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Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

Stepping Stones

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

Boundaries and borders are made for crossing! Bridges, fords and tunnels are the most common ways of traversing a river. The Stepping Stones on the River Mole at the base of Box Hill are part of a National Trust walking route around the hill, designated an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty in The Surrey Hills. I grew up in the area and we walked around Box Hill many times as children, always delighting in crossing the stones! Rivers have always been natural boundaries within the landscape but the waters around the stones are actually very shallow. Children go barefoot through the waters, often with a net for catching small fish, newts and larvae in the shallows of the river. It’s always made me laugh that during the Second World War authorities actually removed the stones in case of an invasion! They were replaced in 1946 and are still enjoyed by walkers of all ages today.

I had to get past a few of my own limitations to get these photos for you. My mobility is very poor and I usually go out in my electric wheelchair to explore the landscape, nature and local wildlife. Obviously the Stepping Stones aren’t exactly wheelchair accessible! Fortunately they are very close to a carpark just off the main road to Dorking. I’m also fortunate to have a Simon who loves coming out with me and enabling me to do photography projects that would be impossible on my own! He helped me down into the water and then passed my camera and tripod down to me so I could find some good views of the stones. I was in my wellies and didn’t have a problem with my early shots. I really wanted to get views from a number of aspects to show the beauty of the river and the surrounding woodland. There are several things that I learned! 1: If you crouch to adjust your tripod you will get a wet backside. 2: Dogs do not understand the concept of waiting for the stupid photographer to complete a long exposure. 3: Just because you remember the river being shallow enough to cross near the stones doesn’t mean that it’s the same depth either side. 4: Wellies that are full of water are very hard to get off!

38 comments on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

    • Thanks Robin πŸ™‚ Oh, I can just picture Dad’s Army in a desperate fight to remove them! Don’t panic, don’t panic! The thought that it could have prevented the movement of enemy troops is hilarious πŸ˜‰ I think Box Hill itself would have been a more evident boundary!

  1. I admire your temerity in getting these images Sarah. I wanted to go down to these stepping stones in August, but the rain and my sprained ankle stopped me. So lovely to see them photographed so beautifully, I could not have done anywhere nearly as well. And a lovely contribution to the boundary challenge. Thank goodness for Simon, where can I get one from? πŸ˜€
    Jude xx

    • You certainly wouldn’t have been able to cross them Jude!! I don’t even want to try, hence wellies and wading πŸ˜‰ It’s not far from the carpark but the path is a bit rough. Most of the photos that I’ve seen of the stones over the years have been taken from the near bank. I just had to get something different πŸ˜‰ A lot of the work is in the processing! I thought the autumnal colours would be a bit further on than they actually were so I will hopefully go back at the end of the month or early November. Simon and I are a good team πŸ™‚ I took him to watch Steve Hackett again tonight. He’s one of Simon’s heroes from the early years of Genesis and has a fantastic band that he works with now. Yes, I was working again, although I do happen to absolutely love Steve Hacketts music!

  2. Beautiful photos, Sarah. And you my dear, are an inspiration. You put my wet backsides and belly to shame. Do you know if there are any photography groups for people, like us, that deal with physical disabilities?

    • Thanks Charly πŸ™‚ I do wonder how much I’d be pushing myself if I wasn’t also being inspired by fellow photographers here on WP! I haven’t found a single disabled photography group anywhere but I know for a fact that many of the really talented photographic artists that I follow on here have a range of chronic illnesses and disabilities. I really do think that keeping inspired and challenging ourselves is a real aid in staying as well as possible. Hope you’re feeling a bit better this week?

    • Thank you lovely lady πŸ˜€ I sometimes forget just how beautiful some of my local area is! I wish I knew what the stones were originally like. It was very soggy indeed, Simon had to yank them off for me back at the car and we got more laughter from others returning to their own vehicles πŸ˜‰

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    • It is a serene spot and very inviting on a hot summer’s day! The walking routes around there are so lovely and it’s a real shame that many are inaccessible to my wheelchair. I have some wonderful childhood memories of walks in the hills πŸ™‚ Next time I shall either go barefoot with a towel waiting or get some waders! Thank you πŸ™‚

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