting to mount one duck bottom right). The two drakes on the left appear to have got some idea of what type of manoeuvre is involved but are otherwise quite confused it seems …. The joys of spring!
The moving picture was invented by Eadweard Muybridge to help prove that all four hooves of a horse leave the ground simultaneously when it gallops. The front horse of these riders at Perranporth illustrates this, a mere 129 years later.
I’ve posted a shot of this rock before – it lies almost directly below our flat. I am tempted to blow the dust off my rock boots and attempt to scale it though the culm rock that it is composed of is extremely friable.
Yeah? What’s your problem? …. a very obliging swan by the Menabilly ‘Manderley’ in ‘Rebecca’) lake near Fowey.
Spaceship resupplying at Upton near Bude. It beams the fish up you see … 🙂
Salix Caprea I think, AKA Goat Willow, coming into flower in the Woodland Nature Reserve between the canal and the cliffs near Bude. Not much depth of field with the macro lens!
This is the Daymark on Gribbin Head, between Par and Fowey on the South Cornwall coast. Built in 1842 by Trinity House it serves as a landmark for sailors, much as the very tall church towers do on the North Cornwall and Devon coast.
The spring equinox low tides uncovered these rocks below Compass Point at Bude. They are granite, and alien to the Culm Coast here, which leads me to conclude that they must be piled up second world war invasion defences.
Many greek letters on a clifftop! This is an old abandoned … erm … something at the deserted Penhale Army Camp between Holywell and Perranporth.
Pools of water on the beach below the breakwater at Bude. This is another one of the pictures I have been posting of beach exposed by the exceptionally low spring equinox tides.
Kitesurfer in action at Bigbury-on-sea. The RIver Avon cuts through the beach here, which this guy was making use of, allowing me to get very close to the action.
A robin in Lower Upton, on the way down from our flat to the Bude canal.
Catkins on a Hazel in the forest between the canal and the cliffs at Bude.
Compass Point at Bude. There are several climbing routes here, most of them very hard and unprotected. The yellow lichen on the cliff grows everywhere around here; most peoples roof tiles are coated with it.
The ruin of Lord Churston;s Bathhouse at Elberry Cove near Broadsands in Torbay.
A bizarrely located old piece of farm machinery, sitting right in front of a bird hide on Lower Tamar Lake.
Water pouring over one of the upper lock gates, which actually acts as a weir, on the Bude Canal.
Gull Rocks from above Hoblyn’s Cove between Perranporth and Holywell.
A litte bit of spring paradise at Starehole Cove near Salcombe in Devon. The water is still only 10 degrees though!
Kitesurfers making good use of a stiff onshore breeze at Bantham on the South coast of Devon.
Dawn this morning over the Brunel Viaduct at Broadsands, Devon (with pheasant!).
A piece of beach art made of washed up jetsam at Perranporth, Cornwall.
An exposed old timber, part of the dam of Tommy’s Pit, Bude’s first sea pool on the breakwater (where my dad learnt to swim).
I assume this fly is drinking, though maybe it has regurgitated this drop of water (with my reflection in it). Taken at Dunsdon Nature Reserve in Devon.
Apologies to the surfer involved but I rather liked this one!
Water lilies in a side pond of the Lower Tamar Lake.
A bygone seat, perhaps of Victorian Vintage, from when Torbay’s early residents created scenic cliff walks all around Torquay. This one is on the path from Hope’s Nose to Anstey’s Cove.
Rain approaching at Dunsdon Nature Reserve, Devon. Dunsdon preserves Culm grassland (the boggy breeding ground of the rare Marsh Fritillary butterfly).
Another shot of the Brunel Viaduct at Broadsands. We live on a west facing coast and get the sunset, so it is nice to come east and get the dawn for a change.
Another one of Compass Point back when the spring tides coincided with the lunar perigee.
“Perhaps this isn’t the best place to stand….”. To be fair, this monster at Millook was ONLY waist deep when it reached them.
Another photo of that fly at Dunsdon Nature Reserve. These things would eat you if they were big enough 🙂
It’s not often that you can get quite this close to a swan.
These very impressive buildings at Cremyll, Plymouth, were formerly the Royal Naval Victualling Yard. They are now being converted to luxury flats, offices, bars and restaurants. This was taken from the waterbus from the Barbican.
The new Tamar Class Lizard lifeboat undergoing sea trials at Plymouth Sound, before being deployed to the refitted Lizard lifeboat station.
The 400th picture on this photoblog. This ruined former yarn mill lies beside the Trevillet River in the Rocky Valley at Bossiney near Tintagel.
Beach huts at Dawlish on a beautiful spring day, with the Parson and Clerk rocks in the background.
Littleham Cove, West Down Beacon and Budleigh Salterton on the Jurassic Coast. There are frequent landslips here.
Attractive rocks at the north end of Sandymouth at high tide.
These two were on the seaward edge of the road leading down to the old Berry Head quarries at Brixham.
The distinctive Old Red Devonian Sandstone beach and cliffs at Teignmouth. The coast path here is on the top of the sea wall next to the railway line.
Giant daisies in a meadow at Holcombe in South Devon.
Sunset from the cliffs near our flat.
This buoy provided a good focus in the foreground at Bigbury-on-Sea. I am revisiting texture blending at the moment so expect to see more of this style over the coming weeks.
Sunset on top of the Upton cliffs.
One for the bank holiday today … games on the beach.
Black headed gull on the attack whilst we were feeding ducks on the canal.
A very murky morning down on the breakwater at Bude, though within 10 minutes of this shot there were clear blue skies.
Detail of a ship in Falmouth harbour.
Bamboo plant at Coleton Fishacre, near Brixham in South Devon.
As it says on the tin … with St Materiana on Glebe Cliff in the background.
Not seeing any ducklings on the Bude Canal at the moment but a pair of Canada Geese that nested on the marshes have brought their goslings to the canal. There were seven, four are left; hopefully they will all make it.
Leaf study from the winter). It was sticking up above a hedge down our lane and caught my eye.
I was trying to create a warm ethereal look from this subjectless misty dawn shot.
Bude Canal during the winter. I have been meaning to do something with this shot for a while now and here I have tried some subtle textures.
The windows of Dartington Hall in South Devon.
Plymouth Hoe, ‘painterly’ style, from the Cremyll water taxi.
Abandoned millstone at Trevillet Mill in the Rocky Valley at Bossiney.
Texture blended macro of a woodlouse. I was actually testing the lighting rig I have cobbled together for handheld bug hunting.
Weather front arriving at sunset. I was watching a bloke with a tripod set up on the cliff near our flat waiting for nearly 2 hours. When he stood up to start shooting I ventured out (can’t see the sunset directly at the moment). Thanks whoever you were, it was worth it!
In the fields above the cliffs at Bude. I didn’t have much hope for this backlit shot when I took it but it has worked out rather well as a high key image in my humble opinion of course).
One from the archives today. This was shot from Brent Tor near Dartmoor in midwinter. I was attracted to the latticework of field boundaries.
Whilst photographing this lighthouse on the end of the breakwater at Brixham I was accosted by the local busybody who interrogated me on why I was taking closeups of rust, but did tell me it was built in 1916.
A lily in my parents’ garden.
A female mallard perched on the bridge over the canal at Bude.
Pollen grains on the stamen of a flower in my parents’ garden.
Not really sure what this is. Took it at Dunsdon Nature Reserve last night whilst hunting for insects (on which my return was nil!). I like the waxy petals.
A family of spiders at Dunsdon Nature Reserve.
From our flat, on a clear night, we can see this lighthouse flashing, about 30 miles away. It is on a high headland and thus appears above the curvature of the earth.
A low key shot of a grave on the side of Brent Tor near Dartmoor.
Some kind of lily I think? I’m not very good on flower recognition 🙂
Sunset reflected in a pool near the Breakwater at Bude.
Hay Tor taken from Hound Tor on a winter’s afternoon.
This old cottage lies in the woods above Peppercombe in North Devon. It has no road access. I was attracted by the shadows of the trees when I took this shot.
This is the beautiful church at St Enodoc on the Camel Estuary. The larger of the two black graves in the lower left houses the former Poet Laureate John Betjeman.
Found this one climbing the wall outside our flat. I presume the colouring says something like “I might be a wasp so don’t try to eat me”. Maybe.
Sunlight on the bank of the River Lyd in Lydford Gorge in Devon. Amazing place.
My girlfriend bought me an Olympus XZ-1 for my birthday! First shot of with it of these mushrooms at Lydford Gorge. I have wanted a P&S that shoots RAW for years and I am very impressed with its output.
These damselflies are another image with the new XZ-1, again taken in Lydford Gorge. This one was snapped by my girlfriend while I was shooting with the D300.
We have a large grove with tens of wild cherry trees near us no, I’m not telling you where they are!).
A very warm summer’s morning, looking east from the lane below where we live.
This clapper bridge at Postbridge on Dartmoor was first recorded in 1380 but is thought to be well over 700 years old. I wonder how many bridges built in the last 50 years will last that long.
Burgh Island at Bigbury-on-Sea in South Devon is only an island at high tide. Here, at at low tide, it is joined to the mainland by a massive, and popular, beach.
A reed bed in Bude Marshes.
Walking along Bude Canal early in the morning I found this sessile oak attractively lit from underneath by the sun reflecting on the canal.
The flower shots from my parents’ excellent and colourful garden strike again! As does the XZ-1! A blue-eyed daisy.
One of the hundreds of beach huts at Broadsands, between Brixham and Paignton, in South Devon.
Those insects are at it again! This time, a pair of Common Red Soldier Beetles. The greater DOF that comes with macros and closeups on the XZ-1 is excellent for casual shooting on walks.
Whilst this is clearly all going exactly to plan as far as the plant is concerned, I wonder what the bee thinks. With my poor eyesight, before I started getting in close I thought I was looking at some new species of bee.
The 1832 Daymark at Gribbin Head near Fowey in South Cornwall.
Looking down our stretch of coastline, from Duckpool to Millook, on a day with weather that it would be so nice to experience here in summer!
Yet another sunset from the cliffs by our flat. I just can’t help posting them.
The lighthouse at Pendeen Watch (just!) and the rocky coastline of West Penwith in Cornwall.
Weighing 16.75 tonnes, this is Cornwall’s largest standing stone, and is thought to date from the late Neolithic or early Bronze age. It now, lamentably, has a modern companion.
Continuing the prehistoric theme, this magnificent portal dolmen is thought to be over 5500 years old, and would have been used as a tomb or ossuary. It lies near the village of St Cleer on Bodmin Moor.
The third and final (for now), in this little prehistoric theme, Tarr Steps is a clapper bridge thought to date to around 1000 BC, crossing the River Barle on Exmoor.
This path lies on the outside of the Valley of the Rocks at Lynton on Exmoor. Being North facing it rarely sees any sun and there is something a little morose about the place (that I have tried to convey here).
I’m posted quite a few shots from the archives recently, and here is another, taken from the balcony of our old flat on the canal in Bude.
Not at all sure what an Algerian Navy helicopter is doing in Cornwall, or maybe it belongs to a private collector.
The tide going out between Sandymouth and Northcott Mouth in the late afternoon and uncovering the beach.
Another shot see 442) of those mushrooms at Lydford Gorge, this time in monochrome. [I’m absent until Tuesday so hope this image autoposts correctly]
Ducks coming into land on Bude Canal. [Absent until Tuesday so hope this image auto posts correctly]
Another shot see 443) of the mating beautiful demoiselles. The last one was with the XZ-1, this one is with the D300. [Absent until Tuesday so hope this image auto posts correctly]
A bit of fun with one of those ubiquitous sunsets from our cliffs in Upton. [Absent until Tuesday so hope this image auto posts correctly]
One of Cornwall’s ‘secret’ beaches (in reality, less well known ones that involve a bit of a hike to reach). Lundy is non-existent at high tide but lovely at low (no, that’s not where I’ve been the past few days – I’ve been painting a house in Plymouth).
Thrift growing at Prussia Cove in Mount’s Bay in Cornwall. [A week ago I started a new aminus3 photoblog to showcase photos from my travels this blog only covers the South West of England) so please take a look at nomadlens:travel too.]
a.k.a. “looks like death on a stick in there”. Well, he survived, and turned out to be the best surfer present on a big wave day at Millook.
A dandelion on Berry Head, South Devon.
A step back to winter. This is the magnificent Dartington Hall in Devon’s South Hams.
These trees are a striking feature of the common at Broadsands near Paignton in South Devon.
Pictures don’t really do this extraordinary sight justice; video would be better. A 3m piece of driftwood washed up on Summerleaze beach at Bude yesterday, covered in thousands of seething, writhing goose barnacles.
Greenway Beach from Higher Sharpnose Point.
Something definitely looks edible about this!
Gorse near Hartland Point in Devon, though frankly it could be anywhere where down here, there is so much of the stuff.
This bizarre array of … something … at the abandoned, and now sold, Penhale Army Camp near Perranporth has long since ceased functioning. Warning signs still surround it though.
One of those happy accidents! A heron taking off on Bude Marshes.
These quartz lined rocks are very famous along our stretch of coastline.
Kitesurfer at Bigbury-on-Sea. The River Avon cuts through the beach here, allowing the kitesurfers to get in very close to the shore.
Bigger waves like this one at Millook usually come in the winter, and often in dark overcast conditions, so it is good to see a swell like this in the summer.
Haytor Rocks on Dartmoor is the big cliff below the better known Haytor on the hill above it. Because the path from the car park leads to the latter very few people come down to its base.
I wish I knew more about geology. This rock is on Middle Beach at Bude. Anybody?
This was taken at Cape Cornwall, once thought to be the most westerly point in mainland Britain, and now fortunately spared the fate of Land’s End.
Stormy seas batter Barrel Rock on the end of the breakwater at Bude.
Another shot of the wriggling and writhing goose barnacles that washed up on Summerleaze beach at Bude.
Approaching Dawlish in South Devon on the coast path. I couldn’t resist having a little fun with this shot.
A closeup up of Pussy Willow coming into flower. We have a lot of this a short distance away in the Woodland Nature Reserve that bisects farmland between Bude Canal and the sea cliffs.
Tips of the petals of an unknown flower.
Can never go too long without a sunset shot around here! This one was taken just up the coast from us at Duckpool.
This is the Parson and Clerk rocks, taken from the Teignmouth side, rather than the Dawlish side.
Surfer negotiating wild seas at Millook.
On a high spring tide the sea washes right over the breakwater at Bude, as it is about to do here.
Gosling by the side of Bude Canal earlier this year. Four out of seven survived, which is not bad going.
On the seawall between Newlyn and Penzance with a good southerly swell hitting the sea wall.
There is a big rookery near the Bude Canal; here is one of its members keeping an eye on proceedings.
New reed growth on Bude Marshes.
Lovely evening light on the rocks of the Bude Breakwater. Picture number 500 on this blog.
For the first part of our month in Italy we were staying in a friend’s lovely house in the tiny hamlet of Cozzano. This was their patio in the early morning.
These dogs are very popular in Italy. This old chap was resting in one of the few sunny spots in a dark street in Cortona.
This was taken from the bottom of the remarkable double helix of Saint Patrick’s Well in Oriveto. The camera had been on the ground taking a long exposure when circumstances forced me to pick it up before the shutter had closed. A happy accident!
Orvieto is ringed by cliffs as this shot shows. The vineyard below was maybe involved in the lovely wine we had been drinking in the piazza at lunchtime.
This had clearly happened in the near past when we found it. Many locals were standing around discussing it. A couple of hours later we saw it being removed.
Iris Origo created the gardens at La Foce and had this beautiful avenue of cypresses planted across the valley from the villa.
A lovely little scene on a doorstep in the main Piazza in Panicale, a lesser known hill town near Lake Trasimeno.
A side street in Panicale. I loved the colour and the light.
This is heaven, Bernini’s hexagonal dome, high in the dark ceiling of the Duomo in Siena.
The Duomo in Siena is the most interesting cathedral I have ever visited. It is quirky, with surprises in every corner, and packed with famous pieces by Michelangelo, Fonatello, Bernini and Pisano. I could spend days there.
This was taken from the ridge between Pozzuolo and Cozzano, looking from Umbria into Tuscany.
This scene lies off the high road between Pienza and San Quirico. It is an eye popping sight and much photographed. There is another version on a different day in a few pictures time.
Ermmm …. I expect most people have seen this one before, but I couldn’t help adding my own shot to the canon.
Classic Tuscan scenery in the Val d’Orcia, with the massive lava dome of Monte Amiata behind.
The stunning church of San Biagio below Montepulciano at sunset. I am lost for words about the beauty of this spot.
A tree lying in the multicolored soils of the Val d”Orcia.
The most photogenic spot in the Val d’Orcia? Different day, different shot. I still don’t know its name?
Not one of Florence’s major tourist churches, and not one that I had been into on previous visits to the city, but wandering in on the way to lunch paid dividends.
I had seen many photos of the Field of Miracles before visiting Pisa and I had always been struck by the white stone and the greenest grass. It did not disappoint.
I am not sure whose tomb this wonderful bas relief decorates but for us it was the finest piece on any of the tombs of the Camposanto.
There was no fanfare about this bronze on the side of a road in Sansepolcro but we loved the realism of the faces.
We visited this tiny and unremarkable church in Sansepolcro quite by accident, so to find this magic lighting from a small stained glass window was a real bonus.
Tuscany and Umbria have splendid chimney pots. Enough said.
I love this picture. Or is it the car I love? I want one.
Near Urbino is this stunning limestone gorge (though, to be fair, Marche and Umbria have many more such amazing gorges).
I loved the shadows of the trees on the wall. That’s all!
Urbino is an extraordinarily beautiful town but as so often in Italy, its skyline was peppered with cranes. Instead of a shot of the town itself I have chosen this church below the town, the last shot I took before we left.
We loved this alleyway in Gubbio, just along from our hotel, returning several times to try to get a good shot of it. It was such a lovely spot that usually some passer by was stood at the bottom of it, often in a staring match with us on who was going to move out of the other’s shot first.
This was our first sight of the fantastic autumn colours that made our visit to Abruzzo so special. It was taken on the ridge on road from Spoleto in Umbria to Norcia in Abruzzo.
We had stopped at a layby to photograph a mountain in the distance when I looked up to see these fantastic clouds above us.
A fabulous dawn from the balcony of our house in Capestrano.
I spent about two hours taking hundreds of shots of the mist in the valley from our house in Capestrano. It was hard to chose one of the valley floor but in the end I liked the tree in this one the best.
Another misty scene from our balcony in Capestrano.
On our third night in Aburzzo we had a storm and it snowed at altitude. I had shot this scene a couple of days before, before the trees had lost most of their leaves in the wind, but lacking the snowy background.
Rocca Calascio is one of Abruzzo’s most famous sites, much used by filmmakers. Whilst that would qualify it for mass market tourism elsewhere, in Abruzzo it lies at the top of an unfenced, potholed precipitous road, which keeps the crowds at bay. Behind lies the Majella massif.
This interesting church lies behind the castle. Beyond is the edge of the plateau of Campo Imperatore with the Gran Sasso mountains in the cloud behind.
Splendid views of the Tirino valley can be had from Rocca Calascio. The village down to the right is Capestrano. In the distance lies the snowy Majella massif.
this bunch of trees clinging to the mountainside near the Lake of Barrea.
The astonishing village of Barrea is perched on the hillside above its eponymous lake. This shot was taken from the neighbouring village of Civitella Alfedena.
We were astonished by the friendly behaviour of two foxes on Monte Vellino. They were almost tame enough to eat from our hands. This is just one of a plethora of shots I was able to take at leisure.
Rocca Caramanico in the Majella massif has the biggest concentration of black cats I have ever seen. I lost count of the friendly felines.
I captured this lovely scene in Rocca Caramanico, a medieval village in the Majella massif.
Pacentro is a typical Abruzzo hill village, lying on the side of the Majella massif. Colle Castello, pictured here is the medieval part of the town.
This is the village where we stayed for 8 days in Abruzzo. Our house is out of sight on the far side of the castle.
Making our way from the Trevi Fountain to the Piazza Venezia we were lucky to stumble upon this building. On the first and second floor levels are frescos of the Virtues.
I love the curve of this wall. The romans certainly knew how to build things that would last.
Amongst the ruins of the Forum we found this old door. I don’t know what lies behind it, but I loved its colour and texture.
The Palatine Hill area of Rome is a vast site. On its southern edge we found some lemon trees on a terrace with a view of the Colosseum.
Sculptures from an exhibition by Jimenez Deredia peppered the Roman Forum and the area outside the Colosseum. They are, we were told, deeply unpopular with the natives, but I rather liked them.
Windows through the windows in the late afternoon sun of the Colosseum.
Dating back to 1410, but amended and repaired many times since, the Astronomical Clock is the central draw in the Old Town Square, especially on the hour when the animated figures start doing their thing.
The famous Jewish Cemetery in Prague contains a jumble of over 12,000 gravestones and suspected total burials of more than 100,000.
This shot of the gothic St Vitus cathedral reminds me of the lower stage of an Apollo rocket (for some reason!).
Decorative gold work on this side window of St Vitus Cathedral, the centrepiece of Prague Castle.
Not really sure of the purpose of these bars on St Vitus Cathedral in Prague Castle, except to provide an interesting picture.
King Charles Bridge is, famously, lined with statues; it is also frequented by masses of seagulls, in a place about as far from the sea as anywhere else in Europe.
This statue of philosopher, sociologist and statesman Tomas Masaryk stands facing Prague Castle in Hradcany Square.
The Old Town Square is the main centre of pre-Christmas activity (though most squares have something going on).
This must be one of the most taken photos in Prague. C’est la vie. Night is falling in this version.
This is the Certovka Basin, complete with water wheel, taken from the King Charles Bridge.
This is the lower section of the Certovka Canal, which branches off the River Vlatva, taken from the King Charles Bridge.
These penguins, part of the Sculpture Museum, are lit up at night. Behind lies one of the side canal entrances and one of the low weirs that lie about every half mile along the River Vlatva.
One of a collection of large faceless figures near the Sculpture Museum on the west bank of the river.
Around the Prague Sculpture Museum on the banks of the River Vlatva lie several external sculptures, We were taken by this chap with his snowy ruff.
A pleasing juxtaposition of buildings near the Malostranska metro station.
This is the Certovka canal, passing under the King Charles Bridge, in the Little Quarter. On the last day of our trip we picked up a launch from here which took us across the river to join the main boat trip.
Spectacular by day, the most prominent landmark of the Old Town Square, the Tyn cathedral, is even better at night. We loved the lights in the 80m high gothic spires.
A strange gargoyle-like fish on the corner of a building in Novy Svet.
The textures and the yellow buildings in this side street off Na Kampe appealed to me.
The golden roof of the National Theatre is prominent from many places along the river in Prague. This was taken from the park near Na Kampe in the Little Quarter.
I spotted this lamp amongst the dying leaves of a weeping willow near Novy Svet.
The architecture of the National Museum is rather more interesting than most of its exhibits. This is the ceiling of one of the wings.
Vysehrad Cemetery is one of the most interesting graveyards that I have ever visited. The snow just added to the atmosphere. It contains the graves of many famous Czechs including Dvorak and Smetana.
This church lies in the centre of the massive Vysehrad Castle complex in southern Prague. The shot is taken from Vysehrad Cemetery.
Jewish Quarter and the metronome in Letna Park from the tower of the Town Hall in the Old Town Square. The Christmas lights look great in the dark.
Although founded in 1348 the current neo-gothic look of Karlstejn Castle dates to the end of the 19th Century. It is a fantastic sight, towering above the village at its base.
The light coming through this door in the castle wall caught my eye. It was amazing that I got the shot at all as the camera was struggling with the cold (as were my fingers).
ing Charles Bridge is Prague’s centrepiece and this was a fine view of it from the Rozhledna on Petrin Hill.
We visited Karlstejn Castle on a beautiful but bitterly cold day with the mercury reading minus 16 centigrade. I snapped this just before we caught the train for the hour’s journey back to Prague.
Looking in a south westerly direction from the Town Hall tower in the Old Town Square at dusk.
This snowy scene with Christmas decorations at Na Kampe was a constant delight to us every time we walked over the King Charles Bridge.
We thought this monument to the poet Julius Zeyer in Letna Park was rather splendid.
Strahov Klaster contains a famous library but unfortunately it was closed when we visited. It was used in the X-Men film ‘Wolverine’ so I guess we will have to watch that to see what it looks like. Anyway, the exterior of the monastery is a sight in itself.
From the steps of the Rozhledna it is possible to look down on the attractive onion-domed church of St Laurence, with the rooftops of Prague lying behind.
From the top of the Rozhledna on Petrin hill, Prague castle, with the cathedral of St Vitus within it, is completely visible. It is the largest castle in the world.
Named after my rarely used first name (or is it the other way round?), the church of St Laurence presents an attractive burst of colour in the snows atop Petrin Hill.
This building, just to the north of the King Charles Bridge, from where this photo was taken, kept catching my eye (or, rather, the boat in front of it did). I have not managed to name it though from any map.
On our last day in Prague we succumbed to the marketing for boat trips. The main boat trip was something of a disappointment but the launch that ferried us across the river to meet the main boat was more rewarding. This is the King Charles Bridge from below.
Inspired by the Eiffel tower, the Rozhledna tower on Petrin hill stands out against the sunset, joined by a radio mast. This shot was taken from the King Charles Bridge.
This view of the Christmas market in the Old Town Square was taken from the tower of the Town Hall. I was struck by the pattern made by the lines of the stalls.