Friday, January 17, 2014

The tranquillity of trees

Minster Lovell Hall from a distance, and hidden by trees. Getting a closer shot proved to be a problem.

Following on from my last post about capturing a hard frost at Minster Lovell Hall, an English Heritage property not far from where I live. It occurred to me last weekend, that I should pay it another visit, what with all the flooding we’ve had recently, I thought it might be a good time to go back, and see if I could get some nice reflections of the ruined hall in the swollen river.

I arrived late afternoon, to make the most of the warm sunlight, and could see that the grounds were indeed extravagantly covered with a lavish coating of water, thanks to the River Windrush bursting its, not particularly imposing, banks.

After strolling around and taking a few pictures it soon became clear that I wasn’t going to get anything much. I’ve never really had a great deal luck in capturing these ruins effectively, something to do with the way they’re positioned, and the how the light falls on them I guess. It was absolutely nothing to do with my lack of talent that’s for sure, I repeatedly muttered to myself, as I stalked away consumed with impotent shame, knowing I had been bested yet again. 

This was the most successful shot, a close up of a flooded part of the hall. Not exactly mind blowing.

To cheer myself up I walked to the far end of the grounds to greet a small gathering of trees, now partially submerged in the water, and began to snap away. It was actually rather peaceful there, as I had left the scampering, shrieking families behind amongst the ruins, and had the place to myself.

As if to highlight my new found oneness with my natural surroundings, a bumptiously curious robin appeared on the moss ravaged stone wall behind me. I stared appreciatively at him, and him at me, before he hopped down and proceeded to bounce and zip around my feet, picking up worms exposed by my random shufflings.

He even capered over my trusty wellingtons several times in a bid to secure his supper, without a care in the world. Predominantly, I believe, because of the natural trust and loyalty I inspire in all woodland creatures, on this green and pleasant land.

This is not the actual robin that I encountered, as you can probably tell by the Alamy
 logo in the corner of the photo. But nevertheless you can still see in his eyes, 
the unconstrained affection and, dare I say it, devotion he obviously has for me. 

So what with that, and the encounter with a family of llama’s a little while later, I was fully primed to absorb the wonder of my natural surrounds. Although it must be said, the llamas weren't quite as open and accepting as Reggie Robin (yes, I gave him a name, and an interesting back story as it happens), in fact they seemed rather sanctimonious and aloof. But not to be put off, I soon set about trying to capture the submerged trees and their reflections, hoping to bring out a sense of the tranquility inherent in the scene before me.

And here they are.

And here's one of those llamas I mentioned earlier. Judgmental bastard.

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