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.
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
Margaret has set an interesting RagTag challenge, asking us to convey energy through a still picture. Here are my offerings:
Elvis, faded into a wall in Clarksdale, MS, in a pose that delights in the energy he had in his prime: energy the established order saw as a threat. Layers of lines and textures interested me almost as much as the subject.
Curves rule in this hood ornament that has the energy of a skater, seemingly in motion, even when fixed to a parked car. Flowing lines and an energetic posture reflect the smooth power of the machine, although on a yazoo clay road in Jackson, MS, perhaps not! Continue reading
This picture was taken on an alternative version of our Pie walk. My eye was taken by the effect of the colours and the horizontal and vertical lines. The setting sun’s dim, winter light simplified the scene, adding an unusual atmosphere. Continue reading
A New Year’s walk up to Darwen’s Jubilee Tower has become a tradition. I’ve been a little under the weather over the holidays (just a nasty cold), so when we finally took the plunge, it felt extra-good to brave the fresh, winter air and get out for some exercise.
Darwen Tower may look warm under the glow of late afternoon sun, but anyone who has ever made the climb will vouch for the wind chill factor up there, even on a summer’s day. Continue reading
I’m sharing two pictures, taken in and around Darwen moors, Lancashire, for the Daily Prompt: Atmospheric. I’ve been walking over moorland for longer than I can remember, so these places have a comfortable familiarity, even at dusk.
Both of these iPhone pictures were taken during evening walks, designed around a visit to one of the local pubs – a very British tradition. Continue reading
Music makes me happy, and live music can be the best of all. I’m fascinated to watch musicians listen to each other on stage as they take turns to riff. It’s one of many added benefits of live music.
You’ll see all degrees of listening – in-the-mood in the main, but also respect, surprise, the odd wince, right through to definitely-thinking-about-something-else. Naming no names, of course, for civility’s sake. In most cases they’ve heard it all before, often.
I loved how these blues players listened with intensity, as if they were hearing each other play for the first time. The stage lights had simplified their colours to blues and magentas and the steel guitar had become abstract, rippling gold. Continue reading
Hoghton Tower, in Lancashire, has a reputation as of the most haunted places in England. Regular apparitions include a Black Dog, The Green Lady and a little girl. Visitations and unearthly occurrences are recorded in a ghost file. Continue reading
As it snowed overnight, I thought I’d invite you to join me on a virtual stroll round Sunnyhurst Wood, an early Edwardian park in my home town Darwen, Lancashire. Continue reading
A Jubilee tower, built in 1898, overlooks my home town, Darwen, seemingly to tempt walkers on to the moors. Getting up there involves what real ramblers call a moderate climb, which translates to quite steep for a good bit of the way. Despite this, it’s very popular locally – you’ll be sure to meet families, couples, joggers, mountain bike riders and dog walkers, young and old, with varying levels of fitness. Continue reading