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.

A third-person description follows:
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.

See his broad range of training and creative services, available NOW. Take advantage of them and ensure an unfair advantage over your competitors…

View any Gallery by Clicking the relevant TEXT Headline

Thursday 30 April 2020

Marston MOOREtaine on the Map!

                    Promotion to Colonel, promoting Marston Moretaine, and single-handedly saving our NHS by walking and capturing the hearts of so many, at this testing time for all.

Here is a man who rightfully has earned our respect, and reminded us all of the sacrifice those of his generation made for the Country we live in, how in its aftermath the NHS was born, and how its Staff are now sometimes also paying the Ultimate Sacrifice in helping those in Countless NHS Hospitals across the Country suffering from this Corona Virus.

We Salute and Thank You

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Another Very Short Walk

This week was scheduled for an end to the Spring Sunshine we have enjoyed for the last fortnight, and began dull with drizzle. So it was to be a day of catching up on cleaning, but the forecast weather was not as dismal as forecast, so it dried up enough for me to consider buying some milk from the local Co-op. 
The walk up Station Road to join the queue put a better light on the day than I had anticipated since on the walk up the road I noticed that the seeds were far more advanced on the trees, and much of the blossom was fading fast, so after buying what I needed, I decided to use the opportunity to get a few images before the rains returned. On arrival at the top of Station Road I had found that the queue had only one person ahead of me, so I walked fast after I had finished offloading my purchases, get back out to return with my LUMIX camera.
During the early minutes of my shooting, a man came up and said he was a journalist who had come to learn more about the Captain Tom Moore who had recently put this village on Britain and the World’s maps by the Funds he had raised by his walk around his back garden! He was enquiring about the background, and was interested in interviewing me, after he had visited the Post Office and Bill the Manager, so I gave him one of my makeshift business cards. So far I have heard no more.
I continued my shooting walk, then returned to process them and write this narrative, aware that despite this being a single page of images, it was almost certainly the last photos I would be taking for a few days with rain and isolation hardly likely to provide interesting or attractive images.

Monday 27 April 2020

Priory Country Park, Bedford 2020

Before all the travel and other restrictions became the new norm, I had visited the Priory Country Park in Bedford, but that had been from its main entrance, and since I was trying hard to distance from my fellow humans, that was definitely not going to be where I was heading. I took a long look at the Bedford area using Google Earth, and also my Ordinance Survey Map of the area. I also decided to call my earlier fellow BRSCC Assistance Chief Pit Marshall, because he had spent some time living in Bedford, to sound him out for local knowledge. From this telephone call, I received an interesting wake-up call, Peter reminded me it was over twenty years ago, since he retired from the company for which he had been a Director; and the area, and had been living on the South Coast ever since! 
Doesn’t time fly?! Perhaps I should take a moment to realise that we ceased marshalling around the same time, and my marshalling ended at the same time as I set up ‘SOLUTIONS photographic’, but I am still in touch with other marshals from that time, and am still very much interested in motor racing. Yet my photographic interests still span the peace and solitude of small insects, birds, flowers, landscapes and skies as well as powerboats, windsurfers, 
and venues such as Goodwood, Brands Hatch and Brooklands. I find no contradiction between these two categories.
On this trip, I found a lone swan had commandeered a short stretch of the bank to perform its grooming, and noted that white downy feathers were around, so it was obviously a favoured spot. Later when the swan vacated the location three Mallard ducks came in to claim the spot at high speed! Yet they knew better than to make any attempt to share the spot whilst the Swan  was in residence!
I was also lucky with some of the butterflies, and a Magpie, and the lighting on a very closed riverside Pub. The Canoe section was acting as a nursery for algae, so I imagine that will be probably attended to before that is opened once more. I do hope that we do not have to wait too long before the freshness of the young leaves is all lost.
I suspect this trip will be the last for at least a week, because the forecast appears to be far less favourable, so will mean I have no excuse not to attending to cleaning my kitchen floor, and other household chores that have featured less over the last week! Once those have been done, I will spend some more time reading the LUMIX manual to try to set the camera up better to suit my way of working, because speedy access to certain controls is still very hit ‘n’ miss — or to be more specific — often very much ‘Miss’! It is still not fluid enough for me. And since the chance of my using my other much heavier gear is still a long way off, I need to get the hang of this little beauty, while have some time on my hands.

Sunday 26 April 2020

River Gt. Ouse Behind Riverpark Drive

I had a two-fold reason for my trip to Bedford; foodstuffs the Co-op did not stock and to investigate the sightings of kingfishers on the river from an angler I met on the last trip out, whilst he was walking with his wife.
Some items of food shopping are not found at my two local Co-op stores, and it was the Tesco and B&M Stores that stock specific items such as Fray Bentos ‘Landmines’ (so called due to an unfortunate accident that Michael Cane might have been moved to comment upon, had he seen me put one in the oven without removing the lid!) When I saw just how long the queue stretched, I decided to return to the car and dig out my camera; this sunshine was too tempting to waste standing in a queue, I can live for a while longer with the food stocks I hold! 
As I entered the waterside grassy walk I wandered by one of the park benches and noted a couple were relaxing in the shade, occasionally sharing some of their bread with the ducks. Much later having walked some distance on this side of the river taking photos, and crossed over to the far bank and eventually returning and going beyond my start point in the other direction, the couple were still there and we began to chat. During our conversation the man mentioned he had actually seen a kingfisher fly by here, which confirmed my angler’s assertion that this stretch of river was where I might be rewarded with opportunities to photograph one of my favourite birds.
On this trip the highlight was catching sight of a Mallard pair with its young chicks at the water’s edge, so I can definitely see myself journeying here much earlier in the day sometime in the not too distant future, as I also caught a fleeting sight of a squirrel in the branches, and a Holly Blue butterfly, so though brief I now had found a spot worth a second visit. I did not bother with any Supermarket visit, but returned to sort out the shots I had managed to capture, knowing that coming to this spot on the river at a later date, and much earlier in the day was likely to prove fruitful.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

A Different Destination, Still Interesting

It is often interesting to set off for a prescribed destination, and minor disappointment when that becomes not possible, but often that can still prove to be worthwhile, and that was the case in this instance, for the result was I met some interesting people. Yes, we kept our distance, but this did not prove to be a hindrance, I learned something from those I met, and we all seemed to enjoy our chance meeting, and I was allowed to take photographs up close in some of the front gardens.
The original plan was to find access to a group of lakes, but they appeared to be entirely inaccessible to the public, and so, undeterred, I move on elsewhere, and soon find subjects for my camera — the subject soon presented itself to me — as I drove away from my initial disappointment, ahead a field of Gold was revealed; the first fields of rapeseed I had so far seen this season, so I pulled the car over to a convenient spot to park. I noted that I had been to this spot before, around three or more years back, and captured an evening sky. On this trip, I had parked in the spot as before, and taken a stroll along the nearby road towards the field where I captured a few landscapes of rapeseed, before returning along the lane for shots of a distant horse, a chat with a couple who had been passing me after traversing the path through the field of rape. The man turned out to be an angler who was able to suggest a good spot to see kingfishers.
On the journey back to the car, I met two more of the residents of these cottages, allowing me to record some shots in their respective gardens, and to stop long enough to chat, whilst maintaining at a respective distance. I also crossed across a small planking bridge to get a couple of shots through the trees to an open grass area that was a right of way to distant fields. I managed a glimpse of a robin just before leaving this spot, and heading for home after a brief chat with a man mowing his large lawn between his current cottage home and his erstwhile large home, now his son’s family abode. I hope that his break to chat to me did not delay his completion of mowing, since this was no small lawn! A church bathed in sunshine later attracted my attention as that was also having its lawns mown, I was offered a chance to view the interior, but on this occasion I declined, but perhaps I will take up the offer at a later date.
I stopped once more, on a bend with a view of the large former Country House at Ampthill, that is now divided into flats that I had earlier photographed from Stewartby with my long Sigma lens a while back. The reason for this brief stop was the abundance of trees sporting mistletoe balls of varying sizes, but I took advantage of a shot of the big house as well.

Monday 20 April 2020

Two Nearby Nature Locations

A successful walk around the paths of the Forest Centre after a short spell closer to home, and all in aid of exercise, and fresh air. Once again, my handy recording tool, the LUMIX FZ10002 was brought once again into service, to keep my eye and brain active, especially since the natural world does not stand still, and this season brings freshness, and the juxtaposition of the one that preceded. Sadly, due to human behaviour, Winter seems to have passed us by in this part of the UK! And it is my contention that the lack of that cleansing period of hard frosts has had a detrimental effect on our ability to limit the transmission of the Coronavirus in England.
I wonder whether we will take note of our adverse effect upon this planet and in the future, work harder to preserve this vital ecosystem. I gather there is evidence of less pollution due to our reduced travelling, and I think there was mention that the River Thames is becoming less polluted. But, in my walks of late, I have been appalled by the surge in discarded packaging on many of the routes I have been taking, and far more disturbing, the amount of extra dog excreta along many walks (on this particular trip, there were several examples that had not been even bagged, which is totally unacceptable behaviour!) — I feel ashamed of my fellow humans, and am very concerned for our children and their families if this disrespect continues for the planet which provides our home. This behaviour has to be severely curtailed, since we are also polluting the space beyond our planet with the detritus of past Space vehicles’ spent engine stages; just because a removal procedure is somewhat fraught with difficulty, should not be an excuse to simply do nothing.
I made a serious mistake on this trip, I failed to take note of the battery charge level, and hence why the trip involved two different locations, as I had to hasten home to get another fully charged one! However, it does add to the variety. It also gave the opportunity to get shots of a very different type of bee, which I spotted on the ground close to a gate, it has a very pointy proboscis, but although I have seen one before, I know nothing about it, so will spend sometime trying to learn more about it.
Overall, it was a very satisfying time in the warm sunshine, with a pleasant breeze, and some interesting shots for me to ponder later.

Friday 17 April 2020

Forest Centre Lock-Down Cycle Ride

A more distanced cycle ride around the Forest Centre - I kept my distance from both other cyclists and from those travelling alone, or in small family groups whilst on this excursion ride around the numerous paths that wind their way around this woodland retreat. I had set out on this ride initially with a very different destination in mind, but had found that access to the local Anglers’ lakes had been curtailed, hence why I returned to the Station Road entrance to the park.
It was some three minutes’ ride before I even saw anyone at all, and so I dismounted, leant the bike carefully against a tree, and took out my camera from the front pannier. I had spotted some luscious green Horse Chestnut leaves with a cluster of candles which seemed to form a circle. I then spent several minutes capturing further examples of the burgeoning  and crinkly young leaves making the most of the warm sunshine to herald the new season. I walked around this small area for probably ten or so minutes, oblivious to any others that may have passed by, as I focussed entirely on the beauty of nature blossoming in this small area. I then put the camera in the front pannier, and cycled slowly deeper into the woods with only the minimal sounds of birdsong, and occasional clatter of pigeons flapping frantically to avoid nearby leaves as they flew from branch to branch.
Although the predominant colour was a vibrant green, the splashes of white, red and pink against the fresh green, was what caught the eye of my lens, then the occasional young insects, when I moved in closer. The first of those I managed to capture was a Ladybird, but there were others that were too fast or restless for me to capture.
I would stop at various spots where I had caught sight of a specific plant, and either lay down the bike, or find a convenient fence or tree to lean it upright, and take off the soft camera cover and scout around for likely subjects. On one such foray, I looked into the rounded scar of an erstwhile branch and was amazed by what I had found! The healed wound itself was interesting in itself, but what I spotted within was a delight — I had discovered an entire family of snails! To capture the scene did present me with a slight problem, but fortunately the camera I have been using of late, the LUMIX FZ 10002 has just the tool to come to my rescue — it has a pop-flash, and it was but a moment to decide which way to orient the camera to ensure that the interior of this small cave was illuminated by the flash without an annoying shadow — the over-exposure of the exterior of the tree trunk I would sort later when in Lightroom. The evidence of the history of the tree’s earlier wound that gave rise to the Snails’ home had a beauty and charm all its own! As I searched for other subjects close by, two family I felt groups came past, so I shared my discovery with them, as both had young children, for whom this would be fascinating. To one group I withheld the description of what to expect, the other I described what they might expect — both were happy for my sharing the discovery.
I could see the lazy turning of the Wind Turbine across the nearby lake, but from the path, it was obscured by scrappy branches, but the lure of the scene was enough for me to leave the bike partly hidden on the far side of the path whilst the camera and I made the slightly tricky descent to be clear of the trees to capture a shot of the turbine across the intervening water.
Returning to my bike, I packed up the camera again, to continue my journey of discovery.
I soon spotted a Peacock butterfly, and it was not as edgy as an earlier encounter with a recent butterfly, and I managed a couple of shots of it on the path, before spotting alongside some rusting iron gates the equally rusting evidence of four concrete, anchorages probably World War Two vintage possibly used to anchor a barrage balloon. It was not long before I returned to the point at which I had entered the Park and headed for home having enjoyed fresh air and exercise, and the chance to maintain my sanity and gain further valuable experience of this excellent camera and its foibles.

Wednesday 15 April 2020

MM-Walk in the Fields

Having spent the afternoon of the Monday Bank Holiday really close to home to capture the Spring Growth in the hedgerows and the elusive male Orange Spot Butterflies, making the most of the warm sunshine, the following Day was destined to be largely seated in front of my Mac, spending time cropping and adjusting the images into a gallery to be put up on the blog.
This ensures I cannot spend too much time in the great outdoors and disobey the mores of Social Distancing whilst under the Covid pandemic, whilst still ensuring I keep body and brain active, and exercised regularly. On this trip, the large part of my time was spent without even a single soul visible for at least eighty percent of this period. Out in the large open field, the Marston Moretaine Church does not display its characteristic separate bell tower and seems ordinary and unassuming, beyond the shielding trees.
On three distinct occasions when I caught sight of a white butterfly with orange wing tips, they were making the most of the energy supplying sunshine to spend most of their time in the air, with only fractions of a second stationary, so with almost no time to frame them, let alone consider focussing. This is the single most frustrating aspect of using a mirrorless camera – one needs some appreciable time to follow and focus on such a subject in order to expect to obtain a reasonable shot, and with almost constant sunshine, the butterfly has the advantage! On one spell when the insect was working along the banks of the stream, it alighted on a flower probably three times in a five-minute spell, and the aggregate time it was stationary over that period never amounted to a complete single second! The really galling aspect was on that occasion, I never had a chance to get it in frame, let alone get an image!
Likewise, the stream was both deep and with overhanging grasses, reeds and other foliage, making it difficult to capture the few shots I did manage, of a pair of Mallard ducks making their way along. Fortunately, I enjoy a challenge as I need to master the controls of this particular camera, because they are far less intuitive than my Canon cameras. (I am also reminded of the saying involving 'Old Dogs' and 'New Tricks') and I freely admit that I have many more difficult-to-reach 'Little Grey Cells' that lie tantalising buried within the Cortex I laughingly call my brain! – I put this down to 'Anno Domini' and the sad truth that my dominoes are easily knocked over in a cascade!
However, the fortuitous finding of this Lumix FZ1000 Mk2 does mean that I can have it with me all day without it ever becoming a burden, and the quality it can achieve is exceptional, despite having thus far not reached that Nirvana where I find it entirely intuitive (this is when I am reminded of the mathematical term asymptote, and as if to remind myself, I accept I will only ever come close, in that Infinity always keeps its distance!)
After the trip as I reached home, a lone starling atop my roof was singing its little heart out, presumably hoping for its sweetheart to respond. Aha! My little Leica-lensed Lumix, can capture you clearly from down here!

Saturday 11 April 2020

Marston Moretaine - Circular Walk

At this moment in 2020 with the National Lockdown now around a month old, I find myself disappointed that at the new season of rebirth of the countryside is passing rapidly, yet my chances of capturing such images is diminishing with ever decreasing opportunities. Yet, the lighting is ideal and I am very aware of my responsibilities to observe the rationing of my time spent outdoors. I therefore venture out at the worst, every other day, by ensuring that at least a day after such a sortie, is spent in processing images I have taken during my outdoor exercise, sat at the computer creating a gallery of pictures I have managed to take during a walk at nearby spots deliberately chosen to avoid popular spots favoured by the majority.
        Sadly, as any reader of my blog narrative, will have noted, on my last excursion, I failed, and admitting defeat, cut short that walk prematurely due to the number of people sharing the route. The next outing will have to be a better choice, because although I need the exercise of a reasonably long walk, I do wish to select a time and place not favoured by too many others.
The gallery of images I am publishing on this occasion were all taken along the main road that passes my house, and a very short walk down some of the roads that intersect it, and despite being taken over probably just a single hour, were far more colourful and interesting than those taken earlier in the week, and I am fairly sure that during the entire time I was out I saw only one other person! So, at least in this village, most people are conscientiously adhering to the rules of disengagement. I suspect that at the weekend, I may have to forego any trip out, as possibly greater numbers will fail to resist the urge to be outside in the sunshine.

Thursday 9 April 2020

Station Road – Birds and Buds

At this moment in 2020 with the National Lockdown now around a month old, I find myself disappointed that at the new season of rebirth of the countryside is passing rapidly, yet my chances of capturing such images is diminishing with ever decreasing opportunities. Yet, the lighting is ideal and I am very aware of my responsibilities to observe the rationing of my time spent outdoors. I therefore venture out at the worst, every other day, by ensuring that at least a day after such a sortie, is spent in processing images I have taken during my outdoor exercise, sat at the computer creating a gallery of pictures I have managed to take during a walk at nearby spots deliberately chosen to avoid popular spots favoured by the majority.
          Sadly, as any reader of my blog narrative, will have noted, on my last excursion, I failed, and admitting defeat, cut short that walk prematurely due to the number of people sharing the route. The next outing will have to be a better choice, because although I need the exercise of a reasonably long walk, I do wish to select a time and place not favoured by too many others.
The gallery of images I am publishing on this occasion were all taken along the main road that passes my house, and a very short walk down some of the roads that intersect it, and despite being taken over probably just a single hour, were far more colourful and interesting than those taken earlier in the week, and I am fairly sure that during the entire time I was out I saw only one other person! So, at least in this village, most people are conscientiously adhering to the rules of disengagement. I suspect that at the weekend, I may have to forego any trip out, as possibly greater numbers will fail to resist the urge to be outside in the sunshine.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

A Trip Out – Cut Short

The intention was to choose a different venue to take my walk, and to avoid others, however, I soon learned that on this occasion I was less successful. I had assumed as I was at the furthest point from the Main Entrance of the Millennium Park that it would be less frequented; I found I was entirely wrong in this assumption! I had been deceived by the total lack of cars in this short road to some industrial units, where in the past I had often observed numerous parked vehicles.
It was noticeable for the large proportion of cyclists both singly and in small groups compared to the numbers I was used to at the southern end of the outer path. I had also left it late, as from past observations, by late afternoon, many had returned home, however on this occasion I was wrong on every point.
I decided that at this time, to venture further meant I would encounter more such groups, so after taking a few shots of a lone pigeon preening itself, I decided that to return was a good idea. I went to another lake, the one at Stewartby, the Quest Pit, where I took a series of images to create a panorama, then headed for home, even though this spot was entirely bereft of people, there was little sign of any birdlife.
It was the least successful escape from the house to date, as the gallery of images only offered the chance of some preening shots of a pigeon and a handheld Panorama image of the Quest Pit Lake.

Monday 6 April 2020

Another Marston Thrift Visit

I am very aware that the isolation rules are vital for everyone's ultimate survival and safety, so I limit my trips out and specifically do not venture out every day, and often not even every other day. I am careful not to flaunt the guidelines so, on those few times that I do venture out into the countryside nearby, I carefully choose areas that are not popular with the general Public, thus the few other humans I do come across are generally those exercising their dogs. The choice is easy because I am trying to seek out those spots where humans do not disturb the wildlife!
Yesterday was the most recent day I ventured out, and I left it late in the day specifically so that most will have considered heading back; this has a secondary result it means that the day following is definitely going to be one spent sitting in front of a computer, going through the images to weed out any failures, duplicates, or even the boring. As anyone who reads the narratives that I post on my blog will be aware, I am trying hard to understand the very different handling of mirrorless digital cameras to try to bring the success rate closer to that of the Single-lens Reflex cameras I have been using to date. Even though I have devoted a not inconsiderable time with initially a Canon EOS R mirrorless camera, I am now working with a very different beast – a Lumix FZ10002 which sports a Leica lens; the difficulty stems from the firmware being very different from my Canon cameras. Why then have I changed?
The purchase came about by pure happenstance, and it has proved very fortuitous as with the current lockdown, there is no way I could lug around my normal very heavy gear that requires the use of a seriously heavy tripod, unless I happened to live right on top of one of my normal venues. This little camera sports a permanently attached long range zoom lens, is completely portable, and produces very good quality images. I hope that when this lock-down is over I can still remember how to handle my Canon equipment.
I do have to own up to the main reason I have difficulty with this recent camera, and that is down to my age – it is far more difficult for me to learn the new intricacies, and I fear I am glimpsing a different future when this pandemic is over; going back to my Canon gear is going to be equally hard!
Upon my arrival at the Car Park at the entrance to the woods, there was no other car present, yet I could hear distant voices, so those must be others who walked, so most likely they were dog-walkers. Having parked, a family group whom I had passed along the road came in and took the right hand path, so I was happy with that as I had intended using the other. It was close on twenty minutes before I saw anyone along my chosen route and I was by then in open ground, and ironically I did not have to deviate from my chosen route, all those I saw chose different paths. I only came close to one person when I was at the very edge of the Park area at the island beyond, that had a splendid Weeping Willow at its water's edge.
I was luckier on this visit to have got some better shots of the grey squirrel I had seen on an earlier visit, I also got a brief glimpse of a lone Comma butterfly, only my second of this year, and a lonely Robin singing hopefully for a mate!

Thursday 2 April 2020

A Short Walk With a Camera

  To stay healthy at any time for a man in his mid-seventies, he needs to keep both body and mind fit, and in the straitened times we now find ourselves, the key to being able to survive, if one unfortunately contracts the Covid-19 Virus is ensuring the body's health at the time.
I am fortunate in having open spaces close at hand, so I am making the most of the fine weather by taking long walks, and a camera; the former to exercise the body, the latter to keep the eyes and brain active, by taking a keen interest in all that surrounds me, and when observing others, being aware of keeping a good distance between them and myself for the safety of both parties.
Either one of us may well be hosting the virus, so maintaining this separation is both selfless and selfish, apart from being a strict discipline that has to be observed. From both personal observation and similar anecdotal evidence from others, it would seem that where say a month ago if someone was walking along either the same path as yourself or on the other side of the road, most would avoid any conversation or even glances; of late on each occasion I have been pleasantly surprised at how almost every person of either sex or any age, now will catch one's eye and offer a greeting, many times with a smile, and often a brief conversation. I wonder – am I being overly optimistic that when the peak of this crisis is behind us, we will still retain this behaviour?
On this trip I once again took along the lightweight, but very versatile Lumix FZ10002 zoom, mirrorless bodied camera, and started recording images of flowers, initially in my own garden, then the nearby flower boxes and front gardens belonging to my neighbours. I spotted a small unusual bee that on this occasion was unable to capture as it was was way too speedy! It is unusual in that unlike other bees it has a pronounced pointy nose (note the highly technical description! – Not!)
I had no fixed plan for the subjects I was intending to capture, but fresh blossom was certainly an early feature, as were Tulip heads as yet not fully open, likewise very young and fresh leaves, beginning to unfurl. Later in my walk it was other buds, a cat and a lone Ladybird, that soon disappeared beneath a leaf.
The walk lasted far longer than it will take anyone viewing the gallery, but I am trying hard to master the different behaviour of a mirrorless camera, and I am certainly not yet as effective with this, but I am certainly impressed with the quality it can achieve when I consider its cost and versatility, coupled to its portability.

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Isolation Walk in Thrift Wood

To stay healthy, and keep within the Quarantine guidelines, I have tried to take walks in the nearby open spaces, and to keep my brain active, I keep my lightweight camera, the LUMIX fz10002 handy for such occasions. Although it was fitfully sunny, the signs of Spring in the nearby woods at Marston Thrift gave me the opportunity to capture worthwhile images and be active.
I have tried to find locations that are not packed, yet give me photo opportunities, and are reasonably close, and I had not visited this area for some time. Unlike the Forest Centre which was but a walk away, this destination is just too far to reach by walking alone, so it is fortunate it has a small car park, and upon arrival there was only one other car within.
Like my visit a few days back there were very few people to be seen, and all those I came across stayed well above the minimum recommended distance, and almost all were very grateful for me keeping my distance. When visiting the local Co-op everyone would hail others who were out walking, where beyond a month back everyone passed without even recognition, let alone a greeting! I wonder whether after the epidemic this behaviour between strangers persists.
This leads me to ask another question — can dogs be carriers of Corona virus? So far, I have kept clear of the dogs as well as their owners, but perhaps that should become a prerequisite too.
This woodland is certainly coming alive with Primroses and there seem to be an abundance of small clumps throughout the woods and aside many of the paths. I also spotted a few bluebells, so perhaps these may come soon to add their colour to the mix.
The first part of my walk was beneath the canopy of trees, and on both sides of the path I was following were shallow streams flowing deep in their cuttings, but eventually I came out into what I would describe as the heathland area with small groups of comparatively recent young trees. By following some of the wide grassy stretches, I also came across paths that were more gravelly, and caught sight of two lakes, but I did not see any birds on them.
I circled the larger one, and began to return along a grassy avenue in the direction of the Car Park. It was here that I caught sight of a grey Squirrel in one of the trees to my left. Here was a chance to see how my LUMIX fz10002 fared. For most of the time at this spot, the light level was reasonable, so though the camera still found the branches upon which to focus, the depth of field was generally adequate to cover the Squirrel as well. I was also lucky that although I could hear others along parallel paths, none came along mine, so for about three minutes the Squirrel was undisturbed, allowing me to get a few shots of it without being completely obscured by intervening branches.
It soon decided that my shooting period was over and disappeared into a hole further up the main trunk. I stayed a short while longer, but soon moved on, and later spotted a Robin, but it never allowed me to get anywhere near the distance I had been to the Squirrel, so a five pixel image of a Robin was never going to cut it! The cloud cover was now increasing, so the final shots were really examples of growths on trees that caught my eye.
My trip served its purpose in providing fresh air, some sunshine, and some pleasing images of a Squirrel, and no close contact with humans, and would fill some of my time later, putting together an album of images.