2017 … My Year in Photographs
When starting to put this blog together, I read last year’s “My Year in Photographs” …. Oh dear! I did NOT achieve my aim of taking more photos this last year; in fact, 2017 was probably my worst year yet for photography. Huge upheavals in my personal life, some amazing, some devastating, meant that my photo-mojo took a heck of a battering. But I hung on in there, and I managed to end the year with camera in hand (although the tail-end of a stinking Christmas cold meant that most of the shots on the last day of the year were taken through the car window!).
So here is my year in photographs; I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them!
January, Ianuarius, door to the year …
I shall open the door to 2017 with a shot from Salisbury Plain, by far our most-frequented place for photography. And this spot, one of the Charlton Clumps is one of my favourite places. There are several small copses on Salisbury Plain up above the hamlet of Charlton, hence the name the “Charlton Clumps”. Me and Steve have probably taken at least a thousand photos of them, in various lights, at various times of the year, and they never disappoint. I don’t often go for a close up, but when I spotted the little owl in his hole, I had to go for it!
owl in a hole in a bole in a tree
February, shortest month of the year and meteorologically, the last month of Winter …
February can often feel like the harshest month of Winter; bleak and cold and wet. But one bright spot in this melancholic month is the appearance of the snowdrops. So many of the winding Wiltshire back roads have swathes of them on the verges. We came across this sweet bend on just such a winding back road near Easton Royal.
at a bend in the road
February was also the month when we had our first jaunt to the seaside. We stayed in Axminster, just up the road from one of our favourite places – Seaton. We always try to stop off in Seaton on our way back from South Devon, and it was nice to be based quite close to this lovely little seaside town. We are particular fans of the Axe Estuary, a fine tidal river for spotting wild fowl and waders and gulls …. Lots and lots of gulls! And of course, no trip to Seaton is complete without a shot of Sarah Jane!
good old sarah jane
March, named for Mars, God of War and guardian of agriculture, beginning of Spring …
March was kind of dull … weather-wise and photography-wise. I was working long hours and didn’t get out with my camera nearly as much as I would have liked. Still, I did manage to catch Martinsell Hill on one rather lovely early spring day.
April, it did put a spirit of youth in everything …
At last! April swung around and I got a spring in my step! And I got out there with my camera. There were walks around the local paths, early morning sunrise photo-ops and, of course, trips to Salisbury Plain. Here is one of the lovely Charlton Clumps again, this time with a bit of selective colouring, to show the mysterious red box in its best light….
the red box and the sheep
In April we headed down to Devon again, this time back to one of our other favourite spots – Brixham. We stay in Fishcombe Cove when we go to Brixham, and it’s just about as perfect as a holiday spot can be. There’s Marridge Wood on the doorstep, there are great walks along the South West Coast Path, and there’s a lovely walk down in to the town itself. Yes! I did do a lot of walking on this particular trip! On one early morning perambulation, I decided to venture out onto the Breakwater. Now there’s bracing for you! Brixham looked just grand in the morning sunshine, all pretty colours and interesting contours …
all the pretty house
May, month of potent blood …
One of the many wonderful things about living near Savernake Forest was the great abundance of bluebells we were treated to each May. There is something rather enchanting about walking through a swathe of bluebells, with the spring sunshine making the new leaves on the trees glow.
the enchanted forest
June, when Summer begins and the world is all green and blue and yellow …
There are many awe-inspiring landscapes to photograph on Salisbury Plain. It is always changing. No two days are ever the same. The quality of the light, the clouds, the sun (or lack thereof) … these make every view look somehow new, even if you’ve photographed it a hundred times before. Just so with the views from the edge of the Plain across the Vale of Pewsey; this is Wiltshire; this is why I love it here ….
so very Wiltshire
Now, we don’t usually manage a whole weekend away in June, but fortune favoured us this year, and we had an “extra” trip, this time to Ilfracombe in North Devon. Sadly the weather was really grim. Wet and dull days meant we spent a lot of time in the car, driving around, jumping out every now and again to take a shot or two of something interesting, diving back into the car for cover. We headed down to Fremington Quay again, and I was quite pleased with my “tilt shift” on this little red boat, pulled up on the bank of the river.
red boat white picket fence
July, with its evenings stretching out to allow long meanders home, is usually good for some sunsets and interesting skies …
We are writing a book, Steve and I, about the roads which crisscross Salisbury Plain; this is a shot of the old road from Salisbury to Marlborough. The clouds were almost as beautiful as the landscape, and I like the way they seem to lead the way home, a perfect balance to the leading line of the byway.
taking the old road home
August, Lammas, time to start harvesting and feasting …
Summer on Salisbury Plain means FLOWERS! Lots and lots of wildflowers. With a carpet on yellows and pinks and mauves at your feet, and dreamy, fluffy white clouds above you, you could almost feel as if you were walking into an Impressionist painting.
September, when Autumn begins and the skies are still blue
September is one of my favourite months, not least because it’s our anniversary month! It’s also the beginning of Autumn, when the world starts to take on golden hues, yet still feels “summery” with its blue skies and bright days. We normally head to the seaside in September, but there were big changes afoot in our lives, so we stayed close to home in Wiltshire for our photographic outings. Of course, this meant trips to Salisbury Plain, and journeys along the old roads. This is another favourite spot of mine, the finger post … one way to Lavington, the other to Devizes…..
two old roads
Loss. I can say no more about this month. There was only one photo, for the photo-mojo was subsumed by other, more urgent needs.
le chat noir
November, when Autumn is in full swing and Winter is just around the corner
Autumn has painted Salisbury Plain with a golden palette, as the grasses and the leaves have begun to die. It is no less beautiful.
under autumn skies
This year was turning out to be one of extremes of emotions … highs and lows … and by November, I was completely exhausted! So my love took me to the sea, to give me room to breathe and space to just be.
a sea scene
December, Winter time and short days …
… and at last, the mojo is returning … a new life is beginning …
a new view
My final shot of the year is, quite aptly I hope, a sunset on Salisbury Plain. Happy New Year! Here’s to health and happiness and lots more photography in 2018!
If you would like to see more of my photos, please do have a look at my Flickr page!