This week I’d like to share some snaps from a nature photography challenge given to me by a facebook friend– a winter’s week in pictures! I thought it would be more fun to look each day at the countryside around me that I see as I carry out the day to day jobs and journeys. So join me for seven days of photos set in west Cornwall this winter looking at the ordinary landscapes around us and a visit to the sea to watch the waves.
Well for my first day of the challenge dawned with gale force winds still I hopefully scanned the garden on my morning walk through the garden to feed the mares for any wildlife that may be lurking there but I soon realised that they were all sheltering, apart from some seagulls dancing on the racing wind. In the conditions, I realised I would need to look for something a little more stationary – in fact I needed something that stood stock still and so I chose the mellow brown Teasels on the edge of the field with a background view down to Perranuthnoe although the flash on the camera went off as the light was so low – still, I love the muted colour palette of winter and the timeless outline of the church in Perranuthnoe at the bottom of the fields.
Later in the day I did hear the skylarks sing as I exercised Danni – although only just above the wind roaring in my ears and later I heard rather than saw a big flock of starlings lift from a stubble field, they stayed low to the ground in the wind only given away by the rustle of their wings – such tiny brown dots in the low light of winter.
The light levels are so low again today but I tucked my camera in my shopping bags with a cunning plan to find the big white swans that live on one of the marsh ponds near Marazion – they should show up nicely! Unbelievable they were sheltering just below the road causeway that cuts between the marsh and the dunes and watched me curiously, as I braced myself leaning slightly back into the wind, against the gale to steady myself and take the snaps.
Marazion marshes are a RSPB reserve and popular with bird watchers and I often glance at the conservationist at work tending the reed beds as I drive to Penzance.
Today and I cheated just a little bit with “the countryside at work” when the blacksmith came to call – pulling his van up beside the stable yard and heaving his heavy anvil out to adjust the red hot shoes from the furnace. Today it was Spanish Stallion Danni’s turn for new shoes – our guests often like to stop and watch the ancient craft in the stable yard beside the car park. Danni loves his morning of extra attention and listening to the humans chatter with there’s always the added agenda of trying to reach Charles hat for him!
Bright sunshine in the winter countryside and setting of towards Penzance my eye is often caught by the stretch of farmland that rolls down towards Goldsithney at the bottom of a tin mining valley, so with the challenge in mind I pull over to take pictures. The fields are bare now that the harvest has gone with only the old mine chimneys laying mellow in the spinney’s in stark contrast to the new glistening white windmills, as the landscape rises again towards the hills that separate us from the St Ives. I love the wind tortured hawthorn trees still bright with red berries in the spare stark beauty of the winter landscape.
The sea looks so blue today with white horse racing across the bay – tempting enough for me to set of through Perranuthnoe towards the beach to look at the sea shore…………Alas the camera has had enough of all of this over exercise and curtly pronounces “Change the batteries” and so I got there so I obediently trotted home again. By the time I set out again a couple of hours later the wind was roaring again and the sea had turned to white foam. I clambered over the little stone style and took the coastal footpath westwards to look back down over the beach and marvel at awesome rolling waves.
By the time I reached the headland I was seriously challenged to stand up but took a couple of little videos before deciding on “The picture” of the day looking down onto the waves through dried the remains of the summer foliage.
An inland photo today and alas I hadn’t realised it gets darker more quickly away from the light bouncing off of the sea – still I like the shape of the trees against the winter sky and the warm dark earth stretching away toward Godolphin Hill
I Noticed that the gorse was in flower when I exercised Danni this morning and thought I’d pop back later in the afternoon to try for the view – alas I hadn’t realise how tall the bank was if you are on foot and had to climb up the Land Rover bumper to see over the Cornish bank to look down towards Trebarvah.
Phew seven days in pictures!!