I am Rod Wynne-Powell, and this is my way to pass on snippets either of a technical nature, or related to what I am currently doing or hope to be doing in the near future.

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Professional photographer, Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow trainer, Consultant, digital image retoucher, author, and tech-editor for Martin Evening's many 'Photoshop for Photographers' books.

For over twenty years, Rod has had a client list of large and small companies, which reads like the ‘who’s who’ of the imaging, advertising and software industries. He has a background in Commercial/Industrial Photography, was Sales Manager for a leading London-based colour laboratory and has trained many digital photographers on a one-to-one basis, in the UK and Europe.
Still a pre-release tester for Adobe in the US, for Photoshop, he is also very much involved in the taking of a wide range of photographs, as can be seen in the galleries.

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Dancers End Walk

I learned that BBOWT – an ugly Acronym for the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust, had a Nature Reserve at Dancers End, Just off the A41, and it made great play of this being the site for the Duke of Burgundy Species, well sadly I never saw any butterfly beyond a lone Cabbage White, flitting around the lower field before even entering the Nature Reserve. I met up with a couple who have visited regularly to walk their dog for the past twelve seasons, and they have never seen one. Later still I met a man who was doing a survey and he has not seen any for several seasons either.

Had that been the only reason for visiting I would have been sorely disappointed, but I was planning to enjoy the walk and just see what was there, so my enjoyment was not curtailed, but since so much is made of this species, I do feel they should update their information.

Upon arrival at the Car Park, what struck me was the fine architecture of the Pumping Station, it was sad to see that it was faring so badly from neglect, but it is an imposing sight, and I do hope that it is restored before it crumbles into oblivion.

The walk really begins after crossing a field of knee high grass and the road to entrance. On a Summer Sunday I do advise you cross that road with cautions as the route is favoured by cyclists who rush silently down the hill in fair numbers due to the remoteness of the lanes hereabouts. When I arrived it was before eight, so very quiet, but when I left, I had to stop and pull to the edge every fifteen yards, and they were using the lane in both directions!

Anyway back to the walk. The first stretch is across an open field, but no sooner do you go through the gate it becomes a slog as it it is steep, and thoughtfully there are steps, but with three heavy cameras it drew sweat and had me puffing in the heat, there are defined paths, and within the woods the flora is very varied, with some areas full of birdsong and others unnaturally silent, and over to my left as I climbed there was a very strange bark, though what made it I never learned. It was very loud and short and definitely was not a dog. I heard it later as I returned from the central meadow, it sounded very much like a warning but I have never heard any sound exactly like it.

I have tried to capture some of the feel of the place and was surprised to find a few clumps of bluebells that were still fresh, as elsewhere they have been over for some time. I can certainly recommend a visit if you want complete serenity and enjoy solitude; it is a step back in time.

No Duke of of Burgundy butterflies, peace, tranquility, Dancers End Pumping Station, Nature Reserve, BBOWT

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