Spring Into Summer..

10th June 2011
The seasons are changing again and this Spring has been one of the driest on record. Hardly a drop of rain has fallen along the South Coast for months, which is bad news for wildlife and farmers alike, but also not great for landscape photography either. Perpetual blue skies, much loved and sought after by most of us create a bland, uninteresting backdrop for shooting scenes of our beautiful countryside. It also means that the usual thick crops and meadows of wild flowers have been relatively few this year too, places i was keen to add more images to my Dorset collection from. I'm hoping for an improvement as the summer wears on.
So, what others place did i know well that could be relied upon in April for dramatic clouds and raw elemental conditions? North Wales of course!
Snowdonia in fact, so a week long trip was planned here. A land of shrouded & rugged peaks, lush woods and large open tracts of land, it was sure to provide me with an array of locations to photographically feast upon. What actually followed however, was 7 days of unending blue sky - hardly a cloud to be seen! As anyone who knows this area even slightly will know well, this is almost unheard of.
Yes, it made climbing Tryfan in the Ogwyn Valley and taking the Watkin Path up Snowdon a more comfortable experience than usual, but was there an interesting imagery to be had? Sadly no, not really. Just blue, bright skies. Every day. Even the sunrises and sunsets were bland. I got a few half decent shots from within the Snowdon Horseshoe on the last night i was there and also some snaps showing Glyder Fawr and Y Garn from the summit of Tryfan which i have added, if only to serve as an incentive to go back and get better ones. So, a returm trip is in order, probably towards Autumn.

Weather once again threw a spanner in the works when i decided to visit Skomer Island, in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. Here there are large breeding colonies of seabirds, specifically the Puffin, which has been on my list of creatures to see for some time. Despite the warm sunny weather and yet still cloudless skies, we could not land on the island due to some severly gusting northerly winds, which make embarking and disembarking from the small boat that leaves from Martins Haven a quite hazardous experience.
So, i had to content myself with a very choppy boat cruise around the Island instead, which eventually did allow me to observe the much coveted Puffins and also some Razorbills, Guillemots and others too. I came away with very limited usable shots due to the roughness of the waters though, but there were a few calm spots in the lee of the island so i managed to grab a few when i could.

So, i'm hoping for an improvement in the weather so i can plan my next trip away and continue to explore more locally. In the past week or so, low pressures have at last started to creep in once again, but is it too little too late? The eastern counties of England are now offically in drought - i just hope we get some much needed soggy respite soon...

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