Saturday, 28 August 2010

Hartland Quay

18-08-10 Hartland Quay and the Isle of Lundy

Hartland Quay.

Do click through for the detail on the original size. Almost a joiner but I missed an inch in the middle.

Welcombe Bay to Hartland Quay

Rolling surf pounds against fingers of granite
dragging against a beach full of pebbles.
I climb away, up wooden steps
pounded into scree. Twenty steps up
and I pause to catch my breath
before resuming the next twenty steps
and the next and the next.
At the top I see a sign -- Hartland Quay, four miles.
and despite by shatered knees I soldier on.
The wind at the top takes my breath away
but a little further on I’m sheltered by
an expanse of gorse and heather
where common blues dally with
fritillaries and skippers
and grasshoppers leap from the path.
Mushrooms the size of dinner plates
compete for my attention with ground beetles
and sunning, orange-tip bumblebees.
A herd of fresian bullocks amble to a fence
that overlooks the shale cliffs and the sea far below
and low as I pass, curious but afraid.
I reach the radio masts of Hartland Beacon and,
tempted by the possibility of tea at Speke’s Mill, tread on.
Two miles further, and Speke’s Mill turns out to be
a small bridge over a gorge though the beach
is fed by a waterfall onto sea-strewn pebbles.
Two miles further, Hartland Quay
holds the promise of a cup of tea
though by the time I get the the hotel is full of shouting men
and I defer my choice for a toffee cornet
before the long walk home again
where I wish the phones had signals
so I could beg for a lift.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Cows, Devon

18-08-10 Hartland Quay walk (32)

I was sat taking a photograph of a dinner-plate-sized mushroom
and they all wandered up to see what I was up to.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The road to Darley Dale

11-08-10 Darley Dales 01

New camera phone -- will take a bit of getting used to, I think!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Blue Skies

11-08-10 cemetery

Blackberry, sloe, hazel, Hawthorne

the dog rolls in something dead...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Dogfield Sky

10-08-10 Dogfield

Enough blue sky to make a sailor suit / black cloud to make a mourning shroud

Saturday, 14 August 2010


09-08-10 Where the greenhouses used to be

In the foreground were, until this weekend, two 30' wooden greenhouses that I would have given my eye teeth for. Now they've been demolished.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


02-08-10 Hollyhock

a riot of leaf shapes
(in the back garden)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Walking and Writing in Derbyshire

Derwent Reservoir

In these busy and often stressful times, taking a step back from the hustle and bustle of daily life can do wonders to your mental wellbeing. Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to relax and recuperate your mind and soul is to enjoy nature in all of its wonders. In the modern age of fast moving, high-stress and non-stop life, a pleasurable stroll through the countryside can be an ideal healthy and restorative tonic. In Derbyshire, which is blessed with many diverse sites of natural beauty, there are countless opportunities for both the novice and experienced nature walker alike. Furthermore, in a region that boasts of some of the country’s most renowned authors, with Samuel Johnson being the most notable, an adventure in Derbyshire is sure to spark any smouldering embers of inspiration that you hold inside.

Derbyshire is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Of the many natural attractions in the county, the Peak District National Park is the most distinguished. As the first such national park to be designated in Britain, the Peak District consists of roughly 555 square miles of diverse and impressive scenery. With sites ranging from the quiet scenes of the Dovedale and Manifold Valleys, to the brooding crags and crevasses of the Dark Peak there is something for every visitor. This point is demonstrated in the park’s unrivalled popularity, as the Peak District attracts some two million visitors each year, making it the second most visited national park on the planet. Perhaps even more amazing is that even with all of these visitors, there is still ample opportunity to discover your own moments of inspiration.

While the Peak District National Park is the premier site for nature adventures in Derbyshire, there are other popular attractions as well. The 55-mile linear walkway that traverses the amazing Derwent Valley is another remarkable attraction. The path passes through several landscapes, and runs from Ladybower Reservoir in the north, down to where the Derwent River meets the Trent in the south. Overall, Derbyshire is blessed with a remarkable countryside that offers any visitor the chance to escape the outside world and enjoy the solace and solitude of nature.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your experiences in the countryside is to record your most significant impressions in writing and photography. Thankfully, with the help of technology and the internet, sharing your experiences has never been easier. Though it may sound imposing, starting your own blog is actually very simple, and only takes a few minutes. First, find a blog provider that you like. The most popular providers are Blogger, Xanga and LiveJournal and surprisingly most of these are completely free. As you continue to explore the different features of your blog, you can begin to further personalize your site, and begin adding even more features to it.

One of the best ways to spice up your blog is to add personal photographs. The added advantages to photography are many, but most important of all it allows you to remember the remarkable sites and moments you experience while on your nature trek, and also share those moments with others. What a remarkable opportunity to share both your own visions of nature and also the wonder and beauty of the Derbyshire countryside. You will find that taking photographs while out on a nature walk actually teaches you over time to slow down and enjoy the finer details of the countryside that we all too often overlook.

Finally, photography makes writing easier, as the scenes that you capture on your camera will provide the perfect topic for your posts and allow you to detail the events of your day. If you don’t have a suitable camera or want to find a newer model that will make uploading photographs to your computer simpler, then there are plenty of options to consider. For example, Comet is a great camera provider that offers great online discounts for purchases. Next time you get a chance just Google 'comet discount codes’ to see what new deals are available, or if that doesn’t work – 'comet discount vouchers’.

With so many opportunities to enjoy nature in Derbyshire, it only makes sense to get out there and see what wonders you can discover. I also hope that you will take the next step and share your adventures by starting a blog. Whether in words, photography or both, I am sure that you will find that sharing your most memorable and inspiring moments with others will be a new and rewarding experience for you. Good luck!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Golden Knapweed

02-08-10 Golden Knapweed

a relative of the cornflower
(in the front garden)