Category Archives: Countryside

The Cornish countryside is a maze of narrow lanes with high hedgerows. Between the coasts are areas of rugged moor where solitude can be sought any time of year

Cornish Night Sky

Has been a long while since I posted anything here. Not so much because I haven’t been taking photos, quite the contrary, just been a little busy on other projects.

This shot is quite a recent one. I’d been thinking of going out and trying a bit of night sky photography for a while and for some reason I decided to do it this particular night. Turns out I couldn’t have picked a much better night if I’d tried. The sky was as clear as it gets and no moon.

I left the house thinking I’d need the night sky app on my phone to locate the Milky Way. I didn’t, it was actually pretty obvious.

Having read up a little on what settings and kit to use I was fairly confident I knew what I was doing. In reality its a little more complicated – actually trying to compose a photo when you can’t see anything is pretty tricky. I also tried a few shots ‘painting’ the foreground with my torch. I found after just a second of pointing it I’d blown the highlights.

So, here is one of the best of the bunch. This is the engine house at Carn Galva near Zennor under the Milky Way.

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Snow on Lanyon Quoit

Snow on Lanyon Quoit

It’s supposed to be getting cold over the next day or 2 so I thought I’d dig out a photo of when it was really cold a few years back. Whilst it might look like a light sprinkling of snow to some of you this is West Cornwall where it snows about as often as in Jamaica. Well, OK maybe a little more, but not very often.

I had a fantastic time this day. Whilst the whole of Cornwall was paralysed I took the opportunity to jump in the car and take some photos. I was driving up lanes where the snow was fresh. It was amazing just being able to park the car in the middle of the road and get out!

Anyway, this is Lanyon Quoit near Penzance. It’s one of the region’s best known megalithic sites and is highly photogenic. In the background is the engine house at Bosilicack – I’m sure there’s some juxtaposition of ancient and, erm, quite old going on here…

Zennor Carn

Up Zennor Carn

The weird and wonderful rocks that one finds up Zennor Carn. I think I stumbled across this wonderous collection of strangely formed rocks whilst in search of Zennor Quoit, which I found some years later (not on the same walk you understand!). There are many ancient sites in this vicinity but this is all natural; from the stacked rocks to the granite rock basin. I read somewhere that there are ‘zoomporphic forms’ here to. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that these are rocks that look a little like animals, probably not animals with rock-like appearances.

This is a great spot though. Overlooking the village of Zennor below and with sweeping views in all directions. Most of the time you’ll have the place to yourself and even though it’s usually windy up top you can find a nook out of the wind on a sunny early summer’s afternoon. I recall another time thinking I had the place to myself only to find a friend of mine’s brother eating his sandwiches in a little rock cranny round the other side.

West Cornwall Moors

Carn Kenidjack – West Cornwall Moors

When people think of moorland they often assume it is bland, desolate and featureless. I disagree. There are plenty of features on the West Cornwall moors, let alone the stunning range of colours that come with summer.

This is one of my favourite spots in this area, Carn Kenidjack. It is a weird, naturally formed stack of rocks jutting out of the moorland between Penzance and St Just. Apparently it isn’t just me who’s taken an interest in this spot over the years; there are several megalithic sites around here and lots of local legends surrounding the rock.

This photo was taken on the sort of summer day that I think of when I think summer – strange, because they are pretty few and far between. It was also one of my first shots with a polarising filter. Here it really makes those clouds stand out.

Brown Willy

Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor

The highest and most amusingly named point in Cornwall, Brown Willy. The name is actually derived from the Cornish Bron Wennyly which, rather unamusingly, means “Swallow’s Hill”. Another possibility is it was called Bron Ughella, which means highest hill.
Whatever, the derivation there is a good deal of local interest in having the name changed back to one of these historic forms.

The tor is located on the northern edge of Bodmin Moor and stands at 1,378 feet (420 metres) above sea level. At the summit are two cairns (or rock piles) – folklore claims that an ancient Cornish King is buried under one.