So said Yann Arthus-Bertrand in his book: “Earth from Above, Third Edition” and I tend to agree. So this week come with me to Big Pool Wood and Talacre Beach to see what I have witnessed. Big Pool Wood is a small nature reserve managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust. Despite its name the pool is quite small and only really fills up during the winter. But with the addition of a new bird hide and a dedicated team of photographers we are beginning to see all that the wood has to offer.
I’ve written about BPW before, mainly about the birds who visit, so let’s go for a walk around the woods, which you can do in about 15 minutes, or if you are like me, constantly stopping to take photographs, it could take an hour. Spring is here and the Mallard Ducklings have left the safety of the reed beds to paddle in the pool. There were seven little ducklings a week or so back but it looks like predators, or other Mallard Ducks, have whittled the population down by almost half.
Of course with Spring, comes colour and the wood is now carpeted with purple and blue flowers.
Bluebells form the biggest carpet and the path through the woods is lined either side by them.
And flowers bring out insects like these Orange Tipped Butterflies. Common in the UK, so I haven’t really found anything rare.
Likewise for this Comma, another common butterfly to be found in the UK.
Not far from BPW is Talacre Beach and it with being such a fine day it seemed a shame not to pay a visit. Now if you go onto the beach it will be busy. But take a walk amongst the dunes and you will see plenty of wildlife. But you can also photograph the lighthouse with showing people and you get a different sort of photograph from what others might take if they were on the beach.
Whilst I was walking through the dunes I came across this little Meadow Pipit, shot at the extreme length of my zoom lens and against a very bright background I struggled to get a decent photograph, especially as I had to crop in so much but the new Olympus camera with the improved sensor has done a reasonable job at the distance involved. Don’t get me wrong, It’s not perfect by any means, far from it, but at least I managed to get it good enough to post on my blog.
As you wander around the dunes you see the odd sign of man made structures. During WWII Talacre was used as a bombing range and in later years there were buildings in amongst the dunes. Nowadays all that’s left are bits of fence like this.
I’d just got back to the car-park when I spotted a little Robin perched in a tree. It was very quiet, normally they’re singing their little hearts out but this one wasn’t. He/She (both have that distinctive red breast) hung around long enough for me to get a few photographs and then took off.
Right that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed the photographs and as usual here’s what other bloggers have got to say about this weeks challenge.
Exploring the world Wild flowers
Shape Shifters – Wind Rush
Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth – Or, The Earth At My Feet – Petchary’s Blog
The Photo Junkie Earth II- Belogradchik Rock Formations
Pictures without film. Solstice Sunrise revisited – Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth
Simply Photos Here Today – Gone Tomorrow
Our Beautiful Earth – Geriatri’x’ Fotogallery
The Blog of Maggie Weekly Photo Challenge- EARTH
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Earth
A bit of a mixed bag this week for the challenge. It’s strange how we all interpret a theme differently but this is how I see security. Weston-super-Mare has some fantastically wide and long beaches but it has one major failing. The tide goes out such a long distance and after the sand ends horrible thick cloying mud is exposed, the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about 1 mile (1.6 km) from the seafront. Trust me you don’t want to walk into it. you sink quickly and can immediately be up to your knees. Now here’s the worrying part. The tide that went out so far comes back in at a really fast speed and it’s unforgiving. If you’re stuck in the mud, and each year people do, you’d better hope the Rescue Team get to you in time, because Weston-super-Mare has one of the highest tidal rises in the world as much as 48ft (14.5m).
So for people’s own security and safety there are signs all along the beach warning of the dangers of sinking mud, and yet they are often ignored.
Still in Weston-super-Mare. Because of those fast, incoming tides it is all too easy to get caught out. Take a look at the photograph below. On the causeway between Knightstone Island and WSM the tide often surges over the top. Now Knightstone really isn’t an island anymore. There is a perfectly good road which loops round the sea-front and is not much longer than the causeway. So there’s no need to put yourself in danger by walking across when the tide is coming in. Remember, it’s a fast tide that rises a considerable height. Look at the little dog on the lead. it’s been turned around by the waves. At this point she was halfway across and fortunately she made it safely……..
……and here’s the same causeway on a wild and stormy night.
Further along the coast is Uphill Beach. You can walk from WSM to Uphill and it’s a really nice walk with sand dunes and of course long sandy beaches. Here they have a similar problem with mud, but there’s also an additional problem on the beach – boy racers. You can drive on Uphill beach and often the idiots will come on and start tearing up and down at a fair old speed. Supposedly there is a speed limit of 15mph but they don’t pay attention to that. So there are signs warning beach goers about the mud and speeding cars.. The local farmer makes a small amount of money each year towing cars out of the mud before the tide comes in. I’ve even towed a family car out that got stuck in soft sand.
I took this photograph a long time ago and it’s an old lighthouse at Burnham-on-Sea. further along the coast from WSM. Since I took this the steps have been repaired but it’s a long time since I’ve been to Burnham- so I can’t really say if the lighthouse is still in good repair.
Although they have weapons, I think these guards are more for show than anything else. This is a popular tourist spot – Prague Castle.
Anyway that’s it for this week and like I said a bit of a mixed bag which hopefully convey some meaning around security.
Here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.
Margaretakirken – artishorseshit
By Tram, Escalator and Ferry- Hong Konging it – psychologistmimi
This is Another Story A Special Necklace
Hot Dogs and Marmalade New Use for an iPod
This, that and the other thing Weekly Photo Challenge- Security…the One
Half a photograph Security
Weekly Photo Challenge- Security – nancy merrill photography
Weekly Photo Challenge. Security. – The Digital Teacup
Photography Journal Blog Weekly Photo Challenge- Security
This weeks challenge is easy, or so I thought. I was almost certain we had covered Solitude before, several years back, but could I find a post referring to Solitude in any of my blogs. So instead I’m going to indulge in a bit of nostalgia and hopefully get Solitude across in the process…and I’ve missed the deadline, which is now Wednesday to Tuesday.
I took this photograph way back in 2007, it shows “Bah Humbug” and “Mr Grumpy” on the beach on a quiet summers evening.
Now “Bah Humbug” had a hatred of cats that can be best described as homicidal. Needless to say the neighbours cats never sh*t in our garden. He once caught one under the car, it was hissing and spitting, if he had got to it I dread to think what would have happened. Yet he was the quietest of dogs otherwise and it really was as shame that he developed epilepsy at a very early age. Now living on the coast, we have a lot of gulls around. To “Bah Humbug” they were just funny flying cats.
On the other hand “Mr Grumpy” was such a patient dog, loving, friendly, my pal. He lived to a ripe old age for a Cavalier, although in later years he slowed and became a right “Grumpy Old Man”, just like me.
Oh! I suppose I should mention “She Who Must Be Obeyed” tagged along as well.
It’s a great beach for walking on, especially in the evening once the tourists have gone. The tide has just gone out so all of the excess rubbish had been swept out to sea.
Now you might have noticed that I’ve introduced a watermark again. My policy is that photographs I publish on Say It With A Camera and Flickr are free to use as long as it’s not for commercial purposes and also that you credit me as the photographer. That’s not too much to ask for, after all, I’ve done all the hard work.
So it really annoys me when I see scraper sites just offering my photographs to be downloaded without accrediting me as the photographer.
The photograph you are about to see featured in my post about Cilla Black, a much-loved 60’s British pop-star who died recently and has had a statue erected in her honour near The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Now whilst a watermark will not deter a determined thief, it’s all too easy to remove them in Photoshop, it does screw up these scraper sites, because they just take the photographs as is.
So that’s it this week, a bit of nostalgia, a rant about misuse of my photographs and hopefully I’ve covered Solitude as well.
As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;
Eiwawar The Great Dipper Show
My Quiet Place – Nes Felicio Photography
PhotosbyGoldie Solitude- A Winter’s Day
Georgia Adventures with Pauliana Weekly Photo Challenge- Solitude
@ The West Gate On my own
Simply Photos Standing Out in Solitude
Indira’s Blog Solitude- Weekly Photo Challenge
Solitude Found At Penmon Point – Tish Farrell
Instant Human…just add coffee. The Art of Solitude
Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist Weekly Photo Challenge – Solitutde
Another post, using the new theme and the WordPress servers to host the photographs. Most comments said everything was OK but “It’s Just A Theory” reported having problems displaying the photographs. So could you please check and let me know if the images are displaying with the post and that you don’t have to click a link or a thumbnail to see them. Thanks in advance for checking.
So this week it’s Graceful. Those people in Automatic sure pick some weird themes at times but here we go.
The sand dunes at Talacre have always been my goto place when I want to test new equipment or a particular method of taking photographs.
Wandering amongst the dunes gives me plenty of scope to photograph wildlife, like this jay which was sitting on one of the trees that are dotted around the dunes. Beautiful birds, very intelligent and this photograph in winter plumage really doesn’t do the colours justice.
And wherever you go your sure to find little Blue Tits at the edges of the dunes, hiding in the trees. Although not this one, quite cheeky, but very nervous and surprisingly this one came quite close.
However, back to the dunes, There are certain areas were a lot of conservation work is going on so you will find these areas fenced off.
It may be for a rare species of plant or wildlife. Sometimes it’s just to protect the ever-changing infrastructure. Sand dunes are very susceptible to damage by us and of course the wind. I never question it. If it’s fenced off, it’s for a reason, so I see no need to enter, even if it means I have to go a longer way round.
Finally you can’t go to Talacre without taking a photograph of the abandoned lighthouse. But this time rather than go onto the beach I’ve stayed in the dunes to give me some foreground interest.
Is it graceful? It might be but hey, my post my choice of photographs. Do they fit the theme….of course they do.
As usual, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge;
Yvette’s photography Graceful
PhotosbyGoldie Graceful in Repose
Photoessayist The Blog Graceful- A Richard Serra Sculpture
A Certain Slant of Light Photography Underwater Grace
Flight of a Seagull
Anvica’s gallery Graceful
Half a photograph Graceful
Vietnamese Girl in Ao Dai – Nes Felicio Photography
Sara Doolittle Gracefulness, air, and water
Over the years I have written about many of the places I have visited in North Wales but never really shown you much of where I live; Prestatyn. It’s a typical small town bordered on one side by the sea and on the other by a range of hills, which are supposed to protect us from the harsher winter elements. Do they? Don’t know, but when all around gets snow we don’t see a lot in Prestatyn. But there again we do live by the sea and that’s always good, too much salt in the air for snow and ice to settle.
Anyway to the photographs. Prestatyn High street is typical of many small towns you can find, some empty units, some that never seem busy and some quite bustling. What more can I say.
There is evidence that the area around Prestatyn was settled in prehistoric finds with artifacts found in caves nearby. The Romans were definitely here as there are still the remains of a bath house to be found situated in the midst of a housing estate. No other Roman buildings exist, probably because the land they may have been buried under was excavated and built on. More on that later.
High on the hill above Prestatyn there lies a bronze sculpture of one side of a Roman legionnaires helmet. With the existence of the bath house it is thought that Prestatyn was probably the site of a Roman fort on the road from Chester to Caernarfon.
The sad thing is most people in Prestatyn probably don’t even know it exists , especially as it’s sited an area that very few visitors to the town would venture to. Still staying with old Prestatyn. Up until the arrival of the railway and holidaymakers in the 19th and 20 century the population of Prestatyn was very small. But Prestatyn had something that city dwelling Victorians considered very healthy; fresh air, clean seas, fantastic beaches and promenade entertainers. Prestatyn suddenly became a very popular place to visit.
Nowadays most of the tourists have gone but we still have fresh air, clean seas and the fantastic beaches that stretch for miles and miles. We also get some amazing sunsets….
If you look in the photograph above you can see to the right a small object sticking up from the sea. It’s a marker for part of the sea defences which become submerged when the tide comes in. But when it goes out you can walk out to those markers and sometimes beyond. So not only are our beaches long, they’re also wide.
However, we also get exceptionally high tides several times a year and our sea defences have to be able to cope not only with the high tide but also a storm surge if the wind whips the sea up even higher, Unfortunately a couple of years ago the defences were breached just a little bit further up the coast and many houses were flooded.
Although Prestatyn is a small town the surrounding area is very rural so we sort of have the benefits of both worlds.
Back to the sea again, it’s the best part and those sunsets….what more can I say.
That’s it for this week, here’s what other bloggers are saying about this weeks challenge.
Sky Blue Daze How to be a street performer
Shots and captures Weekly Photo Challenge- Local
Fife Photos & Art Greenside Cottages, Leslie
The Photographer Smiled… Our celebrity
DAVID OAKES -IMAGES. Colours of Autumn.. (Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Local 2)
Penne 4 Your Thoughts Exploring the Waverton coal loader
Gwyncurbygodwin’s Blog LITTLE RED CHICKEN HOUSE
Coffee fuels my photography! So Local they made themselves at home! (WPC- Local)
Weekly Photo Challenge- Local – Angela Kay