After 15 months of not being able to travel much further than our own local area due to the COVID pandemic, we finally managed to venture over the border to Scotland in June to visit family and friends. This meant we were able to explore more of the North-East of Scotland’s coastline and take in some of magnificent coastal views.
This was our first trip to Bullers of Buchan (Aberdeenshire), which is about 6 miles south of Peterhead. We’d heard several reviews stating it was a perfect location for Puffin spotting, so we actually went with the mission of hopefully being able to photograph some Puffins. Sadly we did not manage to spot any to photograph. We did manage to capture a few good photos of some other seabirds, which I’m saving for another post.
As well as being a perfect location for photographing seabirds, the rugged coastline and flora are just magnificent to photograph. The cliffs are covered in various wildflowers including these Red Campions, which line the edges of the foot-trails along the cliffs. I couldn’t resist photographing the flowers as they swayed in the wind looking out to sea.
Memories of Spring…taken earlier this year while exploring a local woodland garden. These Drumstick Primula’s (Primula denticulata) caught my eye, their delicate white flowers highlighted by the Spring sunshine through the trees.
Two of my favourite seasons are Spring and Summer. Seeing nature spring back into life and burst with colour again as the weather begins to warm up after the colder Winter months always lightens my mood.
As we now slowly move in to Autumn I thought I would look back at some of the photos that I had taken earlier in the year, that I’ve not had the chance to share until now.
I’m sure that I am being stereotypically Scottish by saying that Thistles are one of my favourite flowers, but it’s true they are. These in particular are quite special as they are home grown. We have been growing Thistles in our garden for a few years now and they never fail to disappoint. Apart from being beautiful flowers to photograph they attract insects such as bees and butterflies (doing our bit for the pollinators), I’m not one to waste a photographic opportunity when these insect visitors come calling.
I love the colour of these Thistles, the radiant purple spikey flower heads that always look bright come rain or shine. As well as helping bring wildlife into our garden and giving me another source of photographic inspiration, growing these Thistles is like having a little bit of Scotland in our Yorkshire garden.
As we say goodbye to Winter and welcome back Spring I thought I would share a last glimpse of Winter for another year. Dark Frost is a set that I actually created last Winter (2019). After these photographs sat dormant in my archive it felt the right time to share them now.
I wanted to try something a little different with these shots, which resulted in a more heavily edited set than my usual work. I normally prefer to apply soft editing techniques such as tweaking histogram levels, saturation, etc. Trying to leave the captured image as natural as possible. This time though I felt the urge to be a little more creative, a little more artistic. So after playing around creating various different effects I finally came up with “Dark Frost”, which in my opinion really brings out the feeling of how cold it was when I first took these shots. I wanted to create something darker than my normal work, which I think it’s safe to say I have achieved that. Sometimes it’s good to go dark, as long as you come back to the light.
Summer is definitely my favourite season and although Autumn may be well have settled in here in the UK, I’m still hanging on to memories of summer. One memory of this summer are these beautiful Cosmos flowers, taken a couple of months ago now (September) on a visit to the cities botanical gardens.
Earlier this year we planted some Strawflowers, which I have taken various photos of during the summer. Although these are the first photos that I have shared on my website so far. These flowers have intrigued me as they are unlike most flowers that I have seen as they change appearance everyday depending on the weather. So they have provided me with endless photographic inspiration since we planted them.
Today’s rain caused their bright yellow paper-like petals to conceal their orange centres, which look amazing when the flowers are in full bloom in the sun. So far they have been very hardy plants since planting them back in the Spring. I’m hoping that they survive through Winter and continue to bloom next year. I may have to keep a look out for other varieties to add to our garden.
The COVID-19 pandemic this year has definitely made me look closer to home for photographic inspiration, and I can’t get much closer to home than our own back garden. We are slowly adding interesting flowers and plants to create our own little patch of nature to relax in. The added bonus of our own little patch of nature, apart from helping wildlife, means lots of photographic inspiration for me in the form of flowers to garden wildlife.
As we have the next two weeks off on holiday, although exploring further afield may be difficult with pandemic restrictions I’m sure I will have find at least a few opportunities to get out with my camera.