forest majesty

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I love photographing trees, and walking amongst them in forests just as much. A walk in the forest is always restorative and revitalising. My children think I am quite mad when I walk up to the trees and start stroking them, but there’s just something so nurturing and comforting about them that I can’t help myself: they have seen it all haven’t they, these ancient masts towering above us? They have wisdom in their branches and intellect susurrates through their roots in slow, deliberate murmurs.

This wood is close to my house and consists almost entirely of beech trees, with some clusters of silver birch, ash and cherry dotted about, here and there. The beech trees look ghostly in the subdued winter sunlight. Their bark when young is smooth and pale. As they get older, more mature, the girth broadens and the wrinkles develop. Beech trees grow in thickets which are often called ‘queens’ – the queens of the forest; elegant and regal.

 

These images were all snapped on my phone.

© Emily Hughes, 2018

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a January mood

 

winter landscape2

Winter’s Reverie I

 

winter landscape1

Winter’s Reverie II

 

One from the archives.

 

© Emily Hughes, 2015

 

firecracker

Today I discovered that our dormant winter garden is full of life and energy: buds, shoots, seeds and new growth just waiting to explode. The acer stands, glowing like a firecracker amongst it all: flames flickering; vibrant and bursting with colour.

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© words and images by Emily Hughes, 2017

blackberry treats

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love this quote, and try to remember it every year when the leaves tumble into crunchy piles of a thousands shades of amber. Every new season always feels like an opportunity for renewal, but especially autumn, when the cooling, crisp winds which make us reach for our jumpers and hats breathe a haze of rich, gold-infused light over the heavens. And especially this year. Maybe because it came at the end of a wonderfully long, heady summer, or maybe because I have taken on new challenges and my brain is whirring as it learns new things. Or maybe it is because, as I head into my own autumnal years, I feel more of an affinity with this season which I have previously always approached with a sense of loss and longing, and am finding it can energise me as much as the sprightly newness of spring, or the carefree, lazy days of summer.

The children always love this time of year because for them it signals the start of the season of treats, fun and indulgence which starts around Halloween and peaks with Christmas, of course. They find the chilly days and dark nights exciting in a way which I, as one who worships light, have never really understood before. Even bonfire night usually fails to ignite a spark of excitement. However this year, the quiet, mellow joys of this mature season have infused my heart and pooled into its chambers with a surprising, juicy burst of delight – just like that first taste of freshly plucked sweet-sharp blackberries.

blackberries

yellow leaves

Felix and Flo picking blackberries

blackberry in hand

Felix and Florence on gate

red leaves

Flo eating blackberry

Felix at lake

© images and words by Emily Hughes, 2015

sketches

Spring surprises me every year. Like a switch being flicked, the sudden buzz and hum of life at volume jolts me into attentiveness. As the earth shakes off its heavy, muffled cloak of winter, a veil lifts from my eyes, and instantly they start to sketch shifting forms cast by the wayward light. As the sun shone on our little garden yesterday, we dug to find relics buried amongst the clusters of sprightly iris and anemones proudly splaying their pert figures. I instantly loved the bare little skeleton leaves, which quivered gently in the breeze as they generously sketched and re-sketched their intricate framework against a canvas of rich coffee soil. I like to think the earth kept these little treasures safe for me, just waiting for the light, and for my eyes to open.

Skeleton 5

Skeleton 6

Skeleton 1

Skeleton 3

Skeleton 2

Skeleton 4

© images and content Emily Hughes, 2014

Autumn’s still

If you listen carefully you will hear the hushed still of Autumn in the breeze
If you look closely you will see quiet muffled beauty in the closeness
Nature is settling
Falling
Furling
Curling

After the buzzing vivacity of Spring
And the full heady bloom of Summer
Nature is calm and muted
Yielding
Thoughtful
Weary
Winding down

There is a soft, subtle radiance to Autumn. Soothing pastels and rich, warm tones replace vibrant hues. A gentle opalescent shimmering punctuated by
startling instants of vivid colour: the magnificent red of the rosehip, or the garish yellow of lichen, reminding us that life, nature persists. Persevering. Renewing.

© images and content Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

Flower Friday

Well that week really flew by….

Time for another flower: there are lots of these around at the moment, especially in our garden. I’m pretty sure it’s a dog rose, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong! This one is a little crumpled, and past its best, but I like the way the golden stamen are illuminated, tall and bright in the sunlight. A sweet, delicate little flower. Later on, in the Autumn when they mature, they will turn into beautifully plump orange or red rose hips. When we lived in Italy Alex used to go and collect them from the road side and make a fragrant, sweet sticky rosehip syrup for the children. The Italians all thought he was perfectly mad – I guess it’s a very British thing!

I’m officially in countdown mode now – just 3 weeks until the end of term and holidays 🙂

Happy weekend!

© Emily Hughes and searchingtosee, 2012

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