Out Walking

October 25, 2021
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Loch Leven
Walking the west highland way

 

 

It’s funny the things you notice when you are out and about. Walking along my favourite stretch of The Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire, my favourite because it is 10 mins away from my house and a fantastic escape from the rigours of daily life.

Colours

When you are pit walking at this time of year the first thing are the colours of this time of year, I have mentioned before the richness and fullness of the colours. Almost over saturated but filling the eyes with a feast. Yes, they are green and yes, they are shades of green but there is a hidden depth there. An orange-reddish tinge that is only just coming through and signalling the time of year. It adds to the natural beauty of the area. Soon this colour will dominate for a period before the leaves are blown down from the branches.

The grass will stop growing and the other plants will die back, but now they have a ripe fullness to them, and they crowd out onto the path. A display of both flowers and seeds some downy, some in pods. They all cram themselves into the land between the river and the path. Bursting over both, full of life and death at the same time. The race to produce fruit and seed over. That job done now there is the time before they move on to regenerate next year.

This year has been a good year warm and wet for long periods, so the plants have been bountiful.

Wind

The ever-present wind of the fens is here. Rarely is there not a breeze no matter how slight. Today it is a strong breeze that moves trees and plants alike. The backs of the leave are showing as the branches sway back and forth. The Rustle of the leaves is a pervasive sound. From a gentle hiss to a giant roar as the wind pushes its way through the trees. Apparently, it is going to rain the backs of the leaves are showing?

The surface of the river gets disturbed, small ripples form on and for a moment it looks like it is flowing backwards. This is a clean wind. It’s nice to stand and feel it around my face catching my breath and cutting through the jumper I am wearing. To watch the boats, move up and down on their moorings, or ploughing their way through the river the bow of the boat creating a wash that flows out and undulates on the bank moving the reeds about. A bit more of the river slides into the current to be deposited further along.

It makes a change to have a nearly cloudless sky, not good for photography but good for walking and brings a “gladness” to the spirit. The monotone featureless grey sky casts a gloom over everything. It is said that we, as photographers, can never hope to have the right conditions for good images, but I contend, and always have, you make the most of what you have. You go out and see what you can see, if you can’t take an image, well you have still been out and that must be good for mind and body.

Smells

Smells. The smell of, if not rotting, but aged vegetation, mixed in with 2 and 4 stroke engines from the boats that cruise the river. In the morning sometimes there is the smell of bacon wafting over the landscape. Coming from, once again, the boaters. Fresh cut grass and latterly hay are powerful reminders of the changing seasons. That and cow dung. Cows have a curious scent all of their own but you have to be quite close to actually smell it.

The landscape around us is constantly changing, moving, evolving. It changes with the weather, with the time of year and the time of day. The sights sound and smells should captivate us on their own. They should grasp us, and as photographers, we should see the changes, not just the spectacle one but all the minutiae that goes into making this world as beautiful and diverse as it is.

Thank you for reading If you are interested in looking at what I do please take a look at my Instagram feed HERE

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