Just a line of washing drying in the sunshine... It's the kind of photo I might take whilst on holiday abroad, but rarely in this country. 'Foreign laundry' always seems more exotic and interesting for some reason! But here I liked the bright colour contrast and the shadows in the harsh sunshine - so somebody's bedding got immortalised.
Thursday, 29 April 2021
I've always meant to take a photo of it but there are few places to stop and it's a dangerous road. It so happened that I wasn't being followed on this occasion so it was safe to pull up at the side of the road and take a quick snap.
The building is all that is left of a former RAF radio station, used as part of a navigation system that guided bombers during WWII, then later used as weather forecasting facility by Bradford University until - ironically - a lightning strike put it out of action.
Wednesday, 28 April 2021
You quite often see rag dolls in the windows of narrowboats. 'Rosie and Jim' was a children's TV series in the 1990s, about two rag dolls who lived aboard a narrowboat called the Ragdoll. They came alive when no one was looking, to explore the world that they were passing by on the canal.
Tuesday, 27 April 2021
I had unexpectedly to drive over to Hebden Bridge one day. My daughter, arriving home after school with four children (her two girls and two of their friends) discovered she was locked out of her house. I have a spare key so I was called upon to rescue them, as they'd have had a long wait until dad got home! Thankfully it was a super afternoon, warm and sunny, so they were happily playing in the park by the time I got there. With four children, it was a bit like herding cats (!) but we ate fish and chips (from the paper - yum!) before returning home along the Rochdale Canal towpath. It all turned out to be rather fun. Sometimes the unexpected delivers a little gift.
Monday, 26 April 2021
Sunday, 25 April 2021
Wycliffe Primary School, a little further down the road, also has a cherry tree. (It used to have a matching pair either side of the entrance but for some reason one was felled.) I decided a little experimenting was in order here, layering several shots of the same tree taken from slightly different viewpoints (a variation of something called the Pep Ventosa technique). You can never have too much blossom.
Saturday, 24 April 2021
Yeadon Tarn is home to a number of waterbirds, and seems a favourite place for swans. Such powerful and beautiful birds, they have a proud history. At one time they were considered a valuable commodity, traded and eaten as a delicacy on special occasions. Unmarked mute swans are still, in theory, the property of the Queen, though I don't think she exercises her right these days, except on the Thames (See HERE) where a Royal Swan Keeper is still maintained. The annual tradition of swan-upping still continues on the Thames, when young cygnets are rounded up and marked. These days it is mainly a conservation exercise, a way of checking the population and condition of the birds.
The only tradition that continues locally is feeding them! Plenty of people still give them bread but there are other foods better for them. Someone had scattered corn and peas at the edge of the Tarn.
Swans (apparently) mate for life. Out in the middle of the lake, a pair were doing a courtship routine, bobbing heads and thrashing the water, circling round each other. One of them was quite a young one, judging by its brown feathers, and they did seem a bit amateur and fumbling compared to some pairs I've watched!
Further along, a pair of mandarin ducks proved frustratingly camera-shy. I should have picked up a handful of corn and tried to tempt them nearer!
Friday, 23 April 2021
I've never been anywhere where the fishermen have such huge tents as they do at Yeadon Tarn (or Tarnfield Dam, as it seems now to be called). Park one of these by the side of the canal and it would take up the entire towpath! I suspect it is simply an excuse for getting out of the house and finding some peace and quiet, mini-camping for the day. Although with the number of visitors strolling around the Tarn's circular path, it's not actually that peaceful.
It's a pleasant walk, quieter than usual at the moment as there are no water sports and few aeroplanes coming and going from Leeds-Bradford Airport's main runway, which lies right at the end of the lake.
Thursday, 22 April 2021
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
They go to enormous lengths to add atmosphere - real geese and a sheepdog (goosedog?) as well as a horse and carriage.
But mostly it's just lots of huge vans and lots and lots of cables!
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
The pussy willow was covered in pollen and the wood anemones had opened their petals to the sun.
I was surprised to see a few bluebells too, given the cold temperatures we've been experiencing. I know these on the south-facing slope by the river always flower earlier than those in Hirst Wood. Aren't they a gorgeous colour?
Monday, 19 April 2021
A few of my camera club buddies have been experimenting with Lensbaby lenses and vintage cameras like Holgas, all of which produce quirky images with different kinds of effects. Lensbabys cost a small fortune and Holgas use film that needs developing, so my budget and technical skills rule them out. However, after seeing some wonderfully atmospheric Saltaire scenes produced by one of our members, I was inspired to try a few different processing effects on some of my own photos.
Sunday, 18 April 2021
Another monthly theme for my online camera club - 'From a low viewpoint'. I know from past experience that the local geese don't like my big camera and will quickly walk (or swim) away. But they don't seem to mind my phone, oddly. Perhaps they're more used to seeing phones. Anyway, I managed to get a couple of shots of this Greylag before s/he decided I wasn't going to provide food so I wasn't very interesting. The phone is useful for low-angled shots, as the lens is so close to the edge of the phone. You can get even lower to the ground than with a camera lens. The only problem is getting back up again!
Saturday, 17 April 2021
Friday, 16 April 2021
Ilkley's famous Cow and Calf Rocks provided the backdrop for a lovely afternoon in the sunshine with my family. It's a great place for scrambling and climbing and my grandgirls are pretty fearless these days.
I'm not sure what they were doing in this photo below... something attracted their inquisitive eyes. I love the picture because it shows how well they get on together as sisters. Their imaginations are vivid and at one point they were pretending to be wolves, prowling the moors!
It's rare I get 'big camera' photos of them these days, but they did consent to pose against the sweeping view across the valley. With this awful pandemic, I've seen very little of them this year and I feel I've missed huge chunks of their lives - they really are growing up fast. So it was great fun to spend some time with them. Two very decent young humans. I love them to bits.
Thursday, 15 April 2021
I took another walk along old tracks and bridleways around the village of Tong in south Bradford. It was one of those strange April days of bright sunshine and blue skies interspersed with sudden sharp snow showers that came as quickly as they went, blown along by a strong breeze. During the sunny bits it was lovely, the hedgerows alive with early white blossom (blackthorn? plum?), with celandines and wood anemones dotting the grass (albeit mostly with their flowers closed against the cold). Young wild garlic leaves were thrusting up too, and the pungent scent was already discernible even though there were no flowers yet.
I noticed several trees that had been coppiced: cut periodically and left to regrow from the stump (stool). They usually regrow with multiple stems, like the one above right. Coppicing was common at one time, when there was a high demand for wood for fuel, charcoal, building, fence poles, furniture and other items. It is still carried out in some woodlands, to manage them as a wildlife habitat, but many old coppices have been left to deteriorate.
Many of the tracks had a stone-paved central path, one sign of an ancient packhorse route. Another of the tracks was eroded enough in parts to be almost a holloway - a sunken lane, obviously very old and well used in the past.
Wednesday, 14 April 2021
The little fluffy clouds looked a bit like smoke signals above Salts Mill. Perhaps they were announcing its reopening, as our Covid lockdown eases slightly - non-essential shops, hairdressers (hooray!), gyms and outdoor hospitality are a few of the aspects of life that are returning. I shan't be rushing to the pub, though it will be lovely to see a bit more normality coming back.
The bright sun is a little deceptive here as the air temperature was jolly cold! Thankfully apple blossom is hardier stuff than those temperamental magnolias, and it seemed relatively undamaged by the recent frosts.