Spring Peaks with the Grump Crew

This post feels like a step back in time – way back to the spring in fact. As usual life is getting in the way of keeping my blog up to date.

My Grumpy Chums from Crisis headed off up to the Peak District in early April where nature was coming alive all around us.

Spring Life

We spent most of our time around the Hope and Edale valleys – These valleys do offer some fantastic photo opportunities such as these early morning shots.

Early Morning Mist – Hope Valley and Winnats Pass

Most of our time was spent on the hills and for the first time I noticed these little bronze castings set into the paved area around the summit of Mam Tor. Depictions of everything found around the summit of Mam Tor.

Mam Tor

Everyone who was on the hills that weekend seemed to be enjoying themselves, be that mucking about with daft photos, floating amongst the clouds or just generally chilling out and taking in the scenery.

Fun in different forms – Bottom right picture by Stu Arnold

Take the rough Cavedale track above Peveril Castle in Castleton and you come to a spot made famous by William Turner. I spotted the painting below of the castle when I viisted it and tried to find the spot William Turner stood to paint it – just about got it I think.

Trying to find Mr Turners spot

The Grumpy Chums – a fine body of men who in spite of high levels of grumpiness (and camera shyness) get on in fine fashion and like nothing better than getting away from the south of England as much as possible 🙂

The Grumps – Bottom right picture by Stu Arnold

This trip was the first time I ventured down into the Blue John Cavern. There was not a great deal of the stone to see on the trip (it is still a working mine I am told) but seeing all the old equipment and the caverns really caught my interest. I particularly found the ferns growing in the caves by the lights intruiging – they only exist because the lights are on continually.

Blue John Cavern

Near the end of the trip we were joined by Alison, Catherine and Finlay and spent the day visiting Stannage Edge. Did not have any climbing equipment with us so had to settle for enjoying the views.

Family Time

Cheers for now.

George

The Bushcraft Days 2018 Calendar Shots

“dedicated to my wife Alison”

For the last few years my wife Alison has compiled a calendar from my photography to give out as presents to our close family. Alison is both a Publisher and an author and she inspires me each year to get out there and photograph life around me – so this blog post is dedicated to my wife Alison .

Looking at the pictures in the calendar they have brought back some great memories of the last year.

January 18

We spent a day visiting our friend Molly from the Field Farm Project earlier this year where I spotted Henrietta the Hen (no idea if this is her name) wandering amongst the Daffodils.

01
January 18 – Henrietta the Hen

February 18

Anther trip was to Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove (went twice in 2017). As the sea was so calm on the first trip I had to get really down low to get any sort of wave action in Lulworth Cove.

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February 18 – Lulworth Cove High Seas

March 18

I took lots of wild flower pictures this year however I decided to see what the underside of a Snowdrop looked like – I was pleasantly surprised at the green stripes and the shear number of petals.

03
March 18 – Snowdrop in the Hand

April 18

On a trip to Chesil Beach to meet my friends Fraser (Coastal Survival) and Dougie (an ex army buddy of mine) we spent time as a family building a Beach Henge. We came across one of these structures years ago on Chesil so decided to build our own.

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April 18 – Beach Henge

May 18

This year I got myself a new phone – a Samsung S7 and I decided to test out its zoom abilities. The Stitchwort flower below was probably only a centimetre in diameter so you could say I was happy with the phone.

05
May 18 – Stitchwort in Profile

June 18

Throughout the year we take time to head out into the woods as a family. This shot was in our local woods at Pamber Forest – I must admit to emphasising the blues a bit but I did like the effect this had on the trees.

06
June 18 – Family Bimbles

July 18

July found me in Ashdown Forest with the Sea Cadets. In between classes I found time to stalk a herd of wild ponies, Using my phone I managed to get this cracker of a skyline as the sun was setting.

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July 18 – Ashdown Ponies

August 18

August was holiday time and every couple of years we spend time in Brittany with our friend Rick. There are great beaches on the Breton coastline however we did find time to do a bit scrambling at Pénestin.

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August 18 – Brittany Beaches

September 18

September is a busy time for me with the Cadets and although this picture was not taken in that month it does epitomise to me the adventures we have. I was working as a Mountain Leader Safety Officer with the Royal Marines Cadets on  the Brecon Beacons earlier in the year doing a mountain night nav when I managed to snap this shot as the sun was setting. It was a long night on the mountains but everyone came off safely and had a great time.

09
September 18 – Marines on the Moor

October 18

My son Finlay is 9 years old now and had expressed interest in getting out into the hills a bit more. In October I took him along with me on a Gold DofE Expedition in the Peak District. Needless to say Finlay showed no fear of heights while exploring Kinder Scout.

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October 18 – Father and Son time

November 18

My daughter Catherine has not expressed that same wish for roaming the hills however she is extremely happy roaming the woods. I loved the colours of this winter shot in our local woods near The Vyne National Trust property.

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November 18 – Golden Girl

December is winter time and although I was wishing for snow in Southern England there was not much to be had. This shot was taken earlier in the year on the side of Pen Y Fan in the Brecon Beacons. We were there to celebrate the Dining Out Weekend for our friends Perry and Graham.

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December 18 – Brecon with the Boys

Cover Picture

This was a tough one for me but Alison decided on this shot of a Swan taking off from the River Thames. I was delivering a course at my friend John Kelly’s Sea Cadet Unit – TS Black Swan and decided to spend a half hour seeing what life was going on on the Thames – a good half hour I think.

Cover 2
Cover Picture – A Thames Evening

Thanks Alison for taking the time to putting this Calendar together – without you I know it would never happen.

Cheers

George