Tuesday, 16 August 2011

The last of the season

Tuesday 15th Aug 2011.
                Guess what, it's back to our dismal summer weather again this morning cloudy, windy, damp and  cool . Yesterday there was a window of sunshine so we travelled over to the coast around Morecambe Bay just to the south of the Lake District to find our last orchid of the season....the Autumn Ladies Tresses. This orchid is very easily overlooked because of it's size (about 2" average height) it just merges into the surrounding grasses.
        Armed with my video camera I managed to capture several nicely framed shots for another film on our wild orchids. Over the last two years I've lugged my video camera ,tripod, camera bean bag and microphone around with me capturing our many walks into the wild and beautiful locations in which these beautiful flowers grow. Some of our visits coincided with a particular location when the orchids would be in flower, other orchids were stumbled upon accidentally so I always had to carry my video equipment round with me for the unexpected discovery, a bit of a chore sometimes but always worth it in the end. I hope to portray in my film that our country has a very varied and beautiful landscape.In my travels around our countryside I've still only managed to film a third of the 54 orchid species that grow over the length and breadth of our countryside.
      Here are a few shots of the lovely "Autumn Ladies Tresses" with me getting down to capture these tiny orchids (eccentric to watch by any passerby) but essential material for what I hope will make a good film.
      There will be many hours of editing before I'm satisfied that the end product will satisfy and interest the general public(be it a limited audience.)

                     Typical coastal scenery around Morcambe Bay

                                     Audrey on camera

Close camera shots are essential to capture the beauty of these tiny flowers

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

It's almost the end of our orchid season

Wed. 10th Aug 2011
         Today is an absolute miserable cold wet day with lashing rain and a strong southwesterly  wind and a temperature of only 12c. Thank goodness we had some sun yesterday and were able to get out into the Ribble Valley for this years check on the Broad-leaved Helleborine  which grows in the mature beech woods. We've visited three sites this year and the ground conditions which the orchid grows in are almost identical, shaded bare ground with no competition from more vigorous plants and always under beech trees.
       There's just one more wild orchid which is starting to flower about now (Autumn Ladies Tresses)  so we'll be seeking it out during the next couple of weeks.

Because the light levels are very low in the woods I've boosted the contrast a little on Photoshop.


Monday, 8 August 2011

50 Years Ago.... " Whistle Down The Wind"

     Monday 8th Aug 2011
         It was by sheer luck that we chose a short walk yesterday owing to the cool unsettled changeable weather.
  On arriving at the village of Downham one of Lancashires prettiest villages we found that the village was holding an exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the making of the film "Whistle Down The Wind"  in the local area . This film proved to be a very popular and is still shown on television.
      The exhibition was opening at 2pm so we'd time for a walk, we decided to find some of the locations from the film that put our area on the map when it caught the imagination of the general public all those years ago.
      The farm chosen for all the main scenes was Worsaw End Farm at the base of Worsaw Hill under the shadow of Pendle Hill.

                                            Pendle Hill

The farm house is almost the same but the trees have grown up all around the farm so the film would be impossible to shoot now because the lines of sight has changed so much.

                        Aerial  view of the farm at the time of filming

                The afternoon improved as we headed back to Downham

The lovely unspoilt village of Downham and not far from this spot a watercolour painted by my Grandfather over 70 years ago.

 Back now to the exhibition in the village hall

The film was produced by Richard Attenborough and directed by Byran Forbes
The story was written by Mary Hayley Bell the wife of John Mills
  Hayley Mills played the part of Kathy Bostock
  Alan Bates Played the part known as "Jesus"
  Two other main parts were played by Alan Barnes and Diane Holgate  local school children from the local Chatburn School and the many young extras were also played by children from the same school.
    Many of the local children from the film turned up for the anniversary  and signed the photo taken from a still frame from the film, most of the young extras and are now around 60 years old.

A few shots of the exhibition and general memorabilia

                                    A tasty Cream Tea

                                  The Farmhouse 50 years ago

The Northern Premier was held at the Odeon Cinema Burnley on the 4th August 1961
  I found it interesting to read that the main actors and film crew stayed at the Keirby Hotel in Burnley and after the days filming the films were sent to Humphries Film Lab. in Manchester for processing  then the film rushes were sent back to Burnley by 10:30 pm and then shown at the local Odeon Cinema near to the hotel.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

John Williams's garden triumphs again

Monday 1st August 2011
          I know I've sung the praises of John's garden before on previous posts but this year his borders are more lush, vibrant and mature than on all the previous visits I've had over the years.
          This garden was started when John bought the farm 1000 ft. up in the Pennines on a north facing slope in a cold high valley high above Hebden Bridge,Yorkshire 46 years ago. Today it is an oasis for nature that would  not occur but for the shelter and micro climate that John has created.    
          John trained and qualified as a botanist, he has a keen interest in art and a great eye for colour and composition, this is why the planting looks so right when you wonder around his delightful garden.
      John has been contacted by the BBC Gardeners World Programme Team who are arriving shortly to film a sequence for the programme in the next few weeks.

To the right of the picture one of Johns special plants.... the Cardiocrinum Giganteum ( the Giant Himalayan Lily) this is the last of the Himalayan Lilies still in flower this year.

An orchid type plant but it's a member of the Ginger family but I don't know it's name.

                          Filipendula Nubra (Pink Meadowsweet)

                Over the years a  natural moss garden has developed