Monday, 15 September 2014

Misty Mornings

A selection of images from the last week or so.

Wynch Bridge
If you are out and about early in Upper Teesdale you can feel that summer is coming to an end.  Most mornings now have a bite to them, but this particular morning was the first for a while where I experienced really cold fingers.

River Tees and Wynch Bridge 

Great Stony Hill via Coldberry End. 
This is a grand little viewpoint set on a broad ridge which runs the length of Upper Teesdale all the way to the Cumbria border.  It is an easy hill and perfect for a pre-dawn wander.

Cairn at Coldberry End and the view towards Mickle Fell with Cow Green reservoir just visible.

View East

An easy, short walk over boggy moorland takes you onto Great Stony Hill, which in reality is just a small bump with a trig point.  The views are not bad though.

View south across the watershed.

This is a grand little hill set above Baldersdale and while I cannot find any records, I suspect the top may actually be an ancient burial site as the cairn appears to be set on top of rocks reminiscent of Cists I have seen in other places such as Bodmin Moor. 

View down Baldersdale

Surrounded by featureless moors, like its sister Goldsborough this hill feels more remote than it really is, its gritstone cap giving it a somewhat lofty and craggy appearance with extensive views eastwards down Baldersdale. In fact it is possible to see all the way to the coast at Teesside from several points on these moors.

Sadly the area has now been desecrated by two new hill tracks, one of which goes within a hundred meters of the summit.  This will probably have been created to carry shooters too lazy to walk up to the grouse killing grounds.  Not only do these tracks spoil the view, they destroy the underlying peat so why these tracks are allowed when they are only used by shooters for a few weeks a year is beyond me. 

Anyway before I head off on a total rant....  I visited the summit twice this week.  On the first occasion I was pretty much forced off the hill by midges.  Not only did they drive me crazy with their biting, they ruined all my images as well.  Cloning out hundreds of little black dots from every shot was actually more time consuming than revisiting the summit, so a few days later when it was much cooler I headed back up and enjoyed a bivy on the summit. 

 I had actually planned some star shots, but a thin veil of mist meant only the moon was visible at times. 

The sunrise was also a bit of a disappointment photography wise due to cloud in the east, but it was worth it simply for the enjoyment of being up here. 

Breakfast on the summit.

View down Baldersdale from the craggy south side of the summit.

Kirkcarrion, also known as Caryn’s Castle is an ancient pre historic burial ground and a place I have visited many times.  Set above the Lune and Tees valleys it is easy to see why it had such significance for our ancestors.

 Wonderful views despite the flat light

As I said before mist and low cloud has been a feature of early morning photography over the last couple of weeks and I thought this morning was going to be such a day, fortunately the sun broke through for a few brief minutes and I managed to grab a few shots.

Not HDR, this shot was captured the old fashioned way using 2 stacked graduated ND filters. 

Text/images copyright David Forster