Friday, 27 May 2016

Close up clues

Walk a little closer to the strange structures that have appeared on the moors above Haworth and all becomes clearer.

They are constructing a huge film set, which is now almost complete. The film, 'To Walk Invisible', will tell the story of Haworth's famous Brontë family, in particular the increasingly difficult relationship between the three celebrated writers, Charlotte, Anne and Emily and their brother Branwell, who in the last three years of his life and following a tragic love affair, descended into drink, drugs and wild behaviour.  It is written by the brilliant, award winning Yorkshire writer and playwright Sally Wainwright (who also wrote 'Last Tango in Halifax' and 'Happy Valley'). 

I believe they are due to start the actual filming next week, after the Bank Holiday weekend. There were huge trucks moving into one of the carparks on the edge of the village when I was there. They will be filming in the village itself; Haworth Main Street is being reverted back to the 1840s. However, their home, the Brontë Parsonage and its surroundings have been irrevocably altered over the years - not least because they are now surrounded by huge trees. So they are building replicas on the moors above the village, to be closer to the originals as they were in the time of the Brontës.Interior scenes will be filmed in Manchester. Such a massive undertaking to create one 120-minute drama....

I understand the drama will be aired on BBC TV around Christmas. It is one of a number of events marking the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë's birth (on April 21st this year).

The cast has recently been revealed (see here) - and it is good to know they will have 'luxury loos' whilst filming up on the moors!

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Above Haworth

I made a pilgrimage to Haworth recently. It feels good for mind, soul and body to take a brisk walk on those windswept moors above the village. The views of landscape and sky from Penistone Hill, the highest point in the area, are simply stunning. This is looking west across Lower Laithe Reservoir, with the village of Stanbury in the middle distance.

What, then, would you think if you came across this odd structure (below) in the middle of the moors?  Find out what it is tomorrow...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


Camellias have such rich colours and are wonderfully showy blooms. This is a particularly pretty pink; I'd love a sweater in that colour. Such a pity that in this country they flower in early spring and almost always get blighted by frost. It makes them turn brown. Magnolias tend to suffer in the same way. I suppose they are non-native, originating from south-east Asia and so they are not especially suited to our northern climate.

These photos were also taken at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens. It is amazing how much the trees have leafed out in the three weeks since I was there. I have a few more pictures taken there that I might post at some point. Everywhere looks so pretty at this time of year and there is so much happening that I've ended up with a sudden glut of photos and don't have time to show them all. It seems wrong to get hopelessly out of sync with events. So, something different tomorrow...

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Christmas tree?

My original posts for today and yesterday have disappeared... Blogger suddenly started duplicating posts, so I deleted some of the duplicated drafts - and then the originals disappeared too! Along with everyone's comments. Grr. Sorry to those who took time to comment.

I can't remember what I said about this, except that I like the wonderful purple cone-like blooms. With their glowing red tips, they look like little candles on a Christmas tree.  I have no idea what species the tree is. RHS Harlow Carr has some exotic and interesting cultivars.

I was pleased with how my new lens performed on this one too.  It's good to be able to play around a bit more with depth of field though I have yet to perfect the art.

Monday, 23 May 2016


This post suddenly disappeared and I've had to repost it, so apologies to those people whose comments have been lost.

I like these old clay flowerpots much better than the plastic ones that are ubiquitous these days.  I can't imagine they use them at Harlow Carr much now either. These were piled up and displayed in an old shed along with some vintage garden tools, more to add atmosphere than anything, I suppose.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

What's that bird?

Here's a different kind of bird. Can you tell what it is meant to be?  There are one or two metal sculptures and some willow ones too, scattered around the gardens at Harlow Carr. I rather liked this one and I think it captures the 'jizz' of a kingfisher rather cleverly and quite accurately.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The red, red robin

There were plenty of little birds enjoying the sunshine and, with few leaves on the trees, it was a good time to spot them. Harlow Carr must be bird paradise... there are nest boxes and areas that are carefully managed for wildlife so there must be abundant food - and no cats, at least as far as I have seen.

I was trying out my new lens. (Hooray, finally treated myself!) I have been feeling for some time that I needed a bit more 'reach' than my old 18-55mm lens had. After much deliberation I have bought an 18-200mm. I realised that I wasn't going to be bothered a) to carry more than one lens and b) to start swapping lenses over whilst I am out and about. Getting one that covered the same ground plus a bit more seemed sensible. It's a bit heavier but not unreasonably so. I am on a learning curve now, particularly in terms of getting the depth of field right. It does mean I stand more chance of getting photos of wildlife, though it's not something I am very practised at so far. At least robins sit there obligingly and don't freak out too much when a person turns a camera on them!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Odd one out

Inevitably, there were many tulips on display at Harlow Carr Gardens. I do love them (note to self.... must visit The Keukenhof in The Netherlands one spring.) The blooms have such vibrant colours and so many different variations.  I was amused to see the one pink flower in this bed of red and yellow. Dare to be different!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

RHS spring

Going back in time now, to the May Day bank holiday weekend, as I haven't got round to posting this series. The weather then was cold and windy with heavy showers, not very spring-like at all. (It has improved a bit since.) I was craving colour and warmth so I decided to visit the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) gardens at Harlow Carr near Harrogate. Regular readers will remember a visit there before, though not in the spring. (Look back at September and October 2014 for photos - or click the 'Harlow Carr' label below.) I found some colour there but, alas, little warmth on the day I went. It was well into the afternoon before the sun came out and the weak rays held scant power. Nevertheless, it is a great place to explore. As befits such a renowned garden, the planting is inspired and there are many unusual and interesting cultivars.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Rhapsody in blue

More bluebells... here I was struck by the fresh green of the new beech leaves against the haze of blue.

Here I was looking for an interesting composition, playing with the potential of the fallen trunks as 'lead-in' lines - but the other tree trunks rather interfere with it.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Drifts of blue

At this time of year I have to get my annual 'fix' of bluebells. People go all the way to Ilkley's Middleton Woods in search of them but to my mind the show in Saltaire's Hirst Woods is at least as good, if not better. Every year I am looking for 'the perfect shot' and I never find it. Even the best photo does not convey the scent and the sight of those hazy drifts of blue. In these, I was seeking to convey the shimmery effect of the massed blooms, stretching right into the distance.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Affordable housing?

I keep getting flyers through my letterbox from estate agents asking if I want to sell my house. It seems there is a lack of affordable housing in the local area. Even so, I think trying to sell a post box may be going a bit far....

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Leaf patterns

The sun comes out and I start seeing patterns....

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Neck and neck

Three Dragon Boat teams competed in each qualifying race, and each team had three qualifying races. Each team's single fastest qualifying time over the three races was then collated. The Grand Final Race then took place between the fastest teams, to decide the overall winner.  Many of the heats were neck and neck - and only one boat capsized, which was pretty good, I guess. Then the Grand Final had to be rerun owing to a collision but, all in all, things went rather well.

The river bank isn't designed for lots of spectators and it was tricky to find a good spot to take photos from. There was a large screen in the park showing the races, along with lots of attractions for visitors: fairground rides, food stalls, bars, music and a street market. And there was a cricket match going on too! It was all great fun, made more special by the delightful weather.

And the winners were..... Red Phoenix, a team from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service. Well done to them!