Tuesday, 1 April 2014

The Chignal Jester

The Chignal Jester stands proudly on its head.
Has someone turned this tree upside-down as some kind of April fool? The ash tree in this photo, taken in rural Essex, certainly looks topsy-turvy. The short stout trunk ends in a blunt and lumpy way (as a result of pollarding) and the winter-bare, spreading branches above it strongly resemble roots. A number of gnarled, veteran ash trees can be found throughout the farmland around Chelmsford, but this one near the Chignals was particularly photogenic. Its trunk catches the winter sunshine, and its branches seem to embrace the blue sky. It presides over both the country lane and fields beside it, but the other trees distant in the background place it in context: this tree is one of many dotted through the agricultural landscape, and these provide added interest and a huge benefit for wildlife (providing food for butterflies and moths, for example).

Monday, 31 March 2014

20,000+ pageviews!

We have had over 20,000 all-time pageviews here at the Heenan Photography website, with 1,867 pageviews in the last month alone. Thanks very much for your interest, we hope you continue to stop by to see the latest news and photos from Heenan Photography!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

River Stour Boating

"On the Stour", with views of the River Stour from a boat. Photo by Heenan Photography.

These two images feature the River Stour, in that beautiful part of the country where Essex and Suffolk meet. Dedham Vale (an AONB - Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) has gorgeous, famous and typically English landscapes, with rolling farmland and quaint old buildings. The two photos I am posting today show the aquatic charms of the River however. There is a long history of navigation on the River Stour, and boats have been used to transport all sorts of goods from bricks heading to London through to sewage heading out to the fields of Suffolk! They can also transport itinerant photographers. The picture above, "On the Stour", shows a boats-eye view of the riverine landscape, including twisted, pollarded Willow trees. The picture below, "The Boating Alphabet", depicts a landscape of boats awaiting use outside the old Granary building (with Flatford Mill glimpsed through the trees in the background).

"The Boating Alphabet", with an array of boats for hire. Photo by Heenan Photography.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Rainbow Over Roding

Even the rainy days have their rainbows. This photo was taken in the Roding Valley, and shows a double rainbow over the wet meadows and fen of the Nature Reserve that runs along the River Roding near Loughton and Chigwell, Essex, England. The reserve follows the river for roughly a mile and a half, and in addition to providing a place for the Roding to flood (thus alleviating some of the flooding pressure downstream) the reserve also contains a number of important plant and animal species. The nature reserve contains the the largest remaining area of water meadows in Essex, according to Essex Wildlife Trust. I like the warmth of the late light here bathing the bare trees and shrubs, and picking out the sere grasses in the background.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Tor View

The Dartmoor landscape as seen from the ancient rocks of Sheeps Tor
tor  (tôr)
1. A high rock or pile of rocks on the top of a hill.
2. A rocky peak or hill.
This photo shows the view over Burrator Reservoir from Sheeps Tor, Dartmoor, Devon. The ancient granite rocks of this Tor were formed hundreds of millions of years ago as magma slowly cooled beneath the Earth's surface. These rocks have since become uncovered by erosion, but being more resistant to erosion themselves, they are left standing like silent sentinels upon this hilltop and many others in the Dartmoor National Park. Dartmoor has the largest area of granite in Britain and is full of these tors, or "rocky peaks". 


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