Sunrise at Doffcocker

Doffcocker Lodge Sunrise

Another walk around Doffcocker Lodge this morning. Instead of my usual 28mm f2.8 ais lens today I brought my 50mm f1.8D. The lead photo in today’s post is a crop from a 6 image stitch. The 50mm lens was not wide enough to get the landscape shot I was looking for, so another stitch job!

Sunrise over Doffcocker Lodge

The shot alongside is a single shot image with the 50mm lens. Such a different feel between a landscape and a portrait orientation. I suppose the thing that grabbed my attention today was the circular sun and it’s reflection on the water.

It was a hot and humid day yesterday, and today is supposed to be cooler. All the same, the sky looked hazy and I really wasn’t expecting to see the sun as a crisp ball as is visible in these photos.

The next photo, taken quite a bit later, is looking across the smaller lodge toward Winter Hill. Here you can see the sky isn’t crisp and clear, but hazy. You can also see in the close foreground the Himalayan Balsam. I’ve been quite amazed with the amount of balsam in the parks and waterways. It was introduced in the mid 1800s and I understand beekeepers are quite fond of it for the amount of nectar it produces for bees … but it is quite invasive and swamps the native plants.

Looking towards Winter Hill across Doffcocker Lodge. Notice all the Himalayan Balsam in the foreground.

Heading home I couldn’t help but notice the nettles and grasses – probably because the grass is quite long and I got rather wet from the morning dew. Nevertheless, these grasses are very pretty. Maybe I’ll go looking for grasses tomorrow … there’s certainly a large variety and their seed heads are most attractive. Nettles never seem to be popular either … probably because they can be painful, but they are a popular plant for butterflies.

Early morning dew on grass at Doffcocker, Bolton.
Stinging Nettle

Up early

I’ve been enjoying early morning walks around Doffcocker, Barrow Bridge and The Woodland Trust’s Smithills Estate. It’s easy to think of Bolton as a largish conurbation with few green spaces. Driving around there’s a significant number of terraced houses with no gardens … and even houses with space for a garden seem to prefer concrete onto which they can park their cars. So, when you get to the outskirts of the town and stroll down some of the footpaths it’s a real joy to see natural scenes bathed in the golden light of the rising sun. Not wishing to be over burdened with heavy camera gear I usually just take an old manual focus, manual aperture 28mm lens with me. The lens is old, and worth very little, but it’s light and just suits me fine. It takes a little longer to get the shot as focus and exposure are all manually done, but it’s quite enjoyable and gives me an excuse to have a breather before setting off walking so:e more! Below are a couple of shots of a pond near Old Hall Lane in Doffcocker.

Old Hall Lane Lake
Old Hall Lane Lake
Early morning on Old Hall Lane
Early morning on Old Hall Lane

It’s cold

I’d forgotten just how cold it gets in winter here. I’d not experienced an English winter for close on 30 years and the bitterness of the breeze was something I’d long forgotten. Even with no snow outdoors is a bit of a sad place to be. It goes dark early, and the sun doesn’t rise until late. It feels damp and most of the trees and bushes look dead without their green coats of foliage. All the same, it’s a great place to be to take a few photos. I felt the shots look best in black and white … well, to be honest at this time of year things do look pretty grey!

Shot with a 50mm lens at f2.8. I didn’t want to take anything heavy or cumbersome out with me … something that would fit inside my coat was the idea, just in case it started raining again!!