Watch the Rising Sun

Meadow in Dawn Light

sit amidst the

long grass and watch the rising sun

lovingly caress the meadow

*

golden rays revealing

the innocence of daisies as they sway

to a light morning breeze

*

breathe deep the

blissful quietude and embrace the

awakening of your soul

Long Grass in Dawn Light

These pictures were all taken at the meadow in my old village last month. I might not live there any more, but I just couldn’t stay away. Hopefully I’ll manage to get there again sometime soon. Unfortunately, getting there for a dawn photo shoot now includes a half hour drive, rather than simply a stroll around the corner!

Grass

I’m joining in with Camp NaNoWriMo again this July, which means my blogging is going to be taking second place to working on my novel for a little while. I have got a few photography and poetry posts (like this one) sat in my drafts folder, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep things going on the blog for a little while, even if I have no little stories to share.

In case you’re interested, the novel I’m working on is the same one I began last November’s NaNo. I’m hoping to get it to a point where it’s actually a coherent whole – which, as I don’t generally write in a chronological order, but rather leap around the story wherever my imagination cares to lead me – can be quite a feat! The novel is a young adult, otherworld steampunk fantasy, and, while it doesn’t really yet have a title, here is the initial blurb:

Centuries ago, the Kennithi-born mages ruled the world with an iron grip, their magic giving them the strength to subjugate any and all lesser races. Their reign only ended when the Order of the Veil learned how to bind their powers.

The world moved on, with science and steam-driven technology taking the place of magic. Marked by the silver web of magic frozen in their veins, the Kennithi became the downtrodden people – feared and despised. Their only protectors became the very Order that kept them chained. 

But everything changes when an inventor, experimenting with electricity, accidentally sets free his Kennithi assistant…

With any luck, I might even manage to complete it sometime this year!

Changing Seasons 2017: February

February arrived at the meadow and the little wooded area beside the stream, enticing nature to quicken as the year edged slowly onwards…

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(Remember to click on the galleries for better views of the pictures!)

As youthful sunlight grew bolder, caressing the earth with an enlivening touch, new life began to stir amidst the leaf litter. Green shoots pushed free of chill dirt. Soon, hosts of delicate snowdrops bowed their heads in shy greeting, whilst hearts and minds swelled with romantic ideals.

Bathed in dawn light or dusk, the paths meandered over the meadow and beneath the trees, drawing footsteps onwards. Benches invited those visitors brave enough to face the frigid elements to sit awhile in peaceful contemplation. Meanwhile the stream flowed on in a silvery ribbon…

Within the tree tops birds gathered, peeking from behind branches and darting from perch to perch. In search of partners with whom to share the coming months, they sang their boastful songs as they preened, their chests puffed out in self-importance.

Amidst February’s burgeoning landscape, a multitude of detail was hidden – for those who were willing to look. Bracket fungi provided stepping stones into fairy lands, whilst ivy bedecked in dewdrops glistened in dawn light. Strands of fur tangled around brambles, hinting of life forms present when a human gaze was absent.


This post is for my February edition of Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons Challenge. It’s a little later than I’d hoped to post it – mainly because my internet is still not completely back to normal. It’s not too bad for visiting blogs now, but unfortunately it takes forever to upload pictures!

If you’d like to see how the meadow, wooded area, and stream have looked at different times of the year, please visit the ‘Changing Seasons’ category in the menu at the top of the page.

Do you have a favourite picture? I’d love to know!

Changing Seasons 2017: January

As the midwinter celebrations fade into memory, the new year settles into a haze of grey monotony – a progression of days shrouded in obscuring mist. But even amidst the gloom, an allure can be found if you open your eyes to the sight. Light will filter through even on the dullest of days.

(Remember to click on the galleries for better views of the photographs.)

Find your way to the natural places, and breathe deep of the chill air. Bathe in the peace to be found as you connect with the earth. The daylight might yet be thin, lacking the strength to which it will grow in the months to come, but it is strong enough to enliven your spirit as you walk across the meadow and beneath the trees.

Whilst no flowers yet bloom, and the trees remain starkly bare, there is still beauty to be found in the minutiae of the wild places. Beneath your feet toadstools continue to emerge, whilst moss, ivy and lichen add touches of greenery to a largely umber world. Droplets cling to leaves and branches, reflecting back at you a miniature world, bathed in light.

Amongst the branches a multitude of birds flit, darting from perch to perch in search of sustenance. Blue tits, long tailed tits and blackbirds can all be spotted, adding life an movement to the wintry tableau.

A final sight to lift your spirits can be seen as January draws to an end. The first hints of Spring’s revival can be found amidst the remnants of the old year – fresh green leaves reaching towards the sky. Soon new life will arrive.

new-growth

This post is for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons 2017. As usual, I have far more than the 5-20 pictures we’re asked to share – though this is barely a quarter of those I could have included. Sorry, Cardinal. o_O I’d say that I’ll try to stick to the limit better next month, but I know just how low the likelihood of that is!

As I began last year’s challenge in February, this post actually brings me full circle. I had thought about photographing a different place this year – but the meadow, wooded area and stream is where I always want to visit when I head out of the house with my camera. And there’s always something different to be seen…

If you’d like to take a look at some of the previous posts for this challenge, I’ve now added a Changing Seasons category to the menu at the top of the page to make them easier to find.

thechangingseasons

Changing Seasons 2016: December

During December I again photographed the meadow, wooded area and stream in my village for Cardinal Guzman’s Monthly Changing Seasons challenge. With the busyness of Christmas preparations, along with an unseasonably warm but drearily overcast month, I only managed a handful of visits to my favourite place, but luckily those few walks gave me plenty of pictures!

Remember to click on the galleries to see the pictures at a larger size.

So, come and join me on a walk through the meadow, down to the wooded area and beside the stream, as December takes hold…

frosty-trees-and-stumps

You breathe deep of the chill air as you walk across the meadow’s open expanse, enjoying the feel of the crisp grass and the fallen leaves, rimed with ice crystals, as they crunch beneath your feet. The paths that in the summer months wound through long grasses, are now mere echoes upon the ground, but you follow them still. Whether in the shrouding mists of early morning or the sublime gold of the afternoon, each footstep carries you further from your troubles, opening your mind to the possibilities that lie ahead.

The many benches scattered around the space draw you to rest for a spell, allowing you to absorb nature’s serenity. Wrapped warmly in woolen layers, with hat, scarf and gloves protecting your extremities, the chill doesn’t bother you as you meander from perch to perch, though you don’t linger long at each stop. There are many more areas to explore, after all.

Resting on the bench newly placed beneath the trees, you gaze at an area held tightly in December’s grip. Oak, birch and horse chestnut trees all stand starkly bare. Winter green has now become dominant within the woodland spaces: holly, ivy and fir adding a dash of colour to an otherwise bleak scene.

Arising from the bench, you walk alongside the stream, watching the sluggish flow of water beneath the icy tendrils that stretch out from the shore. The afternoon light gilds branches in gold, adding an element of warmth that your chilled senses deny exists.

You carefully watch where you put your feet as you walk beneath the trees, taking care not to trip over the jagged remains of tree stumps or to tread on any of the funghi that continues to sprout amongst the concealing leaf litter.

You stop where a branch reaches out over the water. The last few leaves cling like tree ornaments, whilst water droplets glint around them, hanging like nature’s own midwinter decorations.

But nature’s own are not the only decorations to be found. Strung from the trees throughout the wooded area are fat balls, packed full of winter treats for the birds, whilst strings of popcorn drape over the fir trees clustered in the corner of the meadow. Robins, blue tits and long tailed tits can be seen flitting to and fro, enjoying their midwinter feast.

Finally, as the sun sets beyond the trees, and with your senses bathed clean by the calm stillness of nature, you take your leave of the meadow, wooded area and stream, knowing that soon you will return…

clouds-over-trees

I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on a walk around my favourite place. Did you have a favourite picture? I’d love to know which ones caught your eye.

If you’d like to revisit some of the previous months’ galleries, you can follow the links below:

February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

thechangingseasons

Changing Seasons 2016: November

During November, despite spending the majority of my time working on my NaNoWriMo novel, I still managed a few walks down the the wooded area, stream and meadow to take some photographs for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons monthly photo challenge.

Don’t forget to click on the galleries for better views of the pictures.

Come on in.

entrance

Walk through the trees of the little wooded area. Here, fallen leaves crunch underfoot, whilst light filters through branches adorned in gold. Follow the path beside the meadow…

…until you reach the stream. Take care at the water’s edge, where leaves create a false surface, tempting you to step closer.

If you look carefully as you wander beside the stream, you can spot lots of toadstools still growing amidst the leaf litter. Lying on frosty ground in the early hours of the day to take photographs is no fun, but the results are generally worth it. 🙂

Step out from beneath the shelter of the trees and into the open space of the meadow. The ground is speckled with leaves, fallen from the surrounding trees. If you’re early, the ground might still be frosted white, or the view may be hazed by mist. Perhaps take a seat on a bench for a while, and watch the sun warm the chill earth.

As you walk, be mindful of the minutiae of nature’s shift from autumn into winter. Crisp leaves and fallen seeds, some frosted with delicate ice crystals or lit by golden light, can be found wherever you look. The last few berries speckle the hedgerows, their colour fading in mottled patterns, shining as if gilded in celebration of the changing season. Spiderwebs drape over branches, strung with dewdrops that glint like fairy lights.

If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the wildlife that flourishes in the wild spaces. Birds flit from branch to branch, their voices raised in song, the motion of their wings carrying them rapidly out of sight. Squirrels scurry, collecting nuts for their winter stores.

squirrel

Yes, the only one I managed to photograph during my walks was a lone squirrel – and he was too far away for me to get a good shot!

I hope you enjoyed the virtual walk. I’d love to know which sights caught your eye – did you have a favourite view?

You can see the previous month’s galleries here:

February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October

thechangingseasons

 

Changing Seasons 2016: October

sunlit-leaf-2

During October I’ve again been photographing around the local meadow, wooded area and stream, taking pictures for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons photography challenge. For those of you who don’t know, local to me is a little village in the east of England, near the border between Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. The meadow is my favourite place in the village. I like to sit beside the stream, or on a bench in the meadow, to write my stories and poems. I find the place wonderfully calming and inspirational. Unfortunately I haven’t spent anywhere near as much time there this month as I would have liked, especially over the last fortnight, which means that the majority of these pictures were taken during the first half of the month. Hopefully I’ll be able to get out more in November.

Don’t forget to click on the galleries for a larger view of each picture.

Let’s begin by taking a little wander through the trees, watching out for toadstools underfoot, and down to the stream…

Although the mild weather we’ve been having this year means that the leaves are only just turning, October has nevertheless seen autumn steadily taking a stronger hold. Fruits and seeds were flourishing wherever I looked, with toadstools in particular becoming a regular focus for pictures.

Whilst the majority of the leaves have only just begun shifting into their autumnal colours, there were a few early ones that caught my eye.

Bare of summer flowers, the meadow has provided far fewer opportunities for photography during October than in previous months. But that’s not to say it’s provided none at all. There have been a number of misty mornings, and these in particular gave me some interesting scenes to capture.

I’ve already posted some black and white pictures of the spiderwebs that could be found adorning the trees and plants, but I couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures in colour, as well.

Unfortunately, there has been little in the way of wildlife for me to photograph this month. I’ve spotted a number of squirrels, but they never stay in one place long enough for me to capture them on camera, whilst the spiderwebs were all strangely devoid of spiders (not that I’m really complaining about that!). I did have one encounter with a robin during which I took a lot of pictures. Like the squirrels, though, he was flitting around so quickly that only one shot is even close to being in focus, the rest are pure blur.  I thought I’d share that one with you anyway, even though it’s not as clear as I’d have liked, along with a shot of a buzzard in flight over the meadow and a late red admiral butterfly enjoying the ivy flowers.

I hope you enjoyed October’s pictures. Did you have a favourite? I’d love to know.

If you’d like to check out the previous months galleries you can follow the links below:

February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September

thechangingseasons

CB&W: All About Nature

sunburst-over-fading-bluebells-b-and-w

In amongst the

minutiae,

the everyday,

the hither and thither

of life rushing by,

there’s no time to talk,

no time to rest,

no time…

dawn-daisies-b-and-w

Stop.

Breathe deep.

Tilt your face to the sun;

feel the warmth on your skin.

The world will wait.

fly on cow parsley b and w 2.jpg

Listen to the

harmonies of nature’s music

as wind strummed trees

join in chorus with buzzing insects,

whilst trilling birdsong

fills the air.

robin.jpg

All it takes is a moment.

So stop.

And breathe deep.

The world will wait.

b-and-w-foxgloves

This post is for Cee’s Black and White Challenge. This week’s theme is It’s All About Nature. The pictures were all taken at the meadow at various times this year.

I hope you like them.

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