Armada Drive, says the road sign on Achill Island, County Mayo. The misfortunes of the Spanish Armada of 1588 are a compelling drama. King Philip's invasion fleet came to grief off the west coast of Ireland and over some years I've explored this beautiful coast and its shipwreck locations.
You may read Atlantic Odyssey, inspired by a trip to Achill Island in a heat wave of June 2013. It's good to hear from readers so do let me know what you think.
Go to My Books and enjoy Atlantic Odyssey
There is no one to be seen, only a few footprints. Mid-January weather is volatile, something of everything: fresh snow thawing, squalls of hail, a north west wind ripping through a holly bush like an express train, flinging a raven high above the escarpment, inflating my hood and seeking to rip it off, blue sky and a sudden menacing darkness.
This afternoon, I am 'In Search of Mary Shelley' . 1816, the year when Mount Tambora erupts. The year without a summer, disharmonies in the natural world apt for the creation of Frankenstein.
Being in the moment and engaging with your surroundings: that's the essence of being a nature writer. And on this January day the play of sunlight over a landscape of frost and ice was delightful.
Jumb Quarry and its mounds of green-slate spoil was a puzzle. 'Storm Desmond' caused that, Judy said, indicating changes in the spoil mounds. I know of destruction in the lower courses of the river, but up here? I like a challenge, I had to find out.
To find a dipper's nest behind a waterfall is impressive. To film fledglings launching out through the cascade on their first flight is awesome. Rob, the cameraman on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's programme about wildlife in the Wye Valley, should be proud. We see two beaks reaching out toward the curtain of water. Somehow the camera catches the moment of launch and picks them up as they scramble out of the river onto the safety of a rock. And Rob photographs the adult bird swimming and foraging for invertebrates on the bed of the river.
A bright week-end in early January. Saturday is mild and Kendal Race Course is heavily poached by cattle, so churned up it's impossible to find dry ground to stop and put on waterproof trousers against a sudden shower.
The moon by night, a clear sky and the ground freezes hard so next day walking is easier.
I heard geese in flight and a faint chirping in hawthorns and a deep-throated raven. But there were few birds to be found. The low sun dazzles if you walk south. Light snow on the distant Lake District Fells.
My name is Jan Wiltshire. I am a writer and naturalist living in Cumbria and I take photographs.