Ashclyst Forest – Spring

Easter weekend is upon us, so attempting to find somewhere not too busy to go with the camera was not going to be easy.

How easy it is to overlook the many places virtually on the doorstep… enter Ashclyst forest.
Not far from Killerton house and gardens, Ashclyst is part of the national trust, so a well maintained area with several different trails of varying distance.

Finding a place to park just away from the main car park area, we had our chosen path to ourselves for a good half hour, even then, it was brief encounters with dog walkers.

An overcast morning, there was not much sunlight coming through the trees, also a little too early in the year for the abundance of butterflies that may be seen in the warmer months.

So with my favourite 50mm vintage lens and my trusty Nikkor 105mm F2.8 Macro, it was time to explore this quiet little haven, with just the sound of birdsong and the gentle breeze whispering through the trees….

 

Woodland exploration always fills me with wonder, the cycle of nature demonstrated so clearly with some branches festooned with last winter’s foliage hanging by gossamer threads, while others hold the promise of new blossom, seeking the warmth of a summer sun.

Ferns uncoil, fronded fingers of pure symmetry, while delicate wild flowers carpet the ground in a show of defiance from winter’s grasp.

I hope to explore the forest in summer, autumn and winter, watching the change as the year passes by.

Venford Falls

Another Sunday, another trip to the place that is fast becoming a second home, Dartmoor.

A bright and sunny April Sunday, this time to find the well hidden gem of Venford falls.

Armed with instructions on how to find the falls, we walk along the main footpath for a while until we hear the sound of fast running water in the valley below.

Our instructions recommend the use of walking poles to reach the falls, advice that would be well heeded as the walk path down is not that well trodden and is pretty steep! Finally we reach the sun dappled valley, with the falls cascading majestically below us.

Because the falls are so well hidden, we were able to take our time getting the shots we wanted without disturbance or interruption, perfect conditions for the long exposure shots we wanted.

From a photography point of view, the light was fantastic as it filtered through the woodland onto the ferns and floor below, where with one of my favourite 50mm vintage lenses, I sought out the most appealing images

The route we took back up was somewhat meandering, as we spent time looking for places to cross to the opposite path and while it is possible to cross the river in places, the rocks look very slippery, and the water flows through rapidly!

A place well worth visiting, but be prepared for some challenging terrain.