Rooftops And Chimney Pots

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We have had masses of rains lately, so not much walking, but yesterday afternoon we were treated to an unscheduled burst of sunshine. We popped into town for some milk, and on the way home up Sheinton Street, this back-garden cherry tree caught my eye. And then the chimney pots with the sun on them, plus the odd visual juxtaposition of Wenlock Priory ruins, and the surviving roof-height elevation of the south transept (just to the left of the tree).

Walking Squares #16  Please join Becky on her November walks.

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Coming Home From The Edge

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It’s interesting but when you are walking about in Much Wenlock, you are very rarely aware of how steeply the land rises towards Wenlock Edge, or of the fact that the town sits in a distinct hollow with other not-so-steep hills rising to the east and south.

In this photo I am walking down from the Edge, following the path that ends up on Sytche Lane, a short hop from our garden gate. We’re lucky to have so many good walks on our doorstep, and mostly field paths, too.

Walking Squares #5 Today Becky is taking a walk close to home.

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Light And Shadow Over The Garden Fence

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Late summer and corn cockle seed heads against a Wenlock Edge sunset.

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Townsend Meadow behind the house; the fence surrounding the attenuation pond that protects the town from flash floods. And also our local carrion crow couple being nicely scenic.

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The upstairs garden seat in winter; the ash log sun dial, and the last of the crab apples.

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Autumn dawn, the guerrilla garden in shadow: Michaelmas daisies and helianthus. Townsend Meadow after the barley harvest, but still golden in the early morning sunshine.

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An early summer monochrome foxgloves and purple toadflax in the guerrilla garden.

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And an almost-monochrome. Shadow play on a dust sheet hug out to dry on the washing line.

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Lens-Artists: Light & Shadow  Patti has set the theme this week. Please pay her a visit. She has some stunning photos to show us.

The Wenlock Poppy Bomb

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One mid-summer evening when I was leaving the allotment by the gate rather than by my usual route through the field hedge, I glimpsed, on the far edge of town, over rooftops, and between trees, an astonishing scarlet blaze where I’d never seen one before. Home was forgotten, and off I went to investigate: over the main road out of Wenlock and down a lane beside the old railway bridge, into a field with an abandoned barn by the gate, and there it was: an entire field of poppies.

They looked to have exploded from an oil seed rape crop, but it was hard to tell. Had someone sabotaged the farm seed, or did the farmer do it on purpose? Whatever the cause, it’s not happened since. But it was one of those weirdly wonderful happenings wherein it was hard not to grow very over-excited and run amok. I took lots of happy snaps, then dashed home to spread the news to he had a much smarter camera. And then we went back and repeated the excitement, all fuses fired by poppy power.

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The Square Odds #14

A Saint On His Cell Phone?

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Once seen it’s hard to unsee (also pardon the pun).

This carved stone panel comes from the 1220s Lavabo – the erstwhile monks’ washing place among our local ruins at Wenlock Priory. The panel is one of two survivors, which date from the 1160s but were then reused in the later building of the Lavabo. They tell of the lives of the apostles. The chap on the phone is apparently John.

Here’s a general view of the lavabo remains, sitting in what was the priory cloister. The three-arched building behind was the library, and the round carved archway (far right) is the chapter house where daily business was conducted, including the issuing of punishments for disobedience. The once massive nave of the church ran at right angles to the library, between the trees and the topiary hedges.

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There’s another oddity inside the chapter house, carved on the wall. Again it seems to have been reused from a much earlier phase of the priory. This Anglo-Saxon/Scandinavian style depiction of evil entities was doubtless meant to keep the monks’ minds focused on holy matters.

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I’m seeing a theme developing here for Becky’s February ‘square odds’ challenge. Expect more Shropshire curiosities in coming days.

The Square Odds #5

Chasing The Light Over Townsend Meadow

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Those who come here often know that our Shropshire cottage overlooks a field that once marked Much Wenlock’s northerly boundary. It’s all in the name of course – Townsend Meadow. In times past it was pasture for dairy cows. The farm, long gone, was in the corner of the field, and the dairy, where the milk was collected, was a few doors down from our house on Sheinton Street. But in the years since we’ve lived here the field has been used solely for growing arable crops; wheat mostly, but now-and-then oil seed rape, oats, field beans and barley.

Our further view, beyond the field, is of the woods along the summit of Wenlock Edge. You can just make them out in the middle distance of the first photo. This vista and this field and the sky above, are the places where I endlessly discover events and effects. In this sense you could call it a source of rich sustenance; the everyday world that is never commonplace.

When it comes to photography, I belong to the ranks of happy snappers. I have zero technical skills, though somewhat perversely I’m particularly drawn to taking photos in challenging light conditions – to see what will happen, I suppose. The first photo is a good example. It was taken by opening the rooflight window in my office to the horizontal position (which also involved standing on the spare bed) resting my Lumix point-and-shoot camera on the back of said window – that is, on the outside frame nearest me – engaging some zoom, and hoping things are as focused as can be. And there we are.  It is a strange photo. A bit quantum physics-ish. Lost realms and parallel universe kind of stuff.

Here are some rather more obvious low-light Townsend Meadow moments.

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Lens-Artists: Follow Your Bliss Lindy has set the challenge this week.

As Seen In Fresh Light ~ Over The Garden Fence

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Of itself the field behind our house (Townsend Meadow) is not very interesting. It is simply a farm field, much subjected to agrochemicals in order to produce year on year wheat, or rape, or oats, or field beans or barley. On days when the light is flat it is plain dull. Most of the time it is the activity above it that catches my eye – cloud movements, and the odd effects created by a false horizon which obscures the further horizon of Wenlock Edge where the ground drops off a few hundred feet to the Shropshire Plain below. But there are moments when the quality of light bestows a certain glamour. Somewhat astonishingly the header photo was taken at first light one February morning – a piece of magic all its own since February in England is rarely a scenic month unless one is thinking about carpets of snowdrops.

Here are some more ‘best’ moments – over the garden fence, or from the office skylight.

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Lens-Artists: It’s all about light Many thanks to Tina for this week’s theme. Please go and see her very inspirational gallery of light works.