Keep calm, get the gorilla pod out and make a time-lapse!
As the "Beast from the East" flew in, two Woodcocks flew out. Whether it was the army of tobogganists storming the hill by Catton Wood, or the fierce Siberian winds, it was another first for me and a great start to my walk out.
It was a wild walk that took me up onto the moor and into waist deep snowdrifts, with winds so strong I could sit on the air!
As I left the village via Sun Lane and headed toward Audley Clevedon I picked up a tail. A male Kestrel appeared to be trailing me, it would jet past me and find a perch some hundred metres away. This happened on several occasions before I lost him at the summit of the Burley moor.
In the week that followed, Red Kites started pick up there presence overhead, often catching my eye as they glided and arced over the studio skylight.
When the Cornmill Pond wasn't frozen more often than not you'd catch a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher. This one is a shy Kingfisher, that dives downstream of the pond and out of sight after just a minute; though it does feel like each of our meetings lasts a little longer.
A friend told me there'd been another Otter sighting at Burley weir, unfathomably at lunchtime on a Saturday!
On my recent visits to the weir I saw a Dipper dipping on a snow covered branch (no camera!), two Cormorants (at the same time), a male & female Goosander and on the opposite bank, in the snow I just caught sight of a Hare, before it turn tailed and disappeared into the white.
My last sighting of note came after failed attempt to catch the last post. As I headed back package still in hand I looked up and saw a white Heron, almost certainly a Great Egret and not a common site. A fitting ending to a week centred around the white stuff.
Seeing as we're about to enter a new ice age I thought it might be a good time to share a list of recent reading material.
Before you browse the list I have to confess that I'm actually a slow reader. In the time it takes me to read a chapter, my wife will have completed an entire book. It was a recent audio book subscription that reignited my thirst for books. Many of the books on this list have been listened to rather than read. None-the-less the books below have all impacted on me in some way or another and that's why I wanted to share them...
1. The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert MacFarlane
I’ve read this before and loved it. It is one of the most influential books on my photography and I quote a section from it in my artist statement. It was the first book I ordered on my new Audible subscription and listening to it was like recharging my creative batteries! Continue reading For When Snowed In and/or Other Moments of Captivity: Recommended Reading List Part 1
Last spring, on the 30th April 2017 to be exact, the Tour de Yorkshire zapped through our village and passed by our street. The significance of it being 30th April 2017 was that this was also Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. It was the perfect fit, I dusted off my improvised, home-made digital pinhole camera and stepped into the crowds...Continue reading Tour de Yorkshire Through a Pinhole
It's early Saturday morning and it's shaping up for a spectacular sunrise. Below the blue grey cloud a warm bar of fiery orange starts to flicker. "This is going to be good" I think to myself as I rack my brain for the fastest and best summit I can reach. But between locking the back door and reaching my chosen peak, something has gone awry. Continue reading Reasons To Be Cheerful
It's the first week of 2018 and to my amusement, the only successful cure from Ed Sheeran's festive ear maggot is listening to The Cure's In Between Days.
Continue reading In Between Days
This month's book is a timely book of spells, full of magic and charm.
Yes, I know this is normally a "photo book" feature but I recently bought this stunning publication for our kids (as I keep having to remind myself!) and I absolutely love it.
The book features poems in the form of spells, written by top-notch author Robert Macfarlane, which are accompanied with a very generous portion of spellbinding and absorbing illustrations, courtesy of Jackie Morris.
The title reflects the loss of connection between people and nature, between children and the wild. The book hopes to rekindle this dwindling connection and revive a passion for our own natural worlds.
I had a girlfriend once who found my need to name and label every natural encounter both perplexing and, I suspect, frustrating. "Why do you have to put a name to everything? Would you enjoy the experience less for not giving it a name?" These are questions that have lingered with me over the years.
May be, this book has brought some finality to those questions. Having the words to describe and name an experience, gives it roots. Words help make that experience grow, they make it harder to forget, easier to share. Sharing often leads to caring and maybe in caring we might be able to save not just words but the wildlife entangled in those words.
It's certainly my hope that this magical book will inspire our own children to seek out wild experiences and help give them the words to share and care for them.