Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Beeches of Autumn

The low sun in autumn shines sideways through the trees, illuminating all the recently fallen beech leaves. Each particular tree rests in its own small environment. The beech tree seems to bring with it mosses and ferns. Chanterelle mushrooms can also be found nestling beneath them in autumn. The freshly fallen beech leaves could gathered into quilts to sleep through the winter, with a dry rustling sound of leaves turning slowly over. Beech grown as hedges keep their leaves throughout the winter, so provide a good screen and will keep the wind at bay. It chops nicely and it burns lovely, it has a smooth grey bark. Beechnuts are edible and were eaten in neolithic times. In spring the old remaining beech hedge leaves are finally pushed away by the burst of the new green leaves.


john said...

The leaves in photo six are not beech leaves and some of the branches in photo eight are of a twisted oak.

the Silverfish said...

Those are certainly lovely Beeches John, but I feel that I must ask one pertinent question,"Wheres the Sun,The Sand and the Surf"? Hummmmm

john said...

Cheers and thanks Silverfish

It's true that you can't see the sea in these, but where they were taken you do get the odd glimpse of the sea in the distance so it's out there somewhereish. I think it's still a bit cold for swimming but it doesn't stop some people here from doing it all winter.

Is it the 25th today? No. then I've just missed St. Paul's day and with it another bit of superstition to do with rural prophecy.

On St. Paul's day if it is fine, there would be a good harvest; if rain or snow, scarcity and famine. Clouds and mist signified pestilence, and high winds, war.

A cheery sort, those old folk.

the Silverfish said...

St Paul's day huh? I seem to recall that they built a church for him somewheres. Might just have been a rumor though, yuh know how these religious folk tend to stretch the truth at times. I mean even if they had built it, like where in the world would they have put it? And even if they had found a place to build it what would it have been good for besides burying strange or important people?

nobody said...

Holy shit mate, that's you as great-timing Johnny-on-the-spot with that lighting. Cinematic. I'm thinking it's what they wanted in the flick Legend (remember that?) but overcooked. Anyway, really gorgeous. And have you whacked a new lens on some of these John, or am I just imagining it? The wide angle look up...

Anyway, marvellous, every one a keeper.

Um... I don't know why I thought of this but: were ever a Barry Windsor Smith fan? Do you recall one of his in Epic magazine (or somesuch) about a fellow beguiled by a maiden and frozen in a wall? Him at his best.

Perhaps it was all the leaves and the sylvan vibe...

Skye said...

Lovely pictures John, it makes me wish that Spring were here and I could go out without all the extra layers needed now. Ah, what am I saying, as soon as the first snow hits the ground I look forward to Spring :)

john said...

Cheers Silverfish

That place sounds familiar. I think it might be in London, our sweet smelling capital city and home to the friendliest police force in the land. Lots of sights to see and all structures of society residing within.

The last time I was in London I was briefly stopped going into a famous art gallery by security because I was carrying a large guitar case, shaped like a guitar, containing a guitar.

Security asked me if there was a guitar in the case and I said 'Yes, do you want to have look? but they didn't, because I must have looked like a guitar player rather than a terrist, they're canny like that.

john said...

Cheers Nobody

Sometimes you just walk round a corner and there it is. I was heading for that spot but had no idea that it would be doing this when I passed through.

I took quite a few of the looking up ones but no different lens is used there.

I do have another lens which is a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 which is a beautiful sharp lens, can be used for landscape, very good for portrait, you have to get back off things somewhat as it's a bit of a telephoto but the good thing about it is that it's really cheap to buy, even though it's a top quality lens. A bargain for anyone with a Nikon. Blimey I should be getting paid for this sales pitch.

I had forgotten about BWS but remember him now, though don't recognise the particular image. I remember him having a detailed pre raphaelite style. I saw him bring Conan and suchlike to very high standard, if such a thing seems possible.

Like a lot people I first learnt to draw from comics, it still shows. The comic book artists are somewhat underrated, though not now so much I suppose. Their grasp of anatomy could be quite alarming but I always enjoyed the landscapes and worlds they could describe.

john said...

Cheers Skye

Yes, we have all the layers here too though I try to draw the line at two hats at the same time maximum, any more than that and it can start to feel stifling.

I'm not really that keen on hoods either as it is too much like watching things on tv rather than actually being there and anyway I like using my ears, even if I am getting an earful of rain.

We have plenty of time for more cold weather here yet, but it being nighttime most of the time is a good excuse for me not to be outside. It's light here till about ten past five in the afternoon now!

su said...

Envy those who live near large trees.
The giantess of spirit ever present.
Always thought I would live where I could trip over fallen branches and spent hours staring at lichen.
To smell the constant breakdown of matter - that sweetest smell.
Ah but instead I live in an open landscape - maybe one day - till then I have my forest experience vicariously through you and Chicory.

nina said...

You can sense the hoofbeats of the Tudor armies coming through on their way to some fal de rah. Glory in their hearts, impudent Beech roots impeding their high way, but perfectly concealing their presence from the Catholic insurgent.

john said...

Cheers and thanks Su

Yes I feel very privileged to spend time around all these beautiful trees and see them around here, I don't take my time in the woods for granted. The earth does have a lovely smell and it is constantly busy with its processes, all the stuff I like to see too.

john said...

Cheers Nina

I'm glad you are enjoying the photo's, it's also nice that they bring other pictures to the mind.

I haven't been able to get on the internet as much as I would like lately so I am a bit behind with most of my business. On the plus side as well as sorting some other stuff out I have been out walking plenty too and in the fog on top of the hills which is one of my favorites.

I expect everyone saw some of the odious Blairs 'performance' last week. The way he used the inquiry as a place to big up the 'menace' of Iran was for me one of the most revolting parts and in front of an audience partly made up of family members of people who had been killed in his previous wars. He truly is a person without any sense of shame.

An unrepentant war salesman, the lynch mob would be too good for him but either way I am very glad not to be walking in his shoes.

john said...

More photos coming soon.

Penny said...



Call me a johnny come lately, or a janie come lately,
more appropriate.

Fall photos, and some green leaves.
Haven't seen any of those in while..
what with the snow and the cold.

Some of the pics are surreal looking...
especially 8 and 9
eight is like a toss up between fallen wood or massive snakes

and 9, is that water under the trees, or rock, or bare soil, it is hard to tell.

but they are all great, and they are peaceful

john said...

Cheers Penny Janie and thanks

That's odd, for some reason I had it here that your comment needed moderating, I don't know why - they usually just go straight up.

I was thinking that 8 were a bit like tentacles, a sort of green HP Lovecraft. Number 9 is a very chalky soil.

The soil types vary a lot around here depending on where you are standing. There are all sorts; flint, chalk, pebble beds on top of hills, the very red stuff and also others. These beeches were taken right on top of a hill on a chalky earth bank covered with mosses and lichens.

I have been out walking today, sniffing at all the decaying leaves on the hills. I saw the first Snowdrops and a few Primroses the other day, so Spring is coming. The Bluebells in the woods are greening up thicker now as well. It seems like it's been a long winter.

Cheers for now, oh and ta for the book over at yours Penny.