The Winter Walker

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You can step back through time on Wenlock Edge. The trackways across the ridge-top have doubtless been trodden by itinerant traders since Stone Age times. In fact if I didn’t know that the lone figure on the path ahead of me was Graham, I might tell you that this is the shade of a six thousand year-old stone axe merchant, or a four thousand year-old Bronze Age smith. Or closer to our time, say two thousand two hundred years ago, it could be an Iron Age farmer trekking through the woods.

There are also traces of Roman farms either side the Edge, and from the Middle Ages until modern times the limestone from which the Edge is formed would have been quarried for building and for iron making, and also  burned in kilns to make lime mortar and fertilizer. And then there is the 400 million year geological history of the Edge itself – starting in times before fish had evolved, let alone mammals. (I won’t mention the four foot long giant water scorpions that lived back then).

But landscape as a portal to the past – it’s an intriguing notion.

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This week at Black & White Sunday Paula’s guest, Lisa Dorenfest, gives us the theme of ONE. Please go and see her stunning photo, and Paula’s own response to the challenge.

42 thoughts on “The Winter Walker

  1. This is wonderful, Tish. It could be so many things but it reminds me for some reason of the practice in ancient Britain, and perhaps elsewhere, of the leader or someone else, being sacrificed for the harvest. Must be all those Rosemary Sutcliff books I so dearly love. At any rate, I love the shot no matter the interpretation.

    janet

    1. Thank you, Janet. I think that’s a very good interpretation. The sacrifice. One who is sent ahead to intercede between the mortal and spirit worlds.

  2. Most atmospheric image, Tish! And I love the idea of landscape as a portal to the past…something Alan Garner explored in his books

  3. I love the idea of a landscape being a portal to the past. When I was a little kid, I used to walk through the woods alone and make up this story along the way that my journey would take me to the past (specifically to The Little House On The Prairie days because I was a huge fan of those books). Never happened, but the stories I would tell myself kept me entertained for hours. This image reminded me of those days even before I ready your text about ‘portals to the past’. And the past you have transported us to on this ancient walkway is just marvelous.

  4. What a wonderfully succinct history of Wenlock Edge, and thanks you for your restraint in not mentioning giant scorpions. The photo is a beauty too – you’ve caught that mysterious figure, one foot raised, striding along as history. Did you pose Graham?

    1. No not posed, (that would definitely go against his grain) rather making best use of his habit of walking into my photos when his presence was not anticipated 🙂

  5. You really capture the magical and mystical history of layer upon layer of human, animal and geological history here Tish, well done…makes me miss the UK, used to live there but now live in a relatively young place New Zealand. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Athena. Actually, I gathered from some recent films on YouTube that NZ might have a far older, and pretty complex human history than is generally made known – e.g. the different populations that preceded Maori settlement. All fascinating stuff – the movement of humans across the planet.

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