It has been a rather busy week, so my first post for this weekend is my early morning walk from last weekend.
I had not set an alarm for this morning, not having anything planned, it was to be a spontaneous outing, more than likely another riverside walk to begin my day.
It was just after 5AM, a good two hour lie in by normal workday standards, the day was bright with clear skies, with that late spring stillness of the early morning.
Too early to eat breakfast, I fuelled up with a generous mug of tea before heading out, I will look forward to a cooked breakfast on my return.
The river lies still, reflections of riverside residences reflect in the water below, it is not long before the first rays of sun paint the scene in a gentle glow.
I love the early light as it finds its way through trees and foliage, fresh verdant leaves bathing in the early rays, a tree trunk surrounded by its garland of wild flora, perfect subjects for my favoured close up style shots.
Above, a collection of my favourite shots from my brief but enjoyable morning walk, it may be just after eight AM but I feel that I have seen the best of the day….
I had not set an alarm for Saturday morning but woke up just after 4:30 am, a lie in of some 90 minutes from my normal work day alarm.
Summer is knocking on the door when it is almost light at this time of day, such a welcome respite from those long hours of darkness of wintertime.
I feel that I need to make the most of these few short months of extra daylight, so after my first brew of the day, I set out for an early stroll along the river, breakfast will be my Saturday treat upon my return.
The sun has already begun its ascent into a cloudless sky, casting a golden glow across all it touches, the river is perfectly still, there appears to be a photograph wherever I look.
It is this one particular scene that falls into my photo of the day category, the reflections of the houses reflecting in the serene waters with the beautiful green of the bankside grasses and flora, bathed in the early morning sunlight, what a perfect storm of photographic ingredients.
It is scenes such as thuis that are my reward for those early starts, a small price to pay for such beauty.
It’s the Easter weekend and according to local radio reports, the roads are packed with the holiday crowds heading towards the south west, so I decide that I will finally spend some time catching up on that backlog of jobs I have evaded until now but not before an early(ish) start for day #24, another morning stroll by the river.
As I make my way through the city centre at just after six am, the local road sweepers are out in force, clearing the night before’s takeaway debris left by the lazy who have lost the ability to locate and use a bin. Urban gulls fight like drunkards over a polystyrene box, only dispersed by a passing ambulance, blues and twos turned up to eleven!
My approach to the river, takes me via the subway, a labyrinth of graffiti painted walls, abstract images and messages, I take a couple of shots with the aim of a grunge style edit, ideal for the subject matter.
The river lies still, not a breath of wind in the air, a little overcast with a hint of mist in the distance, I enjoy these conditions to capture the reflections and mood of this Holy Saturday morning.
Only two boats from the local rowing club have the River to themselves, I had expected to see more, I watch, admiring the synchronicity of the rowers as the boat glides gracefully through the water and into the distance.
A little further along, a fly fisherman stands thigh deep in the briskly flowing waters, the first time in my 22 years in Exeter that I have seen anyone fish this spot, I decide to stop here awhile to enjoy a cup of tea from my flask as I watch him cast his line in graceful arcs into the water.
A fellow angler shouts encouragement from the bank, there have been salmon caught a little further down river a couple of days before. I watch, fascinated by the methodical way in which fly fishermen work the swim, their unwavering optimism that the next cast will find their elusive prey.
I remain here until my flask is empty, sometimes it is good to just sit and watch the world go by, runners on their daily exercise, some unplugged, just the sound of their feet for rhythm, others plugged into their motivational play list, both ‘in the zone’.
My playlist is the sound of the nearby weir, where a heron stands statue still on sentry duty, patiently waiting for his unsuspecting prey, he will find his fish before the fisherman for sure.
I have eked out two or so hours here but I am determined to get back home and tackle that list of jobs, I will only allow myself to look through the morning’s images once I am half way through them, I do better than that, I complete all but two tasks that can be done tomorrow…. or Monday.
As the year passes by at an alarming rate, the early morning starts I regularly enjoy are getting steadily lighter, with sunrise at around six AM.
Being a Sunday, it is the one day I rarely set an alarm yet I am still awake at just after 4am, this morning however, I manage another hour before deciding to venture out for an early riverside walk.
It has been a week of clear blue skies with an abundance of sunshine, spring has arrived at last but there is still a chill in the early morning air.
The strong winds of the last few days have abated for a while, only a gentle breeze ripples the still waters and as the sun makes its first appearance, its golden rays paint the opposite side of the riverbank in its warm glow.
But for a couple of anglers, a dog walker and a brace of joggers, the riverside is mine, the peace and solitude only occasionally interrupted by an industrious woodpecker and a stonechat going about their avian business.
Today may not have been the longest of walks, it is more about getting out for a couple hours and grabbing a few snapshots along the way, for me, the perfect way to start a lazy Sunday