The Yorkshire Dales

A bit of landscape photography from the Yorkshire Dales. A tranquil scene of snowdrops growing beside a small stream, protected by moss-covered dry stone walls.

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There are many sheep farms. Worth a look … Yorkshire shepherdess

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Traditional farming landscapes of field barns and dry stone walls in the valley of Wensleydale. In Winter, cattle were kept in these barns and fed with hay. The landscape has been farmed for thousands of years, without it, woodland would cover the moorland.

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The Yorkshire Dales is famous for its limestone scenery. The grey rock was formed from the shells and skeletons of billions of sea creatures, laid down millions of years ago in tropical oceans. Ancient glaciers moving over the landscape and then rainwater over thousands of years, produced the cracks (or grykes) of the landscape that exists today. 

In the distance is the Ribblehead Viaduct, build by 1000 navvies in Victorian times. It has 24 arches and is part of the Settle to Carlisle railway line.

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A dilapidated building in the middle of the moors.

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Dry stone walls are the largest man-made feature of the dales. There are approximately 5000 miles of them. They are ‘dry’ because there is no mortar holding them together.

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BLEAK – LANDSCAPE

These images were not intended to be beautiful and colourful. Instead, I wanted to capture the starkness of the British countryside during winter-time, with its dull, steely grey sky and harsh textures. They were photographed on a cold, blustery, rainy afternoon using a high ISO and varying manual settings to deliberately enhance grain and noise. Afterwards, some of them were put through Photoshop to add to that bleak feeling.

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Ground frost

The landscape was transformed this morning by frost. Unfortunately, I only had half an hour to take some pictures, so I couldn’t bring my tripod and shutter release cable to get the finer detail that I wanted, but you get the general idea. As the sun rose, patches of frost on the plants began to melt and it produced a sparkly, almost rainbow-effect in the droplets.

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Alaskan lupine

Alaskan Lupines were spread around Iceland to help combat soil erosion, which has been a problem since early settlers cut down trees to build homes and use for fuel. They look pretty, clustered around the landscape in the Summer months, but they have now been classed as an invasive species and are harming Iceland’s existing plant species.

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Geysir Geothermal Field, Haukadalur, Iceland

Aside from the famous Geysir and Strokkur, there are a series of smaller geothermal springs. The hot springs of Haukadalur have been active for almost 10,000 years. The azure blue colour of the water is from dissolved silica.

Strokkur, Geysir Geothermal Field, Iceland

Strokkur is a smaller, but more active spouting spring, than its famous resident, Geysir. It generally reaches a height of 10 – 20 metres, but can reach up to 40 metres. Quite often, geyser activity subsides (they become ‘quiescent’), but they can be set off again by strong earthquake activity. There are between 150 to 400 earthquakes a week in Iceland, though these are generally too small to be felt and only register on a Seismometer. Geysers can also sometimes be re-activated by adding soap to them, or by drilling holes into the basin underneath, or by scraping them clean by removing accumulated sinter. (Information obtained from the website, ‘Extreme Iceland.’)