I have found a secret place in the dene where my mam lives. Well it isn’t actually a secret place. I have been there many many years back. When I was a teenager, in the summertime, when me and my friends had nowhere to go we used to explore the dene. I can’t imagine teenage girls these days wanting to explore the woods, more like the make up counter or the clothes shops.
You have to fight the brambles to get to it but its perfect. Everything is so still and so quiet, even though the noisy world is not far away. I always think that I am not going to find anything to photograph but every time I visit I find something new. Nature is such a beautiful place to be. I have taken to, not just taking photographs of pretty flowers, but looking out for patterns and textures. Admittedly there is not a lot to photograph at this time of the year if you look closely you will find something. I love these ferns, they have such intricate leaves and look absolutely gorgeous in black and white. There are lots of them about, still very much alive too. Come summertime the dene will be awash with them. If I was very naughty I’d pinch a whole bundle of them and fill every pot in my back yard, but they belong in the wild, free, amongst the trees.
And just to prove that the world is coming alive too I spied some snowdrops, just starting to make their presence known amongst the dead leaves. Always a good sign. Always a welcome sign.
Life has been so hectic lately. I’ve been desperate to pick up the camera and get some photos taken. Sadly, tiredness and the weather has been against me. Tiredness due to having to cover holidays at work and look after my little mam on my days off. And the weather, well its been quite gloomy lately. Sleet, rain, wind, and such darkness. Not days you want to go out in. And I have a confession to make. I’ve been baking. Lots. Not that that is a bad thing. But when one can’t get the camera out then one still likes to create. Maybe its a growing old kind of thing because I was always so bad at baking. Now I can make a victoria sponge that tastes so delicious, especially with fresh cream in the middle. So I’ve come to the conclusion that good cakes come with maturity. Maybe I’ve finally grown up.
But enough of those delights, back to the camera. I did manage to do a little experimenting today with some shop bought flowers.
I particularly like this one because of the pattern in the wood. This is the floor in my kitchen. I also love the shadows the flowers make on the wood.
And shadows, well there has been a few of those in my life. And they still linger. Do you ever feel that you belong somewhere even though you can’t figure out why you think that. That probably doesn’t make sense but I often get that feeling when I experience a certain period in the past. I constantly feel like I am sat somewhere in a dress, Victorian, black. I love this period in life. Strange isn’t it. How one can feel comfortable with the past.
Maybe we all have a past life, and maybe that past life can still be felt in the present.
Plans were made to meet with friends and walk through the woods but due to illness, not mine, that was cancelled. Then I thought a walk across the fields might suffice my yearning for the outdoors but that idea soon went out of the window too. My last option was to take a walk along the old railway track and, after wrapping up warm, I finally escaped from the inside and headed out into the afternoon sun. And a jolly lovely time I had too. The sun was slowly setting and it cast such a lovely golden colour across the fields. And I got some photographs too.
A black day for the world but a good day for me. I made progress with something that has been painful to me for a long time. Wounds heal, the strong forgive and move on. Nature is good to us so lets start the healing.
On most of my days off I visit my mam. She is getting on abit, well she is over 80, so I try and do as much as I can for her. She lives next to a beautiful Dene in which I had many an adventure. So today when I had done my chores I headed off into the Dene to see what I could discover. It was a miserable day, one of those drizzly days, overcast, the days where you just want to sit on the settee and watch TV, or read a book. The ground was very wet and muddy and my way into the Dene wasn’t the best as most of the ground is covered in brambles. In summer its much worse but in winter the brambles are not as high and are easily stamped down. That doesn’t stop you from getting the odd scratch but I’m not precious so they don’t bother me that much. I didn’t get much close up work done, everything is pretty much dead but I did find this tree. It made me think that sometimes life is like that, bending over backwards to accommodate other people. And I do that a lot in life. Sometimes people are grateful for the effort you’ve made for them and sometimes they are oblivious or just expect it from you knowing that they don’t have to say thank you. Some people would say that you shouldn’t do it if people aren’t grateful but then I think, well, that would be churlish, and besides I do things for people not for the glory but because I am a human being and part of my make up is to help others. If I got to the end of my life thinking that I hadn’t done enough for other people then that would be a sorry state of affairs.
It will be interesting to see if this tree is still living. Come spring, and summer, I will revisit and hope that it is surviving in its upside world. Maybe it can then give me some tips on how to survive in the upside world that we live in. I wonder if the view is better !
On another note I also took this photograph, and even though I hate doing any kind of effect with photographs other then to convert to black and white I couldn’t bear to lose the beautiful colour of this little tree that was surrounded by its very large family.
I love trees, love taking photographs of them. But I often find getting the perfect shot of one quite difficult. Because where there is a tree there is also that thing that I absolutely hate, the sky. Don’t ask me why but I abhor taking photographs where there is an expanse of sky. The less sky I get in a photograph the better. I could of chopped this photograph right down so that the top of the tree was gone but this is one of my favourite places to sit, underneath this tree. Somewhere I have been sitting for 39 years, since I was 13. Yikes, how did I get old. So it would be a great dishonour to not show it in its full glory. I have to admit to that I whilst I am sat under this tree, there, just there, to the left, can you see me, scruffy jeans on, hair all over the place, quietly whispering to the tree so that anyone walking past does not hear me, and yes people do walk past, following the path across the fields that takes them down to the lake. When I had my beloved dog Pip, I could pretend that I was talking to her, but sadly she has gone, so its just me and tree. So to anyone walking past yes I am talking to a tree and I don’t care.
It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Full of cold today so went back through my external drive to see what I’ve got that I can share today. Found these two images which I quite like, especially the first one. It feels quite ethereal to me, other worldly, a place that I could disappear to, just now and then.
I also took time whilst editing photographs to reflect on the start to the year. I’ve had one little hiccup which has tested my resolve, but I held my nerve, just, and got through it. It is part of the road to enlightenment. I know there will be many hiccups along the way, I am a long way off reaching the end, if there is indeed an end. I don’t think life would be life without hurdles, we cannot avoid them at all, but I think it is how we view them and how we deal with them that is important. I think when you stop seeing them as hurdles and don’t let them bother you is when you may just be nearing some sort of enlightenment.
Every now and then I will be printing a selection of my photographs in postcard form. If anyone would like one sent out to them please let me know and I will pop you on my mailing list. I don’t charge for this, I just love the idea of someone receiving one of my images in the post. There is something rewarding about making that connection with someone. We spend our lives in a virtual world so to have something you can look at and hold onto. My email address is email@example.com so please feel free to drop me a message with your address.
More of Nature’s beautiful frost.