Sunday, 29 March 2015

What lies around that corner?

As I take yet another photograph of a path, I realise that I have a fascination with roads, tracks and paths of all kinds - in spite of liking my nature as wild as possible. So here are some of the photographs of roads, tracks and paths that I’ve taken over the last few years.

The most recent first, the one that set me thinking. This is a path at a park near home that I've photographed several times at different times of year.

At a local park last week
This is another path near home, on one of my default walks. Here it is a couple of weeks ago, looking green in spite of the season.

Near home a few weeks ago

The next picture is the Taunton and Bridgwater Canal, taken in January this year on a bitterly cold day (and including Frog and Dog).

The Taunton and Bridgwater Canal in January

I took this picture of the road that runs past our house in February a few years ago. I've always called it 'Waiting for spring' because it seems filled with such longing (or perhaps it was just me).

Waiting for spring

And here are some less wintry pictures. The first was taken near the village of Otterton in East Devon at the end of April a couple of years ago.

April near Otterton

Here is the same park as the first picture (different path), one September.

September park

Seeing these pictures together makes me wonder whether it's paths' sense of mystery that intrigues me, their brooding presence. The air is thicker in paths than in the space around them. If only I could take hold of it and squeeze it, I might have some answers. What is the meaning of the road ahead? What is it telling me? Am I going in the right direction? What lies around that corner or at the end of the path where the view fades into the distance?

My life is full of uncertainties and change at the moment. My mother is ill. Frog's jobs are in upheaval. I'm no longer 'a writer'; I'm the editor of our local magazine. I have no idea where I'll be in the next few weeks, let alone months.

Although it's tiring at times, I don't mind. I've always been a walker, a traveller.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Describing colours

I see that Roselle has done a recent blog post called ‘Shades of yellow’ and this reminds me both of a post I've done of the same name and of Roselle’s novel-writing course which I followed a couple of years ago.

One of the exercises on the course was to describe a scene, being precise about colours – not just saying that something was ‘brown’ for instance but describing the particular shade of brown. I realised that, because I’m not a painter, I didn’t have words for the different shades (eg umber, sienna, sepia – as my Thesaurus tells me) but could only describe them in terms of other objects, eg ‘chocolate’ brown.

So here is my attempt on my walk yesterday to describe the many shades of yellow I saw.

The usual description of this colour is 'buttery' but, looking closely, I see that there are darker bits - 'burnt butter' perhaps

The word that springs to mind for this lichen is 'sulphur' but I've never seen sulphur so 'mustard' would be more honest

Daffodils are supposed to be the epitome of yellow but they do have a 'sulphurous' tinge . . .

. . . unlike these celandines whose yellow is pure sun, pure joy - albeit with egg-yolk in the middle

I have no doubt about the colour of this string - it's 'lemon'

And that's not a good image on which to end this post, but that's the countryside for you. Perhaps I should end it instead with this picture of Ellie and the baby rabbit she caught.

As Frog says, it's the (terracotta) sandy paws that are most pathetic

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Worn out, muddy, end-of-winterish

This field at the top of the hill called out to me this morning to be photographed. I think it’s because it reflects how I feel myself at the moment – worn out, muddy, end-of-winterish. Here is the same field in September (2013) - spruce and fruitful.

I’ve spent the week sewing, taking a break from the editing of our local newsletter on which I’ve been working flat out ever since I took it over last October. I had begun to feel out of touch with myself.

I don’t think I’m good enough to be a novelist, but I miss writing. I miss the solitude and the freedom. Editing and winter have drained my creative cauldron. I need ploughing, manuring and re-seeding. I need light and warmth.