Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Marina Sundown, Dwarf Oaks and Bridge 89

"Marina Sundown" :- It's not often that I actually take a walk out along either of the colossal protective arms of Brighton Marina. The weather hasn't been that great recently and some parts of the walls have been closed to the public due to damage and safety concerns. A few weeks ago I decided to venture out on the Eastern arm just as the afternoon was sliding into the evening. It was all very peaceful with very little happening. Fortunately for me I just happened to be in the right position to catch the sun being obscured by the only large cloud in the area. It was in the perfect position over the boats in the outer harbour!

"Dwarf Oaks" :- Now this day out and jaunt was something very special to me. For the best part of 30 years I have wanted to visit this place for I had seen it in drawings, paintings and many photographs but had never set foot in it myself. This is the mystical and magical "Wistman's Wood" and it's one of only three remote high-altitude oakwoods on Dartmoor in Devon, England. I grew up loving the artwork of Brian Froud and Alan Lee (plus many others) well before they became so well known (Brian Froud designed the creatures and world of "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth" and Alan Lee designed the costumes, sets, swords and practically everything else for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy). This wonderful and ancient wood consists (appropriately enough) of dwarf oaks and it appears in many of Froud and Lee's wonderful illustrations. It's a truly stunning little wood full of twisted branches and gnarled trunks, mossy rocks dappled with lichen and dark shadows. It's a place where you can easily imagine fairies, goblins, dwarfs, elves and ogres feeling at home. If you didn't know any better you'd have though the Brothers Grimm based their tales in this wood and not the Black Forest in Germany. What made this day trip even better is that my old friend (I mean I've known him a long time not that he's ancient himself) Philip Reeve and his wife Sarah who live on Dartmoor acted as guides and took me there. It was a joyous moment for me and I was thrilled to bits ... and even more grateful they showed me the way back and didn't just leave me there!

"Bridge 89" :- This is bridge 89 (also known as "Green Bridge") spanning the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. It was constructed in 1918 and it's length is 6.096 meters or 20ft. Many years ago it did serve various forms of traffic but is now purley for pedestrian purposes only.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill