Arnside and beyond

By gladders

For what is life.....

For what is life, if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

WH Davies

This photograph, my 365th blip, perfectly illustrates a large part of my blipping experience. It?s a serendipitous moment, frozen in time by the click of the shutter. Like so many of my blips, this was a fleeting opportunity seized and not what was planned. Today, I got up for the dawn, but there was no light show and not a heron to be seen. Then I walked up Arnside Knott in pursuit of the rare Scotch Argus butterfly which I thought would be a good capture for a special blip day (I have posted an image in the Blipfolio if anyone is interested).

Rather than chasing the flighty insects, I decided to sit quietly and wait for them to come to me. The Scotch Arguses were flying low over the grass, two buzzards overhead were mewing to each other, a woodpecker picced in the trees. I heard a rustle and a movement of small stones, and the elongate shape of a stoat with his black-tipped tail bounced across the grass 10 metres away. I thought that was the last time I would see him, but he reappeared later as I stood watching butterflies. I didn?t realise I was close to his burrow, and that he was taking a big circuit round me to get to it. Eventually he emerged into the open, and then worked his way up through the ragwort plants to the bolt hole about 5 metres away.

Ever since I was a student when I learned to use my father?s old Leica camera, I have had cameras and taken photographs. The slides piled up in boxes that gathered dust and were rarely opened. My brother-in-law pestered me for a slide show of our trip to Namibia and Botswana, but when we finally had the show, by the 10th slide he had nodded off. We politely view our friends? holiday photos, while feigning interest and even amazement, and just occasionally one really does inspire. Then along came Blipfoto. Here is a place where we share these moments of our lives with other blippers who are genuinely interested, and occasionally enthralled by what they see. In turn, we find ourselves drawn into their lives and experiences through their images and words. Blipfoto is a truly inspired creation.

This ability to share images and experiences for me has led to an explosion in the pursuit of photography. Suddenly the photos had a wider currency, an audience of like-minded and interested, interesting people. I acquired a much better camera and lenses, and I can honestly say that no material thing has ever enriched my life so much.

My time here has given me so much pleasure, so much deep and lasting satisfaction. But as in real life, we pay a price for our pleasures. The heaviest price was in losing someone who had become my mentor, advocate, friend and confidante. I shall always miss her, and be inspired by her example. If I have got better as a photographer in the last year, I can thank Molly for that. With each blip posted I hope that she would have approved of it.

Since Molly passed, I have had a good run of blips. I?ve gone mad with the macro, and the only landscapes I have taken were lit by the strange light of dawn, misty landscapes of mystery and imagination. Here?s a few of those from this period that I was most pleased with:

Canada morning
Heron morning
A jewelled web
Marshland dawn
Eye to eye

My all time favourite though is Ice Runner. Again this was the serendipitous moment, unexpected and unplanned, captured by good luck and reflex action.

Thank you to everyone who stops by and comments, subscribes, scatters stars and donates hearts. Without you, I wouldn?t still be blipping.

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