Cold mornings at Middledown

Middedown Dawn - Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9804H

Middedown Dawn – Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9804H

With the forecast for some cold mornings.  If it was going to be cold it may as well be very cold, to I headed out high up on the Mendip plateau.

On my first visit a bank of think cold tried to hide the sun.

Middedown Dawn - Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9843H

Middedown Dawn – Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9843H

From a small lay-by at the very top of Cheddar Gorge a track leads the way to the Middledown nature reserve.

Middedown Dawn - Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9850

Middedown Dawn – Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9850

This area also contains an outcrops of limestone that forms of a small north-facing cliffs.  To make the most of the sun I followed the northern edge of the reserve.

Middedown Dawn - Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9910

Middedown Dawn – Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9910

The next day was even colder as the cloud cover had disappeared, creating a glorious sunrise over the hills.

Sunrise from Middledown - Mendip Hills, Nr Cheddar, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0605H

Sunrise from Middledown – Mendip Hills, Nr Cheddar, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0605H

There was not much cloud so the colours in the sky were limited.

Wellington Farm - Mendip Hills, Nr Cheddar, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0437

Wellington Farm – Mendip Hills, Nr Cheddar, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0437

The area is crisscrossed with old dry-stone walls which help to give the Mendip Hills much of its character.

Middedown Dawn - Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9907

Middedown Dawn – Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_9907

At this time of year any frost quickly melts as the sun rises in the sky.  I dashed around finding plants to photograph.

Dandelion - Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0624

Dandelion – Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0624

The frost forced cowslips to bend over with the cold.

Early morning cowslips - Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0642

Early morning cowslips – Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0642

Orchids added a special splash of pink against the white grassland.  Even these struggle to stand straight in the cold.

Early morning Early-purple Orchids - Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0654

Early morning Early-purple Orchids – Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0654

And finally…

I found myself leaving the nature reserve to find frost covered landscapes.

Morning Frost - Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0780

Morning Frost – Middledown, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK. ID JB_0780

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