Oxon is really quite flat, except for the occasional river valley. Such as the one in which we live. We're of course not aware that we live on the edge of a valley - we like to believe we live on top of a hill. Going downhill, over the bridge and then up again takes us to where the flatness of Oxfordshire begins again. In the shape of a big field. In winter the field is quite melancholy:
And in summer perhaps too, albeit in a different way:
Today, the sun is shining (hooray) and for the first time it feels like it's providing some warmth. I've moved the solar battery charger out into the light - it has been useless since october. Whilst doing so I've discovered that the crocuses are definitely out. I've also heard some great honking in the sky, which, I think, means that the geese are returning. I like crocuses in theory, but practically they seem like flimsy, ephemeral guys to me, and I've tried in vain to do some good portraits:
I think an added problem is that they appear just when the geese come back, so they often serve as salad - since nothing else is growing yet, really. More often than not I stumble therefore over terribly mutilated crocus bodies, and just end up feeling awfully sorry for them:
For the last 3 years I've worked on how our bad habits affect water. At the bottom of my garden is a little stream which frequently helps me think about my work. It is clean (for England) and it is very beautiful - and I'm quite in love with it. I often just look into the water for ages trying to understand the world beyond it's gleaming surface. I took this photo some time ago just because watching the sun reflected in the water makes me happy. It was more like a reminder in the scrapbook rather than a proper photo. When you click on the photo to enlarge it, though, there is a little stone heart up in the left hand corner - I secretly hope that this is a loving note from the stream to me...
If I wait long enough the serenity of flickering sunlight on stones is generally interrupted by one of these chaps:
I went to Dartmoor this weekend, where I met a friend from Holland. Admiring the beauty of Devon over breakfast he concluded that there cannot be any industry whatsoever in this part of the country. This reminded me of a fieldtrip to Dartmoor I did a few years ago. The days were cold and blustery, and we were taken to landfill sites, disused arsenic mines and kaolinite pits. The trip did alter my image of Devon. Not all of it is green and hilly, and they do have some mystifying road signs:
I'm not sure what one is meant to give way to exactly here - but conceivably there are a few possibilities, maybe including the mythical kaolinite beast of Dartmoor.
Sometimes grey and wet unexpectedly turns into sunny spell. As was the case some afternoons ago, when we went for a walk on Otmoor, a boggy place not far away from Oxford. It was very cold and just moments before the sun came out we had been trapped on a flooded field and had fought hard to keep our shoes dry (with limited success). This sight, however, made up for all the pain:
Most of the time the weather here is either grey and dry, or grey and wet. The other day it was grey and wet. I stopped on my way home on Radcliffe Square - it was drizzling quite nastily but nobody (including me) had a brolly.
I was tempted to seek refuge in the Radcliff Camera, which is a Library -
it looked quite cosy, as you can see if you click on the pic, but then I remembered how dusty it is inside and so I scuttled off into the wet dusk.
I have been following Love Thursday over at chookoloonks for a while. Now I thought it would be nice to start this photo-blog with a bit of love: the snow drops have just come out in the south of England (after a rare bout of snow). They are the first signs of spring (and joy and growth and love!). I took a photo of those in my garden two days ago and noticed only then that the green spots on their leaves are in truth little green hearts. So I was pleased. Just a few days before, the Glyme Valley, near my house, looked like this:
And I know - for somebody who lives somewhere less maritime or more northern this amount of snow is a trifle. But for England this was SCANDALOUSLY wintery, and we were snowed in and couldn't leave the village for days, in fact.
I started my working life as a film maker. Then I began to feel useless and became a scientist instead. I love my new job but I can't give up cameras completely. Now I have accumulated so many photos that they're quite squashed in their digital box - so please click on them for instant liberation. If you want to know what cameras I use you have to click to see the complete profile.