• January Shifts

Three shots of turbulent clouds, looking north (10 January 2016).

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• Downpour in the woods

Last night’s rain over Cornwall gave us a slight inkling of what the floods have done to Scotland and the north of England in recent weeks.  It tipped down during the night and the roads were soon awash with flash torrents.  On the wooded lower slopes of the moor the water was racing across the grass, tumbling through the normally dry gaps between the trees and boulders just as it did on 1 January 2014.  And I was photo-bombed for the first time.

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• Out Delivering Christmas Cards…

On my circular walk o’er fields and through mud to deliver Christmas cards, I turned back to see Stowe’s Mound framed by a Japanese/van Gogh tree and lowering clouds just masking the early afternoon sun.  A bit apocalyptic for the season of goodwill.

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• Fieldfare

Fieldfare having a field day on autumn berries in the back garden.  I counted thirteen birds.

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• Bearah and Kilmar in the autumn mist

On one of my favourite walks, this time with two friends who’ve not been on it before, past the ‘faery’ glen of oaks and boulders strewn across the middle reaches of Shales Brook, then through the sometimes impenetrable mist lying between Bearah and Kilmar Tors, and round via the old quarry railway track, past startled cattle, to the far left-hand side of Kilmar, overlooking Trewortha Farm (invisible in today’s weather).  Up to our right loomed the unmistakeable profile of West Turret (see one of last year’s posts Stupendous Pile).  Altogether very atmospheric and wet.IMG_8014 copy

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• Cricket

I had to look this up.  I now know that what I saw on the other side of the living-room window was a cricket and not a grasshopper: relaxed back legs, long antennae.  Pretty magnificent, especially seen from ‘underneath’ (despite the camera reflection…).

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• A Charm of Goldfinches

I had some old nyger (niger/nyjer) seed left and so I scattered them on the ground in what I thought was a vain hope to attract the goldfinches that sometimes visit the garden at this time of year.  It has been an inordinate success. Flocks have colonised the patch for a week, numbering over two dozen at some times.  My little Canon Ixus has only a x12 optical zoom, so I could not get the close-up that the subject warranted, but here’s the best impressionist shot of the bunch.  Note to self: get a better zoom for next year!

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