I honestly cannot believe that we are now in June, marking half way through 2018! The last couple of months have been super hectic, and have involved lots of travelling (and partying!) that my mind hasn't quite caught up yet, hence why this is another combined blog post for two months! The weather has just been getting better and better, which has meant I've spent a lot of time outside, and in all honesty, I'd rather be doing that than sat inside writing about it!
Again, April and May have been filled with exploring my 'classic' walks, rambles and all the rest although I have taken a different route on these walks, as well as visiting some new places! The main method in which I have done this is looking geocaches in areas, and with surprising luck, managed to navigate successfully along roads, fields, public footpaths and even under motorway bridges without getting lost or wandering too far in the opposite direction of the car/home! This year I have begun leaving my 'business cards' in geocaches which are of a suitable size, particularly as a good 95% of the time that I am geocaching, I have my camera with me so I hope people will enjoy how I've captured these magical places! These locations have included Levens Park, Sedgwick, Sizergh, Kendal, New Hutton and Gatebeck just to name a few, so keep your eyes peeled and please let me know if you spot any!
My brother lent me his Nikon 3300 last month and a macro lens, which I was waiting to use when the flowers were properly starting to bloom! I was really looking forward to experimenting with another camera - I haven't used a Nikon DLSR much, and I noticed a significant difference between my old Sony A200 and my current Canon EOS 1300D. My first mini practice with the Nikon was at a local garden centre, but there wasn't much beginning to blossom there. Then, after a conversation with one of my mum's friends, he mentioned that he had some spare lenses if I 'could find a Nikon body somewhere' - well, I wouldn't call it fate per say, but it was a pretty nice coincidence! The two lenses I got off my mums friend are a macro lens and a telephoto lens. This means that I can now comfortably go out with either the Nikon or the Canon, and not miss out on any shots! The macro lens is fantastic and really fun to use, I soon got the hang of it and had fun out in the garden photographing the bluebells and the 'bleeding hearts' flowers - the first flowers in our garden to enjoy the sunshine.
One of the new walks I went on at the end of April did not quite go as planned, but was a lovely day out none of the less, and we discovered some new places along the way! There is a Jenkins Crag in Ambleside, but we had heard that there was a Jenkin Crag near Benson Knott just outside of Kendal - Jenkin is the surname of my grandparents and my mother's maiden name, so this would be a good walk to do with some of the family, with a perfect photo opportunity at the top! There are plenty of streets on the near by estate in Kendal with the Jenkin, and a google search had given results for the walk before so we were sure we would find it! However, a google search that morning only showed the Ambleside location, but we went on the walk regardless, as we knew a footpath leading towards Benson Knott which took us through farmland, country lanes and fields of long grass. The views over Kendal and the Lake District fells were fantastic, and the last of the April sun was shining bright above us. When we reached the end of our known route, we could not see any paths towards Benson Knott, but we could see a trail of geocaches in the woodland beside us which surrounded a reservoir so we wandered down there for an explore! The water is called Birds Park Reservoir, and whilst we were down there we didn't see a single soul! The water was extremely still, apart from the occasional fish bobbing out of the water or two ducks that swam down to see if we were offering them food - which we weren't! There are many little paths around the water which I would love to go back and explore, and I think when we attempt to find Jenkin Crag/Hill and to tick off Benson Knott, we will definitely come back to here for a picnic or brew stop!
After visiting Birds Park Reservoir, we headed down the hill back towards the town as opposed to trailing up higher into the hills due to the diminishing sunlight and a memory of getting lost as it got dark once still fresh in our minds all these years later. There were a few geocaches along this route, so we followed the designated footpath shown on the app, which was mainly through fields which was really sweet! We knew at some point we would have to cross the railway, most likely under it - we did not, however, know that the walking tunnel on this route was one which required limbo skills - the tunnel was so small that even a large dog would struggle to bound freely underneath it, and despite the comments about my height (or rather, lack of) I still had to bend over double to pass through. The rest of the walk was as to be expected, passing over normal styles and via normal gates, the path led us to the road where we had parked our car, and past a few geocaches which we managed to tick off. Noticing a geocache located by a body of water close to where we had parked, we decided to continue our adventure at Fishers Tarn. We didn't stay long at the tarn, but we did find a geocache and walked across the main walkway which gives you a beautiful view of the water with Benson Knott resting in the background. We will definitely be back to walk around the whole thing, perhaps when we walk Benson Knott!
Outside of the photography world, I've been doing quite a bit of travelling the last months up and down the country. Two of my university friends got married in May, so we had the hen-do in April, and the wedding was in May. I didn't see much of the area at the wedding, but after the hen-do we all went for a little stroll along the Lancaster Canal and along the River Lune. I also traveled up to Edinburgh and Dunfermline for two birthdays, and again I didn't see much of the area but the drive/train journeys up to Scotland are always beautiful and if you travel later in the day and have a window seat, you have so many opportunities to witness the sunset at each stage of the sky.
If the temperatures continue to rise, expect to see lots of photographs featuring the shade! I am truly pathetic when it comes to the heat, and even factor 50 suncream doesn't always cut it!