Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Monday Evening Pheonix

By the time the Sun started to set the rain had long gone leaving a glorious evening. The Pheonix sat very still in the bay basking in golden light, a far cry from the weather it battled through just few hours before.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Changeable Weather

When I arrived at Durlston Castle this morning the clouds were low and the rain was doing its best to ruin my mood. What the rain didn't know was that today is day eight of my ten day exhibition and for the next three days I will be here chatting to people, showing off my photographs and generally acting like a proper photographer. No amount of bad weather was ever going to ruin my mood.
Looking from the cliffs there were plenty of seabirds battling the wind and rain, as you would expect, but then out of the mist came The Pheonix.
Rolling and pitching its way from Plymouth, it seemed far to small to deal with this morning's waves but still managed to reach the shelter of Swanage Bay.
Not long after this, the Sun started breaking through the clouds and the skies changed from grey to blue.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

10 Days in May

I have the pleasure to be able to exhibit my photographs at Durlston Castle, here on the beautfiul Isle of Purbeck. The ten day exhibition will feature my favourite shots of the stunning landscape and wildlife that can be found here.
Yesterday was the first day and I may be biased, but I think it looks great.
Visit if you can it would be great to see you, but if you can't here are a few shots of the castle and the exhibition.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Mum, Dad and a nipper

Walking the Purbeck cliffs is a joy whatever the weather but this morning was just about perfect, with hazy blue skies, a slight wind and just enough Sun to take the edge off of the early morning chill. There was plenty going on too, with the usual supects making a racket and either flying along the cliffs or bobbing up and down on the rolling sea. Guillemots and Razorbills had their usual morning wash and brushup at the foot of the cliffs, while Fulmars, Herring and Black-backed Gulls took to the skies. Not far away, a male Kestrel made short work of a mouse that he had caught for breakfast, managing to finish the whole thing before his partner arrived.
Further west along the cliffs a youngster, still with down on his back, sat making his presence known even though his parents didn't seem to be too interested.
Not a bad Sunday wander.

"Look round and read great nature's open book"

Sunday, 26 April 2015

The Jolly Roger

Today we had a slightly different visitor to the Bay in the shape of the Jolly Roger. we get several tall ships here during the year but this is a first as far as I'm aware. It is actually the Shtandart, a Russian ship that has been given full make up for an up and coming roll in a television Peter Pan sequel.
Regardless of all that, it is always good to see these ships in the bay, they fit in very well.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Venice Part II: Early and perfect

I have always liked the island mentality! You know, that 'make do and mend' attitude that people have when they have no easy way of getting what they want or need! Venice is like that and it takes a little getting used too! Obviously there are no roads and so everything has to be transported by boat, you know this but it is still strangely surprising to see builders mixing concrete on a boat and then wheelbarrowing it into a building! It shouldn't be when you think about it, but it is!
Understanding that Venice is a working city helps you work out the best way to get from A to B without getting stuck behind a large group of sightseers. Like any city there are the tourist magnets and then there is the rest of it, trust me when I say that 'the rest of it' is magical and really needs to be explored.
We arrived by train again for the second time time and again got here early. That's important and I can't highlight it enough, early is good!
Arriving early means that you see the city wake up. People are walking to work, children are going to school and getting about is easy.
Venice is small and easy to walk around without the need for water taxis or the vaporetto (water bus). Taxis are expensive and the vapoertto, whilst obviously convenient, means that you miss out on walking through the real city.
My next gripe relates to the 'too expensive' way of thinking. If you want a couple of coffees and a sit down in St.Mark's Square, expect to pay upwards of twenty Euros. If you walk for literally a couple of minutes to one of the smaller but prettier little piazzas you will spend about six Euros. This doesn't mean you should not have a coffee in the incredibly impressive St.Marks, it is an experience like no other, you just don't need to do it every time you want a drink.
Just remember that the locals will not be spending tourist rates for a cup of coffee so go and find where they drink and enjoy the atmosphere.
Above all though, Venice has proved to be a nicer, more impressive place than I could have imagined and it is utterly unique!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Peschiera, Sirmione and a villa with a view.

Today we headed west from Verona on a train that, from the outside at least, looked as if it had survived an avalanche! No matter though as the journey to Peschiera took just under fifteen minutes and the little town that awaits is well worth a visit. Sat neatly within fortified walls, the old town sits at the very southern tip of Lake Garda and is the perfect place to start exploring this beautiful part of northern Italy.
The harbour and its many different sized boats dominate the town and the views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance don't do it any harm at all. Don't rush to leave Peschiera, although the crystal blue waters of the lake and the terracotta roofs of distant buildings may be calling, as you might just miss out on a gem.
After a time we jumped on the bus to Sirmione, a small town some twenty minutes up the road crammed on a spit of land that juts out into the lake. I had read about this place and really wanted to visit the incredible Roman villa that lies at the very end of the peninsula. The town itself is lovely, with a 13th century castle guarding its entrance and is made up of enough shops, bars and restaurants enough to keep the visitors happy. a quick note here, try the ice cream!!
The town is busy, but most people do not seem to visit the villa to the north and don't take the beautifully scenic, twisting path. The Roman remains were quiet, peaceful and incredible all into one, showing just what money, power and expertise could achieve so many years ago.
The views from here, across the lake to Garda, are just as superb and need to be experienced.
This is another place that I need to re-visit!