Bright Water, Wild Breakers

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The coast in winter is a special place. When we came to Port Wrinkle beach on a late December morning we found the seascape lived up to its name. From the clifftop at least the incoming tide looked scenically ‘wrinkled’.

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But down on the shore it was another story. Those ‘wrinkles’ reared and unravelled with such force they left you breathless. This was Cornwall where for centuries past communities had depended on the sea, and not only for fish, but for smuggling and the harvesting of washed up cargos from wrecked ships. Soon you were wondering how it would be if life and livelihood meant the daily taking on of such seas. Would you have the heart for it?

You know you wouldn’t. But never mind. We were only there to look. And spectators can afford to be thrilled. And so thrilled we were. Bring on the white horses!

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copyright 2021 Tish Farrell

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: words beginning with B and W

Bright Square #9

High Noon On Brooklyn Bridge

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Our early June arrival in New York coincided with a heat wave – 100 degrees F and every degree making its presence felt. We had thought that standing over the East River might have a cooling effect, but it didn’t. And so we did not bother to exert the energy required to cross the bridge to Brooklyn, only went midway then retraced our steps. Our New York-born friends were astonished when we told them. ‘You mean you didn’t cross the Brooklyn Bridge? You only walked half way?’ ‘Yep. Too hot.’ There were disbelieving looks. But then there was a stunning view of downtown Manhattan coming back.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: triangles, diamonds, squares

Dawn Docking At Red Hook ~ Queen Mary 2

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This week Cee wants to see black & white subjects  ‘bigger than a bread box’. And since ‘bigger’ some how prompted notions of New York, I thought I’d opt for the more extreme end of large with these shots of the Queen Mary II.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: bigger than a bread box

Our Town ‘On The Farm’

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The path to Bradley Farm

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Walk out of Much Wenlock in any direction and you will almost instantly find yourself amongst crop fields or pasture. Our town is quite literally ‘on the farm’. The field name behind our house on Sheinton Street says it all: Townsend Meadow. In the nineteenth century it really did mark the town’s end. I also remember when there was still a working farm, Brook House Farm, in the town centre, one of the last of its kind. These days the farmyard buildings have been barn-converted and gentrified. I recall glancing through a newly installed window in the roadside barn and seeing a small grand piano standing where once winter-housed cattle huffed in their straw filled stalls. Odd to say, but when the farm went, it seemed the town had lost its heart.

Brook House Farm 17th century last town farm

after the harvest

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There are also small fields within the town boundary. Our scenic route to the shops features the path beside the Cutlins, the meadow where various members of the Highland Cattle clan, aka the MacMoos, are often installed.  And then, when you reach the kissing gate at the bottom of the path, and after all decide not to go shopping, you can turn up the lane by the Priory ruins and be eyed up by sheep in the Priory Park. Baaaaah!

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: anything farm related

Clamour Of Rooks On Sytche Lane

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Or it could be a parliament, a building, a storytelling of rooks.

The people who lived in our house before us called it Rookery Cottage. We didn’t adopt the name. The house actually sits beside the main road out of Wenlock and the rookery is behind us on Sytche Lane,  with a stretch of Townsend Meadow in between. Even so, we do hear its clamour, especially on spring and summer evenings. And we do have ring-side viewing of the whisking-whooshing corvid ballets that feature over the field in the twilight hours of early autumn. These aerial displays are a sight to behold, and are among the Farrells’ household treasures.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Birds

Six Word Saturday

Over The Garden Fence

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It does seem perverse to photograph the guerrilla garden’s very colourful crab apples in monochrome. I  anyway didn’t much care for the result. Then I started tweaking the exposure and contrast in my editing programme and thought that this was quite an interesting ‘take’ for Cee’s challenge this week of circles and curves. And then I had a look at the photos I’d taken of the dewy grass over in the field – some very gentle curves and glittery droplets, blue or sepia tinted. Pleasing, I thought.

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: circles and curves

My World In Sepia

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I seem to be having a ‘sepia season’ just now. It’s suiting my mood. And I anyway like the ‘antique’, slightly mysterious cast it gives some of the shots. I took them earlier in the week – along the lane from the Wenlock Priory ruins. The magnificent Corsican pines tower over the Priory visitor entrance, the place shut up for months now. I’ve no idea how these trees came to Shropshire, but I’m guessing that the Milnes Gaskells who once lived in the Prior’s House, or The Abbey, as they called it, may have planted them. This would be back in the days when Henry James was a repeat visitor and the priory ruins were something of an extended garden feature for his genteel English hosts.

The next two photos provide views of what was once the Priory ‘parkland’, now mostly owned by Wenlock Estates, a family trust, and grazed by sheep. In the Priory’s heyday the monks apparently had a high old time, hunting on horseback across their extensive domain. And not only that. One wild young monk, William Broseley, headed a gang of bandits, Wild West style, and Prior Henry de Bonvillars in 1302 was charged with raiding and horse stealing over on the Welsh borders.

Sheep were also an important monastic commodity, the wool a source of great wealth in the early Middle Ages. In 1284 another slippery Prior, John de Tycford, caused consternation and monkish fury within the sacred confines when it was found he had robbed the house of its wealth through a spot of canny futures dealing. He managed to sell seven prospective years of wool and then make off with the loot. Things are much more peaceful here these days.

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Lens-Artists: You Pick It This week our excellent hosts, the Lens-Artists, invite us to choose our own topic.