Mike Wright Photography

20th September 2018


Quite a lot of macros from the garden this month. The teasel has lost all its flowers and the heads and leaves are drying out. Lesley keeps asking if she can cut it down and use the heads as a flower display somewhere round the house, but I want to get more shots of it first. There are also quite a few critters using it as shelter and the goldfinches are occasionally tempted onto it to get at the seeds, so it will stay where it is for the moment.


Lesley is now officially retired and totally dedicated to disrupting the routines which I have got used to over the last six years! She keeps making me do things like going out for a cup of tea during the afternoon, or going to a garden centre. What she hasn't managed to achieve yet, is to get me to go to the new IKEA in Exeter. I'll keep fighting, but it's probably only a matter of time.


To ease her into retirement, we went away for three days at the beginning of September, staying at Trelew Farm bed and breakfast, just outside St Buryan. If you're looking for a break, I can't recommend it highly enough. Fried breakfasts superb, extremely comfortable rooms (and only two rooms, so never overcrowded), really handy for Penzance, Mousehole and Newlyn and for West Cornwall in general.


We crammed a lot into the three days – stopping off at Portreath and Lamorna Cove on the way down and then spending the next day in St Ives – using the park and ride – the train journey in was quite short, but spectacular, and had a look around the Tate Modern, as well as mooching round the town and a pasty on the beach for lunch. Photographically, I was trying some experiments with multiple exposures, so see what you think of them. I would appreciate any comments.


The next day I was up early to catch the sun coming up behind St Michael's Mount. Unfortunately there was a bank of cloud on the eastern horizon, but there was a glow which showed for a few minutes, setting it off quite nicely – and I got a few other shots of the bay in the early morning light which I was quite pleased with.


For the rest of the day, we went down to Geevor Tin Mine, but didn't get to go down into the mine, as we had booked a seat at the Minak Theatre to watch a play. We arrived in time and on this occasion, had really fine weather. We were watching gannets diving for fish while waiting for the play to start, and the play itself was really funny. At the end of the afternoon, we went into St Just for fish and chips, which we ate on the cliffs at Botallack. We had intended to wait for the sunset, but it didn't look too promising, so after some photographs, we headed back for the farm and travelled home the following day.


The downside of this trip, was that just as I had loaded the last of the photographs onto the laptop, it died. When I got home, I called the Apple Support line, who said they don't support my computer any more as it is considered to be 'vintage' (late 2011, if you can believe that)! Anyway, she gave me some things to try and I got more ideas from a website, but nothing worked, so next day it was into the Apple Store for a new machine. Fortunately, there was a way of switching my old machine on and while it wouldn't boot up, it did act as a hard disc for the new machine, so using a cable, I managed to get everything off the old machine and onto the new machine, which meant that despite the disaster of a dead computer, I still had my photographs from Cornwall.


Other photography trips out included a walk at Maristowe, concentrating on using the 400mm telephoto as a macro, which gave backgrounds which retained some of their detail, but were out of focus enough to emphasise the main subject. I'm trying to start a new fashion of not having a totally smooth bokeh, but keeping a bit of detail in the background.


We also had a trip to Buckland Abbey to see the Cosmic Egg which they have had on display all summer. I thought it was quite impressive and took some detail shots, along with a shot which showed the whole thing sitting in the barn. After we'd seen it we went for a walk around the grounds and I got some good shots of the flowers growing in the walled garden.


I next went out onto Dartmoor. The forecast was for the drizzle to stop and the clouds to begin clearing through the morning, so I went out early and they were wrong. The drizzle continued for the whole morning and the clouds opened a gap which allowed the sun to come through, but which only lasted about two minutes before going back to cloud and drizzle. I went to get pictures of the rowan trees which grow below the summit of Leather Tor. I parked at Norsworthy Bridge, went back across the bridge and took the track on the right which leads up to Drake's Leat, and then went over that up a narrow pony trail to where the rowans grow. While they were covered in red berries, there didn't seem to be quite as many as I remembered from the least time I was there. Still, I was quite pleased with the pictures I did get.


Next we went out for a walk around the Duke's Drive at Noss Mayo with some friends. We parked in the National Trust Car Park at the top of the cliffs and then walked along the cliffs to the Yealm Estuary and then followed the path to Noss Mayo and had lunch in The Ship. After that, we walked back up the track past the tennis courts to the car park. I hadn't done a straightforward walk like that for a while, and despite sitting down for lunch part way through, my knee gave me a bit of gyp on the last section up the hill back to the car. I'm going to have to get in touch with the hospital and see about starting the process for a knee replacement.


Back to the garden for a few teasel and critter shots after that, and then it was the trip to Cornwall which I wrote about earlier.


So, I hope you have had a good month. By the time I write this again, Autumn will be well under way and it will nearly be time for the clocks to go back. Enjoy the month, and as usual any comments will be welcome, just to let me know that someone (anyone!) is actually reading this.