The Monthly Project

I often go for a walk up the river, but my attention is usually on work related things.  Walking is good for writing, or incubating, and my head is full of stories and words - anything but the landscape I'm walking through. If your mind is elsewhere, then you don't notice the things around you.  So, in November I had the idea of going for a walk on the same day every month, at the same time of day and taking photographs from the same, favourite, spot - really looking at the landscape around me as it changes with the seasons.

I chose a place I love - a small copse of trees on the bank of the River Eden, where you get a good view of the fells and the farmland across the river.  It was late afternoon, with the sun low, illuminating the fields and the distant white-capped hills.

In November it was lush green and the sun had a deep autumn tint to it.  The trees still had some foliage clinging to the branches.  There were little clumps of ice, like crystals, concealed in the fallen leaves.

December didn't happen - the river was still too much in flood and covering the land. Walking up the river bank just wasn't possible.  A month later, in January, I was intrigued to see what damage the floods had done.  There were big sections of the river bank washed out and lines of trees lying in the water waiting for the next flood to drift them down to the sea.  But the little copse of trees was unchanged.

Except for the snow covering everything and the eerie light.  It's dark here by four thirty, so at 3.45pm the light is beginning to fade.  Without the snow to reflect the sky, it would have been a very gloomy photograph.

Sheep were scrabbling in the snow to find grass to nibble and there was a raptor calling further up the river - we've had a peregrine around for a few days now.  But otherwise very little was stirring.   Evidence of the flood was everywhere - I loved the way it had woven tapestries on the fences with grass, leaves and twigs.

I don't know where this project is going, but it's certainly making me really look at things rather than just wander in an absent minded way.  It was one of the great French authors who said that a writer should observe passionately - 'Look at a tree,' he commanded, 'until it looks like no other tree you have ever seen.'  So I'm looking.


  1. Thanks for posting such a wonderful post and also my heartfelt thanks for posting such an useful post in your blog. Being working as a research paper writer in one of the leading online research paper writing service, myself too walk in the riverside in order to reduce my work tension but, i had never thought as you like. So, from now, i have decided to follow your path and i will put my part of work to save the nature and world from extinction.


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