Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Autumn Walk (26 OCT 2011)

Previously, I have stated categorically that the scope of this blog is my back garden. However, it didn't take much coaxing from Carolyn, to encourage me to don a woolly jumper and set out for a walk with my camera and the intent of observing the first signs of autumn. There wasn't a choice of where to go. There's only one place to go walking near here - the local park. Nothing special about it really, just ponds, trees, three courtyard gardens, play-grounds, tennis courts, a renovated mansion for events hire and a cafe.

I can still find the spot where I was photographed on a crocheted blanket laid in front of some bushes, with a toothless grin and without a care in the world.

                            


I can re-trace the long way home from junior school, my mother scolding as ice-cream dribbled down my uniform.

    


It was the only place that I was allowed to explore unescorted as a teenager, and later my escape when family was too close for comfort before I owned a garden.



Even so, I still come here when I need to think or make important decisions, without the distractions of pottering around and pulling weeds.

             
  
          
I've never brought a camera to the park before.

My childhood memories are filled with birds and squirrels, all so tame that you can feed them by hand.

   


As the years pass, it's the trees that fascinate me more ....

This tree with its wiggly, outstretched branches, too wide to fill the frame; perfect for climbing yet never clambered. Its craggy trunk would have provided a step-up; its peeled, smooth ivory branches for sliding along to reach the prickly baubles.




I've never climbed trees, it was one of those unwritten rules, being brought up to play it safe. Now those rules don't apply, but I find myself fast approaching the autumn of my life and the number of missed opportunites increase day-by-day.
 
This tree with branches too haphazard to fill the frame, bends over to take a sip of water, staring at its messy reflection, prompting me to wonder if I should be grateful for not experiencing a few tangles.

 


As I leave the park, I check out a tree by the entrance. I never noticed how it twisted round until I had a camera in my hand. I went close to it to try and fill the frame, right up close till I was hugging it. Its solidness was comforting and its hugeness dwarfed my thoughts to nothing ... think I'll be taking more photos of trees in future.



Today I'm linking up to :
Carolyn's Autumn Walk Challenge   http://www.thisgrandmothersgarden.com/2011/10/autumn-walk-challenge-what-did-you.html
Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest : Fill the Frame   http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?p=18762



©Copyright 2011 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2011/10/autumn-walk-26-oct-2011.html

29 comments:

One said...

I really enjoy your photos today. Actually I thought the squirrel is framed with dried leaves. Do you see it?

The twisted looking tree with beautiful reflection is gorgeous. Is that the one you chose? The photo has not been posted at GGW yet. All the best.

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

I usually come from my own blog, but came from Carolyn's blog today. I love your special place. I would be a frequent visitor too. The trees are really interesting too, many look very old.

b-a-g said...

Thanks One - yes, I saw the frame. Most times I find a beautiful subject there is something in the background that spoils the photo. I linked up to Fill the Frame with the last one. I don't think the photo will win any contests, but it was a good excuse for hugging a tree ...

Thanks Donna - I'm lucky to have this park nearby. The mansion in the park was built in 1696.

Carolyn ♥ said...

This is a most heart warming post for me... the very essence of an Autumn walk... quiet reflection, discovery, new perspective, fabulous images. Thank you for joining in! I identify with your love of trees... and yours are beautiful.

HolleyGarden said...

What a great post. Loved that you have a special place that holds so many memories, and that it still is a place you go to reflect and meditate. The trees are fabulous. I enjoyed the way you singled them out, and showed each one's personality. I hope you can find a tree to climb some day. It's a great experience everyone should have at least once in their life. It's almost like being a bird for a short while.

debsgarden said...

What a beautiful park! Wonderful post. I enjoyed your reflections and your perspective on trees.

Donna said...

The park sounds a amazing and how grand to find all this beauty with camera in hand. I absolutely love to explore trees and these are fabulous especially the wiggly one. I love how you filled the frame with the other...beautiful reflections too!!

Orkneyflowers said...

How utterly beautiful. Thank you. We've no parks here (well one called a park that is a playing field.) I miss parks, those images are beautiful. I'm enjoying autumn through all of your eyes thank you.

Fay

Ps we have play parks but no 'gardeny parks'.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Awesome GGW photo entry! Short comment, but you should like it.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

What a lovely place to go to for a think. Part of me envies you still living so close to the park you knew as a child - as a baby even! You could still go tree climbing you know, why not? Though I must admit that now I am older I get scared more easily and haven't climbed any trees for at least 5 years.

linniew said...

Oh the trees against the sky, just the best. But isn't it great, how 'rules' fall away with age? It is like being let out of various cages...

Mark and Gaz said...

What a lovely glimpse of your area b-a-g, thoroughly enjoyed looking at your photos and fabulous trees! :)

Carolyn @ Carolyn's Shade Gardens said...

It is never too late to climb a tree. You should do it now. The gorgeous tree over the water looks accessible. I will be waiting for a report back.

b-a-g said...

Glad you enjoyed this post Carolyn - Thanks for hosting the Autumn Walk Challenge. If it wasn't for your meme I would have probably blogged about more slugs and snails this week.

Holly & Carolyn(Shade) - I have never seen anyone climbing trees in this park - maybe kids don't climb trees any more. I have a feeling that it might not be allowed, which I don't mind because I would hate to see those ancient trees getting damaged. I might try perching in my own cherry blossom tree though.

Thanks Deb, Donna, Fay, Mark&Gaz - The area where I live needs a park, somewhere to escape from the streets of houses, shops & traffic. We pay for it with our council taxes, it also won a grant from the national lottery a few years ago.

Thanks Linnie & Benjamin - Glad you liked the photo of the hugged tree. Rules fall away as you age, but by then you realise that they made sense.

Thanks Janet - I made a conscious decision to continue living near the area where I was born. It was the first criterion on my list when house and job hunting.

Giga said...

Spacer po pięknych miejscach i jeszcze kaczki, łabędzie i wiewiórka. Śliczne jesienne zdjęcia :-). Pozdrawiam

One said...

I came over from GGW's gallery. Wise choice. Your capture is one of the few that stood out. Take a look yourself.

Christine said...

What a special post and garden. To you it may not seem extraordinary because you've known it all your life but it is new to me so I see beauty in every image which I'm sure you recognized through the lens. thank you for sharing your special park and your memories ... I loved this!!!

easygardener said...

I think there is something very soothing about trees. Perhaps their sheer size has something to do with it - overshadowing us tiny humans, making us feel less important :-)

Alistair said...

Hello b-a-g, I also thoroughly enjoyed your post today, The pictures of your Autumn walk are very special. I have to overcome my feeling of self consciousness when using my camera in public places.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Alistair - I actually felt more comfortable with a camera looking like I was doing something rather than wandering around day-dreaming like I usually do. The area where I live attracts zero tourists so the only people taking photos in the park are parents of their kids feeding the birds and squirrels.
You can't tell how widespread the tree with the wiggly branches is from the path. When people saw me under it taking photos they came to have a look too.

b-a-g said...

Absolutely EasyGardener - makes you wonder if humans are really the superior race.

Thanks Christine & Giga - I didn't realise how special the park was until it closed down for several months for improvements. Visiting other parks wasn't quite the same.

Thanks One - I felt that the photo lacked colour and I wasn't sure which part to focus on, but it was the only photo that I took which fit the criterion of : fill the frame.

Saxon Holt said...

Truly wonderful photo that utterly fulfills the criteria for the GGW contest "Filling the Frame". Beautifully composed shot of a beautiful tree. My only hope would be to see it tack sharp even at the bottom.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Saxon - Surprised & delighted to read your feedback.

Hoover Boo said...

Marvelous photo--and a tribute to that beautiful tree.

One said...

Congratulations b-a-g! I told you it stood out. Happy for you that you won.

b-a-g said...

Thanks Hoover Boo & One - Still trying to figure out the difference between a good and not-so-good photo.
Here's a definitely great photo from the gold-medal winner:
http://pieceofeden.blogspot.com/2011/09/late-summer-sunset-in-mediterranean-dry.html
(2nd from last photo)

Andrea said...

Congratulations b-a-g! I try to look at all the comments Saxon put in all the original posts, hopefully i will be able to learn because most of the time I don't know how to do it, i just shoot by feel. Even now that it's ended I still cannot comprehend why one is better than the other!

b-a-g said...

Me neither Andrea - but I think the key is really understanding the criteria that the judge is looking for.

Shyrlene said...

b-a-g, your adventures were such a compliment to your photos! The image of a baby on blanket 'without a care in the world' was so heartwarming (you are quite the word smith!). What a great meme!

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