Thursday, 30 July 2015

Lawn & Ruin, Wall Steps and Murmur

Lawn & Ruin :- It wasn't until I started to process this image that I realised just how dramatic a shot it was that i'd taken! The day had been blustery and rather grey. The strong winds had sent clouds scudding oacross the scenery throughout the day with only the odd break of sunshine every now and again. With the threat of rain hanging over our heads we carried on regardless and explored the stunning house, gardens and ruins of Scotney Castle near Lamberhurst in Kent, England. I shot this from the gardens at the back of Old Scotney Castle which is a real medieval, moated manor house on an island on a small lake. The oldest part of the ruins dates from 1378 which was when the castle began to be built but the section see in this image dates from the mid to late 1500's.

Wall Steps :- It's fascinating to think that the City of York in Yorkshire has been defended and surrounded by various walls since the time of the Romans. Massive sections of wall remain to this day and it's been said that York has more miles of intact wall than any other city in England. The Romans built their walls around Eboracum (the Roman name for York) somewhere around 71 AD. Then in 867 the Vikings came, they demolished most of the towers, rebuilt and restored the crumbling Roman walls. Then it was suddenly the middle ages. The walls and steps you see in this image as well as the rest of the walls that still surround the old medieval city date from date from the 12th – 14th century. This section of wall is located between Monk Bar and Bootham Bar. The 'Bars' are medieval gatehouses which served to restrict traffic into the city during medieval times, demand tolls and defend the City during wars and attack. York has four main 'Bars" named Bootham Bar, Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar and Micklegate Bar.

Murmur :- It was a cool February evening and the sun was setting on Brighton. The twisted remains of the West Pier were casted into silhouette, the tide was low and all was clam. And then they came. They swooped and dived in unison. They twisted and turned. The sped up and slowed down. They settled. We are lucky in Brighton as we get to see starlings flock. This is known as a "murmuration" and it's breath taking to witness. Like a large, black, silent, feathered cloud they move en masse. 100's of them, workjing together as a tightly knit unit. Apparently some murmurations can have up to 50,000 birds or more in them! Nobody knows why murmurations occur or how the birds move as one without bumping into each other. It's another of Mother Nature's beautiful mysteries.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill