Tuesday, December 30, 2008
When the great Sun has turned his face away ...
There are few pleasures simpler than a walk in an English wood during the Winter months. And few more intoxicating either. Around this part of Buckinghamshire, most of the woods are Beech; High Wycombe was once the centre of the UK furniture manufacturing industry and many of the woodlands around these parts were managed to supply the factories. But there are mighty Oak remnants of the old Saxon forest and Sycamores, Limes and Birches a-plenty (and even a few Sequoia Redwoods, bizarrely).
We took the grandchildren to Common Wood - about a mile from here in the village of Penn - where there are always plenty of horses to admire in the fields around the edge of the woods and plenty of dead leaves on the floor to chuck at each other. As you do. There are some rope swings dotted about the trees in places too and the kids' smiles were evidence of the fun that a bit of old rope and a stick can bring.
The air was crisp, the ground still bore evidence of the night's frost and the sky was clear and blue. There is a quality of light at this time of year - something about the contrast and the polarisation and the long, long shadows - that just screams out to be captured on film. So I did just that.