Saturday, 23 May 2015


A few photographs from last weekend when we spent a couple of hours at the south coast before visiting family. The weather was changeable, our walk somewhat blustery and then the sun shone and all was calm and bright.

Next week I will be seeing very different coastline at the opposite end of the country. We are off to Shetland for a week. This will be my sixth visit to these very special islands and I am looking forward to revisiting some of my favourite places.

I meant to post this last week but in the excitement of holiday preparations it stayed in the draft folder! I'm back from Shetland now after a week of no television, no internet, many many photographs taken and lots of walking and sight seeing. I will post photos soon.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

in the woods today

I walked in the woods this afternoon after work. So lucky to have all this just five minutes walk from home.

Friday, 15 May 2015

mid May

A few photographs to capture the middle of May. The countryside is coloured so many shades of green. The wheat and barley fields are solid mass of mid green, almost tinged with blue contrasting with the acid green of the young leaves on the oak trees. In the woods the bright yet pale green of the silver birch and the beech stand out against the dark pine trees.

Sprinkled in amongst the green, splashes of white,

horse chestnut,


even a couple of white bluebells amongst the fading blue

and of course May wouldn't be complete without frothy masses of cow parsley taking over the verges.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

yellow fields, oilseed rape and dandelions

A few photographs of the oilseed rape fields in full bloom. In the sunlight these look stunning, bright swathes of yellow in the landscape.

Oilseed rape has been grown for thousands of years originally for lamp oil and then later as a lubricant for steam engines. In the original varieties the oil produced from the seeds contained the toxins erucic acid and glucosinolates in large quantites, giving it a bitter flavour and making it unsuitable for human consumption or animal feed. It is only recently that plant breeders have developed new varieties with much reduced levels of these toxins that it has been suitable for human consumption and more widely grown.

Rapeseed oil has been popular in the US and Canada for many years but only more recently in the UK. It has now become fashionable and apparently some top chefs are using high end cold pressed rapeseed oil. It has a higher smoke point than many other cooking oils so is better for frying and roasting.

In the UK it is only in the last 20-30 years that oilseed rape has been widely grown.

When I was little the yellow fields of spring and early summer were due to dandelions or buttercups. The dandelions are going over now and the buttercups have yet to come but here are a few photographs of fields yellow with dandelions taken a week or so ago.

Although dandelion flowers can be found over several months it is only two weeks in late April that the verges and fields are covered with hundreds of them.

This is how I remember the yellow fields of spring, the bright yellow against the fresh green of the new grass - less striking but prettier I think.