The white stuff hasn’t featured properly in my life since I was last in Tromsø in April 2018, and there is presently none of it in Hebden Bridge. But it took only a short walk up into the hills to be faced by scenes like this. Contacts in Tromsø also suggest that at the moment, they have none at all, while Spain and Portugal suffer under the worst winter in living memory. This is one of those shots that honestly is not monochrome, though you wouldn’t know it.
A scene I have passed frequently over the last nine and a bit years but never really noticed before; still, that’s one point of the blog, isn’t it. I thought at first there was a real live human in it (something not prevalent in Manchester city centre right now) but in fact its one of the mannequins, or the start of an android takeover, seeing as we’ve made such a mess of it. A nice ‘rule of thirds’ illustration although I didn’t want to lose the red door at the bottom, and yes, the foliage does get in a way just a little bit. This is the earliest post in a day since 21st September.
Spring Wood is its name…. but it is going to feel like a very long time until spring. With weeks of stagnancy and economic devastation to come, let us at least hope there are more days with as good weather as today. If Bojo thinks I’m staying at home on such a day, he is mistaken.
So schools and colleges had one day of life and now Bojo has said they’re unclean, like the rest of the country. So Joe gets to spend the next six weeks, maybe twelve, at home, while algorithms and their creators bicker to be given the right to determine his future. Conviviality and intimacy are things of the past, getting further away all the time.
This post does not plough untouched furrows of excitement, I know, but then again, nor will January 2021 I suspect. Consider it an abstract; the smoothness of the apples contrasted with the sharp edge of the break. If you like.
Amongst its other functions, this blog serves to record the weather patterns, and neither of the last two winters (2018/19, 19/20) have seen any real snow. The last truly white period, at least where I have been, was in March 2018. Today wasn’t a frozen apocalypse, but it did mean that 2021 has already seen more snow in Hebden Bridge — or, here, Mytholmroyd, just down the road — than the last two calendar years combined. I’m not objecting. It does provide good photography material.
2021 has limped into existence, and whatever else it brings, it will see the 10th anniversary of this blog (on 26th August). I make no predictions for the year, but I have made some resolutions, mainly that I will continue to live my life in the way that I need to in order to sustain my physical and mental health, whatever obstacles are placed in the way. That’s what it’s about isn’t it? Health? So we are being told, anyway.
This is the Strid, near Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire; one of the north of England’s natural wonders although the reason for this is not immediately apparent on this shot. The river is the Wharfe, and it’s fairly sizeable at this point, where it flows through a band of limestone. Above and below this gorge it is over 10 metres wide. So how does it squeeze itself through this defile, so narrow one could almost cross it with a stride — hence the name? The answer lies below: concealed by the water is a fearful chasm, undercut with potholes and very deep. Fall in here and I wouldn’t fancy your chances.
With parties forbidden — by law — there was little to do except go for another walk as a way of trying to see the world. All in all, a fungus-ridden slab of dead wood seems to be a suitable metaphor for the last day of 2020. So be it.
My favourite photo of the year? Well, there have been fewer opportunities, all told, for creativity but I do like the one of the fox I took above Kentmere, Cumbria, on 4th March. I couldn’t believe that when I first saw it, it did not flee from me, but sat down to keep an eye on me (almost certainly because there were cubs nearby). It was certainly a poser, as foxes go.