For the first time in a long time, I've needed some time out today. My thesis finally approved, about to be bound, one part of my life is finally over, the next about to begin. Right now I feel a bit betwixt and between, weary. I needed a walk out of my normality, just for a while. I needed earth, and trees, and water and green. Believe it or not, this little haven is in Orkney, one of only a few places you can walk under trees and hear the sounds of gushing water. Peaceful and tranquil, I've taken myself off to walk, to think and to reflect.
The way through the unlocked gate led to a whole different world from our normal big skies, predominantly treeless landscape of pasture and moorlands, with uninterupted views of the Atlantic. Here through that gate, the views are very much interupted, green foliage, trees, bark, leaves, lichens, the last vestiages of summer flowers cling on, the smell of earth is rich, each view is fresh, curious and welcoming me forwards. The flowers on this rusty curiosity have taken my eye, intricate and detailed. The object is moss clad, pink pursulane clinging to a corner of its base, trying to find a niche.
As always I'm hungry for the detail, quickly focussing only on the closer view, trying to drink in all the details, I'm impatient, always. I need to stand back and appreciate the bigger picture.
It shows you so much more. I often forget that. As you step back you see the bigger picture, a collection of old household articles, each interesting. The end of the old stone house is heavily clad with ivy and mosses. Engulfed in a small woodland, a tinge of autumn colour couches the scene beautifully. As the trees turn colour they enhance the beauty of the rusty iron, whilst it unwittingly stands still, nature slowly tries to reclaim it for its own. However, as you're contemplating life, nature and the enormity of it all, you can rely for a comedy dog to pop himself up on the wall, as if by magic and give you a giggle. Well you didnt' expect me to be entirely sensible for the whole post did you?
As if by magic, a peedie dog appears. The moment is all the more enhanced by the moment that it was captured, if rather out of focus (he was not the subject of the shot). How can you endeavour to be serious and contemplate life, your future and your road ahead, when your companion is just too excited to be in a gigantic (by his standards) forest. Right where was I, OK, contemplation and reflection............
I love this place, the old stones the smell of woodland floor overwhelmes you senses - takes you away from it all. I've needed this respite, its beautiful and peaceful.
Trees are clad with a myriad of fruitcose lichens and starry mosses, only when I take the time to just look, immersed do I see whats actually infront of me. The beauty of it is breathtaking, I adore plants, over the past four years I've lost a bit of that focus and passion. Lost is the wrong word, its been there, tempered in the background, whilst I focussed on my studies and life took over. I need more balance, we often do, don't we? Funny, its only on reflection, we take time and we can see the lichens, and the trees.
Fushia flowers add a vibrant pierce of late colour in this very green infused haven. Their height, in places over 10ft tall, trucks gnarled and twisted, I like them very much. They are stalwarts in this climate and when give space to breathe and are couched in shelter, nutured away from the elements, they are very prolifc. And still my constant companion leads the way and waits as I ponder. His colouring suits the forest floor very much don't you think?
This woodland garden is well bestowed with benches, hiding around corners, tempting you to be still, listen and sit a while, so we did. Moving along a short while after - we near one edge of this haven, the stark hillside is peeping into our view. We aren't ready to leave, so we turn around and we walk the other way.
Walking along the burn is magical, the feel of the air and the leaves gently rustling all compete with the bubbling, tumbling noise of the rampaging burn, quite full after the downpours we've had lately.
The garden is a tumble of trees, willow and alder, rowan and ash, hazels and birch carpeted with woodruff (Luzula), red campion, pink purslane and with mosses, lichens and ferns all jostling for thier own special space. I like this place, I feel like I'm amoung old friends, I've not seen in a long while. They are very welcoming. I've missed this feeling. Peace and acceptance.
I hunker down a while and look at the water, listen to its throaty roar.
As always I'm distracted by the cloroplasted beasts in my presence. In this instance its thallous liverworts (Marchantia) which have caught my attention vibrant green, lush, dripping with water from the burn.
As always, as I hunker and take photographs, yabbering to myself - the garden dog looks on, bemused. Thinking I'm jibbering rubbish again as I contemplate latin names, try to identify the cholorplasted beasts in my view, he waits. He's very patient.
Ok. Back to reality - we go back into the garden by the woodland - he allows me a quick snap at some colourful Hypericium berries......
A lovely late garden sedum................
Then we close the gate, say good bye to our woodland haven for now and return to our big skies, moorland and lochs. Our more normal skyline returns, I'm more peaceful now, refreshed and recharged.
The crocosmia still in full firey flower, bids us a cheerful farewell and onward journey......................