stories and illustration

A Little Walk Through Trees


Every day the trees change, the wind has pulled the leaves off many of the rowan trees – but on a sunny October afternoon I put on my new waterproof trousers and put my possum hat in my pocket and set off to get some fresh air.  Just inside the great grounds of the Hirsel, opposite the memorial to Sir Alec Douglas-Home, once Prime Minister, there is a path that goes up alongside the golf course, a tad off the beaten track as it is not one of the designated walking routes (you could frighten the pheasants, but you wouldn’t meet any until much further on). Although the path is strewn with leaves, the trees still have plenty of green in them:


The sun coming from the left illuminates a fern and not much else:


On the right hand side a mound of cut trees cuts out the light from the other side, and more or less hides the green of the golf course. I saw some of these trees being hewn last year, and they are still piled up here in a long row. Something rather melancholy about them, lain there disregarded:




I come out at the top of the path and before arriving at the little gate, turn back towards the road (thus leaving any pheasants undisturbed). Now I can see, over the fields, a distant view of Trimontium, aka The Eildons, beloved of Sir Walter Scott.  From Scotts View, in summer, they look a lot prettier and less muggy than this. Still, there is something about the sight of them on the horizon that stirs me, they are so emblematic of the Borders landscape:


At the bottom of the hill I squeeze through the exit space, cross the road, and take my usual path down towards the Tweed:



A digger is rearranging the ground where once the smashed television stood all by itself amid little craters of mud. The tangle of buddleia bushes, flowers, and scrub has gone, and there is no more whiskery cheeping from the warblers to be heard. Over the coming year, this patch of ground will be completely remade:


I am not going down to the Tweed today, because I like reflections, and there are no reflections to be seen in the muddy swirling water – turbid I think is the word – after the recent rain.



Instead, I turn up to take the little path through the trees which runs along the ridge above the fields which border the Tweed:



Every day the colours of the trees up here change. Today a high wind is blowing, so soon the yellow leaves will be torn away:


The colour of the sky looks completely mad behind the orange-yellow of the leaves.  It is like some Russian jewellery:



The rowan, on the other hand, has been rendered almost leafless in the wind:


At the end of the path, with its back to me, is the small green bench where no-one sits:


Along the last part of the path the sweet chestnuts are scattered on the ground:


I go past the deserted tennis court and through the copse:


Say goodbye to the horse, and then walk on home:


October 26, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


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