It is Spring; it is beautiful. The trees are gradually being enveloped in a haze of fresh green leaves, the sun is shining, and bluebells are starting to drop shadow the woods with blue. I am working through the winter’s photographs, looking at places that will soon be made inaccessible by bracken. These are hidden corners, away from the popular footpaths. If they are not quite forgotten—note the stacked logs—then they are quietly neglected. These are my favourite places.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the effects of erosion—by water and feet—on the landscape, and have been paying attention to the residual signs left behind. In the case of this photograph, taken near Ambleside after storm “Callum” in October, rapidly flowing flood waters have pressed the grass flat, almost tearing it up by the roots. Of course these effects are short-lived—the grass will soon stand up again—but they are a record of immense force.
I’ve been working on a project about the River Rothay in the Lake District for a few years now, and it’s gradually taking shape. More information is here.
This winter has been one of the longest, and most miserable I can remember. What has been especially strange is the way the wintry weather continued even when the light was clearly indicating Spring. This was taken in March at Fox How, near Ambleside, in the Lake District.
This image was taken in February, when the earth was still cold and covered with last summer's remains.
This place hasn't changed much since I used to play and fish here as a boy. When I look I hear the rattle of wind, the swooping grind of the sawmill, and the slap of cable on the masts of yawls. We never used to catch anything in this spot, but on the other side of the sluice gate, which protects the land from the tidal Humber, there were eels. The big ones were strong as a cow's tongue; they wrapped themselves around your arm and would not let go. Sometimes we would find them in the grass, crawling like snakes.