Wordless Wednesday: Heathers For Heather
This Is Bliss
This image just had to be the one to share today for ShareMondays2018, Fotospeed and the WexMondays challenges! We’ve been away to Shropshire and Worcester this weekend visiting parents-in-law. Driving over the Long Mynd on Saturday afternoon was glorious! Fast-moving clouds shifting the light and shadow across the heathers and bracken, short sharp showers and a real freshness in the air. The countryside up there looks positively verdant compared to much of Surrey, still parched from the long, hot summer! I had hoped to see some ponies and got lucky near the second car park. I can’t walk very far at all, but they were just in range for me to ramble my way over. The group had five mares, a gorgeous foal and this fabulous stallion! He posed among the heather for a while, knowing full well just how beautiful and photogenic he is, but this particular moment brought such a grin to my face it became my instant favourite photo of the week. He’d wandered closer toward me and then sank to the ground to roll about with such a blissed-out expression on his face! That roll definitely hit the spot and reached that itch. They were a chilled-out family group, coming right up past me as they grazed. It was truly blissful perching on a rock watching them! Being away has limited how much processing I could get done so I will share some more images of the group later in the week, especially with the lovely foal!
This week’s challenge has given me a great opportunity to travel back in time to 1994. These were part of my days at art college when I was blissfully shut away inside the darkroom, experimenting with abstract photography.
The Black & White photographs were originally shot on Ilford HP5 400 ISO film on my old Praktica, inside the Earth! I don’t think that I would dare to take a modern DSLR underground with me. Too much sensitive technology that could be damaged! The Praktica was such a robust SLR, it really did me proud. I still have it although it’s been a few years since I last used it.
In my teenage years I enjoyed caving, among other outdoor activities, and a bunch of us regularly went to the Mendip Hills in Somerset. These images are from GB Cave, a locked cave (entrance only with the Charterhouse caving club) that is well known for a large Gorge passage, made by an underground river, with a rock bridge that leads into the vast Main Chamber. The impressive stalagmite and stalactite structures here are all part of the largest continuous void under the Mendips.
All these photos are lit only by torches and our head lamps. I loved the way the light glistened on the damp surfaces of the calcite formations. I really felt like I had stepped into the very bowels of the earth! The structures are so organic and fluid that I came to see the caves as a living, breathing entity. The Earth is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the surface!
We came home today from Shropshire and as it was such a beautiful day we drove over the hills that overlook the cottage where Simon’s mum lives.
This is The Long Mynd and the views really are spectacular!
I’d like to add that this evening Simon’s daughter, Charlotte, gave birth to her second child, a little boy called Matthew Paul. Congratulations to you Charlotte, partner Danny and big brother Callum 🙂
Welcome to the World, Matthew! This is some of the awe-inspiring beauty that awaits you.