Beverley Westwood from the air...

I haven't posted on my blog for quite a while. I've been concentrating on posting directly to Facebook and trying to grow exposure for my photography. But recently I purchased some equipment to broaden my artistic horizon a little - a drone!

And here's my first video. It's of the old mill on Beverley Westwood and as it's a first attempt at taking and editing video I've kept it pretty short. I've included at the end of the video the sunset image of the mill I posted on Facebook yesterday. You can play the video on this page or hit "YouTube" on the bottom right of the video once it starts playing to have it play directly in YouTube. And if you play directly on this page, you're better clicking on the little cog (bottom right) and choosing one of the HD formats for better quality.

I hope you like the footage. It's early days, but I hope to post more videos as I get more knowledgeable and experienced at flying, videoing and editing. There's a lot to learn!


Strasbourg...

Situated on the eastern border of France with Germany, next to the Rhine, the city of Strasbourg grew from a Roman camp first mentioned in 12 BC. It is best known for its medieval centre, with the magnificent gothic Cathédrale Notre-Dame, construction of which began in the 13th century, being the focal point. But it is also the location of the European Parliament and various other European Union institutions.

A city of contrasts, where the old meets the new..


A favourite place...

On a recent trip I went to Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. I first visited here when I was 10 years old, on a week-long school trip, and have been back several times to enjoy its ruggedness and beauty.

Malham Cove

Malham Cove

The famous Malham Cove was formed by a waterfall that 12,000 years ago carried glacial melt water over limestone rocks creating the 260 feet (80m) drop and 1,000 feet wide (300m) curved feature. There is no longer a waterfall here, although in December 2015 water did again flow over the Cove for a while as a result of Storm Desmond that battered the area. Intriguingly, water flows from the bottom of the cove: Malham Beck appears from nowhere at the base. It was thought that this was coming from Malham Tarn, a glacial lake 2.5 miles to the north, because, just south of the lake and across the road, the stream of water from the lake disappears into the ground. But tests have shown the two are not connected.

Goredale Scar is an imposing, cathedral-like limestone ravine about a mile from Malham. After walking through woodland and past Janet's Foss, a small waterfall, the valley leading to the Scar gives a hint of the scene to come.

The valley leading to Goredale Scar 

The valley leading to Goredale Scar 

The circular route of Malham - Goredale Scar - Malham Tarn - Malham Cove - Malham is a lovely walk, but Goredale Scar requires a little bit of climbing close to the waterfall. it's not difficult - although as a 10 year old it was quite daunting! - but can feel quite intimidating if you've not got a head for heights (like me!). There's a certain majestic quality to the Scar. It seems to envelope you as you stand there, felling very small. But once the rocks are climbed, and you scramble up the scree to the top of the Scar, the rest of the walk to the Tarn and the Cove is typical Yorkshire Dales.

Goredale Scar

Goredale Scar

The walk to the Tarn is pretty flat, and the lake provides a very serene view and time for a nice little rest before carrying on.

Malham Tarn

Malham Tarn

And then it's onwards - mostly downhill through valleys and fields to the rim of the Cove, where there is a limestone pavement over which once flowed the mighty waterfall.

The limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove

The limestone pavement at the top of Malham Cove

And then its down the rather steep, sometimes slippery and seemingly never-ending steps to the bottom of the Cove, to enjoy the ripple of the water as it flows from the base of the limestone wall before returning to the Malham village to enjoy refreshment and rest.

Malham Cove, close up

Malham Cove, close up

If you like walking that requires that bit extra, this walk is for you. It's not easy, but neither is it hard, with Goredale Scar being the most challenging part. Over the years the area has become increasingly popular, so choose the time you visit carefully. But, at any time of the year, it's worth it.

And the winner (again) is...

It's been a while since I posted on my blog. I've been posting regularly to Facebook to try to get more engagement for my images, but I think this is worth a mention on these pages as well...

One of my images was voted the "Most Popular Photograph" in my local Art and Photographic Exhibition - amazingly, for the second year running!

So I'm very pleased to post it here for those who follow my blog. And also to thank those Arcanum Masters, Ellen Anon, Angela B. Pan and Ron Clifford, along with all the various cohort members that have critiqued many of my images, all of which have contributed into making me a better artist.

Onward and upward!

Wordsworth Country #7. Journey's End...

So, we've come to the end of this little journey around parts of the Lake District.

William Wordsworth was born in the north-east of the area, and after graduating Cambridge University and spending time in Europe, he retuned to the Lake District in 1799 to live at Grasmere, where our journey started, and lived there and at Rydal until his death in 1850. During that time he wrote many beautiful poems, many of which were inspired by the area.

And why not? If this journey has reminded me of anything, it's that this area is beautiful in any kind of weather. And Lake Windermere, pictured here at Waterhead, near Ambelside, speaks that sentiment in spades.

Given that our journey has been around Wordsworth's Country, it would seem apt to recite, particularly at this time of spring, probably his most famous stanza...

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.