Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Another day out in Cornwall – the Bodmin & Wenford Railway is a heritage steam railway that has been running since the mid-1980s.  There was just the one steam train running on the day we visited – the 4612, which was built by the GWR in 1942 and retired from active service in 1965.  After restoration in 2001, it was moved to Bodmin.

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Engine 5552 – built in 1928 and withdrawn from service in 1960.  It has been at Bodmin since 2003 and is currently undergoing a major overhaul.

 

 

Birds of Paradise

Catching up on some more photos from our recent trip to Cornwall – Paradise Park in Hayle is a wildlife sanctuary with over 1000 birds, plus a few small mammals such as red pandas and otters.
Photographing some of them was a bit challenging due to the fact that most of the birds are behind wire fencing, but here are a few that I did manage to get.

IMG_9277Ground Hornbill

Owls

IMG_9305Spreo Starling

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Golden Eagle

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Humboldt’s Penguins

Rainbow Lorikeets
Visitors are allowed into the aviary and can feed them with cups of “nectar”.

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Carribean Flamingo

 

IMG_9407My favourite photograph of the day – the flamingo tucked its head back and stayed still long enough for me to zoom in and take this.

 

 

 

Ancient Stones

Cornwall is full of ancient standing stones – monuments to a bygone time.  We visited three of these on our drive back from the Minack Theatre.

Mên-an-Tol

Mên-an-Tol is a formation of three stones, about 20 minutes walk from the road between Madron and Morvah.  They are thought to date back to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age.
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The stones are only around 4 feet high.

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But a low camera angle makes them look more impressive.

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And you need to put the camera on the ground to get the best shot!

 

Lanyon Quoit

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Lanyon Quoit is near to Mên-an-Tol but a lot closer to the road.  It was a bit crowded when we got there though as a herd of cows had taken up residence!

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What are you looking at?

 

King Doniert’s Stone

Finally, (after a visit to the Jamaica Inn!) we got to King Doniert’s Stone, near the village of St. Cleer, just as the sun was going down.

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The stone (the one on the left in the photo above) is the decorated granite base from a Celtic memorial cross dating from the 9th Century.  It is believed to have been built to commemorate Doniert – the last recorded King of Cornwall.

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The taller stone is known as “The Other Half Stone” and was also built to support a granite cross.

All photographs were taken using a Canon EOS 60D with the 18-55mm “kit” lens and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

The Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is an outdoor theatre overlooking the sea at Porthcurno in Cornwall.
It was the life’s work of Rowena Cade from the first performance of “The Tempest” in 1932 until her death in 1983 at the age of 89.  Initially assisted by her gardener, Billy Rawlings, Miss Cade was subsequently helped by Charles Angove.  The theatre is now managed by a charitable trust and puts on events from Easter to October every year.
The theatre is open to visit on days when there is no performance.

IMG_9177View of the bay from the top of the cliff, just outside the theatre.

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Looking down onto the beach.

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Once inside, this is the view down to the stage.

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Moving down further…

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…and further.

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Looking back up to where the audience will sit on the grass-covered seats.

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Seats on the other side – each showing the name and year of a past production.

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The stage, with the spectacular view of the bay behind.

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All photographs were taken using a Canon EOS 60D with the 18-55mm “kit” lens and processed using Adobe Lightroom.

Sharpenhoe Butterflies

Another Hitchin Camera Club summer meeting saw us heading off to Sharpenhoe Clappers in the Chiltern Hills to do some ‘butterfly hunting’.

I used my 100mm Macro lens and set the camera to underexpose by two stops to darken the background but then used the camera’s pop-up flash to light up the subjects.  I believe the butterflies were all Chalk Hill Blues.

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Two for the price of one.

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IMG_9034This was a bee, not a butterfly!

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Dan and Mike

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The Sun sets over the Bedfordshire countryside and it’s time to go to the pub!

 

 

Birthday Bug Hunt

How else should you spend the morning of your 60th birthday but go on a bug-hunt with members of your camera club at a local nature reserve?
Duck End Nature Reserve in Maulden is only about 15 minutes drive from where I live, but I hadn’t known it was there before.

All photographs were taken with a Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro lens, but some serious cropping was needed on some of them!

Damselfly
Damselfly
Grasshopper and Bindweed
Grasshopper and Bindweed
Ringlet
Ringlet
Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly
Fly on Blossom
Fly on Blossom
Gatekeeper
Gatekeeper
Fellow Bug-Hunters
Fellow Bug-Hunters

 

Seaside Rendezvous

As part of the Polperro Festival, Cornish Queen tribute band “The Good old Fashioned Lover Boys” played a free set in a marquee in the village square.  I had no idea what to expect but they were actually really good!

IMG_8677Tim Kellow as Freddie Mercury

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Scott Lawlor as Brian May

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Liam Bennett as Roger Taylor

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Sian Kelly as John Deacon

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Jack Callow as Spike Edney

And – always good to turn the camera on the crowd!