Monthly Archives: August 2013

Whinnyfold Beach

I love Whinnyfold beach. It is exciting making your way down the cliff path, and when you eventually arrive on the shingle beach, there is always something to see.  It might be some eider ducks, a seal watching you, or just the waves rolling in.

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My grandsons love the beach too.  Not for them a sandy beach – “Let’s go to the stones,” they will say.  Then it is an endless round of stone-throwing, sometimes from the edge of the water, sometimes from the rocks.  Lily the dog loves it there too.  She will watch the boys, barking excitedly at the splashes of the stones in the waves, or she will scramble over the rocks – no mean feat for a dog with short legs.

My grandson, Lochlann was spending a couple of days with us recently.  He had his timetable all laid out and that included a morning at Whinnyfold.  I always take my camera along on these expeditions and here are just some of the pictures I took of that magical place.

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Flower portraits

My current project for the photography course I am following is to take a “flower portrait”.   I have been taking pictures of wild flowers overs the past few months, but this is different.   Just one flower, to fill the frame with an uncluttered background.  I discovered it was easier said than done.

On my way south to London in July I tried some pictures of thistles in Westmorland.   But I did not take enough time and although the flower looks fine, there is a distracting spot of purple in the background.

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Thistle

Back home again I set out to see what I could do in my garden.   We planted some Cosmos “Sonata White” near our front door and they have been flowering beautifuly all summer.  Cosmos  is a native of Mexico. Along with taking gold, silver, and other riches from Mexico, 16th century Spanish explorers sent hundreds of cosmos back to Madrid. Cosmos wasn’t collected until the late 1700s, however, and the flower made its way to England in 1789, thanks to the Marchioness of Bute, wife of the English ambassador to Spain.

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Cosmos “Sonata White”

I was down on my hands and knees with a little paintbrush cleaning up the flower I had chosen – chasing off the little bugs and the odd bit of dirt left by the rain.  The background had to be sorted out too.  Here it was a piece of card helpfully held in place by Flora, my grandaughter who was roped into the project.

My next subject was a pansy.  I planted plansies in the autumn in pots and they have been blooming right through.   I picked my subject and again used coloured card to mask the distracting background that would otherwise have been there – house wall, other flowers and leaves.

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Pansy

Finally, I thought an orchid which Mary was given when i retired 18 months ago might be suitable.   It had come into flower while we were on holiday in July.  I found it hard to get just the right angle on the two flowers in bloom with the buds on the same stem. I tried several angles and this is the one i liked best.   This time the pot with the orchid was placed on a stool in the middle of the grass with the dark leaves of a conifer providing the background.

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Orchid starting to bloom

I have still to choose which one to submit.

While taking these flower portraits I managed to catch a bumble bee foraging among the pansies.  I have become more aware of bumble bees this year since reading a delightful book by a Bumble Bee expert, Dave Golouson from Sirling Univeristy, called  a ” A Sting in the Tale”.  Well worth a read.   Although I have read the book and have a chart of bumble bees from a magazine on my desk, I still find it difficult to identify which is which.

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Bumble bee – but what sort?

While looking for flower subjects in my brother-in-law’s garden near Alloa, I was distracted by this Small Tortoiseshell butterfly.   They used to be very common, but I have not seen many around Hatton this year.  The flowers were forgotton as I hunted the butterfly!

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Small Tortoiseshell butterfly

 

Back to New Aberdour Beach

Way back in March I wrote about a visit to New Aberdour Beach and said that it would be a great place to take the grandchildren.   Well this week we managed to make an expedition there with Flora who lives in London and who is staying with us for a couple of weeks just now.

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There are lots of rock pools at low tide

There is so much to do there:  rock pools to paddle in, interesting bits and pieces to pick up on the beach, and of course the mysterious cave to explore.   When all that is done, there is always the pleasure of throwing stones into the water or crawling like a turtle along the shingle.

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Flora found this crab

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Flora liked the sea cave – or is it an arch?

 

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In the mysterious depths of the cave.

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See, no hands!

 

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There is something satisfying about throwing stones into the sea.

I am sure this will not be our last visit to New Aberdour Beach.

You can see more of my pictures of New Aberdour Beach on Flickr [CLICK HERE]

More sunny pictures

After a long break I am now back to the Blog.   I thought it would be good to pick up the theme of my last post and share a couple of different sun pictures.   I have been on holiday in Menorca, enjoying the warm weather.  But when i returned to Hatton I discovered it has been nearly as hot here!

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Sunset in Menorca

My first picture is of a sun set over the ROC Oasis park where we were staying.  As we waiting for the Mini Disco to begin (for the grandchildren, not me!) I took this picture of the sun setting over Menorca.

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Misty sunrise in Westmorland

On our way back home to Hatton we stopped overnight in the Westmorland Hotel, at the Tebay Services on the M6, a favourtive stopping place for us.  The hotel is comfotable and friendly and Lily the dog is welcome too.   But our stop in July saw the end of the fine weather.   The view of the sunrise from our bedroom window gives another dimension to sunrise – picturesque, nevertheless.

And on a pre-breakfast dog walk in the hotel grounds I spied this spiders web.  It does not have to be good weather to get interesting pictures.

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