Light and Shade

A New Year is upon us and my neglected blog is way behind. Time for a brief update then. The Christmas holidays started for us with another weekend get together with friends at Coniston Copper Mines Youth Hostel. The photo, taken on the Saturday, shows some of the assembled kids trying to smash the ice in the small stream which flows away from the hostel (having emerged from underground – the stream that is, not the kids – perhaps from a mine level?). You can see the hostel in the background and the distinctive triangle of Raven Tor on the left. On the Sunday, the hostel didn’t stand out so clearly, since the night had brought a heavy fall of snow. I didn’t take any pictures sadly, but the kids found it very exciting and enjoyed it enormously (aside from S who hasn’t taken to the cold weather we’ve been having at all). It made for an ‘interesting’ journey home, but we had to get back because I was booked in to continue my inspection of local surgery facilities the following morning. (Can’t tell you much, somebody slipped me a Mickey Finn before I went in.)

We’d had snow at home too and had several more smaller falls that week. A and B got to go sledging with both of their grandfathers. On Christmas Eve they were out with my Mum and Dad in the moonlight. Dad joined the kids on the sledges, and much as they enjoyed it, I think that he may have enjoyed it more.

The photo is from Christmas Day, which was one of several cold, clear, crisp and sunny days we’ve had. (They haven’t all been like this – see Martin’s account of his walk in the area for a contrast). I got out for a short stroll with my Dad and revelled in the views – we don’t get snow cover like this too often.


In the woods….

…one effect of the day time thaw and night time freeze was…

…a hanging arch of frozen snow apparently defying gravity.

On Boxing Day my brother and his family arrived from Zurich. The day after we had a wander across the Lots and down to the Cove.

Where the low sun was lighting everything to great effect. Whilst my brother and my dad helped the kids to explore the smelly cave…

I took lots of photos. TBH…

and I were particularly struck by the intensity of the colour in the eastern sky, where the clouds were a deep blue, almost purple.

I know….the clouds look grey here, but…you’ll have to take my word for it.

You can see here that the beach is composed of a shingle of limestone rocks. Lower down, the rocks which are more regularly washed by the tide are covered by a slippery algae. This rock had a recent open wound revealing a pink interior…

…which complements the green, don’t you think?

Also down amongst the stones I found what has become almost the principal motif of this blog – a backlit leave…

…in this case an oak leave with a network of lines, stains and discolourations like a ancient treasure map.


(I realise that this is becoming, or has become, an obsession, but it’s my obsession, and I’m quite happy with it. TBH when reaching for a shorthand to describe my blog told a friend “It’s photographs of leaves and stuff and people actually read it.” )

By the time we got home (after a short detour to feed some rabbits), the sun had set but the lucky clouds were painted with the last of it’s beneficence.

Light and Shade

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