Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Puddles small and large

No Shortage of water on the moors now!  The steady rain has replenished every rock pool.

And all that water is channelling downhill.  This distant view of the Gorples reveals how the larger landscape is just the micro environment on a different scale.

I never noticed before how much higher Upper Gorple is.  When you walk along the dam on lower Gorple you don't really get a sense of all that contained water above.  The two dark pimples on the dams are of course the valve towers.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Printed textures

My studio space is filling up as I experiment with different printmaking processes to best convey the feel of the watery expanses and flickering grass. The longer you spend on the tops, the more your eye becomes attuned to the nuances of the changing seasons and the effects of light.  The other day up there I got caught in a sudden, heavy shower that swept in from the south east.  I could see it coming, a misty blurriness I thought was smoke at first... by the time I'd got the camera in its raincoat and started legging it down the hill I was soaked. That kind of rain is fun if you don't get cold and its great to see some refreshment coming to our parched moors.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Black and Gold

I've been away in the wetlands of North Norfolk - a delightful contrast with our uplands, yet many subtle correspondences and similarities of colour and texture in the landscape.  The news of further fires on Calderdale's moors has been a worry and as soon as I got back I had to rush up to High Brown Knoll to check the area where the Curlews and Plovers nest.  As soon as I started up the hill there was a very strong smell of burnt moor so it was a relief to find no signs of fire nearby.  Of course I know that many other nests of Curlews, Twites, Skylarks and Golden Plovers will have been destroyed on Ovenden Moor and Blackstone Edge which is very upsetting.

I'm sure that many people think the moors are bleak and deserted places but there's a whole mysterious, secret world of life up there if you really look and listen. A pair of Golden Plovers were pottering around in the newly sprung cotton grass.  They are very beautiful and incredibly well camouflaged for this environment. This is the only (partially) successful photo I could manage with the very heavy long lens.

I think this must be Mrs Plover as the male has more black on his belly. In Norfolk I saw a grey plover on the beach, equally gorgeous but in a silver, white and black colourway. Listen to the sound of the golden plover here.