Today’s photo is once again from the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. The loco you see here has just hauled a train from Duffield to Wirksworth; not only does she need to be replenished with coal, but also with water, which is happening here. Standing still, the boiler pressure climbs quickly, even with the firebox draught cut back, so here, a spectacular blow-off of steam was imminent!It's kind to share!
I met these delightfully graceful animals recently, while taking a short walk through Wollaton Park, Nottingham. They roam wild here, as they have done for over 400 years. They can run as a pack, while hardly making a sound!It's kind to share!
Black and white photography is often referred to as monochrome or in other words, one colour. However, monochrome doesn’t have to be black and white; it can be any single colour of your choice. In nature, one obvious choice is green. Here, I have used a wide lens opening (aperture) to give a shallow depth of field, so that the dock plant stands out in sharp focus against a blurred background.It's kind to share!
Sometimes, just sometimes… it’s worth getting up early. Because, if there’s anything I find more fascinating than flowers, it’s the combination of flowers, sunlight, and raindrops. Early yesterday morning, this trio came together.
Water is fascinating. Not only essential for life, but able to contribute beauty to so many other things. Frost patterns on leaves in winter, raindrops on flowers like this antirrhinum, clouds in England’s ever-changing skies… and so many more.
These irises have only just come into flower in the last day or two. I love them not only for their vivid purple colour, but for their amazing array of shapes and markings. I noticed that they have little, if any, scent, yet bees find their way quickly and unerringly to the centre of each bloom. Do they navigate by those markings, I wonder?It's kind to share!
I love the challenge of portraying textures in a photo – it isn’t always easy! Here, yesterday, I spotted these beech leaves. This hedge is made more interesting by the presence of one copper beech among all the other ordinary ones, which only augments the contrast between the glossy flat upper surfaces, and the fluffy, hairy edges of the youngest leaves. Nature is fascinating.It's kind to share!
This year, the Ecclesbourne Valley Rallway is 150 years old. I thought this scene was somehow poignant and symbolic, because sleeper changing has to go on all the time. It made me think about those platelayers of the 19th century, who worked so skillfully (for derisory wages) to literally lay the foundations of a railway. Those iron mountings for the rails, known as chairs, would have been cast at a foundry somewhere not too far away. How many working iron foundries have we got left in Britain, now? Not that I would wish the return of the ‘Bedlam’ furnaces…
Amazing, how the random sight of a stack of worn-out railway sleepers evokes personal debate of the socio-economic history of England, eh? But history, too, is an ever-advancing thing; time moves from the future to history, a second at a time.
Lithospermum is a plant related to borage, that grows in many parts of the world, and makes a lovely garden flower in Britain. This clump seemed to cheer up a dull day – and blue is rather a favourite colour of mine.
If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you’ll see the detail in the blooms (they’re actually about 15mm across.)
Yesterday evening, the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway ran a special service – a steam-hauled trip from Wirksworth to Duffield and back, with a jazz trio on board, and the newly-restored bar coach fully operational! Here, the Henry Ellison prepares to pull the train back to Wirksworth. I always find there’s something rather charismatic about trains at dusk, especially when there’s a steam loco involved!It's kind to share!
And so, to bluebell time; I didn’t have to look very far today, for a sight like this, in a country lane. What I love, though, is the opportunity to appreciate flowers in the wild, all mixed up, so to speak, the apparent randomness giving an extra beauty. That’s not to say that I don’t like formal gardens sometimes, but rather that the contrast is refreshing!It's kind to share!