Obviously not a hill walk, but it was still nice to head out locally for a bit of a wander. Living here you tend to take places such as the grounds of the Bowes Museum for granted.
|The Bowes Museum and the Armillary Sphere Memorial to HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Barnard Castle|
Severe weather warnings for snow, rain and strong winds seem to have been in place for most of the winter up here and lots of trees have been blown over, or damaged in Teesdale.
|It's sad to see this old Lime has lost one of its two main trunks.|
Despite the storms the gaps between one weather front and the next allowed for some grand days on the hill.
|Falcon Clints and the River Tees from Man Gate on Cronkley Fell in Upper Teesdale.|
|We even had some blue sky days. Alan wouldn't ski any nearer the cornice so no avalanche shots I am afraid.|
Some days the severity of the weather meant a certain amount of discretion was called for and the higher hills were left for another day.
|Don't let the sunlight fool you, it was seriously cold on some days and getting photographs often resulted in the squirming pain of the hot-aches.|
As you can see it has been seriously windy at times. Photography wise it has made getting the long exposures required to photograph in darkness a bit of a challenge - it's been an enjoyable challenge though. Mind you wandering the banks of the Tees on your own in the dark is sometimes a tad spooky. Especially so when the river sounds like it is whispering and an over active imagination brings the local spirit Peg Powler to mind. She is said to entice folk to the rivers edge and then drag them into the river.
|It may be a bit spooky up here in the dark, but the sight of a meteorite streaming across the sky actually made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.|
Yesterdays band of warmer air produced a mixture of snow, thunder and lightening, as well as the usual gale force winds. I knew the river would be high from snow melt, but unfortunately the main flood pulse must have come through in the early hours and I missed it at its highest. Fortunately High Force still looked spectacular in the dark and there was even some weak moonlight at times.
|Again strong winds made getting long exposures sharp difficult, but patience eventually paid off|
So what's next? Well hopefully over the next couple of months or so, I hope to be getting a few nights out in the Lakes. I have some ideas for some shots in the north eastern lakes around Patterdale. In particular the High Street and Helvellyn ranges, along with some more work on the high Pennines, particularly Cross Fell and Mickle Fell.
Text and images copyright David Forster www.bluestoneimages.com