Bluebell Wood


There is a narrow and winding dirt path which leads through the lower part of the woods. At this time of the year there is enchantment in the form of a lush carpet of bluebells.


Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta

© Peter Hillman ♦ 23rd April 2020 ♦ Local woods, Staffordshire ♦ Nikon D7200


Heart of The Cosmos


Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

Carl Sagan 1994


Sunset Over The West Shore

© Peter Hillman ♦ April 2011 ♦ Llandudno, Wales ♦ Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38


Llandudno Pier


A misty day on the beach at Llanudno, but we can still see the pier dating from the late 1800s stretching out across the sea. The pier is the longest in Wales, being 700m (2,295ft) long. Beyond the Grand Hotel where Winston Churchill once stayed, is a glimpse of the Great Orme.


© Peter Hillman ♦ 18th April 2011 ♦ West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales ♦ Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38

© Peter Hillman ♦ 21st April 2011 ♦ Llandudno, Wales ♦ Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38


An Opening In The Clouds


I have a thing for shafts of sunlight as they break through cloud. It can happen and change so quickly the moment is over all too soon. And as the old saying goes, considering the goings-on around the world at present, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’.


Llandudno, Wales

Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38
Date taken: 21st April 2011
Place: West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales


A View Through The Dunes


Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

Albert Einstein


Sunset Over The West Shore

Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38
Date taken: 19th April 2011
Place: West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales


Cosmic Connections


Standing amidst the sand dunes watching the sun slip down the distant horizon is such a beautiful spectacle to behold. Soaking up the changing atmosphere as the colours of the sky and sea alter simultaneously, almost like they are melting into one another, a cooling breeze ruffling through your hair is purely awe-inspiring.

Distant gulls screech and sail through the pink and sepia flushed skies, voicing their last for the day as the light gradually fades, our star appearing to sink into the ocean afar, but rising out of the deep to brighten a new day somewhere on the opposite side of the world.


Sunset Over The West Shore

Sunset Over The West Shore

Sunset Over The West Shore

I wonder who maybe standing there in a strange far off land, as I am standing here now in the moment, marvelling at such a wonder of cosmic perfection and splendour slowly unveiling itself in reverse.

I can’t help but wonder what thoughts pass through their mind, and if they are thinking and feeling the same as I do. A star connecting two minds, as it connects us all.


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38
Date taken: 19th April 2011
Place: West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales


Totland Pier


Totland Bay Pier was completed in 1880, with a small shelter at the pier head and a small amusement arcade at the shore side. It is a 450ft (137m) long cast-iron girder construction. The funds to build it were raised by the nearby Totland Hotel which has since been demolished. During the Victorian era it was used to allow paddle steamers to dock, enabling tourists to visit the area.


Totland Pier

Sadly the bulk of the pier has now become derelict and closed to the public, but a nice little cafe has replaced the arcade shore side, and I had coffee there on a bench outside. The last time I visited here was back in the ealy 1990s, and an artist had bought it and used it as his studio. The pier aside, I really like the green-cloaked rocks on the beach.


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 5th September 2019
Place: Totland, Isle of Wight, England


Rainbow’s End


These two photographs show the same stunning autumn rainbow which appeared as a part of a ‘double rainbow’ … there was a fainter one above this one. Unfortunately I had my macro lens on at the time, and I know how quickly rainbows can fade. So I grabbed my camera and took what I could. I wish I could have got the whole arching rainbow in all its magnificence … and even the one one above it, but at least I have these.


Rainbow


Rainbow


Copyright: Peter Hillman
Camera used: Nikon D7200
Date taken: 17th October 2019
Place: Rear garden, Staffordshire


 

Not of This World …

Alum Bay

… ah,  but it is … on the third rock from the sun, planet Earth.

Alum Bay

Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight is quite famous for its different coloured sands, and a craft tourist industry has grown up around it since early Victorian times.

Alum Bay

Here are cliffs of sand of varying hues. The sands are coloured due to oxidised iron compounds formed under different conditions, and look great layered in shaped glass ornaments. There are usually 21 shades of sand available.

Alum Bay

Turning your head away from these magnificent cliffs towards the sea and you will see the Needles as featured in the previous post.

Alum Bay

Alum Bay

September 2019 © Pete Hillman.

Isle of Wight

Ventnor chalk cliffs

You can’t help but see chalk cliffs wherever you go on the Isle of Wight, so I couldn’t resist getting closer to the stuff on a walk along the Ventnor coastline. Plus I have a thing about textures.

Ventnor chalk cliffs

The island gets its name not from the colour white, but from ‘wight’. There are several explanations but the most likely are:

1. Around 1900 BC the Beaker people arrived – so-called from their distinctive pottery. They called the Island “Wiht” (Weight) meaning raised or what rises over the sea. Then the Romans arrived in 43AD and translated “Wiht” into the name Vectis from the Latin veho meaning “lifting”.

2. 400BC – Iron Age Celts from the Continent gave Wight its name, meaning ‘place of the division, because it is between the two arms of the Solent. It is one of the Island’s few surviving Celtic names.

Ventnor chalk cliffs

So how is chalk formed? Well, from dead things of long ago.

Chalk rock (calcium carbonate), a pure form of limestone formed in warm, tropical seas about 100 million years ago in the Cretaceous Period, a time when dinosaurs roamed the planet. Microscopic marine algae, called coccoliths, lived in the ancient sea. Their shells were made of calcite. As the algae died, their bodies sunk to the sea floor and chalk sediment was deposited. Over millions of years layers of chalk sediment were deposits caused compaction of loose sediment into solid chalk rock.

Ventnor chalk cliffs

There there lies your geology lesson for the day 🙂


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Isle of Wight, England, August 2018 © Pete Hillman.

Mysterious Sea Mist

Sea Mist From Luccombe Bay

This mysterious sea mist drifted in from Luccombe Bay. As soon as it appeared it disappeared. Memories of John Carpenter’s ‘The Fog’ came to mind. It had quite an eerie quality to it.


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Isle of Wight, England, August 2018 © Pete Hillman.

As The Sun Sets

Shanklin

This photo was taken during a pleasant evening’s walk along Keats Green at Shanklin. In the distance, across Sandown Bay, we can see the white chalk cliffs of Culver Down. We can just make out a tall edifice on its top. It is called the Yarborough Monument, erected in memory to Charles Anderson-Pelham, the 2nd Baron Yarborough (later first Earl of Yarborough and also Baron Worsley), founder of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes.


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Isle of Wight, England, August 2018 © Pete Hillman.

The Mystery of Consciousness

Red Dawn

The mystery of consciousness makes reality, and there is no reality without a fully conscious species to apprehend it. You think the world precious because you’re here to see it. We are the world and the world is us, and neither can be but a dream of no importance without the other.

Dean Koontz from ‘The Whispering Room’.

Watching The Geese

Greylag goose Anser anser

I think this goose was actually watching me! It was a beautiful start to the day again down by the lake. An easier day beckoned after walking up and down Walla Crag the day before, so what better way to spend but down by the shimmering waters of Derwentwater.

Greylag goose Anser anser

The Greylag geese were certainly enjoying themselves and cooling down.

Derwentwater

This was beautiful stretch of shoreline, looking down the length of the lake, the humpy Catbells to the side.

Derwentwater

Along with the geese folk were out on the water, all having some fun in the morning sun.


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July 2018, Derwentwater, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

The Stony Stream

River Greta

This is actually a shot of the River Greta which runs through Keswick. ‘Greta’ derives from the Old Norse ‘Griótá’, meaning ‘stony stream’.

I have always been fascinated with the concept of just focusing on something, a small part of something, like a patch of grass, or a section of river. I find I see more detail than if I take in the whole. This is the thing with photography, you will never ever capture that same moment again. Whatever the image it is unique, and there is such beauty in that uniqueness.

I used a slower shutter speed to capture the above image. Doing it hand-held is pretty tricky as I wanted to keep the lovely detail in the stones and the driftwood, and yet I also wanted to retain some equilibrium to capture the movement and texture within the flowing water itself. I love to see those little swirls around the stones, and the foamy splashes and silky rippliness (another word that I am not sure really exists, but sounds okay).

This was indeed a lovely spot sitting on the grassy bank, just being, and flowing with the stony stream …


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July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Meeting An Old Friend On The Shore

Derwentwater boulder

On my walk to Wall Crag I strolled along the shores of Derwentwater and came by an old friend I hadn’t seen for 18 years. We will just call him ‘The Boulder’. I don’t know why but he made an impression on me back then, and I was quite delighted when I came across him once again. Last time I visited the lake was curling around the base of him, which just shows how little rain there has been here in recent months. In the background we can see the distinctive spine of Catbells.

Derwentwater boulder

It is hard to tell from a photo, but this stone is fairly huge, and it kind of reminds me of one of those ancient and colossal stone-carved Olmec heads of Mesoamerica.

Derwentwater boulder

So to get an idea of scale yours truly has stepped into the frame. I suppose I should have taken my hat off.

Derwentwater

The views from this side of the lake are quite spectacular with the wooded slopes of Castle Crag in the centre. It is apparently the site of an old hill fort.

Derwentwater

And we have Catbells again with some folk relaxing around the shoreline. Onwards to Walla Crag, but you know all about that already 🙂


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July 2018, Derwentwater, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Walla Crag – The Descent

Clough Head

On the way down from the fell and passing by a traditional dry stone wall we see Clough Head on the right beyond rollling green pastures.

Keswick

I thought how lonely and lost those horses looked amidst the enormity of the landscape, and had to try to capture the moment. You may have to click and double-click to see them.

Borrowdale And Clough Head

Following the wall and a stoney path down the fell the vista opens up to the valley of Borrowdale where the Brockle Beck runs wild. (This all sounds kind of Lord of The Ringish, don’t you thnk?). I was so taken with the view before me which stretched out for miles and miles into the distance. Clough Head can still be seen on the right.

Borrowdale And Clough Head

A glimpse of the stone wall and the path we travel, and can you see how the clouds cast shadows on the fells? I am fascinated how the changing light can transform the landscape.

Blencathra

Looking across Borrowdale we see the Blencathra fells, which are the most northerly in the English Lakes. It is also called ‘Saddleback’, and you can see why. Again amorphous cloud shadows shift over the face of the land.

Rakefoot

The path takes us down the slopes towards Rakefoot. Shall we go through the gate? After you …

Latrigg And Skidaw

I had to take this shot just beyond the other side of the gate, leaning on an old dry stone wall, for besides the beauty of the scene, I was taken by all the different layers in the landscape, and the various shades of green. We see the mountain Skiddaw rise up before us like a humped behemoth, and the gentle wooded slopes of Latrigg.

Let’s keep on moving. Crossing the Brockle Beck, now on Chestnut Hill. Keswick is still 2 miles away, but it is still all downhill 🙂


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July 2018, Walla Crag, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

On The Shores of Derwentwater

Catbells

On a small stretch of the shore between the Keswick Launch and Friar’s Crag I stopped to take in the views. Above is the distinctive humps of Catbells, a name I remembered from 18 years ago, surprisingly for me. The fell rises from the western shore of the lake. The name is derived from ‘cat bield’ a place where wild cats shelter.

Catbells And Causey Pike

We have Catbells again on the left in the above and below images, showing the well-worn pathway up Skelgill Bank. On the right is Causey Pike leading out of frame, which dominates Newlands Valley where it is set. You can just see the summit ‘knobble’, even in the bottom image where Causey Pike is partly obscured by trees.

Catbells And Causey Pike

Below is looking along the lake towards the jaws of the beautifully named Borrowdale. We have Catbells again on the right and Castle Crag down the centre in the distance.

Castle Crag And Catbells

Gliding by near the water’s edge came a family of Greylag geese.

Greylag goose Anser anser and young

And set where it has come to lie some gnarled driftwood, like the bones of something long dead, cast near the shore’s edge.

Derwentwater drifwood

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July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

Views From Friar’s Crag

Derwentwater

Friar’s Crag is a viewing promontory jutting out over the lake of Derwentwater which offers wonderful views of the surrounding fells towards Borrowdale. The top image is of Walla Crag, and will feature in a future post.

Derwentwater

There are four islands scattered about the lake, and of these two the one on the right is called St Herbert’s Island. It is believed the name of the promontory came about by monks who embarked from the point on pilgrimage to the island.

Derwentwater

A few yards from Friar’s Crag is a monument to John Ruskin, the artist and painter, who had very fond memories of the area which made a big impression on him. He described the view from here as one of the three most beautiful scenes in Europe. Castle Crag can be seen centre of the image below.

Derwentwater

The images were taken on an evening as the sun was gradually lowering, and the views and atmosphere of the place certainly made a lasting impression on me. I hope you get at least some sense of what I witnessed and experienced.


July 2018, Keswick, Cumbria, England. © Pete Hillman.

View From The Shore

Derwentwater

This is one of the views from across Derwentwater, a large body of water in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria. The last time I visited here was 18 years ago. I wonder why I left it so long when there is so much beauty here amidst nature.

July 2018, © Pete Hillman.

Field of A Wondrous Blue

Flax Linum usitatissimum

The air was heavy and hot as thunderstorms roamed the land. I rounded a bend near the river and a space opened up in the greenery by a huge old oak tree. Beyond was such a vision I had never seen before. A field of blue. Pastel blue. So much blue it was as if the sky above had fragmented and fell to earth. It took my breath away …

Flax Linum usitatissimum

Of course it wasn’t the sky but cultivated Flax Linum usitatissimum, or Linseed as it is also called.

Flax Linum usitatissimum

Flax Linum usitatissimum

May 2018, local field, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.

Light At The End of The Tunnel

Country Lane

I love the way nature adds fine layer upon fine layer to paint and fill its environments so lushly. This is a shot looking back down a local country lane filled with various green hues and different shaped leaves.

May 2018, Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman. Sigma 18-300mm lens.