Decisions decisions, having had a rather wet Christmas and a wet few months leading up to it, opportunities for photography were still at a premium. On Sunday the 30th December I headed north to Shropshire to spend New Year with my Girlfriend and her family. With nothing wildlife related planned I thought I would do a little research to see if any Waterfalls were nearby, being an upland area around Church Stretton I hoped to find some kind of fast flowing brook or mountain stream.
Little did I know one of Shropshire's more attractive walks just happened to be right outside of Church Stretton on the edge of the Long Mynd and area I have explored a fair bit over my regular visits up country. The Carding Mill Valley home of the Light Spout Waterfall within 8 miles of the house.
Now as you can imagine, us southern folk are not that used to rocky streams and fast flowing water. So I got myself pretty excited about potentially photographing it the next day, New Year's Eve, so waking up to it pissing down with rain I was pretty annoyed, And I continued to be so for the majority of the day as it continued to rain.
So I had two options, as I was heading home around lunchtime on New Years Day, do I drink copious amounts of alcohol on New Years Eve that someone in their 20's probably should or do I get up early and wander up that way myself leaving Nat in bed enjoying a lie in.
Well If I had picked the drink I guess I wouldn't be writing this blog post, so just after 9am I packed my tripod and filters and headed up the road to the Carding Mill Valley. Now any other time of the year I am guessing the walk up the Valley would have been a nice steady climb, but after a weeks worth of Christmas food and about 8 or 9 cans from the night before, on several occasions on the hour or so assent I thought I was going to die.
Luckily at the turn off to the Light Spout Hollow, a rather photogenic scene emerged allowing me quite a breather and a good chance to mess about with some picturesque flowing water.
|The Light Spout Hollow|
|The Ford Turnoff|
|Light Spout Hollow|
Due to the amount of Rainfall, photographing a waterfall at this time of year seemed like a good choice. Plenty of white plumes cascaded from above, although having seen a few waterfalls in my time, I must admit the 4 metre drop was a little disappointing, and I much preferred the wider lower falls another 30 yards back down the path.
|The Lower Falls|
|The Light Spout Waterfall|
I am also glad I got up when I did as the further I descended back down the path towards the car park the more people I passed. They were everywhere. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said I bet there was 500 cars parked/abandoned in the 3 car parks. National Trust wardens were directing traffic in from the main road, I've never seen so many people all together in such a remote location. I guess it was the Sunshine.
Also managed to get a few New Year Ticks - Raven, Carrion Crow, Buzzard, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Treecreeper, Robin & House Sparrow.