Back to the Alps!

View from La Rosiere towards Arc 1950 and 2000

As the weather turns colder in the UK and the central heating is turned on we look forward to the winter ski season in Europe.

As an avid ‘web cam watcher’ I note that snow has already fallen in some areas overnight and the ‘glacier’ resorts of Tignes in France, Saas Fee and Zermatt in Switzerland are already open for winter sports.

This year we visited a freezing (-16)  Peisey-Vallandry , part of the Paradiski area, which link’s the Arc villages, 1600, 1950, 2000 with La Plagne via the spectacular Vanoise Express, the area offers 425km of ski slopes!

We also enjoyed a ‘sun drenched’ week in La Rosiere at Easter.

As we plan our 2011 trips we will be turning again to our good friends at Ski Olympic, an award-winning, Doncaster based, independent tour operator offering catered chalets in the French Alps, take a look at their website, I cannot recommend them highly enough for service and attention to detail.

Enjoy the movie trailer for this season’s adventure along with a selection of still images of some stunning landscapes!

From my archive……….Hale Bopp Comet!


Hale Bopp Comet over Conisborough Castle, Summer 1997


During the summer of 1997 I observed nightly a ‘celestial’ object appear in the western sky, the object was the Hale Bopp comet!

It is said to be the most widely observed comet of the 20th century and one of the brightest seen for many decades.

Discovered in 1995 by Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp in the United States the comet was first visible to the naked eye in May 1996 but became common place in the sky from January 1997.

I was completely ‘spellbound’ with this ‘nightly spectacle’ and felt compelled to attempt to record it on film.

As mentioned in a previous post the late 90’s saw many photographer’s still shooting on film, me included. I decided that I would photograph the comet at Conisborough Castle in Doncaster, a well known local landmark!

Armed with Canon EOS 1n, 28mm lens, 400 iso colour negative film and tripod I shot a series of bracketed exposures allowing for the strong ambient sodium street lighting as well as allowing for the reciprocity failure which occurs in these situation’s.

The result, an handful of images which balanced all the factors. I didn’t keep the records of exposure and processing times but seem to remember an exposure of 10 seconds at F8 gave me the best combination.

After appearing on the front page of the Doncaster Free Press it became my best selling image with sales worldwide!

Visit my image gallery to purchase a copy or to view other stock images for sale.

Doncaster Dog Walkers Beware?

Jarvis and Harvey enjoying a spot of 'courting' with Staffy Sky during the winter snow!

It was reported by BBC News last week that a dog had died, and others had fallen ill, whilst walking in the Sherwood Forest and Clumber Park area’s.

The King Charles Spaniel owned by a Lincoln man had died a couple of day’s after visiting the Nottinghamshire beauty spot.

He had taken his 2 dog’s along with his daughter’s to Clumber Park on the Saturday.

On the Monday morning all three dog’s had collapsed and were almost comatose, the King Charles Spaniel died the following morning!

Directly, we took our pet Cocker Spaniel , Jarvis, to Bawtry Forest last weekend along with a friend and her Cocker, Harvey.

Both had a great time having a run around in the forest and were fine on the Sunday.

However, on Monday morning Jarvis woke early and was vilontley sick a number of times, he deteriated very quickly and within a few hours and was rushed to the vets where he spent 24 hours on a iv drip.

I wouldn’t have thought too much about this until later on on Monday Harvey also went down with the same symptoms, Saturday morning was the only time they had been together that weekend!

The vet suggested that their had been a spate of dog’s admitted to them with gastroenteritis type problems.

Could our dog’s have suffered with the same illness that the Clumber dog’s had?

The BBC story went on to say that a Nottinghamshire vet had warned pet owners to be vigilant after treating a number of animals for severe sickness and diarrhoea, she said the same thing had happened for about a month last year

“It starts in September, there is more humidity and less daylight and a change in the flora and fauna. I think it could be a mushroom or fungus causing the illness,”

Pesticides and other man-made chemicals have been ruled out .

Leaflets and posters were given out in Clumber last weekend asking dog owners to keep their pets on a lead.

Both our dog’s are on the mend now and will be looking forward to their weekend walk……………. away from the forest!

Check out the links from the various news outlets that have reported the story.

BBC Nottingham

Daily Telegraph

BBC Nottingham Q&A

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