Thursday, 30 August 2012

Loggerheads... with the Rambling Artist

A different day off today, no long walk in the mountains, no wildlife photography day but instead I had a most wonderful morning on a gentle stroll around Loggerheads with Sharon, which is at the foot of our favourite local place, Moel Famau. Sharon is quickly becoming an amazing watercolour artist, and as well as producing some amazing pieces from a lot of my photographs, she has started doing more paintings 'plein air' and today she quickly painted two watercolours on our wanderings. All her work is for sale either originals or prints, and more of her work can be seen on her site HERE She often says that I am biased, but I think her work is amazing, so if you have a few moments pop across to her site and see what you think.

The old stone bridge over the River Alyn, the subject of her first painting





A different view of the bridge


Loggerheads visitor centre and Caffi Florence


Big fish in the rivers in Wales!!!


Sharon stopped me on this path and said she would like to paint the view down the path, again I sat in awe and watched her produce a lovely watercolour



The finished watercolour on the pad drying off


Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Autumn... and the Rut is on the horizon

It is very sad that the summer (what there was of it!!) is drawing to a close, the nights are slowly drawing in, and the mornings already seem to be getting a little crisper. But through that sadness, there is great excitement on the horizon, I just love the Autumn, the leaves turning brown, that early morning chill, our Wildlife preparing for the harshness of the oncoming winter, but most of all it is the prospect of the annual Red Deer rut that excites me. There is no better sound, than that of a bellowing Red Deer stag on a cold still crisp morning, it really does send shivers down your spine and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. This autumn I really hope to get some nice shots, and hopefully some better ones of the big stags locking horns as they fight over the ladies.
I have posted a few favourite shots from the last few years, hopefully will have a lot more to post in the coming months.









Thanks for dropping by to take a look, once again looking back through my old  shots and blogging has been a bit of light relief, as dad still remains poorly in hospital, so just a little down in the doldrums at the moment, but I'll soon be back on form!!! Thanks  Gary

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Eaton Hall revisited.

Last month Sharon and I visited for the first time a garden open day at Eaton Hall, near Chester, which is home to the Duke Of Westminster, the post from that day is HERE, this Sunday just gone the gardens were open again, and we had such a good time in July that again we decided to go along. Now those that know me, will know that I adore photographing wild animals in their natural environment, but I equally enjoy photographing captive animals, as long as they are kept in the right environment. So again I was quite keen to see the Falconry display, by a really nice guy called Terry Large. I got to chat to him on our last visit, so it was nice when he recognised us again, and again this time let me get in close to the birds, and he has since invited us down to his place in north wales, not far from where we live, needless to say I'm quite looking forward to that!  Anyway some shots below from the day, including some of the beautiful fallow deer that roam the grounds, that I hope to get back and photograph during the autumn rutting season. You can read Sharons post of our visit, and see her beautiful painting of one of my previous Harris Hawks photos HERE


The shot below was taken with my new 1.4x converter, at 700mm, quite pleased for a first attempt



Terry Large


The falcons are so difficult to follow and shoot in flight


The owls that fly at a lower more sedate pace are a bit easier



Harris Hawk


And a few close ups





I'm not great on butterflies, but the flowers in the gardens were alive with insects, not sure what this is if anyone can help?


This is a Tortoiseshell I think


That's about it from the display, writing this post this morning has been a bit of relief, my dad is quite poorly in hospital, and its been nice to be able to divert my attention for a short while, but its back to the hospital in a while, bye for now

Monday, 20 August 2012

Hill of the Hawk..... Snowdonia Day 2

Back to our week in Snowdonia earlier this month, and after our exertions with our friends on the Snowdon Horseshoe the previous day we checked out of the beautiful B&B in Beddgelert and started the trek up Moel Hebog which stands proud overlooking this beautiful little village. Sharon assures me that Moel Hebog translates to 'Hill of the Hawk..... but no signs of any hawks that day. But after a grey start it was a lovely, long plod up to the top, its a lot bigger than it actually looks!! We had intended then to go on and complete the neighbouring mountains of Moel Yr Ogof and Moel Lefn, but by the time we had reached Moel Yr Ogof time was against us and it was a long walk back to Beddgelert, so we descended and got back into Beddgelert in time for fish and chips, before heading off to Cae Du camp site just outside the village, to pitch our tent, we stayed here for the next few nights, a lovely site, the one downside the dam midges in the evening...... more from our travels to follow, in the meantime a few snaps from this adventure, as usual your comments are most welcome.


the view over Beddgelert as we ascend Moel Hebog



Looking down the coast to Cardigan Bay from the summit trig point


The Nantlle Ridge from Moel Hebog


The centre of Beddgelert, we both just love this little village


Tent pitched, Sharons boots make great bottle holders, I sit back and watch her painting the view to Yr Arran behind the site, I think its superb, see it on her site HERE


The sun goes down on Moel Hebog, what a view from our tent....... the day after we had a day off from walking and visited the little Italian style village of Portmeirion.... come back and see the report soon

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike

Yesterday, Sharon and I travelled up to the Lakes, the occasion was to help our friend Shirley walk her final two Wainwrights, these being Fleetwith Pike and then finishing her 214 on Haystacks. When we left home in Wales it was a bit of a grey morning but not raining, by the time we arrived at Gatesgarth Farm at the foot of Fleetwith, it was pouring with rain and judging by the amount of water coming off the fells it had been all night. The morning was pretty much a photographic write off, but as we came out of our lunch break from the Dubs bothy, the rain had stopped and the camera could come out. It turned out a beautiful afternoon and by the time we got back we had virtually dried out, besides the soggy wet boots. A great day with some good friends, we both were a bit worn out when we arrived home at 9pm after getting up at 5.15am!!

A few photos below from when the weather turned out rather nice

The cloud almost clear of the fells, this view down to Buttermere and beyond


Sharon and Holly


Haystacks as we descend Scarth Gap


We walked straight up the ridge on the front of Fleetwith in the morning in the pouring rain with no views, looked amazing later in the afternoon


Looking into Warnscale Bottom from Peggys Bridge, Fleetwith Pike to the left, Haystacks to the right




and again


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Snowdon Horseshoe... a great start to a week in Snowdonia

Apologies for the lack of a recent post, Sharon and I were away in Snowdonia last week, and its took a while sorting the many photos I took. So over the course of the next week or so I will pop on a few posts from our adventures in North Wales.

The week started with us taking a group of friends around the Snowdon Horseshoe, which involves a significant scramble up onto Crib Goch, a high level ridge for those with a good head for heights, then up onto Snowdon and back down Y Lliwedd. This is one of the classic mountain days out, and was a really enjoyable day to start our weeks holiday in Snowdonia.

All ready for the off


Sharon scrambling up the east face of Crib Goch


The group starting the walk out onto the misty Crib Goch, slightly masking the big drops on either side


Sharon reaching for the next hand hold


our route of descent later, Y LLiwedd from Crib Goch


A very lofty coffee stop !!


Snowdon high above Glaslyn from our coffee stop point at the end of Crib Goch


As we started to climb up Garnedd Ugain the weather started to close in



And it was pouring with rain and very grim on top of Snowdon


After a lunch stop in the cafe and waiting for the torrential rain to subside, as we travelled back down the Watkin path, the clouds cleared to reveal great views over to Yr Aran


And our next target, Y Lliwedd, behind Sharon, Jeanette and Richard


Great views from Y Lliwedd across to Crib Goch


Great to see these mountain goats on our descent


Two beauties, Sharon and Crib Goch!!


Moel Siabod across from the Snowdon range


It was a great day around the horseshoe with a great group of friends, a great start to our week in Snowdonia, we left to travel to Beddgelert where we would be based for the next few days...... more to come soon...