Snow on Woolacombe beach – Seaside Dog Photography

With the winter feeling like it would go on forever, I took this week to rest and recharge in Woolacombe.

I usually like to leave in the early hours when I drive down to Devon, partly because I like to avoid all the idiots on the road and be on the M4 before ‘white van man’ tries to take me out! but also because it’s nice to have the whole first day down there and have breakfast overlooking the sea. This year I also had another reason to leave early, the weather warning for snow. There was no way I was going to hang around and wait until the snow appeared so off I went at 4am on Saturday!

Sitting at the Captain's Table, looking out at the sea, my brain had something of a disconnect. There were light fluffy flakes of snow floating in the air. Now, I've holidayed in Woolacombe on and off for the last 30 years, and I thought I'd pretty much seen all types of weather there, but there was an amber weather warning out for snow Saturday night.

I went to bed expecting to see a dusting of snow on the beach, cynical that the forecast wouldn’t be as bad as predicted. What I woke up to surprised me!

It was a whiteout!

Whiteout on Woolacombe beach

I could barely see the beach! Luckily, after a couple of hours, the weather broke and Layla and I were able to get down onto the sand. The thought did cross my mind that the combination of two of her favourite things, the beach and the snow, might make her head explode. Thankfully, it just brought out a big case of the zoomies and quite a lot of digging. I've noticed that when Layla gets excited and isn't really sure what to do, she digs.

whippet running on snowy Woolacombe beach
Whippet digging on snowy Woolacombe beach
Whippet running between sand and snow on Woolacombe beach

It's wonderful to know that she enjoys these holidays as much as I do. I notice the smile on her face as she wanders back to me, having done a little more digging, but it's reviewing the photos after I come home that I realise the smile rarely leaves her face. I find it a privilege of being a photographer that I get to capture these moments of joy that happen so quickly our eyes miss them

Layla smiling walking towards me
Whippet riunning on Woolacombe beach smiling - capturing moments our eyes miss

When we first got on the beach, unsurprisingly, we were the only people down there. Not long after Layla had got the zoomies out of her system, we were joined by an adventurous surfer. Having not seen someone in a full wetsuit before Layla insisted on investigating!

After helping the surfer warm up, Layla calmed down and had a rare quiet moment on the beach. When the excitement subsides, she has this habit of standing on the beach and watching the world go by. I think she has an inherently strong nosy gene!! I took the opportunity to experiment with some wider angled shots, and I think this one may end up on my wall!

Reflections in the sand - Whippet standing staring on Woolacombe beach

Thankfully, on Sunday the weather broke and by the evening we were graced with sunny spells and patchy cloud. It made for yet another incredible Woolacombe sunset!!!

Another incredible Woolacombe sunset

Once again Woolacombe you’ve put on a show, I've not left yet and I already can't wait to return!

I know it seems that spring is being elusive at the moment and winter is going on forever, but I can assure you it will arrive! Along with it will come the spectacular English bluebells. This season, I am privileged to offer you the opportunity to have photos of your dog taken in a stunning ancient woodland, surrounded by a carpet of bluebells. To celebrate this, I have a special offer available to the few who manage to secure session.

How do you fancy a half-price session fee and £100 towards the products of your choice?

To be in with a chance of booking one of these limited sessions, click the image below and add yourself to the waiting list.  When Spring arrives, just before the bluebells bloom, I’ll open sessions up for booking to the waiting list first. To click below and don't miss out!

Posted by 4 Legs Photography in Uncategorised

The Great British Bluebell Obsession – Dog Photography in Essex

Our iconic bluebells are a part of the British springtime.  They are mainly found carpeting ancient woodland around the country.  Like many spring flowers, the timing and duration of the bluebell’s bloom is very dependent on the weather, though it can start in early April and end mid-May, they usually are usually only in full bloom for 2-3 weeks a year.

Bluebell Dog Photography in Bishops Stortford

Fun Facts

• Bluebells are protected under law in the UK. If you dig up and sell a wild bluebell you can be fined £5000 per bulb.
• In the Bronze Age, feathers were stuck on arrows with glue made from bluebells.
• Bluebells are poisonous and contain about 15 biologically active compounds to defend themselves from animals and insect pests
• Certain water-soluble alkaloids are chemically similar to those used to fight HIV and cancer

english Bluebell wood - pet photography in Biships Stortford

Did you know Bluebells come in 2 main varieties? The bluebells found in ancient woodlands are native English Bluebells. The other variety is the Spanish Bluebell (introduced by the Victorians), often found in gardens, although they are making their way out of the garden. The appearance of the Spanish bluebell has endangered our English bluebell as they will cross pollenate and breed producing a fertile hybrid (3rd variety).

So how do you tell English Bluebells from Spanish or hybrid ones?

When you look at the Spanish and English varieties side by side I think the differences are obvious, but you don’t see them side by side, and the hybrids are more difficult to spot. It seems on their own they can be difficult to identify. The Woodland Trust and Wildlife Trust gives us these descriptions:

Native - (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)

  • Pollen cream-white colour
  • Deep violet-blue. But you may also occasionally find white or even pale pink flowers
  • Flower stems may droop or nod to one side
  • Almost all flowers are on one side of the stem
  • Flowers are a narrow, straight-sided bell with parallel sides
  • Petal tips are reflexed (curled back)
  • Flowers have a strong, sweet scent
English Bluebell pet photography in Bishops stortford

Spanish Bluebells - (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

  • Blue pollen
  • Upright stems
  • Conical bell-shaped flowers with open tips
  • No scent
Spanish Bluebell


Hybrid bluebells - (Hyacinthoides x massartiana)

• Pollen green or blue (but may also be white or cream)
• Pale to mid-blue, often also white or pink
• Flower stem is stiff and upright, but in some cases can droop or nod
• Flowers maybe wide open and cone-shaped or bell-shaped
• Flowers may be scented or unscented

Back in 2005 a botanical charity, called Plantlife, had a spring-time poll where bluebells were voted the favourite wildflower of England. It seems Scotland, Wales and Ireland voted for the primrose. I have to agree with England though, there’s something magical about our native English Bluebells. If you get the opportunity to be in a bluebell wood just stop and take in a big deep breath, the scent is intoxicatingly sweet.

This year I have been given privileged access to a private bluebell wood, which has allowed me to give you the opportunity to have your dog photographed among the gorgeous violet-blue carpet.  To go along with this, I have also created a special offer for the few that get the opportunity to book a session. If you would like to be among the lucky ones and take advantage of this opportunity, then you’ll want to take a look here.

Posted by 4 Legs Photography in Uncategorised
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