It's nearly two years to the day since there's been any decent snow in Shropshire, so we had to make the most of the opportunity that was offered today.
Our plan was to head to Church Stretton in advance of sunrise and take some shots of the area from Ragleth and Caer Caradoc. We went via the A5 but by the time we reached Dorrington we could see there wasn’t much snow on offer. It was the same story when we passed the Lawley and Caradoc on our left and the Long Mynd to our right - we could see there was only a slight dusting and not nearly as much as we had hoped for.
We decided that we needed to go higher to stand any chance of finding decent snow so we turned back and headed to the Stiperstones, the second highest hill in Shropshire.
When we reached the car park and got out to check the conditions we were greeted by a biting cold wind. Thankfully we had brought our balaclavas which made the morning bearable!
The snow was more plentiful here and I made my way upwards while Mike spent some time at the bottom photographing snow-covered sheep.
When I reached the summit ridge with its jagged outcrops the wind kicked up a notch and became much more fierce - it was a job to stand upright and keep the camera steady on my tripod. In addition the light was poor, so slow shutter speeds coupled with a powerful wind made for a trying time.
After about an hour the wind began to die down and the sun started to break through the thick white clouds that up to now had prevented any light from aiding my shots.
This contrast can be seen in two of my images. One of them shows golden light upon Diamond Rock with Corndon Hill picked out in the distance, while the other, with its lack of colour and light, conveys the cold atmosphere of the moment.
After some time I headed for Manstone Rock and on the way captured a shot where blue sky was starting to emerge from the clouds. The outlook east from beneath the tor provided a view of quartzite rock with the sun rising over the Long Mynd.
Meanwhile, Mike had spotted some ponies and gave a quick whistle which made them all raise their heads, providing the opportunity for a great shot. We didn’t know it at the time, but a spot of research when we got back revealed that the hill in the distance is Paulith Bank.
Mike’s last shot is of the path he took to reach the ponies and shows the sunlight picking out many of the contours that cover the Long Mynd in the distance.
The morning worked out really well but hopefully it won’t be another two years before we get any more decent snow!