Saturday, 30 June 2012

Dragons & Damsels on the river Dee May 27th 2012

The weather this year has been really bad so far , hardly any dragons or damsels around. the common Clubtail dragonflies should be emerging now, so a quick trip down to Aldford near Chester on the river dee is a good place to see them.  i always think they are an ugly dragonfly , with broad eyes and head! lol

any how , i arrive in Aldford and make my way down to the river,  here is the bridge over the river.

It is fairly bright with sun and a slight breeze but still quite cold as i start walking along the path from the bridge.   the first field is always a good spot to find Banded Demoiselles and straight away i find 2 or 3 males perched up!  but they are very flighty and are proving a bit tricky to get near, also the bright conditions make shooting good exposures on these dark mettalic species a nightmare!!!!      but!  i manage this shot :)

Plenty of flowers along the path , but strangly very few insects around!

I continue down the river looking for clubtails but not a sign of any, quite a few damsels around but not being very obliging  lol.   managed to shoot this female banded demoiselle :)   but look at her dented eye!!!

i have just found this female nursery web spider with her egg sac ,  tried my best to get a good image!
                                      but failed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   arghhhhh 

Getting near the end of the stretch and still no clubtails!!   but found a few more banded Demoiselles

                                                                                take off!!!!!

    Then a freshly emerged Damselfly , time to get the mpe-65 macro lens out for a portrait on my       
finger :)                                       wonderfull subjects to photograph :D

                                  A quick shot of a cat feeding on nettle, probably smll tort

Making my way back now, given up on seeing any clubtails when suddenly i spot one perched up!    3 quick frames  and it was gone!!!!!!!!

The end of a short trip, a few shots taken  but not the numbers i was expecting.  really do need warmer weather!!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Helm Crag may 21st

After the morning shoot at Gaitbarrows i drove up the m6 and down to Grasmere to climb Helm Crag. i had always driven past and thought "one day i will climb up there"  so today was the day:D
it was glorious sunshine, blue sky so would be a nice little walk. i parked on the main A591 just opposite the crag.
My route was to be across the river rothay,up to Ghyl foot then over to Bracken Hause and onto Helm crag from their,  well that was the plan , but it went wrong!!!!   Ooops

                                                       Here is the target, Helm crag!

i crossed over the farm field and down to the river, across the stepping stones without falling in!  lol

from here i walked up the road past the cottages which have wonderfull azalias in the gardens, so beautifull at this time of year:)

Up onto the fells now to follow the stream up to a bridge where i can cross over to climb up to Bracken hause,  acording to the map on phone!  its a lovely day for a gentle walk!

I have arrived at the bridge, a sheep is waiting for me:)) , but according to my phone map & gps i am a long way from the bridge i need to cross, so presume another bridge further up the path.

I carry on walking up the track, i keep looking back towards the bridge and Helm crag behind it in the distance!!   i really do think i should have crossed THAT bridge!  Oooops

Looking forward towards Greenburn Bottom , with Gibson knott over to my left somewhere!  think i will have to just climb up the mountain side now, no path but the main track i am on is heading nowhere!!

Halfway up the fell side , i sit down for a rest and as i survey the view, a sheep pops up!!  im sure it was thinking " this is my home,you shouldnt be here!  there are no paths! "   lol

i scramble my way up to the top, where i join the main path that runs from Calf crag through to Helm crag, passing Gibson Knott on the way,  that is my target now:)
Awsome view from up here today, looking towards Grasmere in the distance.

a close up of Grasmere taken from the summit of Gibson Knot.

              The summit cairn on Gibson Knot.  Helm crag is just visible on the left side of image!

Looking over to the right is Easdale Tarn, looks a nice walk but not for today, i am knackered already since been on my feet since early this morning now!  and still a long way to go!

 In front of me, my final target, the summit rocks of Helm Crag :)  a nice winding path up to the summit!

looking back to Gibson Knot

up to the top now, a rather rocky summit with a series of large boulder stones , called affectionally "the lion & the lamb"   here are a few images of the views taken from on top of the summit stones :))))

looking towards Dunmail raise over to the right

another view of Easdale tarn

and Grasmere looking beautiful today :)

i start making my way down now, the paths at this end are quite steep!!

well!!!  that was a steep decent!   glad i didnt climb up this way!  Phew!
The helicopter has been carrying rock for the "Fix the Fells" project

i have to make a detour so as not to walk under the helecopters flight path!

My route back to the car is through Lancrigg Arbouretum:)

The Azalias and Rhododenrens are looking good in the late afternoon sun :)

looking back to Helm Crag still in glorious sunshine :D

a beautiful cottage garden on the way back through Grasmere.

and finally back to the car where lovely light on the lower fell side of Helm crag:)

What a superb day its been, beautifull butterflies in the morning and a super walk in the afternoon with awsome views :))

images taken with canon 5d2 ,17-40L & 70-300is

Monday, 25 June 2012

Slippers and Dukes in Cumbria 21 May 2012

After seeing the Dukes at Gaitbarrows the previous week , but failing to get any decent images.  i decided to go back one last time and then go climb a mountain in the afternoon again :)
the weather was quite sunny again, a small amount of cloud but quite warm compared to the last few days.
Arriving in the empty car park at Gaitbarrows, i made my way over to the slipper orchid area, hoping that a few more had opened in the previous week , since only one plant was open last week!   arriving at the orchids, i always smile reading this sign :)

i found a few in flowers straight away,all 3 Orchid  images are multi frame focus stacks. 8 frames ,each one focused slightly further into the subject so when combined increases the depth of field,and an oof background frame shows off the subject nicely!

Here is the limestone pavement where they are found.

                           What stunning flowers they are , and so rarely found in the wild now.

                         Now time for the Dukes , suns out so they should be flying hopefully :)

Here is one of the main areas for them, with the taped off areas preventing people trampling and damaging the larvae food plants.primrose/cowslip.

After about 10 minutes i found a Duke , the sun was quite strong and was shining from in front of me so it made shooting very difficult, the pale dead grass on the ground made exposure a nightmare too!
so i just had to do the best i could , these are not the best images i have shot by a long way . but the back lighting through the wings looks quite nice :)

Presume these were all males , this one actually landed on the path right in front of me, managed to get a couple shots before he flew:))   but still had sun in wrong place!  arghhhh

                         slightly better light on this one, a small amount of cloud passed over :)

               One final shot before i head of into the lakes to climb a mountain this afternoon :))))  

            Managed a nice background in this one , but light has been just to harsh today :(   trouble is , if it wasnt sunny i would never see the butterflies!!

                       Thats it for the morning, off to climb Helm Crag now near Grassmere :)