My 2019 Bushcraft Days Family Calendar

It is getting a bit of a tradition now of having a family calendar – I get to take all the pictures and my wife Alison creates a wonderful calendar to share with our family at Christmas – here is Alison’s selection for the 2019 Bushcraft Days calendar.

The cover picture

If you have never been to see the Callanish Stones on the Isle of Lewis I would strongly advise you to add it to your ‘Bucket List’ of places to visit – far older than Stonehenge and set on the idyllic west coast of the Isle of Lewis.

I did ‘over do’ the de-hazing of the picture in Lightroom to get the effect you see in the sky.

Cover

January

We had a few snowy days here in the South of England in January, so on a beautiful bimble round the village I came across this rather noble (and toasty) looking lady – she had plenty of hay and was well wrapped up.

January

February

Sticking with the snow theme this picture of a rather forlorn looking Daffodil was taken behind our local church – St James. This picture made it onto the weather section of Meridian TV here in the UK – first one ever for me πŸ™‚

February

March

Beautiful Thistles – not taken in Scotland but on the slopes of the Brecon Beacons in South Wales while I was on a Duke of Edinburgh’s Expedition. I used my mobile phone for this shot and was very impressed with the results.

March

April

I spent a weekend with friends hiking in the Peak District and we were presented with this beautiful temperature inversion. I took the picture from just below the summit of Mam Tor overlooking Hope Valley.

The tall structure is the cement factory however you can just make out the tower of Castleton Castle on the right of the picture.

April

May

This picture was taken in the grounds of our local National Trust (NT) property – The Vyne. I must have chased this Thistle Down seedhead for at least half an hour before I got a shot I was happy with – nearly got my feet wet but it was worth it.

May

June

I took a group of friends and their kids from my village to the Brecon Beacons and we had a great time running up and rolling down the hills (well the kids did).

This picture of my son was taken on the ‘Diving Board’ on Fan y Big – it looks more precarious than it actually is.

June

July

The July spot went to my ‘Morning Classroom’ shot (granted the picture was taken in August). I stepped out of my tipi one morning at the BCUK Bushmoot and was met with this sight of the suns rays streaming through the canopy.

The parachute was set up to hold outdoor classrooms at our bushcraft event.

July

August

I took an evening stroll with my family while on holiday on the Isle of Lewis to visit my fathers grave. The graveyard is set on the ‘Machair‘ by the coast – as my children stared out across the Atlantic I managed to capture this silhouette shot.

August

September

On a trip to the mountains of North Wales with my ‘Grumpy Chums’ from Crisis we had ‘All The Seasons’ in one day. While descending from Llyn Idwal were were met by this curtain of hail/sleet moving through the Ogwen Valley.

I used my phone for this picture as it is water proof and my DSLR is not.

September

October

Another trip down to our local NT property – The Vyne and I managed to capture this lovely shot of my family. The leaves were just turning so producing some lovely purples along the lake side.

October

November

Each year my sons school host a fireworks night to raise funds. I decided to take my tripod this year and try out some slow shutter speed photography. I got a few good shots however I was particularly impressed with this one – not bad I thought for a first attempt.

November

December

Not taken in December (in August at the Bushmoot) however I thought that this picture of a long log fire with a sprinkling of ‘Magic Dust’ was a fitting Yuletide end to my calendar.

December

I hope you all have a great 2019.

Cheers

George

 

Memorable Moments – July 18

Travelling back from Manchester tonight I decided to re-instate my ‘Memorable Moments’ posts again. It has been a fantastic summer of photography for me – so here are just a few moments from July 18.

Nottingham Nights

On a work trip to Nottingham I happened across this little scene by the side of the canal – I wonder what the story was here?

Wonder what the story was here?

Foggy, Cyril, Cleggy and Compo

Meet three of the Sea Cadet ‘Last of the Summer Wine Troup’ – Graham, John and myself. We missed our final member Dave Lewis this year on our Brecon DofE trip – Hopefully you will be with us on our Peaks trip in October Dave?

Last of the Summer Wine minus one – Dave

Woodcraft School

We attended John Rhyder’s book launch (Woodcraft – A practical celebration of the tree) at his woods. It was great to see the book being launched and catching up with old friends – the kids though had a ball investigating all John’s camp gadgets.

The Camp Stove

A Scottish view from a Welsh hill

I happened across this view on the side of a hill in the Brecon Beacons. I posted it on my Facebook account for all my Scottish friends. I did enhance the purple a little for artistic effect πŸ™‚

A Scottish view – A Wesh hill

Hanging About

My local National Trust property is ‘The Vyne‘. I do spend a bit of time there when I can with the family however on my last trip I went alone. I would never have gotten this shot of the Thistle Down seedhead if the kids had been pulling on my shirt tails.

Just Hanging

Boys and Toys

What can I say – boys and toys πŸ™‚ Finlay and myself had a ball working at our friends Phil and Philippa’s farm – there is just something I love about driving tractors.

Boys and Toys

Farewell to a Friend

HMS Belfast – home to my Sea Cadet unit – City of London. I dont get down for a visit very often as I do not live in London these days. The visit was a sad one as it was for the funeral of our old shipmate Bernie – we did though give him a good send off at the Cathedral and the wake afterwards – Bernie was a WWII vet and a member of the Coastal Forces Association.

A rare visist

Parched Times

My final moment was found at the back of our church – St James. With all the hot weather over the summer I think we only had rain once or twice in July. I saw this wind blown Sycamore leaf lying on some very parched yellow grass and had to grab a shot of it. I used Lightroom to manipulate the colours so as to try and make the raindrops stand out a bit.

One Damp Day

Now for August.

Cheers

George

 

30 Days of Wildness – Day 19 – Fathers Day Fun

For Fathers Day my mainΒ request to the family was that we did something together but outdoors for the 30 Day Challenge.

Alison suggested a barbecue at the Lime Pits nature area near Basingstoke. As soon as we arrived the kids were all over the playground equipment – I do include Alison in this πŸ™‚

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Lime Pits Park

It was great to spend time together in a place that holds so much beauty if you look closely.

I found that this is a great place for Self heal and Thistles – Lovely purples.

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Family and Nature – Fathers Day request

We had a Red Kite hovering over us for a while, lots of bees in amongst the comfrey and crickets galore. I had to struggle through some nettles to get to my prize find of the day – Large Yellow Loosestrife – a beautiful flower.

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Life in the park

Now the barbie could have been a bit of a nightmare. I had set it all up and lit it but it did not take. After a bit of a re-think plan B was to raid the first aid kit for a couple of dressings, found my lip balm (vaseline based) and added a few ash twigs.

A quick strike from the firesteel and up she went.

Then it was over to Alison for the cooking – I know barbies are supposed to be a male preserve but it was Fathers Day πŸ™‚

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Barbie time

There was plenty of time to run through the woods or roll down hills or in my case struggle through nettles to get the picture of the Loosestrife.

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All having fun

The food was cooked to perfection by Alison on the barbie and there was plenty of fruit afterwards to enjoy – I did manage a couple of beers along the way as well πŸ™‚

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Great food

Soon it was time to go home so out came the water bottles for a quick hose down to put out the barbie. The kids for some reason insisted on doing this themselves. I was left with the messy job of mixing it all together to make sure it was properly out.

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Time to cool things down

As a final note I must say thank you to Catherine and Finlay for being such great kids today and to Alison for making Fathers Day such fun.

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Thanks Alison

Cheers

George