One of my favourite photos from this year, I took this back in February, on one of my (permitted) walks along the River Exe during lockdown.
A crisp clear morning where the footpaths glistened with frost as the sun was about to rise and the mist upon the river, adding an ethereal feel to an already beautiful daybreak.
As the sun began to rise, a golden light painted the scene where a young woman was feeding swans on a landing stage, the silhouette was what made the scene for me.
I could have just carried on walking after the shot but decided to wait until she walked back to the path, where we spoke about the lovely sunrise, I explained that I had taken a picture of her, asking if she was okay with me to put it on social media, which she was perfectly happy with as long as I sent her a copy too.
The best part of our (socially distanced) conversation was when she explained that she was due to have been in Mexico that day, for a friend’s twenty first birthday but of course, covid travel restrictions had cancelled that plan some time ago.
After I had sent the photo to Amla, I was so pleased when she explained that she had used the photo as an E-Card to her friend for her birthday, a happy thought that was small chink of light and hope during the long weeks of lockdown.
From an early age, I have always enjoyed the enduring appeal of woodlands.
Where once they were a place to play out childhood fantasies, they are now a haven of solace and tranquility, a source of pleasure from my walking and photography perspectives.
A walk around the woods at Shaugh Prior, just on the edge of Dartmoor is today’s destination, a place with the added bonus of the River Plym running alongside its banks.
The bronze and amber leaves of autumn have lost their crispness, as they lay discarded, turning slowly to mulch after weeks of rain, most of the trees, now stripped of their foliage, are arboreal skeletons standing bare against the elements.
Yet, amongst this austerity, the woodland still has treasures to show, rust coloured bracken against the lush green lichen coating both rock and trees alike, colour in this minimalist landscape.
Fungus that finds nourishment from a tree, long since felled, a single leaf hangs defiantly alone, just waiting for the next gust of wind to deliver the coup de grace.
I love the majesty of the granite outposts of rock, standing like guardsmen along the path, the sound of the river below, the wooden archways formed by the meeting of tree branches from either side of the path.
As much as I love to capture the essence of the woods throughout the seasons, spring will always remain my favourite, where the cycle of life begins anew, mother nature’s changing of the guard.