Last week was the 4th visit to the beautiful Walled Nursery at Hawkhurst for my camera and I. It is such a pleasure to be able to go back and photograph this site regularly; we are in the manic throws of spring here and, what with the toils of Mother Nature and the progress of the greenhouse restoration, every week presents something new to record. The challenge I have set myself is to try and produce photographs as opposed to snap shots of all this productivity.
Which ‘six’ of these ‘pixx’ should I have chosen? I just don’t know.
It’s been a while. I shall make no more apologies, suffice to say I’m struggling to get here regularly at the moment. However, because Lightroom Mobile has made it virtually instantaneous, I am dropping something into Instagram on a regular basis: https://www.instagram.com/sixpixx/ which, for the most part, will eventually make its way to this site.
Some of today’s photos won’t make it to Instagram – they’re too personal. Whoa, how did I make that decision: is my blog a more intimate space than my Insta account? And even, why would I want to put something quite personal into the public domain on any platform? Strange and interesting but I don’t have the answer.
Anyway, spring has arrived, even if temporarily, and we’ve been brave today and faced something that needed doing. Today, Poppy got delivered to her final resting place with strict instructions not to antagonise other family dogs (Loulou and Smiler (Emma)) who already rest there. It’s a good spot, especially in the spring when the wood anemones become bluebells and the fox cubs play amongst the pine and oak tree trunks in the evenings. They were always countryside dogs and it’s nice to think of them there.
It wasn’t quite the same walking the orchard this week without the little white thing but the weather was fine and the cider brewery didn’t clear all the apples so the colours were resplendent in the autumn sun. It was such a fine day, we extended our walk up to the castle and engaged with the ducks who are always extremely outrageous but highly comical.
It hasn’t been a particularly good week. After a second trip to the vets with a growth in her mouth and a heart murmur that strongly indicated she wouldn’t cope with the anaesthetic, it was recommended that we make the end easy for her.
Isn’t it ridiculous. Despite being 17 years old, she was still very fit and this was not the outcome I’d prepared myself for. The other half, being country raised and far more pragmatic, had prepared himself for this eventuality. It will be hard for him; they went everywhere together.
Little did we know this was Poppy’s last walk around the orchard – at least she got to stuff that sneaky cider apple before we could get to her. But, who will now nag me for the carrot tops? Poor Molly, not much of a doggy sleep over for you.
We took ourselves down to Alleppey (or Alappuzha) with a view to spending a couple of nights on a rice boat in the back waters. Little did we realise that it was a national holiday in India and the place would be heaving. After elbowing our way through the other tourists along the quayside where the houseboats were moored and speaking to a couple of captains, we agreed that it may not be quite the unique, romantic, enlightening experience the guide books would have us believe and therefore, opted out.
The host at our homestay had said he could organise a day with a backwater village guide and so we arranged that instead. And, what a pleasurable experience it was. My only regret is to not have spent more evening and morning time on the water when the villagers are going about their daily chores on the rivers.
It was quite a hike to the top of the Lewes Downs to witness the parascending at Mount Caburn which, compared to the trouble I’ve had getting these images to resemble the beauty we witnessed up there, all recollects as rather effortless now.
I posted photos of this development a couple of years ago when, between Crowhurst, Bexhill and Hastings, there was a mud bath with random bridges crossing the countryside. The town was up in arms because of the destruction to the marsh land. Well, with more and more cars, we do need more roads. This link road that keeps traffic off of the seafront gets me to work in a third of the time (selfish, I know) and the council are doing a great job at opening up the surrounding countryside with bridle, bike and foot paths. I like it.
It was a bit of a climb (understatement) which was more acute than high but well worth the effort. Luckily, before we went, I hadn’t read anything of the tales of rituals and witchcraft that have been reported from and about Chanctonbury Ring that sits up high on the South Downs in Sussex. And, maybe my excitement to possibly wild camp there one evening has been somewhat dampened since reading said tales – we’ll see.
I don’t usually do flowers but ‘winter is coming’ so, before all life is drained, I thought I’d go and see, with my 70-300mm lens, what colours could still be found, in close up, in our beautiful, local park.
Waking to a bright, sunny autumnal morning earlier this week, I thought I might challenge myself and take myself off to a new, different type of place to photograph. Just up the road from us is a beautiful little church, nestled in the woods – hence the name ‘Church in the Wood’ – and it would be the first time I had tried to capture a graveyard. Maybe a little macabre for some but, although not being religious, I do find them serene. And, a good chat with the 87 year old gardener (wish I’d got a shot of him) and the sexton who tried to tice me into Christianity with bacon butties rounded off the morning nicely.
I tried editing these images but whatever I did, I couldn’t seem to make them look better – maybe my crush on Photoshop is gradually waning. These are as they came out of the camera. Now that I’ve photographed it once, I need to go back soon and take the photos I wish I’d taken. Here are six (or seven) of what I got this week. I hope you enjoy the serenity of them.