February: A Belated Winter!

Just in case any of you do not have windows, did not leave the house or use social media in the past month, there's been some snow up and down the country! It's been quite a few years since I've seen it properly snow wherever I was living, so I was quite excited to get out with my camera and get some snowy shots whilst everyone else is out buying all the milk and bread from the supermarket! Luckily for me, the snow began just after all the kids around where I live had been shipped off to school, and any Tyre tracks soon disappeared as the snow got heavier. Perfect conditions for a quiet snow day!

As it was very windy whilst it was snowing, I didn't want to risk taking my camera out in the bad weather, so instead I huddled up on my front door step with my camera waiting for the birds to feed at the bird table! We always get many varieties of birds in our garden, and we like to make sure that they are well fed, especially in bad weather! The heavy snow combined with the speed of the birds was a challenge to ensure that the right element of my photograph was in focus, but I digressed and I'm really happy with some of the photos I managed to get before my hands were too cold to work the camera! These shots can be found under the 'Misc' gallery! After heading inside to warm up with a cup of coffee, I then went out for a walk in the snow before all the school kids came back and began playing in it! It was really tranquil seeing my local area covered in a blanket of snow with only the sounds of wildlife and a faint buzz of a nearby road filling the air. I was able to practise my macro photography in an unfamiliar weather condition, especially as frozen raindrops began to thaw! We were also greeted with a beautiful sunset that evening, which just made all the snow on the ground shine!

With the snowy weather arriving this year, it does mean that come Christmas time I will be able to make my own cards and calendars, and with any luck they will also be available via the store! This was something I wanted to do in 2017, but what little snow we had was not camera worthy! Keep an eye out for more details regarding Christmas products later in the year, and let me know if there's any photos you would love to see in the Calendar!

This month I set about making a list of places within the Lake District that I would like to visit with my camera, complete with tick box to mark off my progress. I have regularly looked up places or made a mental note of hidden gems I've spotted mentioned on social media or signs I've come across on other adventures, but I have never complied these into one place. The first list I complied was a list of around 150 tarns, lakes, reservoirs and bodies of water of a significant size/given a formal name. I have also complied a list of historical sites/ruins, places of interest and one of lower ground walks around rivers, woodland and circuits through little villages. I haven't set myself a time frame for any of my lists, but rather it is a personal record for myself when I have visited these places and also a helpful tool to use when I'm a bit stuck for where to visit next! I always try to make the most of my days out, so I'm sure I'll be visiting a variety of places at once!

When it came to compiling the list of Cumbrian mountains, fells, crags and pikes however... well I may have gotten a bit carried away! Initially I was writing down the original 214 Wainwright walks, before adding his additional 116 'outlying fells' as several of these are near my house, for example Cunswick Scar. But as what happens when you use the internet, I ended up finding multiple articles listing other fells in Cumbria, again many near my house which we had never really considered exploring! This list now totals just under 500 places, all colour co-ordinated and listed by height because apparently I don't like to make things easy for myself! I am super excited to start ticking these off, now I just have to convince my friends and family it'll be easier than it looks!

We were looking through some walking guides when we spotted a walk for Potter Tarn and Fell - a walk we have wanted to do but never got around to doing so this was the inspiration we needed! We have walked parts of this route before, but never actually ventured onto the fell, and as it was also an outlying Wainwright I was excited to tick a new place or two off my lists! The sky was clear with only a hint of cloud when we began our walk, and after one leaking Dr Marten causing us back on ourselves to as change shoes, we began our ascent through fields, farms and woodland! I managed to snag a few slow shutter speed shots without the aid of a tripod of the small waterfalls within the river running down the side of the fell. When we reached the top, both the sun and any sign of civilisation had disappeared underneath a blanket of thick fog. Knowing we were close, we persevered and continued through the fields... only to realise that we had somehow completely missed the tarn and the entrance to the fell and were stuck in a random sheep field! After walking the perimeter of the field in search for a style or the way we came into the field, the fog slowly began to lift and we realised that we were indeed by Potter Tarn! Trudging back on ourselves, we made it to the tarn and found our second geocache of the day but as we could see more bad weather heading our way we decided to leave the fell for another sunnier day!

As much as I love winter, I hope March brings some nicer weather! Take care out there!