Thursday, 29 January 2015

Walking in Circles, Again

Encouraged by recent inspiring posts from chums over at Sun Dried Sparrows and Grown Up Backwards, I've been digging around in my hard drive to find the photos from a couple of local walks I took last year. This first set is from the evening of August 31st, just as the nights were beginning to draw in. Click on any photo to enlarge it. More to follow soon.

Accompanying the visuals is Greek post-rocker George Mastrokostas, trading as Absent Without Leave, with the appropriately titled 'Evening Walks', from 2008. Find more Absent Without Leave music here.


I featured a river walk last time, but this one takes me in the other direction, East. First though, I head out over the marsh.

Swinging left, away from the road, I cross a field and arrive at the river. Look at the length of my shadow. This is a fairly long walk and the sun is already low, though this heron has found a few evening sunbeams to bask in.

All is quiet at the quay. The sign shows me the way.

This is a circular walk and I still have a long way to go until I reach the halfway point, but the sun is already dipping below the horizon. This stretch of river is far more open than the area I walked through last time.

I wonder why this cow is looking so intently in my direction, when suddenly there's a gentle whoosh over my right shoulder. The cow wasn't looking at me, it had seen a barn owl crossing from the other side of the river. It pauses for a breather on a post right next to the cow.

I've never seen a barn owl quartering on this stretch before and I click ecstatically, capturing absolutely nothing but fresh air on my camera, so I give up and for several minutes silently watch the beautiful creature in action. Finding no success in its search for food, the owl swings back across the river just ahead of me and I manage to secure a couple of blurred images.

After about a mile, I leave the river, clamber over a crooked style and negotiate that rarest of all terrains in this area - a hill!

Well this is what constitutes a hill round these parts anyway! And I get a good view back along the first half of my journey from the top.

I love this dirt lane. I like to imagine that this was once a main thoroughfare, frequented by highwaymen lying in wait for a passing horse-drawn carriage - perhaps I've been out on my own for too long! It is becoming very dark.

Even the animals in surrounding fields wonder what on Earth I'm doing out in the middle of nowhere at this hour.

Passing birds form an arrow in the sky - though pointing in the wrong direction! Fortunately the sign on this gatepost tells me all I need to know.

In the a glade on the other side of the long hedge on the right, the evening calls of birds and other animals echo in a spooky cacophony. To my left, a lovely location for an owl box, though I've never seen it in use.

I've been out for well over an hour and as I near civilization, a mist begins to gather on the marsh. A final signpost looms out of the gloom.

I practically have to feel my way across the last short stretch of field towards the houses in the distance. This footpath brings me out in the middle of the village and the warm glow of our nearest streetlight, a few hundred yards from home.


Anonymous said...

Utterly wonderful walk that was a real pleasure to take with you. The amount of wild life and farm life is impressive, To see an owl in flight like that must be spellbinding. Technical question from a camera novice: as it was getting so dark, how did you get so much light into the later photographs. What sort of setting do you need? Your part of the world is just so lovely. It's many years since I've been that way and it takes me back. The music works really well, too.

C said...

SO gorgeous - thanks for putting these up. I love them all but especially the boats and the water, the cows (prettier than Longhorns!) the moon and of course the barn owl, such a privilege to see let alone photograph. I think those "blurry" shots are actually great - you've captured those flight movements beautifully.
Although it's all flat, there are still some clear differences between your corner of E Anglia and mine - lovely to see a bit of yours!

Charity Chic said...

I don't think that the dreich streets of Southside Glasgow would offer up much competition

C said...

Charity Chic - I'm sure they would offer much of interest and I for one would like to see them, having never been there!

The Swede said...

SB. Glad you enjoyed the stroll. This set of photos were taken not long after I got the camera, so at the time it was a question of pointing, pressing and hoping for the best. On this particular walk I took a huge number of shots, many of which were a dark, blurry mess, but the best were as a result of leaning on a solid object (a post usually)to keep a steady hand. More recently, I've been experimenting by taking the same shot over and over, changing a particular setting each time, to see what difference it makes to the result. I'm finding that this is a good way of getting to grips the camera.

C. Thank you! I hope we're going to see more of your part of the world soon!

Charity Chic. I'm with C. I would definitely like to see a bit of you local area. I've never been to Glasgow either.

Spreadin' Rhythm! said...

I can't tell you how envious I am! We were in the U.K. for a three-week vacation last June and hiked through the Lake District, but to be able to pop out my door for a stroll, as you can, every day??

The Swede said...

Marie. Did you see the post I wrote about my ill-advised climb of Helvellyn in the Lake District as a teenager? It's a stunning part of the country, but I was young, stupid and lucky to get away with it.

Spreadin' Rhythm! said...

No, Mr. S, I didn't see that post, but would love to read about your adventure. I'll go back through the archives to see if I can locate it.

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