Cows featured heavily on this hike, as they do in most parts of Cheshire. The bulls in the photograph in the lower left image below took a little bit too much interest in our presence. Doing our best to be nonchalant and cool, we moved briskly on.
Amongst the mix of cattle, there are proper black and white cows.
Along the way, we were somewhat surprised to see sand quarries. It’s just something that wouldn’t have crossed our minds, but apparently the sand in Cheshire is high quality and well sought after, providing around 25% of the silica used for making windows in the UK. The conveyer belt that moves the sand from the quarry to the loading stations was miles long.
An example of what can happen to these quarries was soon apparent. At least it appears to be a managed process, and something is returned to the countryside.
Abandoned farm buildings, ploughed fields and quiet country paths.
Another pleasant and unexpected surprise were the bluebells in Colt Hovel Wood.
The one thing missing from this very enjoyable and pleasant walk was a pub in the middle of the route, but at least there was one at the end.
Oh, and the other thing missing was a wallet with money to buy some drinks with. Sigh.
Well I’ve been pretty quiet with the blog recently, and will be even quieter over the next couple of weeks as I will be back in England for some meetings. So, I’ll just post this picture which I took the last time I was in England. I was out walking with my father in the fields behind his house, taking pictures and showing him how to take HDR images – a new adventure for him (bought him Photomatix for his birthday – hope he’s making use of it!). We found this old abandoned caravan and trailer which were just begging to be photographed – so we did!
The image above is my HDR interpretation of the scene and I think it gets into the shadows (especially as you look inside the old caravan) and holds on to the highlights well (we’ll ignore the halo around the tree in the top left of the image, shall we?). Just for a bit of fun, I double processed the image through Photomatix to get this surreal look – make your own mind up which you prefer!
Really, this could be a stroll through any small English village. There will be a pub! Well, actually there will probably be several pubs. And then, appropriately, there will be a cemetery just a few, careful steps away:
I’ve just returned from England (well, it was last week!). As I was being driven from the airport to the village my family live in, I realised one of the things that I do miss of England – springtime. And one thing about springtime in particular, the yellow fields that seem to carpet the landscape at this time of year. They seem to be quite predominant in the south-east of England, in particular. The plant in question is the rapeseed and farmers cultivate it for its oil, and it’s also used to manufacture biodiesel.
I’ve always thought this to be a beautiful flower, purely because of the vibrant colour and the wonderful way they paint the landscape when they are in full bloom. Then I found out that they are a part of the cabbage family, which ruined any romantic notions I had.
These fields are just two minutes walk from where my parents live.