Yet more amazing sunsets

Painted Sky

Painted Sky

This year seems to have been a really special one for sunsets at the woods. Following on from the unreal skies I posted a short while ago, we had another stunning and unexpected sunset just before Christmas.

Not a promising start

Not a promising start

I had actually just gone to the woods to feed the birds, and only took my little camera with me.  As I hung up the last of the feeders, I thought that the light was looking quite good, so I decided to go for a little walk.  The sunset was not that promising, and a bank of cloud was coming over, but I decided to wait a few minutes longer.  And then the sky started to turn pink and orange.

Starting to go pink

Starting to go pink

More and more colour

More and more colour

The colour started to develop until the whole sky was scarlet.  I headed down to the ponds to try and catch some reflections in the surface of the water.  I was rewarded with some great colour and photos.

Red sky

Red sky

Reflections

Reflections

The colour started to turn from orange/red to magenta, pink and purple as I walked round the bottom of Betty’s Wood and up through the meadows back towards the main woods.  Even as I arrived at the main clearing, there was still some pink in the sky, and I caught the last rays of the sun before heading home.

Getting darker

Getting darker

Pink and purple

Pink and purple

Sun setting

Sun setting

The colours were totally unreal – as if a child had some pots of bright-coloured paints and mixed them all up and threw them across the sky.  Winter is a really special time of year for sunsets.  What has been most interesting this year is that the best colour has been in the north-east, and not in the south-west where the sun is actually setting.

I hope you are not bored of seeing pictures of winter sunsets – I never tire of their beauty.

The last rays

The last rays

Unreal Skies

The Sunset Starts

The Sunset Starts

Sky on Fire!

Sky on Fire!

A few days ago, I was at the woods at sunset, when an absolutely astonishing sunset began to happen. As the sun started to go down in the south-west, as it does at this time of year, the clouds opposite, in the north-east, started to take on an amazing colour.

The Colour Starts to Build

The Colour Starts to Build

The Colour Spreads

The Colour Spreads

At Its Glorious Peak

At Its Glorious Peak

Slowly the colour began to get progressively more intense, and the colour started to change from yellow, through orange, to pink. The clouds looked like a scene from the movie “Independence Day”. Every cloud seemed to be affected and the sky looked as if it were on fire.
Every minute, the scene was changing, as it faded through shades of red and pink to darkness.
I have never seen a sky like it over the woods. It was quite incredible.

Fading to Pink

Fading to Pink

Continuing to Fade to pink

Continuing to Fade to pink

Sun Disappearing

Sun Disappearing

Last Pink Clouds

Last Pink Clouds

The last rays

The last rays opposite the entrance

Wonderful Winter Sunsets

Pink Clouds and Glowing Trees

Sunset from the edge of our woods

Dark and glowing clouds as dusk falls

Dark and glowing clouds as dusk falls

The first frosts have been late this year, but winter seems to have arrived at last, and with it comes the wonderful, clear and low light that casts eerie shadows within the woods and across the landscape, and brings those amazing sunsets that simply don’t occur during summer.

We’ve been gifted with a few beautiful sunsets over the last few days.  The first came while we were working away cutting up, moving and stacking logs from a willow tree that had fallen into our neighbour’s field.  It was an absolutely miserable, rainy, drizzly, damp day.  But as we were walking back up from repairing the fence with some dead-hedging and stakes, the cold front finally passed, and a sunset started to happen.  I always have a camera, even if working, and I put my little EOS-M to good work along the edge of the woods, capturing the light, clouds, colours and shapes of sunset.

Yesterday, I had to take a few photos of trees on which we are planning to have tree surgery work done later during the winter.  Because our woods has a Tree Preservation Order on it, we have to submit an application for this work to the Council, supported by photos.  While I was there, I could sense the light getting better and better for photography.  First there was the sun-dog or false rainbow caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere refracting the sunlight.  Then there were the golden leaves remaining on the birch trees, backlit by the setting sun.  Finally there was the cold wait by our entrance as the sun started to set opposite.  Subtle colours, and few clouds, but spectacular none the less.  Although I guess a few passing motorists wondered why there was a mad woman shivering in a puffa jacket with a camera round her neck by the side of the road!

Low light is the real gift of winter.  It makes this time of year special.

Birch trees glow gold in Betty's Wood

Birch trees glow gold in Betty’s Wood

Sun Dog over Betty's Wood - the rainbow is not a photographic artefact

Sun Dog over Betty’s Wood – the rainbow is not a photographic artefact

Sunset over the hills opposite the woods

Sunset over the hills opposite the woods

The sun setting right opposite our entrance

The sun setting right opposite our entrance as I was leaving.

 

January Gloom and More Sunsets

Peachy Sky

Peachy Sky

Some fantastic weather has led to breathtaking skies across the fields from the woods – both wonderful sunsets and amazing conjunctions of cloud and light. The view may seem the same, but it is forever changing, and the same subject can yield very different images. We’ve been really lucky to be there in the early evenings and witness this wonderful natural beauty.  This is a collection of images taken of the same subject – the hills and trees opposite the woods – but in different light, and with different moods.  I could photograph these trees forever!  The first set of sunsets were taken from the entrance to the woods, and the fields opposite us.  The second set were taken from the boundary within the woods, showing the trees from slightly different perspective, as a shower cleared to let the light show over the horizon.

Peachy Sky

Peachy Sky

Turning Pink

Turning Pink

Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

A pastel pink sky

Spectacular Sunsets

The weather has been quite terrible over the Christmas and New Year period, and Saturday was no exception.  We were dressed in warm and waterproof clothing in the relentless wind, drizzle and rain on our trip to the woods to unblock the ditch which was threatening to overflow onto our main path.  After a hard afternoon of raking and digging out the mass of leaves, twigs and silt that had become stuck in the ditch, and cutting some more wood for kindling and for our log fire, we were just heading home when the clouds cleared, and we were treated to the most spectacular sunset with the most beautiful of colours.

Here is a sequence of images, captured on my little Canon EOS-M that I keep in my bag when working, showing the beautiful, and most unexpected sunset across the fields opposite the entrance to our woods.

A pastel pink sky

A pastel pink sky

As the sun goes down, a golden line on the horizon.

As the sun goes down, a golden line on the horizon.

The sunset starts - apricot and orange sky

The sunset starts – apricot and orange sky

Gentle warm sunset sky

Gentle warm sunset sky

The sun sinks further

The sun sinks further

The sky is on fire!

The sky is on fire!

Photo of the Year – RESULTS!

Common Blue

Photo of the Year 2013:  Common blue roosting at dusk

Happy New Year, and thank you to everybody who voted in the poll for our photo of the year.  It was a very close vote in the end but we have a winner – and it is the photo of the common blue butterfly roosting at dusk.

Runner up was the sunset shot.

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

Runner up: Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

And in third place was our lovely white bluebell

Photo Number 6:  Rare white English bluebell

Third Place: Rare white English bluebell

I’m hoping for another wonderful photographic year at the woods in 2014.

Stunning Sunset

Spectacular sunset

Spectacular sunset

Last Saturday, I was treated to the most stunning sunset at the woods, made the more amazing in that it was unexpected.  So unexpected that I went for a walk round the woods carrying only my small Canon EOS-M camera, rather than my larger 5D3.  It started with some lovely warm colours in the clear evening sky, but I often find that a clear sky doesn’t produce the most spectacular images.  But we were in luck!  Out of the shadow of the woods came a band of cloud, and this promised to produce some wonderful colour.

So it was that I stopped snapping images at the bottom of Betty’s Wood and walked briskly up to the top of the hill to capture the last rays of the sun as it set over the fields opposite our entrance.  Starting off with peach and orange colours, the sky turned vivid scarlet and magenta before the sun slipped below the horizon.  Here are a few images from the series.

Sunset over Betty's Wood Ponds

Sunset over Betty’s Wood Ponds

Sunset over Betty's Wood Ponds

Sunset over Betty’s Wood Ponds

Sunset over Betty's Wood Ponds

Sunset over Betty’s Wood Ponds

Sunset across the fields

Sunset across the fields

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance

Spectacular sunset opposite our entrance