• nature,  photographs

    bluebell April

    One of my favourite flowers is the bluebell, and in my opinion April is its month. They’re usually out early in the month, so they are latecomers this year. I was delighted to spot them in their usual location today, just before the month ended. I hunkered among them, snapping photos as soon I saw their pretty violet heads, bobbing in the brisk breeze. Wild garlic has finally erupted to cover the woodland floor, but their beautiful white star flowers aren’t out wholesale yet. A few of them have made to effort, so I caught them too. Finally, the cherry blossom! One of the great beauties of Spring is finally…

  • nature,  photographs

    freshly minted leaves

    I love the colour of freshly minted leaves after they break free from their sticky cocoons. They are soft, vunerable, and vividly green. The potential of a long summer shines in them, especially when golden evening light pours across their trembling veins. I took this shot from below, looking straight up at the leaf, suspended in all its glory. With much to watch in the undergrowth, and at eye level, in woodlands you can sometimes forget to look up, to the snatches of sky in between the looming treetops. Yesterday the wind gusted through the branches, and it sounded like the sea: waves crashed in the distance and washed up…

  • nature,  photographs

    winter's grip lessens

    It’s been a long, dark, winter, so the last couple of sunny days have been uplifting. It’s amazing how quickly the land responds when it gets a blast of sunshine. Suddenly dandelions are prowling among the grasses, and the gorse bushes in the woods have burst into glorious flower. I love the gorse flowers’ coconut scent, so strangely exotic for the blooms of a local wiry shrub. Most of the other plants and trees have not started to grow, so winter’s severity still rules. Soon, all will be stretching up and out of the darkness. Until then we have the beauty of gorse.

  • nature,  photographs

    king of the new year

    I took this picture today in the woods during a brief spell of sunshine – we’ve had hailstones, gales and rain as well. It’s actually a rusted pipe and wood, sporting a moss ruff. As I walked by on the muddy track with my dog Minnie by I saw it out of the corner of my eye and the title ‘King of the New Year’ arced across my mind. The skinny King leaned against a huge boulder, carpeted in moss, and I had to scramble a bit off the road to get a decent shot. I only had my mobile phone with me, so it’s not as nice a shot…

  • nature,  photographs

    hazelnut wings

    There are red squirrels in my local woods. Sometimes I spot one of them running for a tree, and I’m always captivated by its fluid, rolling motion. Usually my dog skids through the damp leaves, whining with desperate hope, after the squirrel. It always ends with the squirrel far up the tree, watching my earthbound (leaping) dog with its bright, black eyes. Sometimes we only see signs of the squirrel’s existence, such as the outspread wings of the frilly hazelnut casing. The nut is now part of a stash, or maybe it was eaten on the spot: part of a picnic upon the moss, when the forest was free from…

  • nature

    november woods, filtered

    I took this photograph in the woods this evening, of the lowering sun filtered through trees. Then I filtered the photo and added a frame that lent it an older look. As the image changed on my computer screen I analysed the feelings it evoked, and eventually it synched with an emotional response I wanted to express. It reminds me how we change events after we experience them: we add in more hue and contrast or bump up the warmth. Our memories are refined in the re-telling. Details are zoomed upon and unsightly ugliness cropped out. Finally, we create the perfect capsule moment. This is what we show to others.…

  • nature,  photographs

    where did the summer go?

    This is one of my favourite flower photographs of the summer, taken on a rare hot day in Galway. There must be a miniature sun secreted in the folds of that rose to account for its Hollywood glow (no spray tan required). The image cheers me up as the days take on a duller, less L.A. sheen.