Ovingdean - South Downs National Park

Ovingdean is a part the South Downs National Park situated within the city of Brighton & Hove; the protected valley is largely isolated from the downs by suburbia with only thin corridors of grassland to the main park. Ovingdean is open to the English Channel but bounded by Brighton Racecourse and Whitehawk/Race Hill Nature Reserve to the west, an ancient chalk grassland supporting colonies of Adonis and Chalkhill Blue butterflies. The suburban sprawl is to the north and the east, including the wonderfully named Happy Valley.

Marseille dawn

One particularly spectacular dawn seen from the balcony of my apartement in Marseille. Provence dawns are often colourful due to the limestone dust in the air, the vehicle pollution in urban Marseille adds to the effect. This was 15 April 2024.

More photos: Marseille dawn

Ditchling Beacon Dew Pond

Dew pond at Ditchling Beacon (227 m.) on the South Downs Way in Sussex.

Les Salles-sur-Verdon

Les Salles-sur-Verdon
Note the water fountain saved from the old village

Les Salles-sur-Verdon is not a celebrated architectural gem like Port Grimaud but it’s in a similar vein. It’s the village displaced by the rising water of the bitterly resisted reservoir, the lac de Sainte-Croix. I’m guessing the concept is derivative, architect François Spoerry’s Port Grimaud being about ten years earlier. Les Salles is an idealised Provençal village as Port Grimaud is an idealised Mediterranean fishing village.

More photos: Architecture of Les Salles-sur-Verdon

Menton dawn

Menton dawn

A “Mediterranean episode” of weather brought a storm with a lot of rain but also dramatic natural lighting which changed rapidly. A stunning dawn highlighting Menton old town. Later on, it was almost shocking to see the strength of the storm both on sea and at a beach where the Mediterranean usually laps the shore peacefully. Even the guys with the surfboards were packing up and going home as the waves were too violent.

More photos: Mediterranean storm - Menton