RSS

Category Archives: Picture this.

Picture this: Moor to sea…

Yes, Spring is here and the weather is beginning to improve, which means there are suddenly a wealth of photographic possibilities out there, just waiting to be captured.

Last weekend, Audrey and I made a quick stop at Woody Bay Steam Railway, in Exmoor National Park, so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures before we made our way back home and went for a walk (or scoot) along the river Taw estuary, where I snapped a few more.

img_20160328_180153.jpg

img_20160327_145933-picsay.jpg

img_20160328_181028.jpg

img_20160328_180356.jpg

img_20160327_144950-picsay.jpg

img_20160327_145118-picsay.jpg

img_20160327_152309-picsay.jpg

img_20160328_171246.jpg

img_20160328_153159-picsay.jpg

img_20160328_171056.jpg

img_20160328_154740-picsay.jpg

img_20160328_153601-picsay.jpg

img_20160328_153248-picsay.jpg

 

Devon; there is always more to see.

 

img_20160328_164354.jpg

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Image

Picture this: The promise of Spring…

For the first time this year, it finally feels like Spring has sprung and, with the second of two days of glorious sunshine this weekend, it was a perfect day for a stroll in the park.

I’d been wanting an excuse to play with my new camera anyway…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

 
16 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2016 in Photography, Picture this.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Image

Picture this: An Autumn walk…

The weather has been pretty kind to us in the last couple of weeks, but there’s definitely an autumnal chill in the air this weekend.
A perfect time then, to go for a brisk walk and try to capture the beauty of the turning seasons on camera, and what with all the multi-coloured foliage, skeletal structures of seed heads everywhere and the profusion of berries, it didn’t take long for me find plenty of ideal subjects to photograph.

I hope you enjoy this taste of Autumn…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

…and if you want more of the same, pop over to Photo Sans Frontiers for a second slew of seasonal spectacle.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2015 in Arts, Photography, Picture this.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Picture this. In the misty morning…

There are many beauty spots in North Devon that I’ve visited again and again to take photos, but it occurred to me today that I’ve taken more pictures in one place than almost any other.
Although it isn’t, strictly speaking, one place.

About eighteen months ago I posted a photo-blog based around my journey to work, along the A361 North Devon Link Road from Barnstaple to South Molton, on the edge of Exmoor National Park.
Since then I’ve taken dozens of photos of the sunsets, sunrises, landscapes and trees on and around the twisty, undulating ribbon of tarmac that winds through the wooded and field-checkered countryside.
Happily, they have proved very popular, both here on the blog and on Facebook, (where I have recently set up my very own public photography group to showcase any and all types of photographic art) but most of these shots are captured whilst making a hurried stop at the side of the road or a quick detour on the way home in the evening.
So today, having awoken at the unreasonable hour of 7.30, I took a traffic-free trip into the misty, frost-sparkly morning and went exploring.

Here’s one of two tunes I’ve picked to soundtrack my journey:

My first stop found me on the hills above the A361, looking down from the road to West Buckland

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

…from whence I made my way towards Exmoor and my main objective for the morning’s adventure, the viaduct that spans the spectacular Castle Hill Estate at Filleigh.

I travel over the viaduct nearly every day and yet, apart from the time I had a job driving a large van, I’ve never been able to take advantage of the views afforded by its lofty elevation.

Until today, that is.

I parked in a lay-by just uphill from where the viaduct spans the steep-sided valley and walked back along the hedgerow, finally reaching the point where I could look over the parapet, onto the misty landscape below and across the treetops of the wooded hills that stretch off into the hazy distance.

image

image

image

image

image

image

But I wasn’t satisfied with that.
What I wanted to do was to get some shots from under the viaduct itself.
Which brings me to the second tune with which to accompany this photographic odyssey:

Clambering over the crash barrier and down through the tangled undergrowth, I eventually came to a farm track that led me under the towering stone supports, into the dappled pine forest and fields that border the road.

image

image

image

image

image

image

I climbed back up the steep slope of the valley to the road, sounds of traffic just beginning to disturb the peace of morning, heading home with the usual feeling of privilege I get when I’ve had a chance to witness the world as only the early bird sees it.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Picture this. Instow beach…

There’s really nothing like a bracing walk on the beach in winter to give you an appetite on Sunday lunchtime so, after fortifying ourselves with bacon and French toast for breakfast, we made our way to Instow, a twenty minute drive along the estuary, to where the rivers Taw and Torridge reach the sea at Bideford bay.

image

A small fishing village with a large and attractive beach at low tide, Instow is always popular, no matter what the season.
Whether it’s tourists flooding the area in summer or dog walkers and locals like us taking advantage of the vacated sands in winter, the flat expanse of the beach and undulating, grass covered dunes make for an ever-changing landscape that has a wild and natural grandeur of its own, even in January.

image

image

The nearby village of Appledore makes a colourful backdrop to the panoramic views across the river and there are many juxtapositions of colour and texture, both natural and man-made, wherever you look.

image

image

image

image

From the elegant colonial styling of the old Commodore Hotel…

image

…to the ancient stone of the sea wall and flood defences…

image

image

…and the strange organic shapes made by the ever-present driftwood, dune grass and spiny buckthorn.

image

image

image

image

image

image

After an hour or so of clambering around amongst the dunes and hunting for seashells on the blustery sands of the beach, it was pleasant to rest for a drink in a local beer garden, after which we strolled into the village to sample the mouth-watering wares at the fabulous delicatessen on the harbour before heading home.

I can’t think of more fitting musical offerings to accompany a Sunday stroll on the beach than these two, so close your eyes and picture the waves lapping on the sand to enjoy Travis with Driftwood and the Bloom album in its wondrous entirety from Beach House.

Happy Sunday everyone.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Picture this. A winter walk…

After the hailstorm we had last night, it was nice to see the watery winter sun trying to poke it’s feeble fingers through the clouds this morning. Perfect weather for a Sunday lunchtime walk.
I’ve joined various photography groups on Facebook in the last couple of weeks and, having plundered my gallery for introductory shots, I thought I’d better get some new material to post (but not before I post them here, obviously) so I took my trusty phone for a stroll along the riverbank and fields around Rock Park to see what I could see.

The lowering grey overcast was different from the usual backdrop of blue sky and fluffy clouds in my photos, giving the light an interesting tone which nicely evokes the season.

image

One of the camera groups I’ve joined has bridges as a theme this week but despite the fact that one of my favourites, the old iron railway bridge is in the park, I thought I’d include pictures of the other two on this stretch of river for a change; the current rail bridge and the large concrete road bridge, both crossing the River Taw.

image

image

image

Following the trails and footpaths around the park, through tunnels of trees and along the banks of the river, the bracing wind certainly blew away the Sunday cobwebs.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

I look forward to watching the countryside come back to life, it’s always fascinating to see what new images each season brings…

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Picture this. Autumn colours at Arlington Court…

This weekend I’ve once again been playing host to my old friend Ho, who has been taking a well earned break from a frantic work schedule to join me for a spot of relaxation in the beautiful autumnal Devon countryside.
This time we decided to take a stroll around the extensive grounds of Arlington Court, ancestral home of the Chichester family for over 500 years.

image

The house itself is an imposing stone built mansion, surrounded by rolling lawns, lakes, and woodlands, criss-crossed with pathways that lead you to various viewpoints overlooking not only the gloriously varied vistas of the estate but also the picturesque church of St James (not owned by the Trust, but adjacent to the house) which just happened to be staging a flower festival at the time of our visit.

image

We began our tour on the front lawn of the house, heading down to the ornamental lake, stocked with lazily cruising carp and topped with a proliferation of water lilies, pausing on the way to admire the splendor of an ancient oak tree that has stood on the site since well before the house or grounds existed.
The tree is preserved primarily for the scientifically important and internationally recognised variety of lichen, moss and fungi that festoon its gnarled and twisted trunk.

image

image

image

The church is just visible through the trees that overlook the lake, providing a focal point for visitors, an invitation to investigate the hidden beauty of the peaceful sanctuary as you make your way round the estate.

image

But before we headed into the cool vaulted space of the flower-strewn chapel we made our way down the shady path amongst the trees to discover what the woods had to offer.

image

Before too long we came upon a small camp in a clearing, complete with a traditional clay oven beneath the billowing folds of a parachute canopy, along with rustic huts constructed from sticks salvaged from the woodland floor.

image

image

image

The woods have the quiet atmosphere of a primeval forest, rotting trees left where they fell, allowing the verdant moss to take hold and making perfect burrows for small animals and insects, creating shapes that look for all the world like the backbones of long-dead dinosaurs or mythical dragons.

image

image

Occasionally a gate or stile will allow a view across the cattle grazing fields of the deer park, to the densely wooded slopes of the valley, the trees starting to display the muted tones of autumn foliage.

image

image

We retraced the path back to the lake and made for the tower of the church, immediately seeing signs of the floral attraction within…
image

image

image

…already catching the scent of the expertly designed bouquets before we even entered the light and airy space of St James’s, the vibrant colours of hundreds of flowers perfectly complimenting the stained glass windows and ornamental carvings on the walls.
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Our final two stops were at the formal and walled kitchen gardens, the latter of which provides fresh produce for the house and its cafe.
There was even an imperious peacock to welcome us to his domain, although he didn’t seem keen on me taking his picture and I required several stealthy attempts to capture him in all his iridescent glory.
image

image

image

image

image

There is even an “insect hotel” high-rise apartment block for bees and other pollinators…
image

…and there is always something intriguing around the next corner or through the next inviting door.
image

image

image

image

…and of course the Chichester family symbol, a heron grappling with an eel, is in evidence everywhere.
image

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable visit to a place that I’m sure I’ll visit again and again, because there is always something new to discover.

Arlington Court house and gardens are open until the end of October, I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys relaxing amidst spectacular scenery, basking in the more genteel atmosphere of days gone by and leaving the stresses and strains of modern life behind for a few hours.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
cmsaunders

The online presence of dark fiction writer C.M. Saunders

Timeandreflections

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

Little Fears

Tales of whimsy, humour and courgettes

JOHNNY SPANGLES THE PILE

The random thoughts of a very troublesome haemorrhoid on travel, art, sport, bad dogs, good cats and other fake news...

The Lessons

that time forgot to teach

SOZ SATIRE

The Best of British Bullshit

Step-Parent's Sanctuary

The Stories Behind those (not so) Perfect Family Photos

Ellenbest24

words and scribble.

sloppybuddhist

hedy bach photography mixed stories and music

Isabella Morgan

Opinions not otherwise specified

A Life in Transition

Poetry & Fiction

The Bee Writes...

.... don't expect anything...not even the unexpected...

Author Kyle Perkins

The latest and greatest of my documented daydreams

Luca Sartoni

Protector of Asynchronicity at Automattic

RAFA FARIHAH

Express With Panache.

Pages That Rustle

The journey from words to stories.

trickyemotions

For your mind only!

Waruni Anuruddhika

Film and photography

An Artist's Path

A space for creative seekers.

3nions

Learn WordPress & SEO from the beginning...

Tyler Charles Austen

Foul mouthed, Queer and Angry

balloonfacetrace

The facepainting and balloon twisting lady

Jamaica Ponder

...only a little bit famous

Art by Rob Goldstein

There is no common truth

Kristin King Author

True Story...

bluchickenninja

graphic designer // bibliophile // geek

thegirlwhofearoblivion

To Share, To Connect, To Create, To Inspire.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

swo8

Music means something

Broken Castles

Shattered long ago...

Joshi Daniel Photography

Images of People Photoblog

iamthemilk

Every day I'm jugglin'.

The Write Project

"The answer is to write." - Richard Rhodes

b e t u n a d a

I'm interested in THE GLUE BETWEEN THINGS. "Back on planet URTH" i search for and study desert wombats and inukThingies (they're like inukshuks) while rambling in the high desert of western Colorawdough.

Seabornen

enthusiast photography

bizchair.wordpress.com/

Stop Yearning, Start Earning

Sass and Sauce

A dash of sass, a dollop of sauce!

The Dissatis Faction

An immersive curation of culture for artists and wanderers of the web

A Whispered Wind

The Works of Lori Carlson

%d bloggers like this: