In a few months time these caterpillars will no doubt become beautiful butterflies or moths (and I would be delighted if someone could tell me which, and what variety) but, for now, they are not my friends! I should now have a flower border bursting with bright nasturtiums but, as is apparent in this picture, the plants have been decimated by these little gluttons!
Monthly Archives: September 2012
There are more waves to come but today we’ll have something a little different.
The rosy florets of bay willow
By hoary breath of some enchanter
Are translated into feathery plumes,
White as angel wings,
And leaves, brittle red and papery thin,
Carpet the thirsty brown soil.
Click to enlarge
The breaking waves and the returning waves collide.
Click the images to enlarge.
See also High tide at Dawlish
Recently I wrote how relaxing and therapeutic the rhythm of the sea could be (Sea watching). High tide at Dawlish provided a sharp reminder of the extreme opposite – the sea’s relentless energy, mighty power and irresistible force.
In the series of wave studies that follow over the next few days I would like you to imagine that you are standing with me on the path topping the sea wall. Hear the boom of the wave crashing against the wall, feel the spray carried on the wind, smell the sea, watch the explosive collision of waves moving in opposite directions. Don’t just view the pictures – enter the experience of being there!
Click on the image for greater detail and to intensify the experience.
See also Breaking Wave
Just 5 or 6 miles north of the mouth of the Teign is the small resort of Dawlish. Despite its long history dating back to Saxon times, it is essentially Victorian in most of its architecture and general ambience. Its stamp of individuality is created by two features: the rivulet, Dawlish Water (sometimes called The Brook), which runs through the central park area and effectively bisects the town; and the railway line which separates the town from the beach.
The rivulet has become a sanctuary for a range of water fowl, but is particularly noted for its black swans which were introduced from Western Australia.
The railway line is part of the Riviera Line, linking Exeter with Paignton and the English Riviera. The route’s proximity to the sea has earned it a reputation as one of the most picturesque rail journeys in the UK. The line is also one of the most costly to maintain because of the constant threat from sea erosion. In 1974 a substantial part of Dawlish station was washed away during a severe storm. The construction of the line was begun by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1830.
In the first photo holiday makers are walking along the path on top of the sea wall. The metal fence beside the path screens the rail track. Beyond the railway can be seen buildings of the Victorian period.
Recently my wife and I spent a few days holidaying in South Devon. By sheer good fortune we were delighted to discover that our hotel room looked out across the estuary of the River Teign – a location that attracts a wide range of wading birds. It was a photographer’s paradise. The down side was that most of the bird activity took place in the centre of the estuary at a distance of not less than 150 yards from my vantage point and I was equipped only with a Panasonic compact. In addition, at low tide the sea receded completely leaving a glossy morass of mud. The reflected light played havoc with the metering of the camera, often producing results resembling an ice rink or winter landscape. Despite these difficulties (resulting in poor quality images) it was clearly a ‘must take’ situation.
Because of their panoramic nature it will be helpful to click some of the pictures for greater detail.
I am always intrigued by the way birds (especially gulls) turn to face the sun as it begins to set. I can’t identify the smaller birds in the foreground – are they sandpipers, or maybe turnstones?
Near the high tide line, fine, thin strands of seaweed often form delicate shapes, sometimes resembling floral patterns or intricate, decorative ironwork.
As previously, these examples are substantially as seen; nothing has been added or removed other than the sand texture. A little Photoshop tweeking has sometimes been used to sharpen the image or to increase colour saturation.
I think the choice must be guided by what we are wanting to say about the subject we are photographing. Take, for example, the two photos below. They are the same shot presented first in colour and secondly in black and white. In the first I feel the picture is dominated by the colour. Yes, I am aware of pattern and texture but, on balance, it is the colour that significantly influences my response. In the second I am far more aware of the pattern and texture elements – the colour does not really enter the equation. The two shots give quite different interpretations of the subject.
No introduction is needed – though I would welcome your comments. Just relax and enjoy! (A glance back to the text of this link might be helpful: Abstract 128 Revisited
I first posted this poem in May of last year but, according to WordPress.stats, it has not had a single visitor! I believe that its aspirations are too important to be ignored and allowed to drift off into cyberspace or wherever. It is for this reason that I am republishing it – in the hope that its theme and thoughts might resonate in the mind and heart of the thinking reader.
Yes, the poet happens to be my wife, but this is not an act of nepotism. I find the simple verse inspirational and challenging. I hope you do too.
May I always be open to
New ways of seeing,
To the simple, the fresh, the innocent,
To children’s prattle and ingenuous gaze,
For their truth is nearer the secret of living
Than talk in high places or learned tomes.
May I always be open to
New ways of hearing.
May I roam freely in new avenues of listening
And, whatever my passions are,
May I hear caution, may I hear balance,
And may I mistrust my need to be right.
But may I trust in the open heart,
In my own inner truth,
Not caring what a fool you think I am.
Apologies to ee cummins