West Cornwall #3

[  Photo Blog # 74  ]

Below is a further selection of the many photographs I took on my visits to South-West Cornwall and the Lizard Peninsular between 2006 and 2008.

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Beach at St.Ives

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A good day for yachting at St.Ives

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Will You Marry Me’  (No question mark!).  I trust Julie was pleased.

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Porthgwidden Beach, St.Ives

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The view from Tate St. Ives Art Gallery

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View from the Church of St Just in Roseland

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View from Trebah Gardens over to the Helford River

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View from Trebah Gardens out to the English Channel

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Another View from Trebah Gardens

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A Tree (species unknown to me) in Trelissick Gardens

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View from Trelissick Gardens towards the River Fal




Rydal Water-1991

‘Solitude’: Rydal Water, Cumbria, The Lake District, UK … Pen & Ink – WHB 1991  ©




This stillness and the beauty all around me

Bring with them peace and grace for which I yearn;

For here among the lakes and mountains resting

I sense my hopes and dreams will now return.


For now I’ve reached a time when life has bitten,

Reminding me of pleasures once enjoyed;

Since lost in cares and daily obligations

How Nature can supplant and fill the void.


Its healing powers I know and cannot question;

They bring delights I cannot bear to miss.

They sing to me of other loves and places,

And speak to me of other times than this.




Walking With Ducklings

In 2004, one of my daughters lived on a farm overlooking the Exe Valley in Devonshire, England. The ducklings which I write about below had imprinted themselves on her shortly after their incubated birth, and they would regularly follow her as she walked around the farm and on to the farm duckpond.



greet my world,

meet your world,
sometimes mild;
oft times wild –
do your best to love it.
Now let’s go for a walk
… while I talk

No, don’t duck out of my suggestion,
just follow me and I’ll show you life,
you’ll take to it
like a duck to the waters;
pretend you’re my daughters.

For you are Devon ducks,
yes, Drake Country, I know,
but every drake needs a duck,
as they say in these parts;
not your Cockney ducks
they’ve very hard hearts.

Don’t believe them when they say
“out for a duck”;
don’t take it personally;
it means Nothing –
just innocent banter,
small-scale sledging,
they know you’re a fledgling.

No, “out with the ducks”,
now that’s more like it.
So don’t be glum,
think of me as your mum,
and follow me to the pond
there’s a duck house down there,
painted duck-egg blue,
just the home for you.

You’ll like it there
even though
and I do know
when you grow up
you may lose a few eggs
shell shock they call it
all in good cause
we humans enjoy them
try not to condemn
it’s just
nous les adorons
ces sont si bon

and when at the pond
just watch out for Jethro
our farm dog you know
he’s a bit of a barker
a real nosey-parker
duck down when you see him
or go for a swim

and, talking of duck down,
better put your coats on
it’s going to get chilly
no, not chilli hot
chilly cold
so be good as gold.
now, will you be told!

Let’s pause for a selfie
no, don’t make that duck-face
pouting doesn’t suit you
the camera will shoot you

If you are good
then later
as your mater
i’ll let you loose
on the web
you’ll learn so much there
but please do beware
best avoid Mr Blumenthal
all duck and waffle
your feathers he’ll ruffle
he’d feed you too well
making you swell
for his ‘Fat Duck’ menu
I’d better not continue
… but remember …
it’s not yet December
I could get 250 pounds for you there.

that’s 500 for the both of you
so don’t annoy me
I’m not your employee

Just follow me
and remember
i’m your funny mummy
just imprint that on your
duck brains
just remember you’re mine
and we’ll get along fine.




The Double Rainbow


Photograph:  ‘Double Rainbow near Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England’  – WHB – July 2009   ©


The Double Rainbow

 When the double rainbow comes
In all its lustrous splendour,
Then will I sing of my true love,
How sweet and kind and tender.

Her beauty sings the sky’s delight,
Gently she shows her grace;
I love the light within her soul
Which permeates her face.

For me fond Nature’s miracles
Cannot describe suffice
The beauty which I find in her,
My love from Paradise.



Scotland – The Black Isle

[ Photo Blog #59 ]

 The Black Isle lies in North-East Scotland.  It is said to derive its name from the fact that, since snow hardly ever lies there in winter, the promontory looks black while the surrounding country is white.  However, contrary to its name, the Black Isle is not in fact an island.  It is a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by  water, with Cromarty Firth to the north, Beauly Firth to the south and the Moray Firth to the east.  The nearest large centre of population is Inverness.

The area has long been famous for its rich agricultural farming land.  It is also well known as a great place to enjoy wildlife – from dolphins to deer, from osprey to otters, from seals to Scots Pine. The peninsula is steeped in history, with castles, cairns and even a cathedral and three museums.  Wherever you look there are beautiful views – if you discount the many oil rigs which are often moored in the firths for servicing purposes. Ben Nevis can be seen to the west on a clear day, and a network of quiet roads and forest tracks make the area easy to explore.

CHANONRY POINT:   A famous place for spotting the Moray Forth dolphins from the shore. ( the photo of dolphins below was taken here, but it is from a postcard as my own attempt to photograph them just managed to capture a fin!).  On the opposite side of the firth from here is the historic military base of Fort George.

( Notes adapted from ‘Visit Scotland, black-isle.info, wikipedia )

My photographs are from a visit I made to the area in 2003.

Black Isle (1)

Looking north across the Firth of Cromarty

Black Isle (2)

Roadside nasturtiums

Black Isle (3)

Roadside floral display – Rosebay Willow herb (?)

Black Isle (4)

Oil rig awaiting servicing in the Cromarty Firth

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Oil rig on the Moray Firth 

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Gull on the shoreline at Chanonry Point

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Chanonry Point on the Moray Firth – the ideal spot to view dolphins

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The lighthouse at Chanonry Point

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Dolphins leaping in the Firth

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Oyster Catcher at Chanonry Point

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View southwards across the Moray Firth to Fort George

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A closer view of Fort George




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Stone commemorating the story of the ‘The Brahan Seer’  (click for the Wikipedia reference). 



Ireland – The Dingle Peninsula

 [ Photo Blog #57 ] 

Following on from the photographs of my visit to Killarney and the Mulcross Estate, today’s tour is of the Dingle Peninsular, one of the 3 promontories which jut out into the Atlantic Ocean from the south-west coast of Ireland.

Map of South West Ireland showing the Dingle Peninsula


Beach along the southern coast of the Peninsula


Further along the southern coast with a view to the outlying islands


Looking eastwards back towards Dingle


One of the Dingle Peninsula’s many small secluded beaches


The Dingle Peninsula has many dozens of standing stones such as this menhir beside the coast road.


. . .  and this menhir further along the coast


The roadside remains of a one-time occupied croft


Dingle Slea Head Crucifix – one of many such roadside shrines


Seagull on the seawall with the Blasket Islands behind


Sea thrift beside the coast road

12.Dingle-W to the Blasket Isles

Roadside wild foxgloves at the south-western end of the peninsula



Northumberland – Bamburgh

[ Photo Blog #56 ]

The coast of Northumbria on the North-East of England bordering with Scotland is atmospheric and highly impressive.  It was described by Janet Street Porter on ITV’s ‘Britain’s Best View’ as having ‘a coastline ravaged by nature and steeped in history.  There’s a story round every single corner … you’re not just looking at a view, you’re standing in the footsteps of kings, and all on one of the most dramatic coastlines nature has to offer.’ 

Bamburgh Map

I have visited many times, usually on the way to or from my tours of Scotland.  For me, one of the highlights of a visit to this part of the country is the small town of BAMBURGH. The following photographs I took there in 2003 on one of these visits when I stayed in this historic town for several days.

Bamburgh is a stunningly attractive small town within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.   In fact it is even perhaps just a village, with a population of only about  450.  It is dominated by its magnificently imposing Castle, once the seat of the former Kings of Northumbria, that can be seen for miles around.  It would be hard not to be impressed by the sheer size of the Castle and there is so much to tell about its long and amazing history.  On the seaward side of the castle and town there are impressive stretches of pure golden sandy beaches with rolling sand dunes and views across the sea to both the Holy Island of Lindisfarne and to the Farne Islands.   The town also houses a museum dedicated to its great heroine, Grace Darling.

To read the story of Grace Darling and of how her heroism caught the attention of the Victorian public, click on this link . . .   The Story Of Grace Darling


Bamburgh Castle from the North Sea shore


Looking eastwards towards the castle from the town


The defensive landward side walls of Bamburgh Castle in the evening sun


The seaward walls of Bamburgh Castle from the seashore


Looking north to the castle across the coastline dunes


The beach of the North Sea at Bamburgh


Looking eastwards across the North Sea from the sand dunes


Driftwood marker on Bamburgh beach


The Bamburgh Sandman (See my earlier blog of October 29th 2016 at: The SANDMAN   )


This elaborate cenotaph commemorates the life of the early 19th Century lifeboat heroine, Grace Darling, who is buried nearby.


Bamburgh rooftops and castle battlements outlined against the rising sun


The Castle at Sunrise 


Sunrise over the North Sea from Bamburgh




Bamburgh Castle . . . Pen and Wash – WHB:  2014   ©




[ Photo Blog #54 ]

One of the highlights of my visit to the South West of Ireland in 2003 was a tour by horse-drawn Jaunting (or jaunty) Car of Killarney’s Muckross House and gardens and of the world famous Killarney National Park and its lakes and mountains.


A still extant relic of the reign of Queen Victoria


This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park.


The jaunty car taxi rank


By Killarney’s Lakes and Fells


A pause to take in the view


The Ruins of Killegy Chapel


In the graveyard of Killegy Chapel


Wild flowers in the Graveyard overlooking the lake


Tree growing inside the roofless nave of the chapel


The roofless chapel


Close-up view of a memorial – now open to the sky.


Return to Mucross House


Scotland – 4 Lochs in the Southern Highlands

[ Photo Blog #51 ]

Mainland Scotland has 6,160 miles (9,910 km) of coastline.  Including the numerous islands, this increases to some 10,250 miles (16,500 km).  The west coast in particular is heavily indented, with long promontories separated by fjord-like sea lochs.  In addition to these, there are more than 30,000 freshwater lochs in Scotland.  I give below a selection containing a dozen of my photographs, taken in 2001, of just four of these inland lochs – Loch Earn, Loch Fyne, Loch Lawyers and Loch Voil – all in the southern reaches of the Western Highlands . . . 


Loch Earn – from Achray House


Sunrise on Lock Earn – 1


Sunrise on Loch Earn -2


Sunrise on Loch Earn – 3


Sunset on Loch Earn


Loch Fyne – towards Inverary


Loch Fyne – 2


Loch Fyne – 3


Loch Lawyers


Loch Voil 1


Loch Voil – 2


Loch Voil – 3


Structure – ‘Daily Post’ Photo Challenge


In response to the recent ‘Daily Post’ PHOTO CHALLENGE,  outlined as follows . . .

“Today, take a moment to notice the structure of everyday things around you. Note the lines, freckles, and tiny hairs on your arm, and imagine the biological blueprint that created them. See the bricks of a building, and realize that they were individually placed there by another person. Then, share with us a photo of the structure of something wonderful. We’re eager to see details through your lens.”

I submit the following two of my photographs of a scanned leaf skeleton, taken some while ago …


Leaf Skeleton – Photo WHB  ©