When my sweetheart described the woods near the Entwistle reservoir as temperate rainforest, I was taken aback. Rainforest sounds like something you’d have to travel thousands of miles to see rather than walk less than four miles up the road.
Our moist, cool, steamy climate encourages mosses and liverworts, lichens, fungi and ferns to creep over trees and boulders. The Irish sea keeps conditions mild enough for these ancient plants to thrive through summer and winter.
Having grown up scrambling through the wooded valleys of the moors, the Tolkienesque character of this type of landscape is as familiar as the open moorland over the hill. Wild orchids grow further along the path that heads from this spot towards an outcrop of rock called Fairy Battery; follow Cadshaw Brook and you may surprise a fallow deer grazing near Entwistle reservoir. Continue reading
Sunlight diffused through the stained glass windows as this artwork, huge at 1.8 million times smaller than Earth, slowly rotated above our heads.
Gaia is a seven metre diameter version of Earth, created by Luke Jerram to give audiences around the world a sense of the overview effect of looking back at our planet from space. Continue reading
I am sometimes asked why I need more pictures. I’m not the world’s best photographer, my camera is an iPhone in my bag or pocket (so readily available) and I like to practice. Well, that’s my excuse. A true one, but it misses the point.
It’s hard to explain the feelings I have when I look at this, good picture or bad picture. It might seem weird to write them down, but we’re blogging here, aren’t we? A personal blog’s all about riffing on whatever catches our attention, wondering if there’s anyone in the world who will follow our train of thought and pinching our arms in astonishment at those who tolerantly do. So…what do I feel when I look at this picture? Continue reading
The first picture fascinates me: the abundant, varied life; the colours and forms; how snugly these carpeting plants fit together; the apparent harmony, nothing swamping the other; how dainty they all are. I’d love to see this natural design translated into a fabric.
The second is a mystery. A fossil of some kind – a coral, though it looks too round for that, or a sea creature? Continue reading
February is snowdrop month for much of the UK. I’ve gathered a list of places you can see snowdrops this month in my home county, Lancashire, with details of their snowdrop open days. If you’re planning to take close up pictures, go sooner rather than later to catch them at their freshest.
For those who live elsewhere in Britain, I’ve added a link at the bottom for you to research local gardens with good collections of snowdrops. Continue reading
My home town, Darwen, has several Victorian parks, including Bold Venture Park. At the entrance, an angel, now nearly 100 years old, holds up a wreath and an olive branch to remind us of the consequences of war and to commemorate those who fell in WW1. The angel’s wings are the first things you see when approaching from the town.
Bold Venture is a hillside park with an interesting topography, built around quarries and steep ravines. A small lake, home to ducks, is another visual magnet. The lake rarely freezes right over, but was cold enough to support a band of ice, covered in snow in places.
Shared for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #27: Travels
An old, unflattering rhyme I’ve never liked calls my home town’s moors bleak and barren. Perhaps if you don’t like moorland or have never taken the time to walk on it, you might think so. I suppose some people might care little for what walkers can find on a winter day up there by venturing a few steps off the path.
If you follow my blog you can expect to see brighter, bolder pictures of plant combinations taken in gardens or at flower shows, where skilled, creative hands have put together their best for public consumption.
I’m not sure you’ll see any plant combination I could look at with much more pleasure than this.
In the textures of the frozen vegetation, I seem to see fabric: the fern becomes lace; the moss, wool or velvet. The colours are alluring too: sage, mint and chocolate, the latter frosted to mink. Nothing is jazzy, all is harmonious. I’d love something to wear in a design inspired by this.
It may appear haphazard – there are a few wayward stems, but the fern and strands of grass have surrendered to the frost gracefully and a natural order is appearing – of sorts. Towards the top left, a thaw has started. Continue reading