Friday, 14 October 2016

favourite photos: summer 2016

I haven’t taken any photographs this summer that are immediately striking, but I think that the images I’ve included in this collection are at least interesting.

Several of the following pictures were taken while I was out cycling, starting with this photo of Greystoke church. The yellow flowers in the field in front of the church are buttercups, while the small tree on the left with the white flowers is a hawthorn. The blossom on the hawthorns was especially abundant this spring, and the trees are now absolutely covered in red berries.

If you’ve read Quiet Riot, you will know that one of the delights of cycling along narrow country lanes in June and July is the mass of wild flowers in the grass verges. The next two photos are typical, although they do demonstrate an intrinsic weakness of digital photography: that pinks and mauves appear washed out. The actual colours of these flowers are far more intense than they appear to be here.

The next photo was taken during our trip to Chester in July. It is not a particularly good photograph, but I just love those chimneys.

A few days after our visit to Chester, Paula and I travelled to Ravenglass, on the Cumbrian coast, to ride on La’al Ratty, the local name for the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. This narrow-gauge line runs up into the picturesque valley of Eskdale, and the next photo was taken during the journey up the valley.

Having reached the terminus of the line in the village of Dalegarth, we went for a walk, during which I photographed a well-developed cluster of toadstools on a decaying tree stump:

Eskdale is unique among Lakeland valleys in that its topography is determined by a huge granite intrusion (the rocks in other valleys are volcanic). This difference is most clearly seen in the dry-stone walls seen in all valleys. Volcanic rocks tend to split along lines of cleavage, meaning that individual pieces are likely to have flat surfaces. Clearly, this makes it easier to build a wall without using mortar, but the wall in the next photo was built using rounded granite cobbles, making this wall a minor masterpiece.

Hedgehogs have been in decline in the UK for decades, but I photographed this individual while out on one of my early-morning walks:

I haven’t posted anything related to ‘oil paintings’ this summer, but on one occasion I noticed a line of oil stains that extended the full length of the street where I live. This photo was taken directly in front of my house:

When I’ve been out cycling, I’ve occasionally seen a few goats around the hamlet of Ellonby. I photographed this billy goat as it walked up to sniff my outstretched hand:

Finally, I offer another landscape photo taken while out cycling. Although they appear to be a minor feature in the picture, the small herd of cows in the foreground is the reason I stopped to take the photo in the first place. Every cow was lying down, and they were all looking at me while I took the photo.

The day after posting this collection, I travelled down to Manchester for my grandson’s christening. I was out and about very early the following morning, and there was a most spectacular sunrise:

In fact, the entire sky glowed red, and it was therefore impossible to capture it all in a single image. And as every Cumbrian knows, ‘red sky at morning, shepherd’s warning’. It started raining heavily an hour later.


  1. I like seeing the spiky shy hedgehog ;-)

  2. You did a good job on the wall, Dennis!

    1. It was a good job Peter, but I can’t take any credit.


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