Mike Wright Photography

20th March 2019


This month starts off with one of those fortunate moments. I was on my way to Maristowe when I spotted the mist behind the trees at Denham Woods as I drove past. Fortunately, there was nothing coming behind, so a quick reverse let me turn into the car park. The mist was actually behind the trees, so it was a matter of trying to find compositions between or involving the trunks and branches. The mist didn't last too long, so I continued on my way to Maristowe.


Maristowe, as always, provided a lot of photo opportunities, as well as being utterly peaceful. It must be one of the quietest places in England early in the morning. A sandpiper posed for me on the edge of the quay, with the reflections behind it and then there was my favourite white willow – I have lots of pictures of it and I don't think its colour is the same in any two of them. Walking on along the path, I like the reflections in the flood water behind the embankment.


My next trip out was with Lesley for her birthday – she wanted to go and have a luck at Dartmeet, so we picked up her mum and off we went. It was pretty cloudy and quite chilly, so we left her mum in the car while we walked along the river. Following this we drove on to Widdicombe-on-the-Moor and had a cup of tea and a piece of cake at the Cafe on the Green.


Shortly after this we had to go to Birmingham for a funeral. We stayed with Lesley's sister, who lives just outside Worcester and I drove them both in for the funeral. As I wouldn't have known anyone, I decided to stay in the car, thinking I would only be there for a couple of hours. Four and a half hours later, they returned, having caught up with a lot of people from their time living in Birmingham. I think I worried the people living in the house outside which I parked, as for the last couple of hours, their curtains twitched regularly!


On the way up, we stopped at Slimbridge. We had a good walk around and a trip out to the hides looking out onto the marshes around and got a range of shots. Lunch was good – probably a lot better and cheaper than stopping on the motorway, although factoring in the entrance fee, it probably worked out more expensive.


The morning after the funeral, I got up early and went out into the fields around the village. The light was beautiful and while I didn't get to the place I wanted to reach, which looked down into the valley, I did get some pleasing tree shots. I was stopped by a rickety stile – stiles can cause me problems. On one leg I have a flexible hip, but a weak knee, and on the other leg a strong knee, but an inflexible hip and to get on to this stile I would have had to push it at an angle and I think it would have just snapped it off, so I concentrated on the hedgerows.


Next it was another trip to Maristowe during the two weeks of unseasonably warm weather at the end of February. It was nice to see the ladies paddle boarding up the estuary. I could quite fancy a go at that, but I don't think my hips would let me stand up for long enough. It must have been quite stunning going up the river that way.


Back on land, I got a couple of nice shots of a long tailed tit, some tree details and some shots of seed heads, trying to get the structures so that Lesley could use the pictures as inspiration from some textile images she had planned. Plus a nice shot of a smiling Lesley in the lane, wearing an arran jumper which my mum had knitted quite a long time ago. Something to remember her by.


Continuing the good weather, I spotted some red admirals in the tops of the laurels outside our front room window (we live in an upside down house – bedrooms downstairs, kitchen and living rooms upstairs) so it was just a matter of opening the window and using the 400mm telephoto lens to catch them fluttering around the laurel blossom.


Finally, shots from Photography Club – working on long exposures with swinging lights and an angle grinder producing spectacular displays of sparks.


So, Spring seems to have arrived. The garden is coming back to life (I can tell, because the lawn needs mowing) so lots to look forward to as the pond develops, bluebells come out and wildflowers take over from the dull browns of last year's remnants.