I live in a camper van with a West Highland Terrier for company.
My passion is creating images but it is a work in progress.
I am always willing to share what knowledge I have and can be contacted through the comments on this post or e-mail ADRIAN

Sunday 27 March 2011

All CLOSED (27/03/11)

Today the forecast was a bit mixed but after a misty start it has been grand. We went out for an early Sunday Carvery Lunch. Excellent it was. So excellent that despite an hours walk I feel the urgent need for a siesta.

The reason for this post is that tomorrow I am away to Rosedale Abbey for four days and suspect that there will be no internet till Friday. I’ll write the posts and send them out all at once as usual when next I have the chance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    This is Raby Castle. It was my plan to have lunch and then an afternoon working it off wandering around it. It is closed till the third of April so that was that plan postponed.

We walked instead through the village of Staindrop. You can see a bit of it in the foreground above. This was taken with a long lens from the camper this morning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is the church of Saint Mary the Virgin Staindrop……………begs the question………….was there a Saint Mary the Fallen?

It looks a wonderful church but I had company and it is a little anti social to spend an hour wandering around a church. There is no reason not to come back for a good look in the future.

Have a wonderful week whatever you are doing.

Saturday 26 March 2011

ONE IS SORRY (26/03/11)

Yesterday we moved from Derbyshire back to County Durham. It was an foggy start to the day but before I left I found the Deer.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      Fallow Deer in fog at high ISO. Then pushed, pulled and shoved. I’m sorry  dears but if you won’t come and pose properly this is the result. Blurry Deer! These are all males. The females will be away looking for suitable places to hide their fawns, which will be born and hidden in a couple of months or so. These are very difficult to get close to as they have superb eyesight and a better sense of smell. The fawns don’t smell at all during their first few weeks of life, they don’t but most likely can and mum leaves them hidden in bracken for quite long periods. Even the dogs can’t find them. In some ways they are not as interesting as Roe Deer……..the latter amazing creatures can be half pregnant. They get serviced and then hang onto the job for a month or two. Another false paradox. They are not that amazing however as they can’t be half dead! How did I digress onto Roe Deer when I haven’t a picture?………Desperation!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    This is the view this morning. I don’t know what this unharvested crop is, Rape I suspect. Why? I don’t know. Many farmers now leave a strip of crop as a source of winter food for wild birds and the accompanying grant. A whole field seems excessive. I will make enquiries.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I didn’t want to be left out………….half the posts I look at have daffodils so here are my two Daffodils worth. Not brilliant but taken with the new macro lens. A Sigma 150mm f1:2.8. I could do better with this and in time there’s an outside chance I may. It’s sharp as a pin…………..I felt the pain purchasing it.

Now things start to get a wee bit silly………….

brtree My favourite image from last the last week Chatsworth Bridge. It wants a lot of work as there was a bin bag draped over the twigs behind the last clump of daffodils. Had I noticed it could have been removed manually. I used the healing brush. All too obviously if you enlarge it. Now we, that is a royal we, I, would be accurate, get really silly.

Bromoil This is called Bromoil. A technique developed during the days of film. One took a fresh print and bashed black ink into it with with stencil brushes. Why? No good asking me. I bought a comic on the way up. ‘Digital Photo’. It’s not a bad read. I suspect the technique should be used with decorum and discretion. It’s not their fault I only understand full throttle and half the instructions. If a jobs worth doing it’s worth doing it twice!

I’m hoping to visit Raby Castle tomorrow. We’ll see what that produces.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday 24 March 2011

NOT A LOT GOING ON (24/03/11)

Another crisp frosty start to the day. A fair bit of mist about and no sign of the Deer or anything else much.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        Chatsworth house in mist.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          A Pheasant tiptoeing through the frost.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         A Coot and…………………………………………………



OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The blackbird hoping alongside as we returned for breakfast. He seemed totally happy with the dogs and they returned the compliment by ignoring him.

We went out again mid morning but the place was thronged with people so back to the bridge. The downstream side of it today. this is it’s better side as it has a pair of statues on this face.

 _3242554_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1      Still no wind so still still water.

_3242569_70_71_72_73_tonemapped_edited-1      A Willow springing into action.

_3242574_5_6_7_8_tonemapped_edited-1Another corner of the house.

_3242589_90_91_92_93_tonemapped_edited-1The Hunting Tower hiding in the trees.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Hundreds of sheep and a couple of equestrians……..they are the ones on horses.

That’s all for today tomorrow we are off back north but I will have another look for the Deer first. I did find them just before noon but they were a long way off and in the open so no chance of photos.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

THE WALL (23/03/11)

We are parked in a corner of Chatsworth Estate. Very pleasant it is too. A grand day is promised. It was cool first thing but we got out as dawn was breaking. A bit chilly with a light frost but no wind so a lovely morning.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are in an old walled garden and what a wall…………..smashing colours and texture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA little bit of Chatsworth House, a magnificent building. Unfortunately I can’t show you the rest.



_3232483_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1   Queen Mary’s Bower House. Mary Queen of Scotts must have been detained in every house in the country with more than three rooms………when they ran out of houses they chopped off her head………seems a bit harsh but times were different then. The last image is HDR as are the ones that follow.

_3232493_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1 The bridge over the river Derwent and access to the house……….I still can’t show the house.



_3232508_09_10_11_12_tonemapped_edited-1   The river Derwent and a couple of reflections.

_3232513_4_5_6_7_tonemapped_edited-1This pile of sticks on a wall is a sculpture by Laura Ellen Bacon. It’s actually called The Swarm………….The wall was designed by Adrian Walker.

Okay here is the house. The Duke of Devonshire must have had the double glazing salesman round. Just sign here your Dukeship and you'll save the cost of the windows in reduced heating bills……… I bet he neglected to mention it’ll take about two hundred years!

_3232518_19_20_21_22_tonemapped_edited-1   That’s all for today.

Tomorrow I’ll go out with the long lens as there are Deer, Heron and woodpeckers to annoy.

All images will enlarge.

Sunday 20 March 2011

UP HALF THE NIGHT (20/03/11)

Last night, as all in blogland will by now know, was the closest the moon has been to the Earth since I was forty three years old…….I’m glad it was behind cloud here as that was not a good year.  It doesn’t alter the fact that I’m green as a Martian with envy looking at all the wonderful pictures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA       The Infinity Bridge at Stockton on Tees. It is night! No pictures worth posting today so it’s into the bin for a few…………No moon in this either.

Untitled-1_edited-1     What I couldn’t get by fair means, I got by foul…………………………………………….

space1     and foulerer still. Photoshopier still if right is right……………………………………………..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Not foul or fowl but the lunar eclipse on the twenty first of December last year.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGibbous Moon through trees on Christmas Eve last year……………the same moon we eclipsed………….had to be we only have the one. Is that how one spells Gibbous? I always want an (I) in it. I know it has one………after the two Bs or Bees. I meant.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Stars over Finchale Abbey. I took ages setting this up to get Polaris dead centre then I recomposed the shot and forgot why…….. it’s moved, cos it has, dumb cluck I am it’s the only stationary star visible from the northern hemisphere. the world for that matter.

We move it doesn’t, well it does a wee bit…………..sometimes I think if I swam to the bottom of a pond and crawled under a stone I’d be mentally challenged by the creatures I’d find. I ought to seriously think about a change of location to the southern hemisphere they don’t have this problem. The southern cross is roughly south. Good enough for Aussies…….place is so big it would be hard to miss Australia! If one has found it then surely there are road signs…………..there are aren’t there?

  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Finally the sun……………………enough! The log, or chip off one, on my shoulder has gone….. Felt like a log! Jammy devils you are.

Congratulations to all of you that managed moon shots. I love them.

We are off to Derbyshire for a few days but hopefully will have time for some snaps. Have a good week.

Saturday 19 March 2011


You’ll be delighted to be informed that we have had a couple of hours birding this morning. A glorious day it is……… so far.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I was a little in front of myself this morning as it was barely light when we set off. A crisp morning with a light skim of ice on the water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     This is a skim of ice…………………..scintillating!

Lot’s of Grey Lag and Canada geese but they flew away before we got to the lakes. Not that I can get close enough here at Thorpe Farm anyway.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    I’ve never seen so many Coots…………dozens of them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA      A few pairs of Tufted Duck.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    Then I got really excited……………A pair of Shell Duck or at least I hope they are…………be annoying to have wet myself over something else. I don’t know what the ducks in front of them are.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I don’t know what this  chap is but he was singing his heart out so deserved to have his picture taken.

That’s all so far. I’m off out again with the tripod. And a tele extender. I’ll sort them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        I had another go at the steamer on Ullswater that had the most peculiar colour shifts. Took a while juggling but this is better.

Have a grand weekend………..All the best.

Friday 18 March 2011


Unfortunately not! I thought I had a Penduline Tit on the feeders at breakfast time. Better than a lottery win. When I eventually managed a shot of it’s head it was a Long Tailed Tit. It did have a lot of brownish feathers on it’s back though…………Still a grand sight.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   Here it is again……………….a cracking wee bird. Next one of my favourites…………………

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    The Nuthatch………..these seem to be doing really well. I wish the same could be said for Red Squirrels. They are slowly being eliminated by squirrel pox. It’s carried by the Grey Squirrel who are immune but our native red isn’t, so looses coordination and dies. Found one this morning……………sad!

Back to Pendulums………..or the clocks that are regulated by them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is the clock, I love tower clock movements……….they are like old traction engines, waterwheels, steam locomotives. Timeless in their function.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA    It’s not massive the wee can to the left is 3-in-1 0il. Over a hundred and fifty years old and still going………now and again. I was hoping it would be fully exposed. This one lives in a box and one can only get a foot away from it. It is still a wondrous thing and thank you Jon for allowing time in your schedule to pull an old man up the ladders.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         The drive to the clock fingers. It powers three of these. The back of the clock face is on the right.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA        Early signatures of the Clock Masters who maintained it. They are written in pencil and are virtually indecipherable. These can be read. I’ve pushed them to hell and back.

Thank you again Jon for taking the time to show an old man a wonderful piece of engineering.