Sunday, 26 July 2009

Mist and more mist

Up early for the sunrise - that's a 3.30 alarm call.

Sky was clear and, yet again, I was hoping for some mist to brighten my shots.

Drove along to Sewingshields, I park opposite Moss Kennels and make the climb up to the Wall, for a change I had some company. Not much conversation on the way up mind you, it's a steep climb and about half way up I'm wondering if there's some way I can have my ears adapted to take in extra oxygen.
It wasn't my intention to climb up to the trig point on Sewingshields this morning, Kings Hill is todays destination.
Lat: 55:01:06N (55.01838)
Lon: 2:19:01W (-2.31692)
What I like about this spot is there are views east and west always a good idea. I've lost count of the mornings when I'm out for a sunrise and facing east when all the colour is in the west, but there's not a view to put with it

Plenty of mist about and while waiting for the sun to rise I spent time stalking Stuart's sheep, they don't want to be stars in my shots and amble off, showing their bottoms, not the most photogenic part of the animal.

Eventually the sun came up and so did the mist, not the nice whispy stuff I like, but great big grey clouds of the stuff.

I did my usual running back and forward hoping that there's be a better view somewhere else but no the whole lot was hidden behind the fog.

We decided to head back down to the car and after a minute or so descended into a lovely bright morning - typical.

A stop off at Steel Rigg just to check and a few shots of Crag Lough with rising mist then back home for an early breakfast.

The long range weather forecast is grim so it looks like the bad weather we've had in July is set to continue into August.

I'm sure they'll be wrong - if you 'll just all say after me, August will be a lovely month, it WONT rain!

That should do it :)

Catch you later.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

A bit further afield

I've been meaning to visit the SSSI at Gowk Bank (NY678739)
It's a lovely wildflower meadow with masses of orchids at the right time of year unfortunately yesterday was just a bit too late and the orchids were finished. The Trollius too had flowered and had ripe seed, maybe the good weather has brought everything forward.
There was still a lot to see and on a bright sunny day the butterflies and bees were whizzing about the field.
It is a managed wildflower meadow so it's really only worth visiting late May to August.
I drove back along the road running alongside the Spadeadam moorland, it's an Electronic Defence testing site and we often get a variety of aircraft from a variety of countries coming to drop smoke bombs on the moorland. A good number of plane spotters also come along and it's strange to suddenly come across a dozen or so cars parked up in the middle of nowhere.

I stopped off at the Crammel Linn Waterfall,(NY640695)
I noticed there's now a proper finger post pointing out the footpath to the waterfall a useful addition to the scenery. I headed down the steep bank, it's not an easy track and there's no mobile phone coverage so please do be extra careful if you head that way. I was lucky yesterday, the dry weather meant that it wasn't slippery and I managed to get down without the usual sliding along on my behind.
I've been there in all weathers, winter when it's frozen or in times of heavy rain when the water rushes over looking almost horizontal as the power and quantity forces it over the cliff, but yesterday, after a prolonged dry spell it was very 'weedy'.
There is a circular walk up through the Irthing Gorge to the waterfall and it's well worth the effort, plenty of spots for a picnic and you can even swim in the pool at the base of the waterfall.

Catch you later.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Up in the mornings

Another 3.30am alarm call, now we've passed midsummer's eve, the sunrises are starting to get a little later.
Believe me that extra 15 minutes in bed makes all the difference.
Drove through mist at Longbyre, usually a good sign for mist on the Wall but at the Walltown turn the view to Cawfields was clear and at Steel Rigg there was a teensy bit over the Lough.

The Hadrian's Wall show was held on the field next to the car park at Steel Rigg where I was setting up my tripod, I noticed one or two bits of litter lying around.

When you consider the number of folk, animals and selling stalls that were on the field a week or so before that's a quite amazing feat. All credit to the show committee and the farmer John Pattinson, for doing such a great clean up job.

It got me thinking about the Wall path in general and really the walkers, and people who use the path, are very contientious about picking up their litter.
Of course there are exceptions, school parties always leave litter - teachers please note! But the wardens and volunteer rangers seem to keep on to of it and orange peel is litter, I know it breaks down but it looks unsightly and would be better put into a rubbish bin.

It's a beautiful area, please let's keep it that way.

Catch you later.