Lindisfarne – A Holy Island

I’m back. Just had a great week in the county of Northumberland which borders the England/Scotland border. Now us Scots, being a warlike nation in past times, always had an eye for this part of the country, and so as evidence of its violent history, Northumberland has more castles than any other county in England. At the far north of the county the predominant accent seems to be more Scottish than English. So as you can guess I felt quite at home, especially as the shops sell rare Scottish delicacies like Haggis, Tattie Scones, Scotch Pies, and SnowBalls. Heaven, shear Heaven

However, that aside I was there to try and capture some of the great scenery that can be found in Northumberland. One of the places I really wanted to visit was island of Lindisfarne, which lies just off the coast, near Berwick-upon-Tweed, our base for this trip. The island has a very small population of about 160 persons, but tourism increases the number of people to be found on the island quite dramatically to the tune of roughly 650,000 visitors every year. That’s a lot of tourists

Lindisfarne is very rarely referred to by its Anglo-Saxon name by locals. In 793AD the Vikings carried out a murderous and bloodthirsty attack on the monastery. Later monks from Durham  made an observation; “Lindisfarne – baptised in the blood of so many good men – truly a ‘Holy Island”. Nowadays the more appropriate title is ‘The Holy Island of Lindisfarne’.

And so to a photograph.

Safety

Linking the island with the mainland is a causeway that is about two miles long. At low tides you can safely cross to Lindisfarne but at high tides the road is under water. Should you happen to misjudge the tide there is a refuge hut you can shelter in. Whilst I was on the island I was talking to a local. he told me that the tide can rise 2 inches (5 centimetres) every 4 minutes and that the tide has been known to reach the top of the stairs, level with the floor of the hut. I haven’t been able to verify this but I’ve no reason to believe he would tell me anything other than the truth but here’s a short video to show you what it’s like. Look at the way that water is moving. If you want to skip the pre-amble then have a look at 2:10 and 2:42. The video was shot from the mainland side, the causeway road runs along the side of the island to the right of the scene until it reaches higher ground.

Over the weekend I will write a post with more photographs from the island.

A Big Thank You

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of your for your comments and follows on my blog over the past week. As you can guess it has been pretty hectic since my article about Ansell Adams was published as an Editor’s pick on WordPress Discover. Not that I’m complaining.

Holiday

At the moment I’m busy trying to prepare for a holiday starting Monday and at the same time acknowledge all the comments that you have submitted over the past few days. As well as try to have a look at all the bloggers who have chosen to follow Say It With A Camera. Hopefully I will get around to acknowledging all your comments before I go on holiday as once I am away I have very limited access to the internet. You’ve got to take a break sometime.

But in going away I’m also taking my camera and will probably end up shooting a lot of photographs as we are visiting the rugged North East coast of England and maybe a short trip into Scotland as well

The photograph was taken in South Africa just outside Cape Town An evening of Motivation and Music.

Mike

Weekly Photo Challenge: Earth

I’m not a stats orientated person, I very rarely look at the stats that WordPress but as of 18:50 UK time the number of views today has been about 340. Checking through the stats it looks like on a normal day it averages about 40. So what has caused this sudden surge? It’s all due to my blog post about Ansell Adams being featured as an Editors Pick on Discover. It’s been manic. My email has been pinging constantly all day with notifications about new followers and a lot of comments requiring moderation. I am trying to acknowledge the comments as soon as I can and I’d like to say “thank you” to you all for making my life so busy today. If I don’t get around to replying to your comments today I will tomorrow.

Right onto this weeks challenge which is Earth. Interesting choice and I was debating which way to go with this one. In the end I decided to stick with what I do best – landscape photographs – so here’s a selection.

Long, long time ago I used to live in Weston-super-Mare or Weston-super-Mud. Great beaches, beautiful sand but venture beyond those danger signs, and people do, and you are taking your life in your hands. Thick, cloying mud, combined with one of the highest tides in the world and a tide that comes in fast means that if you get stuck out there, you better hope they can get to you fast. Fortunately after several deaths they now have a specialised rescue team that carries equipment to get anyone stuck out of the mud fast.

Danger Sinking Mud

Take the historic Steam Railway out of Porth Madog which winds it’s way through parts of Snowdonia to Blaenau Ffestiniog and you will have to cross the Cob. Don’t you just love these beautiful Welsh place names? I know I do. I never pronounce them right, although I’m slowly getting the hang of some of them, but that’s another story. Anyway crossing the Cob you get this great view into the Snowdonia National Park.

From The Cob

On the North Coast of Anglesey, South Stack Lighthouse sits on a small rocky island  called Ynys Lawd. To reach the lighthouse you need to go down a switchback stairway of over 400 steps which go down the cliff face. Of course, what goes down must come back up so that’s another 400 steps. Not easy if you are carrying a load of photography gear and it’s a very windy day.

South Stack Lighthouse

The groyne markers at Prestatyn Beach, where I live, are pretty uninteresting to photograph. But throw in a dramatic sunset and they become something else, especially in silhouette.

Sunset At Prestatyn

Finally, I’d like to leave you with this photograph of a lone tree in a field of yellow rape seed flowers. I took this photograph about six years ago and every year I watch the field to see if the farmer will plant it again, but he never does. Shame really because I don’t think I did it justice first time round and I’d like to have another go at it.

Field Of Yellow

Next week I will be away from North Wales for about ten days with limited internet access. I’m off in search of castles and rivers on the North East coast of England, right on the border with Scotland. I might even venture, if I have time, into my home country, but who knows. So of course that means I probably will not be posting for a short while until I get back.

That’s it for this week. As usual here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – Up And Gone
Photos By Goldie Skyward
Behind The Willows Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth
Mother Earth · Best Places Of Interest
Wednesday Lensday- Earth’s Underdogs – Aloada Bobbins
Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – imyesterdaysgirl
Earth – Life is Great
XingfuMama For the beauty of the earth
everyphototunity WPC- Earth
Annika Kellner foto Weekly Photo Challenge – Earth

Colour or Black and White

At the weekend I met up with a gang of photographers and I must admit I got some really interesting sunset photographs from Crosby beach.

On The Beach Colour

Out there on the mud flats on my own wasn’t exactly fun but the colours are very dramatic and worth the wait, even if I was sinking into the mud. But when I got home and started to look at the photographs I started to think maybe it would look more dramatic and give a sense of loneliness if it were in black and white.

On The Beach

What do you think? Colour or Black and White.

Another Place

Spent all day at the beach yesterday with a bunch of photographers photographing the amazing sculptures of Sir Antony Gormley. The day out was organised by ShootMirrorless.com with the view to getting photographers together so we can share and discuss our art and techniques.

Another Place

Another Place is a piece of modern sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley. It consists of 100 cast iron sculptures of the artist’s own body, facing towards the sea. After being displayed at several locations in Europe, it has become permanently located at Crosby Beach in north-western England. The work was controversial in the local area due to issues such as possible economic gain or environmental damage from tourism. A meeting on 7 March 2007 by Sefton Council accepted proposals that would allow the sculptures to be kept permanently at Crosby Beach in place of being moved to New York.

The cast iron figures face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of the beach between Waterloo and Blundellsands. Each figure is 189 cm tall (nearly 6 feet 2½ inches) and weighs around 650 kg (over 1400 lb). In common with most of Gormley’s work, the figures are cast replicas of his own body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea.

The figures were cast at two foundries, Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Joseph and Jesse Siddons Foundry[4] in West Bromwich. Another Place was first exhibited on the beach of Cuxhaven, Germany, in 1997 and after that in Stavanger in Norway and De Panne in Belgium. – Source Wikipedia