Thursday, 8 January 2015

A Morning For Walking


There was much debate among weather forecasters but they all agreed about one thing: early morning was the time to be out and about if you wanted to catch the best of the day. So, taking their advice to the extreme, I was out before sunrise when there was still a little frost on the ground. 

According to my father, who had the information from his grandfather, when rooks stay near the farm bad weather is to be expected. Our neighbourhood rooks also seemed to be undecided and wheeled noisily and argumentatively overhead, some intent on heading south while others favoured feeding grounds nearer to home.

I hoped the home-loving rooks were wrong because I intended following the footpaths towards Fowlmere nature reserve. My steps led to Shepreth Moor, a little remnant of the old agricultural practice of using such badly-drained land as rough grazing.  

Modern farming methods don't leave any land untouched, but they do give rise to much used and disused machinery.

Here comes the sun! Blazing in from just above the horizon and throwing golden light on the winter grasses alongside the little brook.

So on I went, concentrating on the little details of landscape rather than the wider picture. 

A little ivy plant growing next to the sawn end of felled branch.

The rich textures of rotting wood - I took dozens of photos of fallen wood; the dampness of the melting frost bringing out the colours and patterns.

Finally I arrived at Fowlmere with its reed beds and alder trees. The alders were providing food for large flocks of finches. The sun had passed behind the encroaching bank of cloud which set the tone for the rest of the day.


Take care.





26 comments:

  1. Glorious photographs John, apart from the machinery - and we get places like that round here too.
    Hadn't heard the one about the rooks staying close to the farm before - must tell the farmer. Happy New Year to you.

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  2. You are brave facing a frosty morning for a walk but hey, what stunning photos you have made in that beautiful morning light. The timber texture is lovely too.

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  3. Hi John - love the 'tale' of your grandfather's weather knowledge from the rooks - I'm sure he was right. Strange though to see the ivy so green and young in January ... while the rotting wood - is a brilliant shot ... all of them are - England as it is ...

    Cheers Hilary

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  4. What a beautiful early morning walk John .... perfect to see and hear the world just waking up. By rhe way what are rooks ? I've never heard of them.

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  5. As far as I'm concerned John early morning is the best part of every day.. just as the sun is coming up, crisp and clear! Another set of beautiful images, lots of lovely macros.
    Btw I don't remember wishing you all the very best for 2015.. but of course you know I do :)

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  6. I admire your forbearance in getting up so early to take some great pictures. Here if the turkey buzzards stay close to home that means that bad weather is on the way.

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  7. Love your photos! Definitely worth getting up early for.

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  8. Great idea focusing on the smaller things rather than the wider view. I might follow your advice myself.

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  9. Lovely photos! I like focusing on the smaller things too!

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  10. Such a visually beautiful walk. I love the decaying wood and would also have taken dozens and dozens of photos too. Have a great evening. Chel

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  11. An outstanding progression of photographs, John. Your camera kept moving in closer as more light entered the scenes.

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  12. Very enjoyable photo journey through dawn in your neighborhood!

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  13. Really like that second picture.

    Northumberland really is a great place - I have walked about 75% of the length in the past - used to be involved in Outdoor Ed in the NE of England. I think my underlying thoughts about this trip (which did not really happen in a single day if the truth be told) is the way we privilege older histories, rather than pay attention to the ones that are still within reach. Cheers - SM - Melbourne

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  14. Predawn and early morning have such an air of expectancy about them. Birds are moving, the owls are talking, the coyotes slink across on their way home. I love to be out at this time.
    I like the textures of the grasses and the photos that reveal the icy coldness of it all.

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  15. As we say here in the U.S. -- "you hit it out of the ballpark." That is my feeling about your great photos in this post! -- barbara

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  16. Heips.
    Congratulations to waking up early and walking before sunrise. I wish I managed to do the same sometimes. But you took very successful and beautiful photos.
    Morning Wake endorsed, and you were certainly very proud of oneself.

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  17. Well you are an excellent photographer but I think getting up so early and it being so cold is not my idea of fun!
    Here in Australia and I am sure all around the World when there is no noise from birds, (Crows in particular) and cattle, sheep etc move into a mass for protection, that means a storm is approaching. Far more reliable if you are a country person especially than the weather forecasters.
    Colin. (Brisbane. Australia)

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  18. I loved this early morning walk. Beautiful. I also ended up after some reading at your YouTube site and really enjoyed that too.

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  19. I especially like photo no.2 with its big sky, but the whole walk was interesting. The rotting wood is very rich in colour. I always like a full moon, especially in the winter when the snow reflects the light.

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  20. A marvelous walk you took us on this morning John. Thank you!

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  21. Thank you for braving the early morning cold to share us the winter glints and the changing colors of the morning. Not only golds and silvers but also browns and rust colors are beautiful. I especially like the second and the ninth image.

    Yoko

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  22. Some great photos here! I like the deep blue and tree silhouettes in the second shot. The rotting wood is a close second!

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  23. I enjoyed your walk vicariously very much because it has been too cold here to get out in the early mornings, or any time of day. All your photos are beautiful, but I really love the one of the grain of the rotting tree trunk. You have such an eye for the unusual in the usual.

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  24. Great shots! I always am amazed when a shot that I have little hope for turns out to be awesome like your grass and ivy!

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  25. I feel like I was right with you on this photo shoot, John. Thanks!

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  26. beautiful series of images. I LOVE the ivy and black wood.

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