Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Way Back

Somewhere along these tracks and pathways I took an inconsequential turning and somehow found myself on the road to Wigan Pier, actually there isn't much mining going on around here but there has been trouble at'mill. Anyway it's lovely out here and there's nothing to do but walk all the way back, which should take about three hours, even if I am having trouble with my tenses. It could be done a lot quicker but I like to meander and sidetrack, plus there is the stopping to take photo's. Although over this side of the hills I can hear the constant noise of the distant airport, it is quiet in other ways. I only meet three people the whole time I am out and the space and air has a nice proper emptiness undisturbed by people.

There are plenty of good gates out here which I like; I have a thing about gates and so collect some more photo's. There is also plenty of insect life out here and the butterflies are particularly out in force on this walk. Since the recent disappearance of the blackbird couple there are no garden birds of any sort with us at the moment which does seem strange, but there are plenty of birds out here. Little paths with lots of corners that don't really go anywhere. I get the impression of many places that are not visited very often.

I have enjoyed finding an odd few houses tucked away down these old dirt tracks, I like the fact that even now such a thing is possible in our uptight and fussy country which prefers its land manicured or covered over with tarmac. I know that I am getting near a proper road as the litter starts to become visible again, always a sign of nearing civilisation.

I have to climb up over the hills and as I do the path vanishes from beneath my feet so I have to make one up, never finding the proper path. Near the top of the hill I get a view of the landscape in the summer heat that I have just walked across. The summer has faded now. These photo's were taken in July but the sun is lower again and the nights longer and colder. Wood supplies must be organised soon. I go up and over the hills and then back down slowly through the woods.


john said...

All that effort making an animated gif for photo three and they won't work on blogger.

nina said...

These are wonderful photos! I've been captured by number 4.
Now, this thing about the gif, yes, I saw it happen, my globe did not spin as it does elsewhere. But it doesn't really matter because your pictures come alive anyway.

john said...

Yes its odd that the gifs don't work, I expect there's a technical reason why blogger won't go for them but not to worry eh?

I like photo four too because it expands to include quite a lot of countryside. I was pleased with the composition of this one.

My friend here thinks that the tree on the right in the barley field looks like a giant chicken.

Cheers and thanks Nina.

nina said...

Now that you mention it, it looks like the Big Bad Wolf. He's gonna huff and he's gonna puff and he's gonna blow it all down. Heh.
I still adore it. The clouds hanging over the scene are so Dutch Masters.

queenofthenile said...

My favourite photo is #7. I love the half shade & blue sky in the puddle. I also love the dappled sunlight in #9. I look forward to seeing the countryside in your posts: always lifts my mood. The narrative of your walk lets me wander after you.

Do you ever encounter stinging nettles. First time I encountered them was at the side of the road in Hampshire. There was no footpath and we had to keep jumping in a ditch by the side of the road to get out of the way of the traffic. Looks like no danger from traffic where you walked.

BTW I read this week about the country house from "Withnail & I" being sold to a private buyer. I would have liked to visit some time in the future.

Skye said...

Lovely pictures to go with your narrative John! I'm not sure which one I like best, but that tree does look like a chicken, Foghorn Leghorn from Bugs Bunny comes to mind actually :)

nobody said...

If we're voting, I vote for 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9. In amongst all the Sylvan delight, that modern steel gate bugged me. I'm sure all the other gates were crap and that this is the only one that works, but I don't care. Give me art direction, or give me death!

Otherwise, very nice John, really lovely.

john said...

Thanks Nina, I like to get the clouds to come out in the photo's but the exposure between the land and the sky is always different so there is a bit of compromise I hope.

I was sat in a field for a very long time a few weeks ago and found myself staring in the direction of a distant tree. Pretty soon the tree had turned into a green man face so it is quite easy to see where these face come from now.

john said...

Cheers Queen and thanks. yes we have plenty of stinging nettles here. They are mostly thought of as a weed and the sting can be irritating but as children we learn the trick of holding the leaves by brushing them downwards as they don't sting and anyway the stings can be treated with the application of dock leaves which are usually found in great abundance. The nettles can be eaten and also made into tea.The insects and especially butterflies like stinging nettles.

The roads here seem to have been designed to discourage walkers and a lot of time is spent avoiding the traffic. The car is king here still.

john said...

Cheers Skye, choosing the photo's is quite a tricky process in regards as to what to include and what to leave out. I always take a lot of photo's and to show a walk you usually have to pull away from the detail and show some of the roads and paths and countryside, hopefully I manage to get a fair representation, thanks.

john said...

Cheers Nobody, sorry about the gates, I think the art director might be a bit of a modernist. These are only really incidental gates as usually my pictures of gates are more in the style of portraits, I'll put some up at some point I hope as there are plenty of nice old ones.

Cheers for now and thanks for all the comments.

john said...

Blimey! a new post from Jeff Wells at Rigorous Intuition, his first since Dec last year.

nobody said...

Thanks for pointing out Jeff Wells' return, John. I raced over and (what with its length) saved to desktop. I've read it now but I have to be honest and say that he lost me with this one. And I thought I was circuitous! Anyway I got to the last para and went, huh?

Still, he's a pretty read isn't he?

john said...

Yes, he's a pretty read alright. I wasn't entirely sure what he was on about either, it seemed to be a lot of H.P. Lovecraft from what I can remember but it's good to see him writing again as I had thought that he'd given the blog up. He can be an interesting read.

On a completely different tack I noticed the other day that Roger Dean had brought a new book out last October called Dragons Dream. I would like to see what he has been doing for the last twenty or so years.