Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Magical Hawkstone Park & Follies 29 th september 2013

Today we have decided to visit Hawkstone park in Shropshire which is about an hours drive towards Shrewsbury. Dogs have to be kept on leads , but as there are tunnels,caves, bridges etc that's probably a good idea with the Terrible Twosome : )
  i have been here before quite a long time ago, but Jan hasn't so will be a good days walk.
The entrance building really sets the theme of the medieval magical park.

We have walked up through the wood to "the Monument" passing the white tower, it is quite warm already so will not try climbing the tower.  or just too lazy  lol

                          Chester has taken a liking to a wood sculpture, and is rubbing it haha

having walked along the Terrace we have come to the "swiss bridge"  its very narrow and might have to persuade mollster to cross it!  lol

she is crouching down as she walks  lol

                                  the view of the Grotto from the top of Swiss bridge

going down steps to the bottom and then through a narrow gorge to take us to the Grotto via a cave : )

            are we going through here ?    mollster must be thinking , have you brought a torch?

there is a big tunnel system with huge chambers cut out of the rocky outcrop that is called "the Grotto"   this is why it said bring a torch  lol   the dogs don't seem to be bothered about the dark enclosed spaces.

we have emerged out near to the Gothic Arch , this is the heighest viewpoint in this area of Shropshire, a good place to build this lookout i guess.

                                        looking across to Ravens shelf, the views are superb

                                                    the "Terrible Twosome" posing : )

we have walked back around through another couple of short tunnels , climbed up and emerged on St   Francis viewpoint and cave, but it is crowded up here with no place to rest, i take this image looking over the ravine to the Gothic Arch before continuing on our way.

a nice Fungi image shot with phone : )

                                                           a small house   lol

the path is cut out of the sandstone running around the lower cliff side, its quite narrow in places and forms a sun trap , Chester is suffering in the heat and looks completely worn out    Awwwwww

                                                 Jan thought this sign was hilarious!  

another short tunnel in the cliff side and we are on a level path around the rock face back down to the woods where we came in.

                                                 back to the car now after a great day out :)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Norfolk Dragon hunt at Hickling Broad sept 15th 2013

It is our final full day in Norfolk , its dry at the moment but heavy rain is forecast for later, so an early start to head to Hickling Broad nature reserve which is not very far from our campsite . it is quite overcast so don't expect to take many photos today .

After entering the site walking down one of the first paths i have spotted a male Migrant Hawker perched in a gorse bush , but after just 3 shots its gone! 

                                    then a female .............   which also does a flyer :(

i have not seen any more and have walked through a wetland marsh area with nothing to be seen flying either.  although its quite windy out in the open.

                                                              a nice garden cross spider
having walked around this thatched roof bird hide we have come to a boardwalk edged in tall reeds, it is very sheltered and there are loads of Migrants sheltering from the wind,

 even though i only have my 14 -40mm lens i will try shooting these dragons as they look fairly cold and should not fly off when i get really close to them.

a male on my finger, i do have a habit of getting these type of shots :)

                                 and a Female , showing its different colours 

so strange seeing sails crossing fields :D

                            I have found a beautifully perched male on this reed stem :)

 it has started raining, so that's the last dragon shot for today , walking around the reserve i take a few random images then quickly back to the car before we get soaked!

                                               back to the caravan to wake up the dogs :)

                                                 Ooops  Chester doesn't look to happy!

      The end of our week in Norfolk ,  in the morning its a beautiful blue sky!    Arghhhhhhhhhh   

  a few images of Grove farm barns where we stayed , it has holiday cottages as well as caravan site

                                              the field where we stayed , very quiet.

                                                            a last image from Norfolk :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

How Hill sunset Sept 14 th 2013 Norfolk Holiday

After a busy afternoon on the beach at Great Yarmouth driving back to the caravan park i noticed the sky looking fairly promising for a sunset , i have wanted to shoot a windpump sunset silhouette and tonight i might get that chance.  its going to be a bit tight getting to How Hill in time, so this time we take the back road instead of the sat navs round about way of getting there so should just about make it in time!

We have managed to get here in time, just as we are walking along the riverside path to find a clear spot to shoot through all the moored boats  , Jan takes this image on her I-PHONE!  i am still trying to set up my tripod and have missed these wonderful illuminated clouds!!!!!!  Arghhhhhhh   i will never live this down, or hear the last of this!   

                                       Yes I'm a bit miffed :(              its a superb image

                         Here i am after eventually setting up and starting to take a few shots.

Well   here is my image, the clouds have passed the windpump and i cant get the space i needed on the right side of the pump so it looks unbalanced.                    beaten by a phone pic :(

 moving quickly down the path to get the composition i originally wanted but i have lost the cloud now , still it makes a nice image but without the impact of Jans image.

 The sky is completely clear of clouds now , and not much colour in the setting sun either!  pity we hadn't found this location earlier in the week when there were good sunsets for 3 evenings.

my last image, its quite dark now and just a small area of after glow , and a couple of clouds but no sunlight to illuminate them .

                               a lesson learned , shoot faster and be ready   Ooops   lol

                                             or get to the location with plenty of time

tomorrow is our last day in Norfolk , forecast is for rain but we are going to a nature reserve that is quite close to where we are staying.   Dragon hunting is a possibility :)