We were conned last year.
Yes, blessed with a summer that had us all purring as we moved on into autumn and not too worried about the darker bleaker nights to come, it didn't seem to matter that we could soon be battered with the winter that lay ahead. We had enjoyed fabulous days to put in the memory bank and those could be recalled and take us into autumn, smiling inside as the cold winds bit deeper and deeper.
It didn't matter what was coming, we had enough good feelings that had built up in the tank.
The winter though didn't really come out to play. Instead, it seemed to taunt us and hang around in dribs and drabs then seep into this year. April apart, it hasn't been a great one for shedding clothes and hitting the heights. It had its moments but.....
Unfortunately, I experienced those cold, biting winds in July this year and was running workshops in full winter garb. Including my trappers hat!
The pictures I posted on social media were greeted with comments such as "really?", "Its that cold out there?"
I get back to my opening statement about last year. We were conned!
What on earth were we thinking? Surely we can't have two summers on the trot to bask in?
It was a glorious year '14 but it too had its moments
I looked back over last years weather and when everyone recently was bemoaning the heavy rains and floods, I noticed that we had exactly the same weather pattern in August last year as we had this.
So, are we programmed to simply recall the good and delete the bad?
Its a British obsession the weather and whatever is chucked at us, 'we' as walkers and purveyors of everything connected with it seem to be able to cope. Just. It is an everyday hazard of enjoying the British outdoors. We can't control it so lets just roll with it.
I don't mind a bit of rain but as a spectacle wearer it becomes tiresome wiping away natures tears off my 'goggles'.
So, moaning over, we are now in early autumn and the crowds that have descended upon the lakes will begin to recede. The lanes will be easier to move along without middle of the road drivers hogging the white lines and those pleading cries of 'where is the ice cream van?' echoing by the shores of Wast Water will be gratefully banished till next summer.
Did I say I had stopped moaning?
Well before the rant is over please tell your friends that if they visit any of this islands beauty spots that they need to appreciate them and treat them as if they were their own. I can't recall seeing so much rubbish dumped.
If more and more folk are going to 'staycation' then they need to learn to appreciate what we have and I know that most of us do. These fabulous places we love to admire are not future landfills for seagulls to scavenge rubbish from.
Right the spleen has now been vented!
So, Autumn is here. The temperature has noticeably dropped and it gets a bit misty in the mornings.
I recently ventured out one evening, up onto Muncaster Fell. It is a worthwhile venture and the best approach is from Eskdale Green. I would highly recommend it. Literally a 30 minute walk up on the top and views to kill for.
First thing I noticed was the slight colour change in the heather and as the sun went down I witnessed those fantastic light 'creeps' that slowly begin to envelope the landscape and present views you simply can't buy.
When I has finished and made my way back down, I rushed back to the farm and checked out my images.
These are a couple of the screenshots from that session.
Sometimes when 'we' as landscape photographers are out and about you do question what you are doing. My reasoning was reaffirmed again that night.
I just love watching the light and capturing it.
To me that is photography.
I like this time of year because the heather is beginning to turn and the fells are wrapped in a glow that tells us the daylight will soon be shorter. Its a natural way of saying, 'get your fleece on' and I will.
We need to get out there and appreciate this first hand.
Just as the Blue Bells herald the warmer days, (well, in theory....), I see the rich browns and golds as the years final passage. Natures own theatre, letting the curtain fall slowly on another twelve months as it takes its applause.
From a photographic perspective, it provides some of the seasons most fabulous array of colours and coupled with a darker, brooding sky can be awesome. The sunsets with the dusky glow are not to be missed and a sprinkling of snow can really make them a memorable sight.
This week, I am making my way up onto the tops around the Duddon Valley and hope that I manage to capture the beginning of the autumn turn for a year long project I am working on
Then again, knowing how this topsy turvy weather can be, I might be snowed in......
For one of my trips I met up with Andy Beck, the artist and photographer. We had been chatting via social media for a long time.
He has been working for a number of years now on a project that is near to completion "The Wainwrights in Colour" and as well as catching up on his progress via that link, I will be writing several pieces on him for 'Lancashire Life' and 'Lake District Life' magazines towards the end of the year.
It is always nice to meet someone who shares your passions and interests and we, as well as his lovely dog Bailey got on famously.
The day started off gloomily but just as we made it to the top of Wallobarrow Crag, pockets of sunlight punched through the clouds and the 'Celestial Torch' did its magic for us!
I look forward to many more walks out on the fells in their company.
Anyway, go out, enjoy this season as it begins by making the most of what ever the 'big man upstairs' chucks at us and always stay safe!