Gather Ye Violets while you may!


            Bulbous Violets

 07/02/16   Busy week of talks and, in between, weather fit only for masochistic photographers. I have noticed, however, whilst driving around, that Snowdrops have come into their own in the last few days. They have been with us for some time in dribs and drabs but have recently made a full showing. This morning’s weather being almost clement, despite a forecast of rain by three, I thought I’d make the most of it and sallied forth a’snowdropping. I visited a favourite site where the flowers, known in antiquarian literature as “Bulbous Violets”, are in a sloping woodland setting together with some ferns and mossy branches, only to find that, in the conditions prevailing, even a mountain goat would have been pushed to remain upright. Did the best possible but a major problem was that, even under the trees, rain damage had been substantial. It doesn’t take many damaged flower heads in a clump to completely write it off as a suitable subject. Careful searching came up with one or two suitable settings, however, so made the most of the day. I shall be checking out one or two other sites in the next few days to see if anywhere escaped the brunt of the weather.


CBH_2663b copy
CBH_2623 copy
CBH_2565 copy
CBH_2763 copy
CBH_2785 copy
CBH_2745 copy
Powered by Zedity


Seizing the moment


Grab your chances when you can.


11.11.15   The weather over the last few days has left something to be desired on the suitable light front.  Having decided to use the potential down time to recce areas not visited for sometime we ended up driving around near Shaftesbury. The wind was blowing a hooley and the sky was a mix of sunlit patches, solid white cloud and fog banks, all of which came and went in constant succession and at a varying speed of passage.

   In one of the rare sunlit moments we saw a couple of kites flying( the Red ones with feathers on, not strings!) and pulled over on the chance of a shot or two. As we did so I saw one clinging tenaciously to a treetop and in full view of the vehicle. I didn’t fancy my chances of getting out and setting up the tripod without spooking it although it had, admittedly, sat there and allowed the vehicle to stop without departing at a rate of knots, which they usually do. Waving a 600mm lens out of the window is not my idea of a fun day out but needs must when the devil drives and so I took a number of shots anyway.

   True to expectations, when I tried to ease out of the van in my version of what I call unobtrusively, it launched forth and disappeared behind the trees.

   By the time I had the tripod set up it was long gone but another hove into view and provided a blue sky in-flight shot as it headed into the wind. A further uneventful hour followed except that during the course of it the sky changed completely to a solid white backdrop as a Buzzard hove into view and provided the first of the day’s exposure nightmares with the sky having the effect of strong back lighting. Over exposing by one and a third stops seemed to solve the problem and provided the accompanying shot.

   Possibly spooked by the Buzzard, though they don’t normally seem to mind, a Hare headed straight for us, either seeing us as a potential refuge or, as I prefer to convince myself, not seeing us at all due to our Rambo like camo and just making a beeline for the hedge we were, ourselves, crouching in. A pair of Partridges followed not far behind him and as we left, with a thick fog drifting in, a damp Kestrel had adopted a lookout station further down the hedgerow.

   Not too bad a result for a most off-putting of days and made the effort of braving the elements worthwhile. Like doing the lottery, ” you have to be in it to win it”, and it’s for certain sure we wouldn’t have done much except stare into the eyes of a computer if we hadn’t made the effort to go out!


CBG_2091 copy
CBG_2306 copy
EXY_1568 copy copy
CBA_8046 copy
_DAF5992 copy
_HIK4364 copy
Powered by Zedity


‘Twas not a wasted day!


  There they were – gone!


  25.10.15 Not too bad a day weather-wise. Decided to visit Weymouth to see if the Bearded Tits were on show. They weren’t! Not a tweet, not a whisper, nor even an errant feather tumbling slowly to the ground. Waterfowl were on show though including a vagrant/ lost/ escaped or whatever Hooded Merganser in the Car Park Pond amongst its more normal contemporaries.


Walking through Radipole pathways searching for the day’s lost cause we came on a viewpoint offering good views of a variety of Gulls and Waterfowl. Gulls are so commonplace they are often disregarded as suitable subjects for the serious photographer but they assume a new importance when there is a dearth of other species with which to occupy oneself.


Herring and Black Headed of various ages were all bathing and adopting some unusual poses. Gadwall were seemingly oblivious of the human audience, Cormorants were showing off their finer points and Male Mute Swans were showing off their varying testosterone levels with much pugnacious posturing. A very distant Kestrel seemed to be hovering expectantly but with little more success than we had in our target of the day. An even more distant Marsh Harrier seemed to be gracing the vicinity of the distant houses and steadfastly refused to come any closer to what would have been a truly appreciative audience.


You can’t win ’em all but we did the best we could.

CBG_1439 copy
CBG_1503 copy
CBG_1794 copy
CBG_1376 copy
CBG_1568 copy
ZYX_1653 copy
CBG_1680 copy
CBG_1910 copy
EXY_2475 copy
CBG_1965 copy copy
Powered by Zedity