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Back in late April we made the long trip out from Oban across the Minch to South Uist. Sunburnt on the first day and whipped by the winds and squalls later in the week. Hen harriers, cuckoos, golden eagles kept us company besides the peaceful shores of Loch Aineort, below the slopes of Beinn Mhor....

 

Loch Einort South Uist 824 web a

 

781 web a

 

Evening light over Hecla, South Uist....

Hecla South Uist 773 web a

 

Springtime on the North York Moors

They say that winter isn't over until the daffodils have finished flowering, and up here in Danby in the North York Moors, the daffodils aren't even out yet. Yet Spring is here, even if winter isn't over, and I'm sure we will have plenty of weather to come. Does that make sense?

At the end of February we had a trip out to Boulby Cliffs on the Yorkshire Coast (well the Cleveland coast to be exact). It was still officially winter, but try telling that to the skylark that was singing his heart out a hundred metres up.

Then Boulby revealed its secrets once more...

Boulby Cliffs, Yorkshire Coast

alum shales, Boulby Cliffs, Yorkshire Coast

alum shales, Boulby Cliffs, Yorkshire Coast

 

Up here on the Moors, the greylag geese are now flying around in pairs, the curlew and lapwing returned about a week ago, oystercatchers are pairing up in the meadows around the River Esk, and last weekend, when it was sunny and 13 degrees Celsius, there were some adders out on the south facing hillside above the village ( I wouldn't have expected to see them until sunny days in April).

Down here in the village, the blackbirds are getting pretty fractious with each other, and the starlings are lining their nests with the crocuses from the lawn......

Earlier this week, I made a return trip to Saltwick Bay in preparation for forthcoming landscape photography workshops, and made these images in very clear and bright weather....

sandstone and iron Saltwick Bay, Yorkshire Coast

iron and shale, Saltwick Bay, Yorkshire Coast

Spring might be on hold this week as we have a high pressure system over Russia which is bringing an Easterly airflow, cooling down even more as it crosses the North Sea, which will be at its coldest round about now... perhaps only seven degrees. Still, there is the solar eclipse to look forward to on Friday 20th March.

 

Ice climbing and landscape photography on Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor

Fresh back from the photography trip to the Lake District, I turned everything around and headed up to the Scottish Highlands. The Arctic blast had created some fabulous conditions for ice climbing and many of the routes, especially on Ben Nevis, were fat with ice.

After an early start, I met with friends Mark and Rob in Penrith, then we made the long drive north. We reached the Glencoe ski area about 2pm, and feeling rather lazy, I lent my skis and boots to Mark (the ski hire had run out of skis). Whilst you may think this was very generous, you haven't seen the state of my skis.....

 

The following day, we made a dawn start from the North Face car park to approach Ben Nevis...

dawn approach to Ben Nevis 624 web

Arctic conditions in the Lake District

In early February we experienced a run of Northerly winds for about a week, and these brought snow and keen frosts to Northern Britain.

I had waited for true winter conditions to hit the Lake District for a couple of years so I hit the road early for the lonely drive over the Pennines..... I'll open with my favourite image from the two day trip ~ a distant view of Blencathra from a very cold and blustery Great Gable.....

Blencathra from Great Gable 317 web

On the previous day, I had walked the round of Grisedale Pike, Hopegill Head, Crag Hill and Sail, also known as the Coledale Horseshoe. Crag Hill particularly offers great views of all the Lake District mountains as it is reasonably high and occupies a fairly central position. I was also using this trip as a reconaissance for a future landscape photography workshop.

Alpine climbing in the Massif du Mont Blanc

In September 2014, I was lucky enough to enjoy two weeks of fabulous weather and the company of some great friends as we made a return to alpine climbing in the Massif du Mont Blanc. In recent years, I have been going to the Alps more in the winter for ski mountaineering and some easier summits, so going back to what we know best, summer alpinism, was a real treat.

The weather through June, July and August in the Alps had been very poor, so I was a little uncertain about the conditions we would encounter. As it turned out, things were great, the weather fairly stable, and most of the crowds of August having long since departed.

From our base in Argentiere in the Chamonix Valley, we essentially made three climbs (nearly...) ~ the beautiful, snowy Aiguille d'Argentiere by the Fleche Rousse, the Rochefort Arete (not quite the full traverse), and the traverse of Les Courtes......

 

The Aiguille d'Argentiere via the Fleche Rousse (the Red Arrow)

Aiguille d'Argentiere, Massif du Mont BlancEvening light over the beautiful Aiguille d'Argentiere

January snowfall

The snow that fell over the last couple of days has just frozen harder and and harder, and the temperature today hasn't risen above zero. The wind has dropped and this evening, over Danby Dale, a fabulous sky presented itself....January sunset, Danby

 

After a very cold night with a keen frost, the next morning was beautiful, with mist and then light drifting over from the southern Dales...

January mist over Danby, North York Moors

 

Quite often in winter, if we have wind from the south or south west, we get cloud spilling over from the southern Dales into Danby Dale or the Fryupdales. I still seem to miss it, usually by being in the wrong place, though I managed this recent image from the Oakley Walls more by luck than judgement.....

cloud spills into Little Fryupdale, North York Moors

 

31st January ~ we are still held in winter's grip with more snow and gales from the North. The silver birch woodland known as Danby Park is always a reliable location especially in the snow, and on the 28th January I made this image....

silver birch, Danby Park, North York Moors

 

Late September 2014 ~ we were trying to make the best of the gorgeous autumn sunshine at Sandsend on the Yorkshire Coast. Sometimes things work against you, and on this day, the tide was high, it was very bright and full of contrast with the sun still nearly overhead. I decided to look for the intimate details, although on a sandy beach they aren't always obvious. I try to be conscious of my visual awareness, always trying to improve it, and encouraging this in my workshop clients, and I guess the next two images demonsrate this point....

shoreline details, Sandsend, Yorkshire Coast

 

shoreline details # II, Sandsend, Yorkshire Coast

Back in August, although the weather was unseasonably cool during that month after the warm and dry summer prior, we had a fabulous display of heather up here on the Moors. As usual, it was patchy, and we had to be patient, but when we found a combination of perfect heather and great light, it was truly worth the wait. As usual, the wilds of Westerdale, right by the source of the River Esk, gave up their riches.....

Westerdale heather, North Yorks Moors, Peter Leeming Photography

 

Westerdale heather, North Yorks Moors

 

Deep Grove Wyke ~ a rich and little known location...

August 2014: After quite a gap between visits, we made another trip to this secret spot... OK... I gave you the name... the rest is up to you!

And what a place for photography! A day catching the warm sun, and concentrating on the intimate details in the rocks....

Deep Grove Wyke, Yorkshire Coast photography

 

Deep Grove Wyke, Yorkshire Coast photographysandstone textures, Deep Grove Wyke, Yorkshire Coast photography

In August 2014, I joined up with friends for some rock climbing and photography in Snowdonia. Our first day was a cold, blustery, grey but dry day climbing on Craig Cwm Silyn, and our second day, a cool but brighter day climbing on Tryfan.

Not the best weather for photography but here is a image made during the climb on the East Face of Tryfan, looking East over Y Braich...

landscape photography Snowdonia