The Changing Landscape

Whenever I get lucky enough to fly into a foreign land, I hope to see the landscape unfold through the plane window. I’ll crane my neck if necessary, around the head of a fellow passenger, known or unknown. I wonder how can you not want to see the colours of the country, the curves and lines, the density of populated areas? I remember flying over the Sahara, in total awe when a homestead was visible with nothing else for what seemed liked a hundred miles. I remember shrunken rainforest and the EastEnders bend in the Thames.

Last weeks flights were not as dramatic, but I still tried to capture what I could, yes I am that sad woman on a perpetual first time flight, with a camera pressed against the window. Here are some of the images from those flights.

port1
Western Spain or perhaps eastern Portugal, in late September, it doesn’t look as if anything could grow there, but the rain will fall when it’s ready and the soil will spring to life.
port2
What’s that coming over the hill, it is an ocean, the Atlantic?
port3
Wait, I recognise this from my obsessive checking-out-the-destination-before-I-go habits, it’s the beginning of the long islands just off the Algarve coast.
port4
Part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, I’m nearly there!
port5
Umm, as it’s my first visit to Portugal I don’t think I’ll hang around Faro above, too long.

Closer to home, there was a lot of cloud cover, with tempting peeps at the south west of England below, and there was a definite change in the landscape. As soon as we crossed the English Channel, I knew exactly where we were.
Paignton1
This is Paignton, a seaside town 25 miles from home, the pier is just visible.
Splatford Split2
This is the view that got me really excited, and led to me identifying Paignton and Silverton with my daughter’s help. It’s just outside Exeter on the dual carriageway heading west towards Torbay and Plymouth. The circular junction is one I like driving around, it makes you dizzy if you go fast enough – not that I’d break the speed limit of course! If you survive that one, another mile further and you reach the notorious Splatford Split, the place where the tourists get lost, confused and sometimes cause accidents when they realise they’re in the wrong lane.
Silverton1
I was gutted that the cloud cover hid the city centre completely and cleared 8 miles east over Silverton.
Weston1
The long wide beach at Weston-Super-Mare, in north Somerset, it’s a kite paradise and although I’ve never seen it, on a clear day the Welsh coast is often visible.

Avon1
This isn’t a very clear shot as far as landscape is concerned but I rather like the layers of sky, cloud and land.
So, this is my entry to this weeks photo challenge, the change I observed in the landscape, from one that was a fresh and lovely experience, to the landscape of my heart.

That Last Clematis . . .

. . . of summer, Jude has reminded me.

Clematis are favourites of mine, they are such good value plants, flowering their little heads off. If you choose well you can have one flowering nearly every month of the year – well maybe 8 months? My neighbour makes me very happy because her Tangutica blooms abundantly over the fence near my bedroom window, thanks Katie! Even when the flowers are over, the seed heads will last for a couple of months. I took some photos earlier this evening, they will cheer me up on a winter day.

I hope their sunshine makes you smile!

Strolling around Tavira, Jo’s patch!

Hello, how are you? I’ve missed you all and I’ll be round to see what you’ve been doing while I’ve been away. Meanwhile, some of you know I’ve been to Tavira, Jo’s town in Portugal, sadly for me, Jo was in Poland so I didn’t get to meet her.

The day that my friend Lindy and I arrived, we sorted out what we needed for the nice Air b’n’b we stayed in, had a rest after a 5am start and then went to find dinner.

The river Gilao runs through the town, and the river front is a very pretty area, with a garden that is popular with locals and visitors of all ages. bandstandThe garden also has the best gelato stand out side of Italy, my favourite was very dark chocolate with forest fruits, unforgettable! There are bars, restaurants and cafes everywhere you  look, and being late in the season they are all keen to fill your tummy. We chose a fairly new one, Gilao Restaurante, for our first night. My choice of a simple salad was lovely, Lindys less so and the service was not good. The manager tried his best to make it up to us with a delicious and potent local liqueur, and a promise to do better if we returned.

Tavira parkWe walked through the garden where the cobbles glisten in the light, these decorative paths are everywhere in Tavira and some of the other places we visited in the Algarve.

Rio GilhaoThe river is lit at night and is really atmospheric, especially the Ponte Romano. It’s believed that the bridge originates from Roman times, but it was rebuilt in the 17th century after an earthquake.

The Praca da Republica is a stunning central meeting place on the south bank of the river, it has an curved and stepped area perfect for watching performances.

Praca

Again, beautifully lit at night and buzzing with activity even in late September, the Praca has many places to eat, drink and people watch.

Jo, I don’t want to tread on your toe’s – I don’t think its possible anyway because you are the expert, but I’ll probably do a couple of posts  about it. I can’t thank you enough for introducing your second home to me!

 

Caught in Time

This week, share with us your monochromatic images. Be calculating and creative in choosing your subject and focal point; resist the urge to simply take a photo of something with a single colour range. Go beyond the obvious choice, and have fun!

I always admire other peoples black and white or sepia images but rarely take a successful myself. this photo had muted earthy colours and I tried converting it to black and white and several other colours as well. Eventually I came up with this and I like the subtle effect.
window peeps

If you would like to join in with Jen’s Photo Challenge of monochromatic visit the Daily Post