Photography – The Dales – Pt3

Photography – The Dales – Pt3

We started going uphill a bit.

If you click on the pictures they blow up into much better shots.

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The mother might be a bit confused about her offspring. p1120775 p1120776

I don’t think these were standing stones – probably gateposts from a long gone wall


Ingleborough caves

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It was quite desolate and we hardly saw anyone. There was a bleak beauty to it.

We wondered what it would have looked like long ago. Probably the natural climax is trees. We thought it wouldn’t have looked as beautiful. But then it would have been teeming with life – insects, birds, mice, rabbits, boar, wolves and bears. We only see the tiny rump of what once was thriving here. The volcanoes, ice and erosion  created the basis – We merely destroyed the rick tapestry of life that lived on it.p1120791 p1120797 p1120801

Photography – The Dales Pt. 10 – Salmon skies & home for a pint.

Photography – The Dales Pt. 10 – Salmon skies & home for a pint.

We turned for home. The sky was brilliant with those salmon cloud effects. I was very taken.

You really do need to click on the photo to get the full effect.

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Somewhere out there was where my Nanny was born. She died in her fifties when I was fourteen but I remember her well. She was a big jolly lady – full of fun. I wished I had known her as a flighty young girl. She was full of life and rebelliousness. I think I’ve got a bit of her in me.

Photography – The Dales Pt. 8 – The walk to Mount Ingleborough.

Photography – The Dales Pt. 8 – The walk to Mount Ingleborough.

Day three was sunny and we set off to walk to Mount Ingleborough. My Nanny came from Ingleton and it was nice to think that she had walked these hills as a child. She had led an interesting life.

As a child her mother had died and she had run away from home at the age of twelve in rebellion against her stepmother who was a very strict religious woman. She had worked in a hospital laundry in Lancaster. She had met up with a boxer at the travelling fair and run off with him. He took on all-comers for three rounds. He left her pregnant down in Portsmouth and gave her his silver cups which she pawned.

I thought about her as I made my way up those hills. She would have stood where I was and looked at this incredible landscape. It was where she grew up.

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I was fascinated with this tree on the horizon. I took a lot of different shots of it.

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Mount Ingleborough coming into view.

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It was a cold bleak Yorkshire day.

It was a cold bleak Yorkshire day.

Heavy rain clouds hung on the horizon threatening a torrential downpour but we decided against the rainproofs. The sun was already blistering; the air so heavy with moisture that you could bathe in it. If it rained it would be a relief. We’d be soaked but our shorts and T-shirts would soon dry off. We set off along the rainforest trail to the music of cicadas and unseen birds.

The forest has a sweet scent of decay and vitality. Everywhere there is green – green leaves, green fronds, green lianas and green epiphytes. It feels alive. We are strangers in a new fecund world. We are searching for animals, our cameras at the ready. We find some too.

By the end of two weeks we have photographed sloths, iguanas, turtles, agoutis, parrots, macaws, flycatchers, monkeys, caiman, butterflies, moths and dozens more – each a delight to discover and a wonder to see. We have watched spider monkeys at play and capuchin monkeys cracking open coconuts, sloths slowly clambering through the foliage and huge iguanas, like dragons, clinging to tree trunks.

It felt so alive.

Our skin rusted in the sun and humidity. Our bodies adjusted, sitting on deck watching the jungle slip past, with a cool breeze in our face; rushing to put on our scant clothing to scamper up to the top for the sunrise, to search the deck at first light for giant moths, butterflies and beetles; sorting where to go, down jungle trails, canoe rides, or simply walking around. When in the unfamiliar even the ordinary is extraordinary. It is amazing how quickly one adjusts. This is our new normality.

Slowly we return home. The sun gradually loses its intensity. People take every opportunity to relish the last of its warmth, some asleep on loungers, some reading, some watching the seas for whales, dolphins or seabirds. We have left the tropical heat behind.

Back home we unpack, start on the mound of washing and go for a walk. No shorts, T-shirt and sandals but wrapped in layers of shirts, jumpers and thick coat topped off with hats, scarves and gloves.

Walking down the lane, looking out over the waterlogged green fields I could not help thinking what a mess we’ve made of it. This was the green Yorkshire countryside. Before the industrial revolution a landscape of forest, full of wildlife, now an endless denuded green desert, with just the odd crow and pigeon, plus a few creatures clinging on in the remaining hedgerows.

We live in the vestiges of the wonder of what once was. All over the world 8 billion mouths are busy devouring miracles.

Even in my lifetime I have seen the decline.

The bitter wind bites into my face. Rust is fading as the memories fade, as nature fades, tree by tree, hedge by hedge, ditch by ditch, bug by bug.

I have no camera with me. There is little to photograph. The creatures of my youth have disappeared.

It was a cold bleak Yorkshire day.

Photography – Dales Pt. 9 – Ingleborough.

Photography – Dales Pt. 9 – Ingleborough.

Ingleton is a beautiful mountain. I have never approached it from this direction.p1130118 p1130119

I was taken with the way the mood of the place changed with the different light conditions. I took these three shots with different sunlight. p1130124 p1130125 p1130127

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Photography – Moss walls in the Dales.

Photography – Moss walls in the Dales.

The Dales are beautiful but it rains a lot. The mood changes as the weather moves through. Without the rain you wouldn’t have the fabulous mossy walls. Dry stone walls caked in luscious green moss.

If you click on the pictures they blow up into much better shots.

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Poetry – There is a war – a poem for the planet

Poetry – There is a war – a poem for the planet

There is a war

There is a war going on. It is a war against nature. Pest and weed are being decimated. There is collateral damage.

A pest is a creature that we don’t happen to like. It wants to live. It eats our crops and lives on our land.

A weed is a plant we don’t like. It grows on our land. It takes nutrients and light from our crops. It makes our garden look untidy.

We have to eradicate anything that encroaches on ours.

We can take what we want but nothing should dare to intrude on what we have claimed as ours.

We wage war on it. With chemical poison and machine we slaughter in huge numbers. The bees, butterflies, frogs, newts, and toads are all collateral damage.

The invertebrate population has been decimated. 56% have gone. That’ll teach them! 10% of all wildernesses have been claimed by us in the last twenty years. We have laid waste to it all. It is now denuded, coffee plantation, palm oil or simply desolate.

There’s a war going on. We won’t be happy until we have beaten it all.

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There is a war

There is a war raging

Using chemical and machine,

Counting the casualties

In numbers astronomically obscene,

Laying waste the land,

Hunting the helpless in fantastic amounts,

Spraying poison indiscriminately –

Where profit is the key

And the only line that counts.


Opher 13.9.2016

Photography – The Dales Pt. 5 – Limestone escarpments and mountains.

Photography – The Dales Pt. 5 – Limestone escarpments and mountains.

As the sun was coming out we ate our sandwiches and gazed over the panoramic views. It was complete peace. The whole landscape was devoid of people. You could let your eyes feast and your mind absorb.

To get the full effect you need to click on the photos so that they open up – particularly the panoramic shots. They don’t look much small.

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I loved the way it changed mood as the sun came out. p1120846 p1120847 p1120859

Photography – The Dales – Pt.4

Photography – The Dales – Pt.4

We started to come out on the limestone escarpment with its panoramic views. There was patchy sunshine and a strange blue light. It gave everything a great majesty.


If you click on the pictures you get them blown up in panorama. They look a lot better.

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