Monday, 29 July 2013

A Painful Walk around Rannerdale May 16th 2013

I Had heard that the Rannerdale bluebells had started to open so made the decision to go and have a look. its a very long drive to the Buttermere valley area of the lake district but its great for walking and Mollster would like the climb.
I stopped off to get petrol, this is when felt the first pain in my back as I twisted to get something out of the back of the car!  anyhow continuing the drive and arrived at the Rannerdale carpark, the weather was not looking as good as the forecast had said, as usual!   I opened the car door and fell on the ground in agony, the pain in my back is excruciating!  Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh.
 Managing to crawl to the wall and hoist myself up , my back will not straighten!  clambering back in the car , I am in agony , having just driven 2 & half hours and this has happened. I always have painkillers in camera bag and have taken two them waiting over half hour before trying to get out again, Molly is not amused and is whimpering and looking at me with soulful eyes .
  I have managed to start walking, well hobbling is more accurate  around the carpark and decided after coming all this way I must at least make the effort to try and walk.
the sky has cleared now , so off we walk Very slowly along the track to the blue bells...

  looking up towards the bluebells the blue sky has been replaced with cloud,  o dear not good for photographs    sigh!

Having walked right around and over the bridge crossing the stream, the pain in my back is easing and its making it easier to walk on the rough paths. the only blue bells that I can see open are on this   side of the stream, it gives superb views across the lake to Mellbreak.
Mollster is enjoying the view , not  much colour in the bluebells though ,should have left coming another week  I think.
having stopped to shoot the above image Mollster is getting restless, she jumps up on the rock as if to say   "come I'm getting bored! "
Come on the Mol, lets go for a walk, my back is feeling ok now.  one last pose then :)
We are now heading up towards Rannerdale Knotts , I cannot feel any pain now with moving around and the painkillers are working. a bit of blue sky showing in the wrong direction though
It is a nice easy walk up the valley, I hear shouting and looking up on the fell side to the left, a dog is chasing sheep down towards the stream, a walker is shouting and swearing at the owner who is a long way off  , and gets between the small dog and the sheep!   Mol is safely on her lead and wondering what all the barking is about.  the path climbs steadily and I am taking the right turn off to climb up Rannerdale Knotts.  I can see Crummock water now ,  thepath leads up to the left in the next image, cloud is building rapidly now :(
we have made it to the top of Rannerdale knots , its a superb view down Buttermere valley towards Fleetwith pike and Haystacks but rain spots are now hitting my camera lens .
and looking down on Crummock water in the opposite direction.
Im glad I made the effort to climb up here, another wainwright for Mollster :)   she looks a bit confused in the next image  haha.
now to make our way down, slowly the way I came up not the direct route down to Crumock water that I did last time. that would be too risky with my back as it is now.
I would usually climb somewhere else but I am going to go straight back home now before the pain comes back!

Friday, 26 July 2013

Whixal Moss bug hunt May 7th

For a change I am going on a bug hunt today, haven't really been out to my usual walk sites since getting Mollster , so today I have left her home alone and am heading to Whixal Moss in Shropshire to hopefully photograph the Green Hairstreak butterflies.  it is a few weeks later than the last few years but after the prolonged winter everything is much later emerging this year.

Having arrived at the round house car park I quickly make my way down the track towards the mosses, out of the corner of my eye I have just spotted something flying, a large red damselfly, my first of the year. I soon found where it perched and have managed to take this single frame sitting on my finger before it flew of out of sight.   a great start to the day, but I am a bit rusty with the mpe-65 macro lens not having used it in a long time.

The main path runs out onto the mosses and there are two good Green Hairstreak areas further out towards the small pools., I have just walked out of the wood into the open scrub and almost immediately have spotted a Green Hairstreak , I have never seen one this close to the wood , I rush towards where it has landed and manage to get a single shot before it flies off over the ditch and I cannot follow!

I am so happy to get a shot already , not expecting to see them in this spot i am now keeping a good look out in all likely spots.  its really bleak on the mosses , still very brown with little greenery

         a rustling in the dead bracken nearby caught my attention , here is the culprit   a lizard!

Moving quickly on to a known hot spot for hairstreaks i have had a good search and spotted Nothing!  very strange not to find any here. but there is a better area over on the other side of the mosses along the canal so i am going to go for a long walk and see what i can find.

The canal is looking lovely this morning , but have not seen anything so far, not even miner bees which should be feeding on all the dandelion flowers , just where the mosses path joins the towpath i have just spotted what can only be a Holly Blue butterfly , it is a good area for them all along this part of the canal. there are two of them and i have to get down on the ground to get this image. but missed good focus on the wings.  it then perched on a leaf just above the ground!   they are not making it easy for me today that's for sure.

                        a field of dandelions , looks great.  but no butterflies?   odd!

i am now walking across the mosses to see what i can find, the drainage ditches have been recently cleared out and looks like the sluices are being renovated also.

there are loads of birds tweeting, i managed to get this shot with the macro lens, it is a big crop though.  it is a male Wheatear.

arriving back in the area where the Hairstreak was earlier i have now spotted two of them, chasing them along the path i have manged to shoot a few images, this is the only image in focus!  really do need more practise!

               a good shot to finish with , its been an interesting day and a good walk .

            all shots taken with canon 5d mk2 , 100mm L macro & mpe-65 macro lens

Friday, 19 July 2013

Ogwen valley in snow pt3 April 2nd 2013

Continuing from  part 2  a few images to finish of the long weekend in the snow

"Where now Dad? "

continuing the day we have started making our way back down to Cym Idwal.

The mountains look superb today with beautiful blue sky, crossing over the bridge and around the outflow area of Idwal i take this image looking towards Y-Garn.

 Mollster is investigating the ice :)


Moving around the lake , the ice patterns are a good foreground interest in this image.

Mollster doing what she does best !

Having made our way back down to Ogwen i take a last two frames looking back to where we have just been.

The end of two fantastic days playing in the snow