One of the benefits of having a dog (and not having to go to the office every day) is that you are forced to become a pedestrian. I spent too much of my life outside of the house in the confines of a car—because of the need to commute, or get the shopping in quickly and so on.

Walking and being exposed to the elements makes you much more aware of the natural world. Because you’re not insulated from cold and rain, and because your attention is free to wander, rather than watch the road, you see things at more visceral level than before.

I’ve mentioned before that there is a particular spot on my regular walks with the dog that has a special attraction to me. I can’t really explain why  those particular trees from that particular position is something that I look forward to seeing whenever I go that way, but the fact is that I always take time to slow down and just watch those silver birch framing the willow.

And, of course, over the course of the last six months or so, I’ve watched (and photographed) the trees wake from their winter dormancy to full spring exuberance.

Here, then, are some pictures of the seasonal change in one particular stand of trees.

I love my ‘Blad

Like (I would imagine) the majority of photographers these days, I mostly work with digital cameras — a couple of Nikon DSLRs and a Panasonic compact. They are highly technically advanced, offering accurate auto focussing and exposure, and there is the attendant convenience of working with a digital RAW file: so many things — white balance, exposure, tonality — can be adjusted in software that one can lose sight of the technicalities when actually taking the picture. On balance, this a good thing, especially when the pressure’s on: at a wedding, a sports event or when time is short. Continue reading “I love my ‘Blad”

Down among the trees

It was a pleasant day, so my wife and I decided to go for a walk in Delamere forest.

I have slightly ambivalent feelings about places like this. On the one hand, they provide a much-needed protected nature area in the midst of so much that is altered by humans but, on the other hand, they are areas that have been altered by humans. Continue reading “Down among the trees”

Autumn rainbows

Not – I hasten to point out – the refraction-through-a-raindrop kind. No, these are rainbows that have autumn as their root cause.

As the amount of daylight decreases and the atmospheric temperature drops, one class of trees protects itself from excessive water loss by shedding its leaves. Prior to shedding, though, the leaves undergo an amazing transformation – one that everyone knows and that everyone looks forward to as a sort of reward for putting up with the loss of summer (assuming there was a summer to lose).

Continue reading “Autumn rainbows”