Well – a new year and a resolution to start a blog! Like most of my great decisions and ideas in life, it came to me as I was walking Daisy. She is our 19 month old boxer dog, a bouncing, tireless, over-exuberant and slobbery beast who ensures that we get daily exercise in the fresh air. It’s also thanks to Daisy that I have explored many local parks, walkways and nature reserves and come to really appreciate how lucky we are to have so much to offer on our doorstep.
So, back to why suddenly start blogging? Well, yet again, I headed out with Daisy on a beautiful, frosty bright morning without my camera and spent the entire walk regretting it and blaming it on the dog. I should explain that we are still training her (a very long process as we find lots of excuses not to do the homework we are given by our “dog whisperer”) and she is not yet allowed off the lead, as she tends to greet other people with excessive enthusiasm i.e. bowls them over like skittles. Owners of like-minded dogs don’t tend to mind, but those walking (or carrying…) smaller pooches of a more delicate disposition can get quite upset!! Hence, I have not quite got to grips with controlling straining, bouncing dog and carrying any of my camera gear.
But today I decided that this had to change, as our daily walks offer so many wonderful photo opportunities. Having spent the last year building the picture-it-big business, which has been predominantly portraits of children, I’ve found little opportunity to photograph anything else for my own pleasure. Today’s walk across Carey Park, along the river Weaver to the Anderton Boat Lift and back via the canal to Newman Flashes offered such a variety of scenery and points of interest. During most of the walk, the winter sun had a kind of rainbow around it – tricky to photograph but I would have liked to have tried. The dried brown grasses and teasels in the meadows along the river were topped with frost, which gradually melted as the sun reached it, to form sparkling carpets as far as the eye could see. The industrial structures of the Northwich salt mines provided a spectacular backdrop, pumping columns of steam into the sky. The low angle of the sun at this time of year results in magical lighting for a good part of the day and the canal looked particularly atmospheric, with steam rising off the melting ice and wood smoke puffing from the chimneys on the canal boats. Not to mention the wild life along the river and canal banks and in the meadows. A heron perched motionless on a rusted wreck of a barge, red flashes as robins flitted from branch to branch – just to mention a few.It’s all very well to describe all of this, but I was kicking myself for not being able to photograph it. So, from now on, it’s poo bags, flask and camera in the rucksack. Initially it will be just my Panasonic Lumix compact camera as it’s light, doesn’t matter if it gets dropped or slobbered on and gives lovely crisp and punchy images. It also has a 12X zoom which should give me the flexibility to shoot landscapes, close ups and wild life. My favourite shots will make it on to this blog, no doubt painting a far better picture than my painful, cliché ridden prose.

By Jane Burkinshaw. Share this post by clicking on one of the Share buttons on the right hand side. I’d love to hear your comments too!

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