Thursday, 10 March 2016

Trees: singly, grouped and in rows

Enticed the other day by a lovely sunny afternoon and the chance for my husband to try out his new camera, we went out in search of things to photograph.

I chose trees in all their forms. I especially enjoy them leafless and skeletal against the horizon. Here is a half dozen or so of my favourites from the many photographs I took that afternoon.

This group was taken below Hackpen Hill on the Ridgeway near Swindon. I love these clumps of beech trees that are scattered along the tops of the Wiltshire Downs. The pillow-like shape into which they grow is especially pleasing. As I write, I'm remembering a conversation with a friend (a fellow lover of trees) who gave such groups a special name. I've now forgotten what it was and Google for once seems silent on the subject. If anyone can help, I'd be most interested to know the answer.


We parked our car on the Ridgeway car park at the top of the hill and walked a little way along the footpath to those trees. Strong and mature, from inside the wood, they were equally appealing. They framed beautifully the view north towards the Cotswolds.


The sun was low in the sky and on the floor of the wood, the shadows were spectacular.


On our way home, we stopped several times when something caught our eye. One such for me was a row of trees that I photographed through branches in the hedge close to me on the other side of the field. 


In this single tree, I enjoyed the contrast between the living and the dead branches.


Last of all, was a row of ash and sycamore trees that I've been wanting to photograph for months, but the recent weather has not been kind for photography.


So far, I haven't manipulated any of these in Photoshop, but I suspect it won't be long before I do, and this time there might just be some colour!





18 comments:

  1. Lovely tree views. Is the answer to your question in this list:
    http://dare.wisc.edu/survey-results/1965-1970/trees-bushes-etc/t1

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    1. I had a feeling you might reply, Olga! I'd found this list too but I have memory of a word unusual and Anglo-Saxon in origin. When our friend returns from a protracted visit to Thailand, I will ask him and let you know.

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  2. Some real inspiration there to work with. I have such a fascination with trees and their sinuous lines. You should see my reference files!

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    1. ... And my files too, Sheila. I take endless photos of trees wherever I go and then file them by type - single trees, groups, rows, trunks, leaves, branches against the sky, exotic or unusual examples ... It's often said is it not that artists are by nature obsessive!

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    2. Sounds like your files might be a tad more organized than mine although I do have several sub-categories. Do you have one for dancing trees? :-)

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    3. Not really. I doubt I'm more organised as I think my reply above gave the wrong impression! To be honest, although I do have those categories, I'm not very good at getting around to putting new photos into them and they often just sit randomly in the other files so I spend ages looking for them when I need them ... and, no, I don't have one for dancing trees. I can't imagine the context!

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    4. Well, yes, I'm guilty of that too. Or my clever classifications then confuse me later and I search several folders where something SHOULD be but is elsewhere.

      Thought I might intrigue you with the dancing trees. I first ran into them at a site along the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington State side. See this post - they are pictured at the end. http://idahobeautyquilts.blogspot.com/2009/06/maryhill-museum-of-art-part-2.html

      Once I noticed them, I started seeing them elsewhere. The ones in this post were behind a motel in Montana. I just love that idea of something we think of as solid and stationary can look like it is dancing. No need for swaying in the wind! http://idahobeautyquilts.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-trip-home-last-leg.html

      Or maybe I just have an overactive imaginations... :-)

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  3. Would that be a copse? Soon as I saw that photo, "copse" came to mind. Great photos, BTW1

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    1. Copse would do the trick nicely but I'm sure there's something more unusual and special to this area and to these trees grouped in this way on the top of the Downs. I hope I'll be able to let you know what I find out when we contact our friend.

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  4. Wonderful photos, Margaret...it must have been hard to choose which ones to post! I, too, am fascinated by trees - one of my all-time favorite subjects - I love the "architecture" of their trunks, the unique geometry found within their branches, and how they each have such special personalities...
    Enjoy your future explorations!
    P.S. Was the word for a lovely grouping of trees by chance a "stand" or a "spinney" - ?

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    1. Many thanks, Lisa. The word 'architecture' as applied to trees is so right. I love the way each species has its own characteristic patterns of growth and decay. The artistic possibilities are endless!

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  5. Third attempt to leave a trifling comment ... about the nice trace of hedge in the final photo.

    And to wonder if the mysterious word might be in Macfarlane's book about disappearing words for landscape?

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    1. VMT - This could be the best lead yet! Now internet connection is fully restored following a new router, I will see what I can unearth.

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  6. les arbres 'inspirantes'! beau!

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    1. Merçi Elfi - Ce jour-là, il faisait beau temps. La lumnière et le ciel clair étaient merveilleux pour prendre les photographies en couleur.

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  7. Hi, it's Jeni from our Wednesday am printmaking class. I love hilltop trees too there are some fine groups in West Dorset. Funnily enough I resonate with your post as Hackpen Hill is where my ggg grandfather George Ballard was farm bailiff ! Lovely photos.

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    1. Lovely to make contact with you and thanks for your comment. I was very interested to hear about your ggg grandfather. The view from this spot and the shape of this clump of trees make it a particular favourite with us. We see it often on the way see friends in Salisbury and always stop briefly.

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