To the Tarn

A wee while ago I saw something in the Cumberland News about Red Squirrels at Talkin Tarn and as my quest to photograph these cute animals is, as yet, unfulfilled off I went to check out Talkin Tarn.

It's a flat area of water near Brampton in Cumbria, managed by Carlisle City Council, they seem to come in for a lot of criticism over the management plans but I have to say I think they've done a grand job.

I found the Squirrel feeding area, alas there was no food and therefore no squirrels.

It was a day of squally showers but I had my waterproof and it's a nice flat 1.3 mile walk around the Tarn so off I went.

Very few water birds, guess it's a bit early for the wintering birds.

Some fungi in the woods but it's a popular area with children who seem to enjoy kicking off the caps of the toadstools, I could be an old grump about it but I bet a time machine going back to my younger days would find me doing exactly the same thing.

Fabulous cloudscapes, because the area is so flat I find it hard to photograph but it works okay when the water is calm and you get nice reflections, alas it was either choppy with the wind or with the rain falling on the surface.

So enough already, here are some photographs of Talkin Tarn.

The old Boat House, now an art gallery with changing exhibitions, in a few weeks time the trees will be full of Autumn colour.

I was standing talking to some dog walkers when I noticed the light hitting the tea room, there hadn't been a lot of nice storm light so I made my excuses and took the shot.

A moment of relative calm, the small boathouse pictured here is now a bird hide.

Fly Agaric on a fairly steep bit of the Beech Wood so I guess it was out of reach of small boys feet

The next two photographs are of birds in my Gilsland Garden, I'm trying to keep a photographic record of the visitors to the seed feeders, some are easier to photograph than others!

Juvenile Goldfinch

Female Sparrowhawk, I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was to get this photograph!

More rain forecast, where oh where are those glorious September days of old with bright clear crisp days?

as always all photographs in this blog are cpyright of Joan Thirlaway and cannot be used without written permission, thankyou for viewing.


Missing delivery

The forecast was for a cold morning with high possibility of frost and mists.
Mists are my Holy Grail so of course I was out early on Thursday morning rubbing my hands in anticipation.
There was frost on the car windscreen, and a few wisps of mist driving along the Military Road, but as I climbed up to Hotbank Crag and the vista opened out below me I realised that mist wasn't going to be a feature of this particular morning.
Obviously, the delivery of mist to Hadrian's Wall, had gone astray.
Lots of colour in the early sky, I'd had a very early start, I'd dropped TT off at work for 4.30 so I had plenty of time to stop and stare on my way uphill, and to get my breath back it was one of those mornings when I puffed and panted every step of the way.
And it was perishing cold up on the Hadrian's Wall Path, a reminder that Autumn has started and I was glad to have my hat and gloves, also glad no-one was around the see me in  my hat!

So here are the photographs.

Waiting for the sun to rise on the Hadrian's Wall Path at Hotbank Crag

Follow the line of Hadrian's Wall as it heads down Hotbank Crag, passes Housesteads Crag and swings left to climb Sewingshields Crag

Early morning light turns the water of Broomlee Lough into liquid gold

Just minutes later and the colours have changed as more light fills the sky, how quickly things change.

The sun breaks through the low cloud and just catches the stones of Hadrian's Wall

On the way down and one last glance back across Rapishaw Gap to Housesteads Crag
in the early morning light.

This morning the grey clouds are back, I was hoping for better from September, still it's early days and no matter what the weather there's always something to see on the Hadrian's Wall Path. Yesterday morning I was entertained by flocks of Pippits dancing along the Wall stones.
As I passed Cawfields Quarry I saw the missing mist delivery but hadn't time to go and check it out.
Have a good weekend.

as always the photographs are copyright of Joan Thirlaway and can't be used without written permission


Been a while

Weather has been awful and I've been suffering from Vertigo - okay that's my excuses for not blogging out of the way.
Gale force winds today interspersed with torrential rain so not terribly promising for photography.
But, the clouds were moving quickly so I had the idea of doing a long exposure at Sycamore Gap, trying to get the tree sharp with movement in the clouds.
I thought that if I could get a gap in the rain I might get some shots so I headed off to Steel Rigg.

Light on the land at Steel Rigg

View over Peel Crags towards Hotbank Farm

For a change I went straight up the steps at Peel Crags, probably my least favourite climb up, at one point the steps are about 10" wide, not good if you have big feet like me!
On top you could really feel the force of the wind, I'd read there would be gusts of 40mph and I could believe it.
I was blown over twice as I went up and down steps on the various parts, no coincidence that the steps are in the gaps and the wind was swirling around there.

I was suprised at just how many people were walking the Hadrian's Wall Path, those walking east to west were walking directly into the wind, many of them had waterproof covers over their rucksacs and these were acting like mini parachutes. Hard to walk in the wind never mind having a drag factor as well.

Hadrian's Wall on Peel Crags

Walkers on Highshields Crag

From Castle Gap west to Winshields Crag

Sycamore Gap

So eventually I arrived at Sycamore Gap, I tried the long exposure but the wind was shaking the tripod and the filter holder on the camera lens too much.
I stood for a while waiting for light to hit the gap, I wanted the dark storm clouds behind if possible. I also hoped for a rainbow, but then I hope to win the lottery every week and I don't get that either :)
Had lots of blue sky and fluffy white cloud shots but eventually my patience was rewarded, with the light lasting for about 10 seconds, just long enough to take a photograph.

As I stood there with my tripod several people sidled up to me with their cameras, obviously believing I know where the best viewpoint was - a tripod doesn't mean I know what I'm doing much of the time.
Walked back on the lower path, foolishly thinking I'd get some shelter from the wind, on a wide open plain the wind came right at me, so fierce that the bags under my eyes were flapping. I kid you not.

I'll end with a plea to please put the catches on the gates, doesn't matter if they were off when you went through, Hadrian's Wall crosses farm land and animals pass through open gates. Thankyou