Winter in a Country Park

I travel through Poolsbrook Country Park on my way to work in the week, I see all the seasons throughout the year. The sunsets, the sunrises, the snow, the iced over lake and the burnt, dry grass of summer… all of them.

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This series is shot entirely in natural light over a number of years with different cameras and lenses. Due to work and family commitments it is very hard to get time out to photograph for myself so I tend to photograph while walking to my destinations.

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I have a very small window of time to photograph in the park during my walk to work, I would say around 15 to 20 minutes in total. This is dependent on the weather and the clarity of the sunrise. Results are very often varied but rarely do I come out without getting at least half a dozen shots that I’m happy with.

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It’s not uncommon to see the lake frozen mid-winter, the lake becoming a “landing pad” for the wild birds that breed and live there. Towards the end of Winter when the temperature starts to rise eerie mist is seen floating off the pond, very often onto the stretch of road that runs by the park. Most of the trees have no leaves at this time except for a few perennials.

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Although the park is not at first viewing aesthetically pleasing due to electric cables and pylons I’m a big believer in making the best of what you have to work with and decided long ago to make the pylons a fixture in the pictures i shoot at the park. Composed with care the pylons can look not too much out of place and adds to the dramatic skies that are often seen over the skyline at sunrise.

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Frost and Berries go well together

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The frosticles are beautiful

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My Mad World (The Walk to Work)

All around me are familiar faces, Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races, Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses, No expression, no expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow, No tomorrow, no tomorrow
– Mad World (Tears for Fears)

I walk to work 5 days a week all seasons, all weathers. I see the sunrises and the passing of time with the seasons, the buds growing and blooming , the leaves fall and the flowers bloom and die, it’s the most magical journey i take twice a day. From light hitting the pavement and roads, steam coming off the street lights with their beams shining down, fading to nothing, frost on the berries, the texture on the leaves, their veins, the shades of bark on the trees, paint on the bridges, the flakes and shades of old and new, Then there is the sound of the birds chirping, different breeds all at once and cars and whizzing past with the tyres making the squishing sound through puddles and watching the droplets subside when they’ve gone. It’s blessing and a curse.

I don’t envy life as a daily commuter stuck in a steel box for however long the journey is, disconnected from their surroundings. Sure I would get there faster but I would miss SO much happening in the world….. my little world of the 20 minute window walking to work.

 

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The light… it’s always about the light. 

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So quiet, but at 5pm this road is end to end with traffic. 

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Reflections.. mono and colour in the same space. Natural light and street light. 

 

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One of the park benches frosted over. Sat here gives a beautiful view of the lake whatever the weather. 

 

 

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The winding gear wheel of the local coal mine that once occupied the space where these photographs were taken.

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Less that 10 minutes walk from the first picture. The lake frozen over giving a superb reflection to the fiery sky.

 

Cemetery in the mist

The lure of a photographic opportunity is never far behind on a misty morning. I’m lucky to live a few minutes walk from the local cemetery. The oldest part of the cemetery dates back to the 1880’s and looks fantastically eerie in the right light and mist. There are tree lined avenues, old stones, monuments and old Victoria era monuments in the oldest part of the cemetery, bent over, broken and sunk into the earth at odd angles. It really is a great place for some beautiful images.

To me cemeteries bring home my own mortality, we are here for a very brief length of time. Some longer than others. We are all on different journeys but ultimately will are all headed for the same destination.

 

Staveley Cemetery – The Avenue of the Dead

 

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Staveley Cemetery – Gothic Angel

Afternoon Walk, Mill Green

Sunday 30th December was a beautiful calm day with excellent mid-afternoon light. Taken around 2:30pm along The Chesterfield Canal at Mill Green, back of Morrisons, Staveley Town Center and Staveley Canal Basin.

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Chesterfield Canal. Mill Green

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Staveley Canal Basin

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Chesterfield Canal, heading towards the Basin

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Staveley Church, High Street, Staveley