After last year’s very mild winter, it was good to see sparkling sunshine and frost again this week. Last winter, frosts were few and far between, and there was hardly any snowfall here in Northumberland. Given the climate change data reported everyday in the mainstream media, this is no surprise, and there should be no doubt that we are in a climate emergency. So it was with some pleasure that I was able to enjoy a winter walk and to take some new photos, this time not with a camera, but a new mobile phone. In the five and a half years that I have used a so called ‘smartphone’, the technology has certainly moved on and the new phone is very easy to use, very responsive and has a very good camera. This gave me some glimmer of optimism that with our knowledge of the world’s processes and our rapid technological progress, there is hope. It must be possible to respond to what is happening, apply our minds to the climate emergency and start to really make a progress towards an ecological age, a new era of looking after our planet and its life forms. Time for change…and fast.
There are some new designs available this year, which have just been sent to the printers, and will be on sale sometime next week. Climate change seems to be causing much milder winters, so winter photography with snow and frost is now something of a rarity, even in Northumberland. So the new cards are from images made during the two cold winters of 2009-2011. This view shows the River Coquet from the bridge at Hepple, looking towards the Simonside Hills in the Northumberland National Park on a very cold morning with a temperature of about minus 15 degrees C.
Today saw the first hard frost of the winter, and a beautful sunny morning in Northumberland National Park. This Christmas card shows the Tarset valley, near Greenhaugh, and a similarly fine frosty day with bright sunshine. The Northumberland Winter range of Christmas cards are supplied in packs of ten cards, and there are over forty designs to choose from.
Very cold weather is now something of a rarity, and I don’t often get the chance to photograph real winter conditions with snow, ice and frost, even in the uplands of Northumberland. A few years ago, a couple of exceptionally cold winters meant that ice crystals or ‘frost flowers’ often appeared overnight on the window pane of an entrance door to an unheated porch. With an outside temperature of minus 10 degrees C, and sometimes as low as minus 20, glass surfaces such as unheated windows, or car windscreens can be transformed by beautiful natural wonders, and the intricate patterns of ice crystals. The first card of ice crystals I published was very popular, so I’m hoping that this new card will also be enjoyed. Meanwhile, I am very much hoping for some cold weather, hard frosts, and some sunny, wintery days, especially after last year’s exceptionally wet winter when the rain never seemed to stop.