Snowdrops in the churchyard

Many churchyards in the UK have drifts of snowdrops, a symbol of the Virgin Mary’s purity. At Candlemas candles used to be taken into the church and the altar was decorated with snowdrops. This morning’s spring-like sunshine encouraged these snowdrops to open and very appropriate too as the Newton Solney village church is that of St Mary the Virgin’s Church.

Fractal fantasy

I hope you don’t mind this diversion from the usual photographs of landscapes and seasonal reflections as I explore the strange but fascinating and beautiful world of fractals. I have an IPad app called Frax which generates unique fractals which can then be changed and manipulated by the user.

It’s difficult to describe what a fractal is. Even Professor Google couldn’t produce the idiot’s guide that I needed and searched for. It involves some serious maths which are way over my head. A simplified explanation is that of shapes within shapes within shapes. A fractal is a never-ending pattern. Some sites explain that fractals are found in nature, for example a tree, branches and twigs, a fern and fronds or the spiral on a snail shell. I soon came to the conclusion that I didn’t need to understand ‘what goes on under the bonnet’ in order to enjoy the drive into this fantasy world.

The three examples I have included were further enhanced by the use of Reflect app which, to me, give the illusion of a subterranean lake or the entrance to a cave, just waiting to be explored.

Incidentally, fractal art has been described as trippy art but I assure you that no magic mushrooms were consumed prior to the creation of these!

As is often the case, Mehmet Murat ildan provided the perfect quote for this post…

“Do not always run away from the darkness! Remember the beautiful lakes which are hidden inside the dark caves. In the least expected places, there exists the most beautiful treasures”.


We have just been watching BBC Countryfile which featured Flash, the highest village in the UK. It reminded me that I included Flash in one of my very first blog posts almost four years ago so here it is again. The reference to photographs for Christmas cards is still appropriate as our recent covering of snow, albeit very light, has prompted me to think about this years card….

We like to have a stock of snow scenes which we use most years for Christmas cards. It involves a little bit of forward planning (too late thinking about it in August!) so three or four years ago, when we knew there was snow in the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands, we set off in search of it. With a flask of coffee, snow shovels and travel blankets, just in case, we headed towards Buxton but it was only when we were beyond Leek that we found the much sought-after snow.




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Greetings from Flash, the highest village in Britain. This was once disputed by a village in Scotland but ordnance survey and the BBC got involved and confirmed that Flash was indeed the highest. Needless to say, it’s very cold here with a good covering of snow. The sun is shining thus giving us ideal conditions for photographing the snow. We are not venturing off the main road as the minor roads are not so good. Also staying fairly close to the car. Off to Buxton now for hot food and drinks!