Showing posts from February, 2015

California, 3rd November, around Furnace Creek resort

After watching the sunrise at Zabriskie Point, we made breakfast in the car park and then went back to our campsite in Furnace Creek to check in as the office had been closed the previous evening. We also went to the large visitor centre by the garage and the Borax Museum, which is in the middle of the resort. This museum is pretty interesting and it is possible to wander round various carts and an engine, relics of the Harmony Borax Works just up the road.

The resort has lots of cabins based around a green area and a swimming pool. We were attracted  to voices and music coming from the tennis court and found a line dancing lesson in progress. The teacher tried to get us to join in, even I would have significantly lowered the average age. We declined but watched for a bit. Caught in action it does look a little like something out of 'Return of the Living Dead'! 

A trip to Fotheringhay

In February this year we decided to have a day out to see the village of Fotheringhay. This pretty village has a very interesting church St Mary's and All Saints, and a castle of which very little is left. Fotheringhay lies only 10 miles west of Peterborough.
The church is the burial site of Richard Duke of York who died at the battle of Wakefield, during the Wars of the Roses in 1460. Every year on Richard III's birthday the Richard III Society place white roses in the church. I had my new camera, the infrared converted Nikon D3200 with me and so all these pictures are infrared, some given false cloud by channel swopping in Photoshop. One is shown in both versions.

The castle is a short walk from the church, but little remains except the motte which overlooks the River Nene. It is though to have been built around 1100 and was demolished around 1635, after it had fallen into disrepair. It had been a favoured residence of the Dukes of York and Richard III was born here in 1452.…

A February trip around Lincolnshire

After we had visited Fotheringhay we stopped overnight in the van up near Rutland Water.
The next day we travelled down to Frampton Marshes to try and spot some birds at this RSPB site which is situated on the Wash, near Boston.The marshes are very, very flat and extend down to a high sea wall.
After the marshes we went into Boston and visited the large parish church of St Botolph's colloquially known as 'the Stump'.

Again I was using my camera which had been converted to infrared.We start with a couple of photos from around Rutland Water, then proceed to Frampton Marshes and end up in Boston.

California 3rd November, sunrise at Zabriskie Point

This was one of the moments of the holiday which I had really looked forward to. We had not had the opportunity to stake out Zabriskie Point before we arrived for dawn but it was not too far away from our campsite, the parking was easy when we got there and the half dozen or so photographers arriving at the same time indicated where we were to go.
Zabriskie Point is scrumptious, there is no other way of describing it. The folded chocolate and vanilla rocks curl up towards Manly Beacon and behind you is a range of pastel coloured hills. The distant mountains glow red and gradually the sun light catches the top of the beacon until it is totally illuminated. Now the display is over and the magic at least partially gone.

California 2nd November, a crater, two canyons and a mild sunset

From Scotty's Castle we drove a way along a rough dirt road to reach the Ubehebe Crater. This spectacular hole in the ground was formed when magma coming close to the surface of the earth caused steam to throw out the rock leaving a hole 500ft deep by ½ mile across.

While we were there a party with a guide scrambled up over the lip and we thought very briefly of a trot to the bottom, but it seemed a bit of a pointless exercise, and not easy. After the people had gone we were on our own. I was amazed that these places were so little visited. So it was on to fresh fields or rather another canyon, Titus Canyon which lies south of Scotty's castle on the east side of the valley. To get there we retraced our steps and could see across the vast, flat area  of the central plain to the salt flats in the distance.

Titus Canyon stretches through from Nevada and is a single track road running east to west through the Grapevine Mountains. Again the road is not surfaced but a rough track. W…

Rye Marshes with a twist

In February this year we visited Rye Meads, an RSPB reserve in Hoddesdon. Near the entrance, in the midst of some pretty depressing development, lies a very pretty medieval gatehouse, built in 1443, which used to be part of the Rye House estate. The house has long gone but the gatehouse is supposed to be one of the earliest brick buildings still existing in England.

I was feeling a little experimental so I attached a plastic Holga lens to my newly converted infrared camera. Here are some of the results. I have played with the picture of the gatehouse in photoshop and swopped the colour channels which gave me rather surprisingly pink grass!