Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #8

Whatever happened to the summer?

Month eight already? This year is zooming past sooo quickly. I have already noticed the night drawing in around 9 pm now. And summer is coming to an end. I no longer hear the dawn chorus and the swifts and their offspring appear to have gone back to Africa. And here in the Marches it has been unseasonally grey for weeks. The odd summer day breaks through, but I crave for more sunlight to get me through the winter.


The challenge asks you to change the time of day; perhaps have a go at night photography; play with your camera settings. I have decided to show some of my monthly location in black and white. Not just any black and white, but a grainy film mode on my new camera. I went out for a nature walk around the castle in the golden hour, just before the sun set. Fancy coming with me?

First have a look at those funny trees I showed you in January, the pollarded limes (Linden). Pollarding is a pruning system in which the upper branches of a tree are removed, promoting a dense head of foliage and branches. It has been common in Europe since medieval times and is practised today in urban areas worldwide, primarily to maintain trees at a predetermined height. Wikipedia

Date: August 12 2015
Weather: Partly cloudy
Temperature:  (23°C during the day, warm and calm in the evening)
Time: 19:30 – 20:30 PM

Castle Walk

The wild flowers have grown tall and some are almost over. The Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) that dominates the castle slope are full of fluffy seed-heads. A successful coloniser this flower is known as ‘Bombweed’ in the south of England due to its increasing spread as a result of the clearing of bombed sites during both wars. Ragwort is still in flower, but the thistles are now in seed. 

Thistle in seed

The sun begins to disappear behind the hills casting golden shadows.

Golden sunlight
Golden light on leaves

Finally a look around Castle Square where the outdoor market is held several times a week and draws in the crowds from the countryside and even further away.

Plenty of benches to rest the weary feet after a hard morning’s shopping

Addendum: this month was the annual Perseid meteor shower which I was able to watch from my bedroom window at 2 am.  The shower coincided with a new moon for the first time since 2007, creating a darkened sky. I saw six shooting stars within 10 minutes, a sight I haven’t seen since 1998 on an Australian beach!

The Cardinal has decided to have a photo project going throughout 2015 – a blogging event, a monthly photo challenge. Find a location near your home, take somewhere between 5-20 photos and post them in a gallery in your blog. Continue to do this every month. The idea is to capture all the changes: the seasons, the weather, different times of the day, some night photography perhaps?

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

51 thoughts on “Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #8”

  1. I’m glad the golden hour stayed golden in bits, but your b&w is nicely sharp. Grainy? I’m not sure.

    Our days lengthen. I’m not looking forward to hot. Never satisfied are we?

    1. They are grainier if you enlarge them. I quite like the overexposed highlights, reminds me of old photos. I think if you had had our summer you’d be looking forward to hot!

  2. The b&w photos really create an ‘old’ feeling … especially the photo of the benches. It was the photo of the thistle head that jumped out the most for me though. The power of suggestion, it made my nose twitch 🙂

    1. I liked the bench photo too, it has an ‘out of a 1950s movie’ look about it. Sorry for the twitch, there was an awful lot of fluffy stuff in the air.

  3. The summer has been gray & cold here too and I desperately need some more sun to make it through the winter- fill up on that serotonin and vitamin D.
    I was thinking about taking my son out to some dark area and let him sleep in the stroller while I took some photos of the meteor shower. I had it kind of planned, but then forgot about it and remembered the day after… Shiiieet.
    Love those B&W shots and I hope you’re enjoying your new Olympus camera!

  4. These are lovely end-of-summer shots, Jude. They actually cover all the ground we covered the other day on a lunch-time trip to the Green Cafe. (Yum and double yum). Only when we were there it was pouring with rain. But I did pay attention to the pollarded limes and thought how nice they looked now. You are right about summer, though – just the odd glimpses here and there, and then a distinctly autumnal feel. I feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle. As if I’ve fallen asleep and missed something. Very weird. I’ve grown some cracking spuds though 🙂

    1. Ah, yes the Green Café has a reputation for good food. We enjoy it in winter after a brisk walk for a bowl of soup, though we have been tempted by the hot chocolate with brandy! You should have popped in here for a coffee 🙂

      1. Re Green Cafe, I had the most amazing chocolate cake desert I have ever eaten in my life on our last visit, and I make a pretty good one myself a la Elizabeth David’s chocolate almond cake.

        1. Yes, we did book, and it is advisable, but they are so sweet, and they do try their best to fit unbooked people in if they can, and if there’s room on the terrace. When we went in July (in the rain) and arrived early and had to sit on the terrace till our table was free, they brought us big cushions and offered us little hot water bottles. All their food is delicious, and the mains always come with subtle little touches of sauces/pickles etc all homemade. If I lived in Ludlow, I think I’d give up cooking and just go there to eat 🙂

  5. I like the old feel of the B&W, Jude and you are a star, I now know the name of a strange (to me) plant that I took photos of recently…Rosebay Willowherb

    1. So glad you like the B&W Sue, I was wondering what you’d make of it. I just thought I needed to do something a little different this month. (And play with the camera of course 🙂 )

  6. As always, I enjoyed joining you on the monthly tour. I like the close ups of the flowers – things we sometimes take for granted and don’t look at closely enough. I recognise the ‘bombweed’ but had no idea that it had that name, and why. The black and white building photos have worked really well I think.

    1. Oh, thank you Elaine for your lovely comment. I just wanted to mix it up a bit and thought the B&W could work, but it is always nice to see that other people agree. not that I mind if they don’t. I prefer honest opinions and this was a bit of a gamble.

  7. B&W works really well for the old time buildings. I enjoyed the walk around with you Jude and interesting bit of history about the “bombweed”

  8. It feels like autumn already, so I am with you on the absence of summer.
    Hot today though, but more humid that feel-good.
    Glad to see you enjoying your new camera. The B+W shots do look like old film, so worked well.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  9. Jude no matter how gorgeous your photos are, and they always are, I am loathe to the mentioning of said end to summer. Some of us were still shoveling snow in April and likely May. I may have repressed that memory. In truth I have noticed the shortening days, the cooler temps during the night. Our daughter is being married in a few weeks so we are crossing our fingers that Jack Frost bides his time before finding his way here.

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