Photo Journal: Squirrely Adventures

Squirrels are funny creatures, they’re so cute and cuddly but at the same time kind of cheeky and mischievous. But I always think they’re the epitome of a relaxing summer’s day; memories of watching them bounding around the park on a hot day come to mind – weaving in and out of children’s football games, picnics, and people lying on the grass. Dashing up and down the trees while the sun shines warmly through the leaves.

Back home, Christchurch Park is like a petting zoo for squirrels; they’re everywhere! And thinking of relaxing summers when I was younger, that’s one of the most significant places I remember: lying in the sun with friends, with squirrels darting all around. For some reason they add to that peaceful, summer atmosphere. So what better subject to bid this year’s Summer farewell. (Please don’t go yet, we want more sun)

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I came across this old journal recently, full of little stories I wrote/drew when I was little which made me laugh to look back on, and funnily enough, there was one about squirrels, so I thought I’d include it in here as a little tribute to the red squirrels; it’s a shame you never seem to see them anymore because they get wiped out by the grey ones. This little tale was a love story between a red and a grey (maybe they’ll take inspiration? Probably not)

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Photo Journal: Into The Woods

My boyfriend and I discovered a new scenic little route on a stroll to Oulton Broad this weekend; a wooded walkway down to the beach, complete with a secluded river filled with ducks and a shaded tunnel through the trees. Equipped with our nettle-bashing sticks, here begins this weeks mini adventure:

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Along the way, we crossed one of those classic over-railway stone bridges, great for looking down on the scenery below and – because our timing is just that impeccable – we just so happened to catch a train going under it on our way over.

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Not the greatest of photos, but it was just such coincidental timing it was rather pleasing. Made me feel like a child running over the bride to catch the last view of the train.

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Some candid shots of Michael peeping over at the train, he probably won’t like me for these hehe

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Clever me decided to only bring along my camera with a 300mm lens attached, so a lot of these photos were more zoomed in than they need to be, but the walk alongside the water was so still and peaceful in the evening sun.

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There’s something so pleasing about looking at the moon while the evening sunlight is still fading, the sun and moon shining in unison as the sun hands over the day to the moon… “Spring was the most favoured time for the sun and moon because they could finally be together, even if it was only for an hour or so.”

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I also discovered Michael is a champion stone-skipper. I kind of already knew that, but I didn’t think it was possible to hit the other side of the river in one throw, admiration where admiration is due! The evening sky also looks really pretty in the water ripples.

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This boat wreckage and abandoned warehouse on the other side of the river got me somewhat envisioning a zombie invasion scenario in my head… I wonder what really happened to the boat.

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A seagull looking very proud of himself. I bet that’s a good viewing point.

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I found something so pleasing about these mast reflections in the river, I’m not sure why, but I love the mirror image they create.

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Fly me to the moon…

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Not quite the doorway to Narnia, but there’s always something pleasing about the daylight bursting out from the end of a tunnel surrounded by nature.

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Little Rusty Robot

I wanted to do something a little bit different for this post as I came across a little lost gem while having a tidy up – this little robot necklace I’ve had for years, he used to be a bit of a good luck charm and I think he’s got so much character with his tiny, movable arms and legs! So here’s a day in the life of my little rusty robot, he’s the one doing the exploring today (hehe)…

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This robot necklace has a chain coming out from his head which made him quite hard to position without falling over, so for these photos I’ve held him up by the chain in one hand and then taken the photo with the other, meaning I could position his legs a bit better to look like he’s walking by dangling him from the air. Then with the power of photoshop and my favourite little clone stamp tool I’ve edited out the chain hanging down in all the pictures.

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Below is a little example of the ‘before’ shot; this chain is definitely a pain, but lets me bring him to life a little bit!

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Just a little robot living in a large world…

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Photo Journal: A Day In The Life of Mysti & Sobek

Today was another especially sunny day so I decided to bring two little adventurers along with me on my photo journal of the day; meet Mysti the Siamese and Sobek the Ragdoll. They’re inside cats, combined with being quite lazy little cuties, so they haven’t explored much around this area, so here’s a little collection of their nosing around the alleyways in the sun today.

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Every time I turned the lens to Sobek, he had this – very alarmed – expression on his face, I don’t think he’s a fan of the camera!

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Sock paws!

PhotoJournal – Adventures at Nacton Shore; Jellyfish, mushrooms and nettles! Lots of nettles…

So the sun has decided to come back, which I’m happy about, and it seems to have great timing at the moment as it’s shining its brightest on my days off from work – which I’m even more happy about! So I decided to take a little visit home to see my dad and sister, and what better sunshine activity than to have a riverside / woody walk along Nacton Shore!

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There’s something quite enchanting about this place with its combination of countryside woodlands and beachy sands. It’s not often you get the two together, winding in and out of wooded pathways and then exposed beach, the perfect place for a little camera stroll.

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As well as the more normal looking variety above, we also came across a whole collection of little mutated acorns; apparently the lumps are formed where a wasp has laid its eggs inside (did that make you shiver as much as I did when I heard it?!) I steered a bit of a path between me and these acorns after that, even if they’re not coming out any time soon!

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This little guy was more to my liking, mainly because of his lack of wings or ability to fly at your face with a stinger! Have to say I felt a little bit like Timon and Pumba at this point, watching him wriggle in and out of his log.

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And then the little woodland walk erupts into sunlight again as you come out onto the beach. Our path didn’t go very far in this direction as soft sand rapidly became squelchy swamp but I climbed up the log nevertheless (I challenge the kid inside you to ignore such a climbable looking log!)

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Its branches also looked pretty dramatic against the bright sky; but what I liked more was how they look like haunted tree arms, ready to reach out and grab you… I wonder if Tim Burton has lots of trees like this around where he lives.

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Unfortunately for them, we also came across lots of jellyfish flattening out in the sun on the beach, so we grabbed a stick and got them back into the water where they did seem to re-inflate somewhat but I’m not sure how much you can recover after melting into a squidgy puddle…

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But luckily, I did come across this very alive, very inflated, jellyfish bobbing along in the water. It was at this point an underwater camera would have been great, but then I might have missed his comical looking swimming bopping up and down on the surface!

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Jellyfish are so cool…

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Back into the woodlands to continue our adventure, what’s a nature walk without some cliche closeups of leaves!

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I stumbled (almost quite literally) across this charcoaled tree stump along the path, and all I could see looking at it was this stunning mini-mountain range with a little light coloured path around its base, winding its way up through. The texture on this was pretty beautiful, the fragmented bits of bark look like jagged rocks, appropriate for my imaginary mountain range!

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I love its one little ‘tree’ poking up at the bottom as well, it looks like one of those tiny sprouting plants you get in ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, popping up from the ground and then used by the little fluffy ones as umbrellas (see below for those who have no idea what I’m on about, points for those who do!)

 

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One of the guaranteed features of a Suffolk nature walk; blackberries!

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I thought I’d do a couple of first person pathway shots along the walk so now you can all feel like you’re coming along with me, if you’ve made it this far through!

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Cobwebs literally seem to find their way onto everything… I wonder if the spiders go on little nature walks too, leaving their mark as they venture through the different picturesque spots.

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If there’s one thing this walk gets an award for, it’s definitely textures, all the trees here are knobbly or interesting looking, even the branches that have fallen down or lie along the beach look like sculptures. I think this one almost looks like loads of little trapped faces attempting to push their way through the surface, or maybe that’s just me.

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More mushrooms! This was probably the closest I got to finding the classic red and white dotted look. The base of this one is so white though, kind of makes you want to paint all over it and colour it in.

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And of course, more cobwebs too.

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We came across a collection of stick built huts further down the path here, possibly one of my favourite things to do on these kind of walks as a kid, if you didn’t used to go to the woods and build houses out of logs, your childhood was missing something! Of course, leaving your masterpiece behind was always somewhat heartbreaking, what do you mean we can’t live in it, it won’t keep the rain out?

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There’s something quite enchanting about the tiny dapples of sunlight that make their ways through to the woodland floor when the sky’s this covered over, little patches of warmth that dance about on the undergrowth.

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Our path began to wind a little more in-land, not much, but enough to start getting the occasional stinging nettle to the ankle. Of course, I was completely unprepared and making my way through with open topped shoes with holes in the pattern and completely bare legs, but clearly I’m built for the outdoors as I escaped with only one sting (hehe)

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Our path was getting tinier and tinier as nature took over and left us with a little tunnel, and yes, more nettles!

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And then the top half of the shrubbery broke away to reveal another beautiful seaside view. Had a little experiment with a wide angle lens and polarizing filter at this point, I always think it’s interesting how much you can manipulate the sky with one little filter, it was a lot brighter than this in reality, but you can better see the outlines of the clouds and dapples on the water in the background.

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We next came across this pleasing little tunnel made from overgrown shrubbery, it reminded me a little bit of the famous ‘Tunnel of Love’ in Ukraine, one of many perfect photography spots in the world, but a darker, creepier version, the kind of tunnel that might lead its way through a haunted forest.

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The Tunnel of Love, Ukraine, (not my photo):

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Found a little camera-shy sheep along our travels, I guess he wasn’t having a good hair day…

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I’m not quite sure what happened in this next photo at all, but I like the effect it had! Some of the most intriguing effects you get in photography seem to be accidental!

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And back to the beach again, I told you this was a winding walk!

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And to finish it all up, another cliche must-have of any nature walk, some butterfly closeups. It was quite tricky to get an angle on this one as he decided to land on the other side of a barbed wire fence so here’s a little peeking view through the leaves until I managed to get a clear shot.

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This next one not exactly a photo worth sharing, but just a little glimpse of the drive back at the end of the day, was a perfect summery sunset to end off a sunny day. Note the fingerprinty lens, not what you want to see from an aspiring photographer…

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We even got a little wave home from some strangers on the dual carriageway bridge, what better place to leave of this post. Thanks for reading/looking!

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Photoblogger, an Introduction

So I thought I’d write a little bit about why I started this blog; I’m constantly starting and never finishing projects, forever coming up with new ideas and getting inspired by new things but never completing them. It’s starting to irritate me that my life is defined by endless word documents with half written books, plots planned out but never fully put onto paper, games half designed and left in a corner of my mind because I decided they weren’t good enough, folders of photos I intended to do things with but never did. So I decided to start a little blog, (do people even blog anymore?) to challenge myself more than anything, to keep at something and put things out there in the world, even if I’m not completely happy with them, as I never am! It’s just something for me really, and in the hope that some people might stumble across this and enjoy my ramblings and photographs along the way. I thought if I have some kind of goal for my images it will encourage me to get back into a hobby I somewhat lost over the years. I studied photography at university and it both inspired me and taught me new things, but at the same time it also somewhat killed my passion for it. But now that I’ve completed my course and had a little time to do other things, it’s come back to me and I really hope to pursue my photography goal, even if just a little bit, even if it’s just keeping up this blog, I want to stay at it and hopefully one day make something out of my little hobby! (Hey, one can dream)

Thanks for reading my ramblings and hopefully you enjoy some of the things I have to share!

Cromer Fireworks

Whenever I think of Cromer now, I always think of their firework displays as well, having been to my first one there a couple of years ago around New Year’s, I definitely think it’s the most impressive one I’ve seen locally! The whole town, as well as people for miles around, gather for this display so the all the steps down to the beach are completely crammed with people, and getting down to the beach itself is a squeeze! But the view across the sand and pier is beautiful! They always put on a brilliant display and it’s such a perfect setting! Here are a few photos I took for their firework photography competition last year!

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