We like to walk in Hadley Wood, normally we park in Camlet Way, Monken-Hadleybut there were no spaces so we went to the car park at the bottom of Hadley Wood Road. It is a magnificent old English wood with magnificent Beech and Oak trees. Both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and possibly James I hunted here, it was then part of the extensive Royal hunting grounds, and I imagine stepping where royalty once rode.
There were more visitors, couples, groups, single persons than usual so we took our selves to a part of the wood we’d not before been, it was weird having to social distance in a such large wood! This new part felt and looked quite different.
I used this photo in the featured image but I like the whole photo so I repeat it here.
We absorbed energy from the trees, walked and chatted then found a convenient log to sit and stare a while. Trees talk too, chemicals drifting in the air and dialogue through the network of roots and fungi running under our feet. Even fallen trees shoot green and sometimes stumps are kept alive by nutrient supplied by the trees around it.
After a while to wandered off and came across a fallen oak tree that was being cut onto pieces. Up close like this, trees seem huge I could see how oak is so very heavy, massive.
On one of them, that looked as if two trunks had grown together, you could see marks of the chainsaw used to slice it.
Eventually we came to the bridge made of railway sleepers, that crossed one of the little ditches that run down the hill. It is near a pool that had form during the rain of last year.
I liked the contrast of shadows painted on muddied water next to clear and bright reflections of trees and sky.
More mud than reflection here.
Here the tree seems to be holding up the bank in an upside-down world.
We dodged back into the newly discovered part of the wood to avoid some walkers. Good job we did or we would have missed two shrines or, perhaps, shamanic portals to the other worlds.
I particularly liked this one. One of the stones has red markings.
I like reflections especially if they are on a grand scale. In fact one of my previous posts in October 2017 focused on this. They show a world apart from the one I inhabit, are mysterious and deep though they exist only on a surface, no depth at all. Imagine my excitement when we came across a waved, glass-sided building in York Way en route for Coal Drops. The reflections looked like a painting.
We had been told of the development behind Kings Cross Station alongside Regent’s Canaland decided to have a look. The station itself is well worth a visit, the Victorians built to last with such Panache , confidence and style. I had not realised that the canal development was once a coal yard, Coal Drops Yard. We approached it along the south bank of the canal where there is still much building taking place. I like watching boats I suppose because of the times I spent with my Father on his various vessels. A motorised barge came by towing a house boat. The waterfowl in the bottom right hand corner was taking no notice!
There is a large open space with water shooting up from the ground and several food huts. One selling Taiwanese lunch boxes had a very long queue that never seemed to reduce. We had lunch in a Brasserie which was very pleasant but I’d like to try the lunch box next time we go. If we are early enough they may be no queue. I took a photo of the water feature but not the huts.
The shops looked boring and were probably too expensive but it is early days yet, the area has to settle in. I took some shots including one of the gasometers that had been converted to apartments at over £800,000 each. A welcome and interesting use of our industrial heritage.
On the way back we stopped on the bridge where York Way crosses the canal:
looking West is was quite spacious but narrow to the East and looking up We spotted elephants!
and further along Harry Potter.
The reflections in the wavy glass building were quite different looking South.
Finally me having fun and a poem on reflections and my fascination with the thought that water has been everywhere and the water in my body has occupied millions since time began.
Epron – Deux Sevres
I reach for the other world of cloud, trees and sky
but it’s not there; only the cold and weeds,
great fish that tickle my fingers.
At the weir a knife has sliced along its edge,
peeled it back to lay bare a turbulent cascade.
I could follow it, spinning in my coracle,
bounce amongst continents, come to another land
where it rains, joins the bodies of women and men
transpires through trees, shrubs and them
to drift back through sea and air, fall here and there,
rain again, where I am now.
Cameras today are mini computers with a lens fitted; the software is amazing and something I have not yet got to grips with. Making taking photographs easier has created another problem of being able to use very complicated systems to fully utilise what is on offer. During our trip to France this month, I resolved to try to get to understand some of the sytems available. The scene options I soon discarded as they seem to ruin an image and Photoshop can reproduce the effects anyway. The exception is perhaps the black and white setting which gives a good photo.
I used a polarising filter which organises light and this is why the reflections are dramatic. In addition I learnt how to use manual focus which gives better control over the shot.
This is fuzzy at the edge as I used an effect but you can see how clear the colours and reflections are due the polarising filter.
The left image below is looking upstream and you can see the fish-viewing windows on the left the right hand photo looks down stream so they are on the right. The clarity of colour can be seen.
A polarising filter also cuts out reflections on water but, fool that I am, I did not use it for the following shots. Some of thecarp are over 50 cm. long.
Though I think that not all reflections are bad, they can add an ethereal quality to the photos such as in the one below which is of a sunken dinghy outside of the kitchen window. You can just see one of the ten carp investigating.
The telephoto lens is great fun and for the following shot I used it with manual focus. The spider was only about 5mm long and I was about three metres away. It hangs around the balcony on one of the railings.
The railing he – or she – inhabits is to the right, out of shot. It was our coffee break.
Writing this, looking at the images made me think of how it was 15 years ago. One of my first A/Vs, Epron, starts and finishes at our house a decade ago and you may care to watch it. It is not too long and it gives an idea of how it was after a couple of years renovation. In the beginning there were no doors, roof or windows. Just 200 year old stone walls.
Niort is a biggish town nearby. It has a food market and some odd shops such as this Broccante. It must have been 75 metres long altogether. The proprietor sat reading at a table in the entrance and was taking no notice of what was going on. It is near the river featured in the headline image.
Reflections fascinate me and I spotted a good one in the glass front of the food market.
The colours and contrasts the slight confusion caused by the reflection intrigued me.
I then noticed the figure on the left so I zoomed in. She was about 250 metres away but the camera telephoto coped very well.
I like the vertical lines and the different blues. Even though it was a long distance photo I was able to crop it and still have a reasonable and fascinating image.
Even if the image is poor good old Photoshop can transform it as this profile shot, which I cropped from the main food hall image above, demonstrates. I used an ink outline function. Again it is the vertical lines and blues I find interesting.
Time came to leave and we made our way to Roscoff via Quimper where we stayed the night and what a lovely town it is. Beautiful, gentle, creative and the hotel, Best Western Hotel Kregennwas fabulous, quiet, welcoming and we both had a good nights sleep. Quimper is well worth a visit.
Here is a night shot taken with my ever-present iPhone
and here a day shot taken with a camera.
The street with a single woman walking down seemed an evocative shot; a slope, clean and no litter with the bollards at the end. I like roof tops as well as reflections. The roofs were taken from our hotel window.
We set off for Roscoff but first Valerie wanted to see Brest as it was such a strategic town in World War II. We didn’t stop so there are no photographs. We were amazed as to how many large factories there were along the coast. Every thing seemed new. We then headed towards Brignogan-Plage . The tide was out but the beach looked so interesting with rocks, the boats and trees. I tried out the panoramic setting; I am still amazed by this feature of modern cameras.
We had a picnic of bread with goose rillet, cheese and tomatoes with tea made with water from our trusty Thermos. It is not mentioned in Wikipedia but I believe it was invented in Enfield
The bench was too wet to sit on but was a lovely blue
and the red boat looked very pretty.
The wind was getting up as we set off for the ferry and I was not looking forward to crossing in the tail end of hurricane Ophelia. I sailed a lot with my Dad, in the Thames Estuary, but was never a good sailor. Fortunately I was OK I suspect that the hardening of the bristles in my inner ear which causes my age related deafness, afforded me protection to this dreadful condition.
After a night in a noisy hotel room in Torbay we went to hear our friend Jennifer Johnson read at the Torbay Poetry Festival. This is one of the first such festivals in England and is a well known event on the poetry scene held in the Livermead Cliff Hotel with a wonderful view over the bay. I like to hear Jennifer read. Her poems have an honest, well observed quality and are sensitive and heartfelt.
As I was listening I spotted yet an another interesting reflection with commere and organiser Patricia Oxley and one of the audience so out came the iPhone again.
A final look at the fish at Epron. As the wall of the house is the bank of the leat, we can watch them from our kitchen window. As the leat or millstream, is surrounded by private land the fish are safe from fishermen so it is a form of sanctuary. This year there were ten large carp and myriads of little fishes about 10cm long. It is lovely to watch them, both a beautiful and calming experience. Here is a short clip of a couple of meandering carp.