Finding interest in the everyday and making the most of what we have. While I may sometimes imagine living in a wild and natural environment, like many other people, the reality of my life sees me living in a large urban town. Although I may ‘escape’ to these rural locations for a few weeks in the year, I also consider myself fortunate to live by an estuary. This is where the rural meets the industrial, a place of edges and contrasts. Ships and birds ‘migrate’ along the river in equal measure. Everything is on the move - the tide coming and going, the light shifting, bright one moment, grey another. No two days are ever the same. My regular walk takes me through a municipal park, complete with its customary large pond, - home to a resident pair of swans, and surrounded by some beautiful old trees, and on to my favourite destination - the seafront. While other locations may be more prestigious, more wild, more tranquil, I love this ‘little bit of paradise’ on my doorstep. I do not regard myself as a photographer, but equipped with heaps of curiosity, a small Panasonic camera, or iPhone, these are a selection of the moments that caught my attention through the four seasons in 2018. This is not a new idea, many have done it before me, but the exercise encourages me to keep looking closely at my immediate surroundings. I am constantly surprised and inspired by what is on the doorstep!
Winter in Southchurch Park. A partially frozen lake offers an opportunity to observe ice, and reflections. Ice, cracks and dissolving edges occurring here on a local level, are a reminder of what happens on a larger scale around the world. The forces of nature leaving their mark. Having made a note of these lovely crumbling cracks as a place to return to, following the cold spell the council closed off the area and have repaired the path. These are now completely covered by a new layer of concrete. So a fleeting moment indeed!
Spring walks along the beach at low tide reveal an array of life forms and textures. I am surprised to see so many dandelions growing on the sand. This is one hardy plant species! They are everywhere as are various small plants which find shelter around upturned rowing boats. As for the for barnacles, what can I say! The textures are so exquisite. Revealed at low tide, hundreds of them cling to wooden posts, transforming them into living beacons. It seems life will find any small crevice or gap, taking the opportunity to wedge itself in tightly.
Summer has been unusually hot and dry. Therefore the grasses have turned gold early and autumn plants are already starting to flowering in August. The "wild meadow" area of the park has been left to it's own devices this year which I imagine is due to the ever increasing demands placed on the council works department. In previous years it has been a riot of colour. However this year I notice there is less variety as a few plants have become dominant. The early morning light reveals and highlights an amazing variety of subtle colours and textures.
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