Mike Wright Photography

22nd April 2019


Welcome to this months's ramblings. The pictures will take you through spring, with its ups and downs in the weather and everything coming back to life after the harshness of the winter, although the tree in the first shot will not be coming back to life. It stands in the field in front of Maristowe House. Once upon a time it was a beautiful copper beech and I have quite a few shots of it in all its glory. Then, a few years ago, I noticed it didn't have leaves and gradually the branches disappeared until it was left in its current skeletal form. I suppose one of the storms over the next few years will bring it down completely and it will be chopped up for firewood.


So, as you might have guessed the first few shots are from Maristowe. Contrasting with the dead tree, the next one is just coming back to life and then there is a shot of couple of flowers out early.


Next is a collection of shots from the garden. I have decided to put all of them together, so there will be quite a range. First is a shot of an english bluebell. Nothing strange about that, you might say, but all the bluebells in the garden are spanish ones, so this one is a complete surprise. Hopfully it will spread and we can continue to remove the spanish ones. Then there are a couple of bee shots, and a dandelion head.


Following this is a shot of the front of the house. There had been signs up for a while that the road was going to close and we had speculated on what they were going to do and where it was going to be closed. It turned out it was right in front of our house! We woke up to the sound of pneumatic drills and when we looked out of the window, it was all going on right outside. It was electricity work – someone across the road had asked for an improvement to the way they received their supply and the company decided to do three houses at the same time, so we had this trench dug right in front of our house and a similar one in front of the three houses across the road. We had a couple of problems getting out of the house one day, but generally, they were pretty efficient and put it all back – it did get rid of the weeds that were growing out of the base of the wall.


The next shots are macro – there was a beautiful sunset sky, so I picked a dandelion head and shot it from below against the sky. Hopefully one of them will be an entry into a competition. Then more macros of plants and moss and some close-ups of tulips which had started to fade. There is a shot of a slow worm which I came across while gardening. I was pleased to see it, as I haven't seen one for a few years. I had a feeling that the hedgehogs might have been eating them.


Finally from the garden are a set of pictures of starlings enjoying the birdbath. I'm quite pleased with the garden at the moment. It's always at its best in spring, and I can just sit and look at it when the sun is shining – with the camera handy just in case something spectacular turns up.


There are no shots from Photograpy Club this month, as It was the same night as the Spurs Champions League semi final and I wanted to listen to it on the radio. And I'm so pleased I did! That amazing come back was just astonishing to listen to. And now I can't wait for June 1stand the final against Liverpool. I shall be listening on the radio again – I don't want to change a winning formula!


After the garden shots, are a set from Saltram. David and his girlfriend, Robyn, came to stay for a few days so we headed off for a day at Saltram House. The weather was beautiful, so it wasn't too crowded, as most people probably went to the beach. We had a light lunch sitting outside and then went round the house and grounds. All in all, a lovely day.


Next up was an early morning trip to the River Meavy. I had actually got up for the sunrise, but there wasn't any colour in it, so I just carried on to the river. Normally I shoot it in autumn, so having the spring colours and the new leaves made a refreshing change.


On one of our Wednesday excursions we decided to go to RHS Rosemoor which is up towards North Devon. It was a beautiful drive, with very little traffic, and as we usually do, we arrived just in time for lunch – which was very tasty and recommended if you are ever up that way. It's a bit difficult taking photographs when I'm out with Lesley, as she tends to get a bit impatient if I take too long over a shot, so they tend to be a bit snatched. However, I was quite pleased with the ones I got – again, some potential for competition entries.


After Rosemoor, it was an early trip to Maristowe. There was a low mist on the water when I arrived, so I got some nice shots of that, including some obliging swans. The rest of the shots were mainly bluebell related, with some shelducks and blossom thrown in for good measure.


Finally, on another of our Wednesday trips, we had been told that Meldon Woods, near Okehampton were a good place for bluebells, so we decided to go and have a look. As we set off, the sky darkened and the thundery rain which had been predicted began to bounce off the car. We stopped for lunch at a garden centre just off the A30 and while we were there it really hammered down. It was a prefabricated building, so the heavy rain and hail was really echoing as we ate and we were a bit dubious about whether we were going to walk or not. However, as we finished lunch and I was dragged kicking and screaming around the garden centre to look at what was there, it stopped and by the time we had reached the woods, there was no reason not to have a walk – and it was well worth it. Although the light wasn't very good and I had to use a high ISO, I was pleased with the shots. I was so inspired that a few days later I got up at about 4am to get out there and catch the first light. Needless to say, Lesley didn't come with me, so I had the time to use the tripod and work out compositions. Those shots will start next month's blog.


So, I hope you have had a good month and have enjoyed the pictures.