Sunday, 6 March 2016

Treetime

Out walking today between the long line of trees that lead up to a manor house, I was struck by the beautiful shapes created by their previous pollarding.  Many of the enlarged stumpy ends of boughs from which the spindly new growths spring at awkward angles resembled animal heads.  I could see pigs with their blunt snouts and narrow eyes, cattle with flared nostrils and deer with fantastical antlers, entwined and knotted with mistletoe.  I wished I could capture them with my camera, but I knew the effect would be lost.  These imaginary creatures wouldn't survive the flatness of photography.

But I took pictures of the trees anyway.


Apart from zooming in against the light here, no special effects were needed.  I think of those marbled pictures you can make by pouring ink on oily water, or the result of blowing paint across paper with a straw.



I love this tree - surely some kind of monster:


But I also love how black and white can create a certain spookiness


It seems fitting that some scenes from 'Witchfinder General' were filmed right here.


Like a butchered animal carcass this trunk looks as if it's been cleaved in two:


And finally...




16 comments:

  1. That top photo is stunning C. The rest are good too but the first one is ace. I watched Witchfinder General quite recently. It proves that opinion that there's nothing quite as frightening as the English countryside.

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    1. Glad you like it SA. And Witchfinder General is one of my favourite films, just so full of atmosphere - and of course Ian Ogilvy :-)

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  2. Just beautiful photos, C! I adore trees and am practically swooning over the third one from the top!

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    1. Thanks Marie, trees are wonderful aren't they? So full of character!

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  3. Look at the new buds and colour returning...Spring :o) You are so lucky to have Mistletoe in your area, there is something very pagan and eerie about it hanging in the bare branches. We don't get it in this part of the world. Lovely photos.

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    1. Thanks Yve and yes, the new buds - the first hints of Spring, that lovely promise. I didn't realise that mistletoe wasn't around everywhere - there certainly is a lot of it here.

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  4. I envy you and the Swede. You both have quite an eye for these things.

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    1. Thanks Brian - I never think photos are going to work and much prefer just to look, but sometimes I think you can keep fingers crossed and click anyway, and they just seem lucky.

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  5. I like this. I take photos of trees now and again also (as I'm in Devon, there's a few of them around) but they never really catch what I see in them. Looking at a tree is like looking at a fire when you can see shapes and figures in the flames. I watched the film about Nick Cave recently called 20000 days On Earth and there's a bit where Kylie Minogue describes the first time she saw Nick Cave playing live, and she describes him as being like a tree, as if from an old black and white film with lightning behind him. And if you think about it, that's such a good description. Can you see a young Blixa Bargeld in your second photo down?

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    1. Glad you like, John. Yes I know what you mean about looking at flames, and clouds too... At least with trees the imagery is less transient, but even then they can be affected by the light can't they? Love Kylie's description of Nick and then your mention of lightning took me off on another train of thought about 'lightning trees'but they surely deserve a post all of their own!
      Blixa Bargeld?! Is he down at the bottom right?

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  6. Pollarding - what a great word
    Love the monster tree

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    1. Could be an album title, NeVEr miNd tHE pOLLaRds, hEre'S ThE HoRse cHEsTnUTs ?

      (I believe the ones here are actually lime trees but it didn't have the same ring to it)

      I'm not sure I'd want to pass the monster tree on a dark night.

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  7. Just wonderful photos C. The detail in the third shot is amazing. There is a little run of trees just down the lane from here that are pollarded (that doesn't sound correct somehow!) every couple of years. I really should take some photos of them in their various stages of growth.
    (That horse is beautiful too!)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed them - yes do please take some photos of your pollarded trees some time, it'd be interesting to see how they change. I've been walking down this line of trees for years and I wish I'd recorded them more but then again I've often had my eyes on other things - birds, sheep, cattle, horses, people...
      I felt so bad when I reached for my camera and the horse, who'd come over specially when it saw me lingering by the fence, obviously thought I had a treat instead. Next time better pack an apple!

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