The weather during my recent trip to the Lofoten Islands was often disappointing, but necessity being the mother of invention, I tried to make the most of it. This minimal image captures something of the lonely, bleak feeling of these islands when the weather closes in.
I thought I’d share some more pictures from my walk in our short-lived snow, on Tuesday morning.
Chatley Heath is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and it is managed as a nature reserve by Surrey Wildlife Trust.
In its efforts to restore Surrey’s lost heathland, important habitat for several species at risk, the Trust has to do battle with birch and scots pine, the county’s dominant trees.
They self seed freely in the sandy soil. I have to say, however that they do look well together under a dusting of fresh snow.
I did find a few beech trees too, some still hanging onto autumn foliage. And one or two venerable oaks.
My 365 is from this day in 2009. I foolishly let on to my daughter’s headmistress that I took photos. Next thing I knew I was doing all the photography for the school’s new prospectus. It was a challenge for me, especially as at that time I had only a very entry level DSLR with lousy noise levels at ISOs above 400, no flash and little experience. But I enjoyed every minute of it. This image is from my first shoot at the school.
Finally, some snow. Circumstances (traffic and trains) were against me this morning and it was late before I managed to get out into the landscape. The thaw had begun, but I made the best I could of it all. I was attracted to the bright stems of these coppiced trees against the white.
On this day in 2009, I was also out photographing snow. My 365/34 was captured just 200 yards from my home. Situated south of London and within the M25, we rarely see temperatures low enough to form icicles like these, so they were a novelty I had to snap.
My 365/33 images are from this day in 2009. Overnight, we had experienced an unusually heavy snowfall. The children were delighted to have their first ever snow day. I must confess, I was quite excited too. We enjoyed a long walk, between snowball fights, and I snapped these on the River Thames towpath between Weybridge and Shepperton. in editing, I have deliberately over-exposed the images, trading texture in the snow for a light, airy look.
Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with it tail – Proverb
“The English winter — ending in July, To recommence in August.”
– George Gordon Byron
Thank you to those who have enquired about my recent absence from Focused Moments. I am fine, just flat out with college work and having to be very strict with myself about all things photographic as otherwise they might easily take over. ‘Normal service’ will hopefully resume next month, after we return from a brief visit to one of my very favourite European cities where I will be putting my new travel camera through its paces!
The snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.
-James Russell Lowell, ‘The First Snow-Fall’
Snow is forecast. We wait with bated breath. Services will grind to a halt, schools will close and we will make our annual pilgrimage to worship the fluffy white stuff before it melts.
“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened” ― Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
– Lewis Carroll